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Tears Never Change
She sat with her eyes closed clutching his hand. Her breathes came jagged and harsh. She could feel the cool sweat from his hand sinking in to hers.
“Allison Marsh? He is ready to see you now.”
The sun burned through the bed room window. Slowly I crawled out of bed, pulling on some shorts and a tee shirt I stumbled down the cool, wood steps. As I crossed the living room I could hear the whispers coming from the kitchen and could smell the sweet scent of pancakes and eggs.
“Mornin’ Ali” my family greeted me as I entered the kitchen. Rolling my eyes, I yanked the plate of food from my mothers hand. Pushing the back door open with my foot, I stomped outside, slamming the door behind me.
It wasn’t my idea to stay at the ranch this summer. I would be perfectly fine lying by the pool with all my friends the entire summer. It’s been our plan since the beginning of the year. We were going to be tan and gorgeous by August. But everything changed when mom decided to re-marry and drag me and my brother, Trey, out to his ranch for the entire summer. They don’t mind if I’m angry as long as they are happy.
Sighing I stuffed the last bit of food down my throat. Standing up, leaving my plate on the grass. I walked out towards the front of the house. It will be a good experience. To get away from everything and just let go. Trey had told me the night before we left. Who knew that when he said get away from everything he would really mean it. We were out in the middle of nowhere. Besides the ranch next to ours, there were no people. How could I let go if there was nothing else new to hold on to?
I looked at the dirt road beneath my feet. The sun was just beginning to rise, painting the sky brilliant shades of pink and orange. I wanted to be free. To be in a perfect place, where they sky was never dark, where tears never fell from your eyes, and desires and dreams always worked out.
....But of all people I, Allison Marsh, should know life isn’t always “blue sky’s and butterflies”. My father left me when I was two. He didn’t die or pass away. He chose to leave. To run away and leave us behind. Mom became a wreck. Didn’t speak to us for days. Days that turned in to weeks. Weeks turned in to years months. And months slowly became years. Trey, who was only seven at the time, took care of me. And when he turned 18 he bought a house that we both lived in. And we were perfectly fine for the past 3 years. Until just before summer mom called with the great news....
Before I knew it I was running. My feet pushing off the ground, a decision made so quick I couldn’t even think of anything besides the way she left us. Alone. Forcing her own son to miss his childhood. To take care of her own daughter... No. I was not her daughter. I would never do that. Trey was my only family. We will never run away from each other, like they ran away from us. My eyes swelled with tears, I couldn’t stop them from falling. They soaked my face, dripping down my neck, but I didn’t stop running. Even as my vision began to blur in front of me. Breathing became more of a struggle than a need. My ears began to compress, blocking out the noise of my pounding chest. It didn’t take long for the trees start disappearing and the colors of the sky faded into a bright white. I couldn’t feel the ground under my feet. Panic started to overwhelm me. The ground smacked up against me cheek. And I was suddenly part of the dirt and rocks. I could feel blood dampen my hair, trying to lift my hand to my face, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t see.... HELP... a silent scream escaped my mouth, but quickly I lost feeling all together...
“I’m not sure.. I just found her like this in the road.. I wasn’t going to leave her there”
“She must have wanted to get away from our mom, her and the guy who owns the ranch, the one I was telling you about really get on Ali’s nerves quickly.” I quickly recognized Trey’s voice. I tried to separate my eyelids, but everything stayed black. Who was he talking to?? Why did he tell him my name?! And about our family?? Frustrated I tried to make some sort of sign I could hear them. But my arms felt like brick walls attached to a large building.
“That would make sense,” The boy laughed quietly.
Furious, I rolled to my side. Wake up!!! I choked on my breathe, screaming in my ears. Slowly, my eyes fluttered open. A cool sweat around my neck suffocated my hair around my face. “Trey?” I mumbled looking around the room feverishly. A bright house fluttered in to the picture. A room with chairs and tables. A TV with the volume on mute sat in the corner. Two figures shot into view. One with familiar features, dark shaggy hair, blue piercing eyes, staring back at me. His thin face and pointed nose. His brilliant smiled flashed and he knelt down next to me.
