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Saying Goodbye to Tyson
He gently lifted the lid from Tyson's favorite water bottle. He gazed intensely into the valley below him. Unscrewing the plastic top of the dented, metal bottle, he felt a sense of finality as he tipped the bottle, allowing the wind to hijack the contents and spread them across the small valley and into the mountains just beyond him.
He remembered clearly the day that they had talked about what they had wanted to become of their remains after they had passed. He wasn't sure what had caused the conversation, but he recalled that they had been smoking Tyson's favorite strand of Marijuana, Skunk #1. Tyson had had a wide grin spread across her face as she took a drag of the Marijuana cigarette she held between her fingers.
“I don't want to be buried. I think being buried is stupid,” Tyson said thoughtfully. “What do you think Scotty-Boy?”
“Well... I don't know Ty. I guess I haven't thought that much about it,” Scotty replied slowly, glancing sideways at his very strange little sister. Tyson's grin widened, her deep pools of mahogany brown eyes glittered in response.
“Well I have,” she said in a matter-of-fact tone. “I want to have my ashes spread out in the most beautiful place in the world.” Scotty gave her an amused smirk.
“Oh really?” He raised his eyebrows at her. “And what would constitute as the most beautiful place in the world, in that clever mind of yours Tysee?” Tyson rolled her eyes as the childish nickname, but didn't voice her opinion. Ever since they were kids, they'd always enjoyed coming up with strange nicknames for each other. They would come up with the nicknames to try and get under each other's skin. But it was an unspoken rule that they were never really allowed to get annoyed with each other, instead they would have to create an even more irritating nickname than the last they'd received.
Tyson's grin slipped from her ruby red lips as she pondered Scotty's question. “Well Scottseroonie,” she said at last, “the most beautiful place in the world would be someplace high above the ground. There would be the peaceful sounds of birds chirping, water rushing and the wind howling. There would be a healthy mix of vibrant colors, so it would have to be mid-October. That's when the trees look the coolest. It would be really sunny with maybe a few clouds just barely marking the mesmerizing azure sky. I would want my ashes to be spread where very few humans would be able to tread on them.” Scotty smiled warmly, but smirked at her when she caught him.
“You're kind of a morbid person, Tiger. Who in their right mind would spend time thinking of what is going to happen to their body after they've passed?” Tyson refused to be insulted by her older brother. Her grin grew wider, if that was even possible.
“Well Sasquatch, I obviously do. And when I die, you're going to be the one spreading my ashes.” And then like the very mature eighteen year old she was, she proceeded to stick her tongue out at him before taking a long drink of water from her favorite black water bottle. Scotty stiffened slightly.
“How do you know you're going to die before me?” he asked cautiously, staring straight at Tyson, knowing it made her amusingly uncomfortable. She shifted under the gaze of his intense, perceptive, sage green eyes. Tyson shrugged casually, trying to ignore Scotty's prying stare.
“You're too careful to die before me, it's as simple as that,” Tyson stated with a mischievous smile. Scotty rolled his eyes, but couldn't help his agreement. Tyson loved taking crazy risks. She always had, and he assumed that it was just for the sole purpose of making his hair turn gray from both stress and worry.
“Tyson,” Scotty grumbled. He finally remembered that he was supposed to be scolding her for her latest scheme that had landed her in the back of a police car the night before, but decided against it. He had learned a long time ago that she was going to do whatever she wanted to and he couldn't really stop her unless he tried really, really, hard. And frankly, he wasn't all that willing to do so. “What's your funeral going to look like? I guess I should know this too huh?” Tyson laughed appreciatively. This question took no time at all to mull over.
“That's easy! I don't want one. I want you to throw a party! There has to be karaoke and good food and bad a** music and games and lots of cool people!” Tyson clapped her hands and grinned. Scotty rolled his eyes.
“As you wish m'dear,” Scotty replied sarcastically. But the way Tyson pushed her chestnut colored hair from her eyes and allowed her whole face to light up, made him forget that he was even slightly irritated with her in the first place. Tyson took one last long drag on the Marijuana cigarette that she held daintily between her thumb and forefinger. She flicked the roach of her joint into the ash tray beside her chair and stood up, stretching as she did so.
“Well Scotty-Boy, it was nice talking to you, but I've got some risks to take.” Tyson clapped Scotty's shoulder and leaned down to kiss his head of thick black hair. She stretched once more before adjusting her gray tank top and sticking her hands into the deep pockets of her favorite black dress pants. She sauntered out the door stopping briefly and glancing back at him. “Goodbye Scotterina,” she teased as she batted her eyelashes at him. Scotty just groaned.
He hated saying goodbye. In fact, Scotty Anderson never said goodbye to anyone. Ever. Saying goodbye meant you didn't plan on seeing that person again as far as Scotty was concerned. He even refused to say goodbye to his mother before she died. He'd thought maybe he'd see her again if he didn't. And even though he now knows he never will, he still won't say the word.
Three weeks later Scotty found himself sitting at the kitchen table, drumming his fingers on the hard, wooden surface. Tyson was supposed to have been home already, they were going to their father's final parole hearing. Scotty tried not to be angry with her, considering she was always late to anything that involved their dad, but he almost couldn't help it. Scotty ground his teeth together in irritation. If there was something that he hated even more than saying goodbye, than it was being late. He started to push himself away from the table when his phone rang. Scotty slipped his fingers into his coat pocket and slid his phone out.
“Hello?” He answered.
“Is this Scotty Anderson?” Scotty groaned as he glanced at the clock. He was officially late.
“Yes this is he. May I ask who's calling?” The man replied as he looked over at the door, hoping that at any moment Tyson would skip through it.
“I'm Sergeant Franksford. I'm sorry sir but Tyson is...”
Scotty no longer wanted to remember that night. Tyson had been dared to climb to the top of the water tower in the middle of the heavy rainstorm. She'd made it to the top just fine, but on her way down, she slipped.
Scotty's head spun as he stood on the mountain top. He slipped Tyson's water bottle back into his backpack. As he watched her ashes disappear into the lovely valley beneath him on the warm October afternoon, he felt a sense of relief wash over him. He felt as though a weight had been lifted from his shoulders. Over the past three years he'd been plagued with Tyson's request. He spent most of his time searching for the most beautiful place in the world. After his 1,095 days of traveling, he felt as though he had found it. The most beautiful place in the world. And this time he was finally able to say goodbye.