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There was once a girl who lived in a house. It was beige. It had a brown door. The house blended in with the rest of the neighborhood. She, however, did not.
This girl was not particularly pretty. She was not particularly smart. She was the type of girl that had sad eyes in photographs. She would smile, but she was not happy. There was something about her, though, that attracted people to her like a bug zapper did mosquitoes, without the dying part. It was like way she smiled her big, toothy smile to strangers. It was the way her icy blue eyes could melt even the coldest of men. It was the innocence that emitted through her very being. It was her. There isn’t another way to describe it. It was her.
She was as ordinary as the house she lived in. But there was something completely extraordinary about her. She had an effect on people; she caused them to smile, to laugh, to live, to love. She was Lily.
Lily could make a fly fall in love with her. Everything she did was beautiful. I am proud to say that she was my first love. She was the person that made me believe in love. Lily. She was everything wasn't’t. She was graceful and elegant and lovely. She could make a cynic into an optimist. She could make a hater into a lover. She could make a realist into a believer. I couldn’t make anyone change their opinion of life. That wasn’t a self- pity moment, it was a fact. Not everyone could have the effect she did, and I didn’t. I could never quite figure out how she could be so beautiful and mesmerizing, and still have such sad eyes.
“I wish I was a bird sometimes, so I could soar across the country, soar across the world. I could look at different types of people and their lives. Except I don’t want to be a turkey or a chicken, I don’t want to be eaten,” she said as she was lying on her back to look at the “bluest sky and puffiest clouds” she had said she’d ever seen.
“Or a pigeon. You wouldn’t want to be a pigeon either. Their just like flying rats,” I said, laughing while I was lying down next to her.
“I don’t think pigeons are that bad. Rats aren’t either. They’re just animals like you and me. But, you’re right, I don’t want to be either of them,” she laughed.
I loved her laugh. It was a laugh that was infectious. It was like the flu and school children. She was soft spoken, and when she laughed it was a small giggle that fit perfectly with her personality.
“Do you know that every color makes someone feel something? And many colors make people feel many things? Like red: red can mean love, like a rose; red can mean blood, like war; red can mean beauty or death. Or yellow: yellow can make people feel warm; yellow can make people feel anxious. It’s incredibly odd how little things like colors can affect your entire mood! Sometimes when I’m alone, or sad, or I don’t feel well, I think of good colors,” it was just like her to go from wanting to soar across the world, to telling me about her colors.
“What colors do you think of?”
“I like the color you give off.”
“What color do I give off exactly?”
“Happy,” as she said it, I could feel her gaze land on me. In that moment I knew I was in love, and that I could never live without this girl in my life.
“Happy isn’t a color,” I whispered. I looked down at her and met her gaze.
We kissed. I felt everything that the movies talked about there were fireworks, and electricity. I could feel myself falling, and I felt safe to. I knew she could catch me .
We kissed. It was soft and tender. It was intense and passionate. I felt like a king in a pauper’s body. Kissing her was so right.
Nothing could explain that first kiss. It was sweet as if it were Honey Suckle in August in the heat of that Alabama summer. Her kiss was my drug, and from the Second it stopped, I craved more. I would day dream about our lips touching. Lily was my everything. She was everything that was good about me and nothing bad. We fit together like a puzzle, and the kiss proved it.
The next two years was provided with talks of running away after high school, getting married, having two kids, a dog, and a cat, and living in a little shack by the beach. We would be together forever, and nothing could change that. We would talk about everything. We were the perfect match. We were going to be together, until death do us part.
Then, I had everything. I had Lily. Now, I have nothing. In this crazy, mixed up, stupid world I live in, I don’t have my Lily. My piece of serenity against the chaotic life is gone. My piece of beauty against the ugliness of this world is gone. She was my flower, my love, my world.
She was taken from me. She was ripped out of my arms by a man too drunk to notice a stop sign. She was driving. I was in the passenger seat. I watched as the car drove into us, and hit her with the most impact. I watched as the Volvo ended the life of my better half. I watched as the thick red blood got soaked up by her yellow shirt. I watched as she died. I had a broken arm and a few bruises. It was the day after graduation. We were on our way to elope. I should have been driving. Now I have the sad eyes in photographs. Even when I smile.
That was six years ago. Here I am. Finally saying what I couldn’t to her in the car that day.
“I love you, Lily. I’m here to say goodbye. I know it’s not directly to you, but it’s better than nothing. Goodbye Lily.”
I leave a dozen red roses of the tombstone.