“Hey there baby girl” He winked and I instantly saw why all these girl clung to my brother. Trey was perfect. I smiled softly and my eyes switched to the other figure. His light brown hair swaying perfectly to the side, dark brown eyes that you could get lost in forever, a rounder face then Trey’s, but still without flaw. I bit down hard on my lip, rising to an upward position.
“What are you doing?” I demanded as the kid stood against the wall.
“Oh cut it out,” Trey rolled his eyes standing up. “The boy saved your life you go ahead and pull a brat mom move.” That was our own expression for when one of us decided to be like mom, neither of us wanted to grow up to be like our parents. The words stained into my ears, but I didn’t drop my act of being tough. If I did, I might have crawled in to these strangers arms and told him to care for me again.
“Whatever, I’m out.” I stood up and tiptoed towards where I thought the door would be. Which would turn out to be completely embarrassing. since I walked right in to this kid.
“Oh hey,” He laughed playfully. “I’m Alex, and the door to my house is that way, Ali.” He winked, obviously trying to make me mad. He held his hand up, using his thumb too point to a small hall behind him. Rolling my eyes, throwing my hair over my shoulder, I walked till I was out of his view, stumbled out side the door, then fell against the wall, where I replayed the words he said, and his facial expressions over and over in my head.
It’s surprising how fast time can pass, when you thought it would be the longest time of your life. If you blink once you might miss it all.
It didn’t take long for me to fall for Alex. Laughs and small talk turned in to blushing and nervous lip bitting. Running next door whenever we needed eggs, whenever mom needed anything, I could get it. Every excuse to watch the words twinkle off his tongue, his fingers slip through the brown mess on his head. Smiles came easily, and just maybe I believed this wouldn’t be bad. I could stay with mom and her new husband, Trey could stay too. Everything sounded fine, even perfect. But as I said, time goes by fast, and obviously I missed too much, because suddenly, everything could change.
“Cheater, cheater pumpkin eater!” I laughed falling backwards in the damp grass. Closing my eyes I sucked in the moist air, its clung to my skin, my hair, my clothes. But I didn’t mind. For once I realized, really, what is the point of going through the day looking your best when you could have fun being yourself? Suddenly, a cool wet, rough hand slipped in to mine. Pushing not only the air away, but also my train of thoughts. Squeezing my eyes shut a smile spread across my face. Adrenaline pulsing through my veins.
“Hey you kids, this is private property, please no Public Displays of Affection.” I could feel my cheeks burn as Trey playful pushed us down the hill, soaking the rest of my clothes. “Mom wants you two home for dinner, and I’m guessing you don’t wanna go in.. that” He said looking us up and down.
Alex laughed calmly. “Hey, I have an idea.” Alex said looking at me. His brown eyes shining in the sunlight. “Isn’t it your, birthday?!” He asked taking my hands in his.
“Oh goodness how could I forget!” Trey threw his arms up in triumph. Rolling my eyes, and crossing my arms, but really energy was burning through me like a firecracker. “Let’s go to the mall! Maybe we can make up for it there!” He pretended to whisper to Alex, winking in my direction.
Alex’s hand slipped behind me on to the small of my back. Suddenly the ground fell from me, and I was in Alex’s arms. Squealing and laughing, I held on to his arms tightly. “To the car!” He giggled heading back to our house.
The mall had that new plastic smell, and the dim lights swept over our head. “Well,” I mumbled looking at my freshly pedicured toes, in the new flip flops I had just bought. “I think it has been made up for!” I smiled shyly at the bags in Alex’s hands.
“Fine, lets get home in time for dinner!”A smile pushed on to Trey’s face so simply. I looked out the big, glass windows at our small car. Raindrops glittered against the metal. The black road soaked with puddles, and endless people crowded the sidewalks.
Stepping out the moving doors, water fell, instantly clinging to my body. The ground bellow our feet seemed to slip and slide. A pained screech roared from somewhere behind me. Smacking my head around in a circle.
