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Tomorrow you will have been gone exactly one year.
*One year ago*
“What’s wrong, Tay?” you ask, concerned.
“It’s just,” I begin, “it’s just…I don’t know. These days I feel like you’re distant and desperate to get away from me.”
You pause; I ponder the thought of what I just said being true.
“You know that’s not true,” you say, smiling.
You put your arms around me and pull me close to your chest.
“What do you want to do tomorrow?” I ask.
“Let’s just worry about today,” you say. “We’ll cross that bridge if we come to it.”
This leaves me lost and confused. Isn’t it “we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it”? I’m about to ask you about it, but you pull me closer and begin to kiss me.
Looking back, I realize why you avoided making plans for the next day. You already had plans—plans to leave me.
When you’re getting ready to leave, a sense of loneliness washes over me.
“Please don’t leave,” I plead.
“I think I’ve overstayed my welcome,” you say.
You wrap me in your arms for several moments. Then you kiss me. “Good bye,” you say. “I love you.”
“I love you too,” I say, feeling a part of me go through that door with him.
Now, one year after that, I’m staring at the door, remembering you walking through that door for the last time. I want to tell you that I miss you, that the pain never went away.
I fall asleep leaning on the door.
The clock reads 5:04 a.m.
Then, in a flash, I see a shadow of a dark figure.
It’s you. I know it is. You’re wearing your signature cologne—a scent I could pick from a billion others.
But I’m not dreaming. I pinch myself to check.
My mind begins to race; my heart begins to pump faster. A knot forms in my stomach.
“Matt?” I ask the darkness.
I flip on a light.
You’re sitting at the dining room table, calm.
“Wh…what are you doing here?” I stutter.
You get up. My arms begin to sweat. I want to scream, but I can’t.
Suddenly the lights turn off. I hear nothing. I grope for the light switch. When I flick it up, I am alone.
I fall back asleep by the door, but my dreams scare me. I jolt awake.
Then I realize something—something creepy, really creepy.
I’m lying on the floor by the door.
I’m in my bed.
My heart thumps loudly. Then I remember what had happened earlier—the whole thing that may or may not have happened.
It was 7:59 a.m. I couldn’t go back to bed.
Because I know.
I know it’s you who put me there. You carried me to my bed. It had to have been you. Now I know you’re here—in my house, alone with me. I silently wish my parents hadn’t gone on vacation until the summer.
I creep down the stairs, as slowly and as quietly as I can.
I walk into the kitchen.
It can’t be.
Breakfast is already on the table.
Not just any breakfast, either.
There are scrambled eggs, blueberry pancakes, crisp bacon, and sausage dipped in strawberry juice.
This used to be my favorite breakfast—last year.
I hear something—a picture frame, I think—fall to the ground in the living room. I jump, my heart thumping.
I walk into the living room, quiet.
Sure enough, it was a picture frame that fell.
Not just any picture frame, though.
It was the frame that held the photo of the two of us from prom.
The photo is missing. It’s not on the floor anywhere. Someone took it.
The frame was thrown on the ground, I realize, scared.
“Stop messing with me!” I scream.
I use the wall for support.
“MATT!” I say, tears streaming down my face. “I know you’re in here. Stop! Please! Please?”
“Taylor.” It’s your voice. I can’t tell where it’s coming from.
“Why are you in here?” I stand up, looking for where you could be hiding. “WHY?” I scream.
“I never forgot you,” you say. “Not a day went by when I didn’t think about you.”
“Then why did you leave?” I asked, tears still screaming down my face. I still couldn’t tell where your voice was coming from.
“Oh Taylor,” you say, your voice soft, caring.
“WHAT?!” I was screaming now.
“I can’t live without you.” Your voice is filled with kindness, honesty. “I still love you.”
“If you really love me,” I say, “you’ll come into the open.”
I hear you sniffle. “I’m sorry,” you say, as you come into my view. Then you pull out a knife from behind your back.
“Stay away from me!” I scream. “Please!”
You step closer to me, the knife inches from my neck.
“I said I was sorry,” you say softly.
My heart pumping in my chest, tears streaming down my face, I make a run for it.
I bolt through my front door.
“HELP!” I scream.
You’re following me.
“Someone call 9-1-1!” I yell, at the top of my lungs.
You catch up to me as the sirens from the cop cars come closer.
You grab me, the knife at my throat.
The cops arrive.
“Don’t do anything stupid,” you say, “or Taylor gets it.”
“Let her go,” one of the cops says through the megaphone, “and no one gets hurt.”
Your grip on me tightens. You begin to push the knife through my neck.
I yelp in pain. “Matt!” I say, tears streaming down my face. “Please don’t.”
He jabs the knife farther into my neck.
“OW!” I scream.
Then some cop shoots you—right through the heart.
I’m sent to the hospital.
The shooting left me real mixed up.
You could’ve killed me, and yet, I still wish you were here.