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Just sitting next to her, he wanted to just be happy. She turned to him and said something. It wasn't much, just 'what' or something, but he wasn't paying attention. We just wanted to smile. He finally felt at peace. He smiled. At first a tight grin, then he began to show his teeth. Then he smiled until he couldn't smile bigger, just because of his happiness. He felt the corner of his mouth widen and the smile stretched outward on his face. What was his lips stretched out and reached back over his head, like some unknown, ghostly force was pulling the skin on his face inside out. The inside of his face was now the outside and it started to turn black. She had been staring at with an open mind of horror. Then she jumped up as the once, meekly handsome guy turned pitch black. He could feel himself literally crumble and he stood up and stepped toward her with an arm out. They watched in horror as his hand crumbed to dust. She screamed silently and bolted toward the classroom door and out of the gym. "no. Wait. Please. BRIANNA! PLEASE!" He felt tears at this point as his legs and body crumbled "BRIANNA!"
He woke up in a cold sweat. He had been having nightmares recently and all of the same ilk: rejection, happiness, love, death, her. He truly loved her but could never express it. He turned his lamp on and sat up against the headboard. The wood was cold against his bare back, but he paid it no mind. He opened up his notebook he kept stashed in between the mattress and headboard and grabbed his favorite pencil. °August 31 2017° He scribbled at the top of the first clean page. It wasn't a diary or journal, just somewhere to vent. He poured out all his emotions into this passage, mostly about her and his doubts. Despite it being 12:11 in the morning he grabbed his iPod (outdated but working), headphones and his guitar. He put the headphones on, chose a song with a feeling of upbeat melancholy. He turned the slider almost all the way up and just played. He let his heart out in that solo, remnants of what he couldnt get out in his writing. After he finished, he talked to no one but directed to her and fell back asleep.
Sunday morning. Finally. He only looked forward to three things in the week: Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday nights. It was his release from all the bullshit he had to put up with in the week. He had been going for a few months and had met her and hadn't fallen at once when he saw her but after getting to know her, well here he is. Stuck between a rock and a hard place. She wasn't dating anyone but there's definitely something with her and James. She drools over James and James won't give her the time of day. Not that he's being an assignment or anything but he just not interested in her romantically after their failed relationship, but they were still best friends.
He played for the church and when he finished sound check he went and stopped by before Sunday school just mainly to see her. He peeked in and sat down near her. He knew she only let's three people sit next to her and he wasn't one of those people. He asked 'How was your week?' She replied with a half-assed 'good' and went back to her phone. He took his hint and left, and although he wouldn't let it show, it hurt.
That night he brought a guitar. He didn't really talk to too many people that night, although he was friends with everyone, he sat on a table and played. She and her best friend had across the room whispering to each other. 'Hey' She said to him. He just smiled and nodded. He wasn't paying attention to them and didn't really care what they were doing but there was a nagging voice in the back of his head. She's talking about YOU you know. Her friends telling her everything you confessed to her. Everyone here knows. They all laugh at you. Laugh at you like they di- ENOUGH he screamed mentally. He didn't want to think of any of the past.
James wasn't here tonight. Sick or something but that gave him an unexpected chance. 'Why don't you come sit up here with me' she said. There were two rows and she was on the front, he was the back. She slid her chair over and he cautiously slid up next to her. He felt warm and at place. That when he realized it was déja vu, that this was where his nightmare had started.
One week later he stopped by Sunday school again and dropped off a little notebook in her lap. It was the notebook that had previously been kept in between his mattress and headboard. This notebook contained everything he thought about her, plus his feeling about things he was going through. This was his risk he had debated so much back and forth every waking minute. Now it was full and he had made his choice. He just hoped she understood.
Things went his way and he thought before he had known peace. This was not perfect Nirvana, but he knew this was as close to peace as he had ever been and will ever get. He never felt happier than being able to wrap his arm around her and be able to at last say "This is my girlfriend, Brianna" One unexpected plus from his relationship was his music. He ha never been so inspired to write and been able to write with the relative ease. It was as if he took that first hit of heroin that you hear all the famous rock stars describe; but feeling that all day everyday. He had finally gotten around to creating a demo and had talked to some of the guys at church about jamming and maybe that would lead to something. But he loved her more than anything he had ever felt. Every night he prayed he would not f*** it up and lose everything he had. He prayed harder than he had ever.
It was his birthday. Eighteen at last. Everything was great. He and she had been together for three years and everything was great and he felt better everyday. His ' jam friends' and he had just scored a record deal, a dream come true for all of them. But his biggest dream would come true next Thursday, when he was going to propose.
They were all eating cake in the kitchen and he excused him and walked upstairs to his room. He walked straight across from the door and looked in his sock drawer. Under his dress socks was the box containing the ring. He rubbed the top of the box and closed the drawer. Then he turned left and stared. She had bought him the piano he had been wanting for months but couldn't afford because the record advance had been spent on the ring. He sat down and played the little riff he called Remnants. He had tried to write lyrics but nothing had seemed right. He finished, got up, and went back downstairs.
He was playing again that night. She was in the shower and he was attracted once more to the piano. He had an idea for Remnants in the back of his mind but couldn't materialize it. He felt a tap on the shoulder. He jumped a little because he hadn't heard her come in. She was dressed in a pair of pajama pants and one of his tee shirts, with her hair still in a towel. She radiated a simple beauty that was one of the reasons that he had fallen in love with her, among the many others. 'Ace, we need to talk’. There was something in her voice that unsettled him. 'What's up?' 'This isn't working for me anymore' He just looked down. He was still sitting on the piano bench and facing her, but his gaze was at the carpet. Without a word he went to the drawer and got the box. He walked back to her, put it in her palm and closed her fingers over it. Still looking down, he just said "I Love You' She just walked out. As he heard the front door close he grabbed a box of matches and walked downstairs. As he heard her car crank, he lit a match and tossed it into a kitchen cabinet, closed the door and walked back upstairs. He sat down and played Remnants and that nag finally materialized and he put all his soul into singing.
Ever since the day I was born I was nothing but Remnants.
Growing up, the kids called me Remnants.
Everything I have are Remnants.
Remember our time,
I will love you forever and ever
Until again we meet.
Babe all you've left of me are Remnants.
Could you take please these Remnants.
I'm tired of these Remnants
He played and sang and sang that last verse over and over and screamed it the last few times, among the burning inferno. He never missed a single beat.