Before I could stop myself, I cry tumbled off my tongue. “Trey!” Dropping to my knees on the cold ground, tearing up the gentle skin, my jeans quickly soaked with blood and rain. Trey lay unconscious on the ground next to me. His hair dampened to his face with blood. Innocent bystanders pulling out their phone, shocked, fumbling, and crying to someone, probably 911.
It didn’t take long for the roaring sirens to pierce my ears. I gripped his hand tightly.
"Trey!" My voice broke and tears streamed down my face.
"Ali! Stop! Let them take him!" Alex cried from behind me. Ripping my arm away from the limp body as they pulled him on to the stretcher. He harshly slammed me backwards against the wall. Startled, I filled my body with tension. My head smacked back against the red blocks of the mall.
"Let go of me." I hissed through my teeth. "You filthy.... BRAT!" I screeched. Rolling his Alex stepped closer. I could feel his breathe against my neck. I squeezed my eyes shut. It took everything to stop myself from pushing in to his chest and letting his familiar arms wrap around me. Trey is in danger Ali. Forget about Alex. He is nothing... The truth is what scared me the most.. None of that was true. Alex was my everything. And he had been the whole summer. But now I was losing the one thing that had always been there for me, and no matter how much I wanted this, I was going to be there for Trey since he was always there for me. It would be what he wanted right? Shaking my head, I turned away from Alex, falling restlessly on to the ground, letting my eyes flutter closed.
Its incredible how fast time can pass, when you thought it would be the longest time of your life. If you blink once you might miss it all.
The bright florescent lights were a reminder to how long it had been since sleep had come to me. The smell of rubber and tile floors made my head pound. My eyes drifted to Trey. The needles and wires poking out of him made me shutter. The constant beeping faded to background noise and the telephone on the table began to shake. Lifting my shaking hands, I slowly slid to an upward position. The phone fell in my hands awkwardly, but I didn't care. Opening it, Alex's name filled the screen in big bold letters. Shakily opening the phone, I pressed the heavy plastic case against my face.
“Hey..” I mumbled, twisting my hair tightly around my fingers.
“Ali...” My name was just a breathe, as if his worries had been replaced with relief. A hole gnawing at my stomach. I could feel the familiar creases in his arms, pressing against the small of my back. Tears escape my eyes, but I refused to sound hurt.
“Hey Alex, Trey is fine so no need to worry.” I bit my tongue bitterly. Acidic taste filled my mouth as the soft pink skin broke under my teeth.
“I was worried about you, just as much as Trey.” Alex choked. The blood from my freshly cut tongue slipped down my throat. Forcing more water out of my eyes.
“Well I’m fine too so,” I squeezed my eyes shut. “So just leave me alone, please” Unable to help my voice form breaking, I snapped the phone shut, staring the at the plain black exterior.
So simple on the outside, yet so many secrets, lies, and memories hidden inside.
Suddenly the background beeping in my ears changed to a much louder buzzing that I could not ignore. Startled, The phone slipped from my hands. Panic swept over me. My eyes flew up to the machine, the one thing I had imagined so many times, seen in so many movies.... I was to shocked to react till Trey's chest fell still. Then the banging in my head turned to knives being pushed through my skull...
Women and men rushed in to the, blue and white scrubs covering each inch of their bodies. Latex gloves quickly being yanked and tugged on to cover their hands. Hands that were shoving me to the door, assuring me everything would be fine. Flipping my head to face them
“I’m not leaving.” The words suffocated my lungs, getting stuck in my throat. Dizzily, I fell to my knees. Tense, and broken screams strangling me. I couldn’t loose him. I couldn’t see myself without his hand to hold, his stories whenever I needed to be cheered up. I need someone to tell me everything would be okay. “Everything will be okay, He told me!” I yelled, banging on the now closed hospital door to his room. “He told me so many times, so many times sitting our kitchen. Everything would be okay, as long as we had each other.”
That was when it hit me. As the constant buzz screeched through the closed off room, as nurses and doctors ordered each other to do something, that I was losing him. Lifting my hand out of the water, as it slipped through my finger, and off the edges, till it would be lost forever. Just a distant memory. A memory that could never be forgotten. Tear by tear rolled off my cheeks, running down my neck.
“Stay with us kid,” I could hear heartbroken nurse’s plea. Tragically trying to pump his heart.
“We can’t give him forever,” doctors whispered almost too loud. Pulling my knees in close to my chest, wet eyes and makeup smeared against my hands and jeans.
“Stay with me Trey, please, just don’t go,” Choking on the words and the fumbled from my mouth. “Please, just don’t go...”
Closing my eyes I let the colors of winter flow in to my thoughts. So many cold days, sitting in the small living room of our house. Smells of burning wood and hot chocolate so close I could almost taste it. The hum of my brother’s guitar so familiar I could hear the smooth rhythm tickle my ears. The crystal clear memory came so quickly. The buzzing of the telephone ringing, Trey’s expression, so hurt, so excited, so worried. Only one word he could form. One word that changed the perfect life as we knew it. Mom. He had asked. The same dizzy feeling came over my mind. As he would take my hands, and tell me we were fine. He promised me to never leave me like she left me...
“Ali..” My thought train crashed. Pain took over me, forcing the remain dried up tears to push through my eyelids. “Don’t worry, don’t apologize,” The warmth of his skin rustled my shirt, goosebumps rose across the surface of my skin as he took my hand in his. “I’m here for you.”
She sat with her eyes closed clutching his hand. Her breathes came jagged and harsh. She could feel the cool sweat from his hand sinking in to hers.
“Allison Marsh? We have some bad news.”
Long weeks spent in the protection of my room. Slowly sipping hot chocolate. Eyes swollen, with no cares. It turned out Trey’s fall had nothing to do with his death, it only triggered something hidden way farther down. His concussion had caused him to fall in to a coma. But that was not why he died. Trey had a blood clot in his heart, which caused it to stop pumping.
A cool rain soaked the window sill, My hand placed in to my mom’s. Nothing changed anymore. Misery, loss, was all I felt. No smiles, it was too hard, so I gave up. No one bothered to help, no except Alex.
Denied calls, unanswered texts, whenever he comes to visit I just happen to be out. Until, he gave up. Near the end of August. He rushed off to school without a goodbye. Lost and alone I pushed away the pain he created and left the hallow monster I had created to build up inside of me.
A buzzing in my pocket tickled my leg. I lifted the phone to my ear, not caring to check the caller ID.
“A... Alison Marsh? Is it really you?” A husky voice rumbled through the small speaker of my phone.
“May I ask who I am speaking to?” The regular monotone in my voice seemed to surprise the caller. Knives shot in to my stomach thinking of the cheerful way Trey always let me answer his phone.
“It’s Andrew Heven, ya remember me right? Alex’s pa?” His unmistakeable accent rushed through my ears, forming memories I had spent so many weeks trying to push away.
“Can I help you?” I spat out, unable to ignore the crack in my voice.
“Yes, actually, Alex comes home, and well... I think he would really like it if your family came over,” He sighed, obviously realizing how impossible it seemed. “I know I would enjoy it.” He finished.
The hopeful look crossed my mother’s eyes. I knew how much it would mean to her. I had to, after the way she smiled, Holding my unoccupied hand tightly. “I... I.. guess we could..” I mumbled reluctantly.
Pictures of Alex’s perfect face clouded my mind.
The inside of their house surprised me. How much I remembered, how much was the same. But what surprised me more was when the door opened, exposing Alex Heven.
The dinner table buzzed with excitement, I fiddled with my cloth napkin under the table, as my mother and step-dad socialized with the rest of the party. I excused my self, holding the pain inside of my stomach. Rushing to the door, I threw myself in to the dark, wet night. Water fell from my face like the water fell from the dark clouds.
“Allison,” A voice started behind me, not sure how to comfort me. Arms wrapped around my waist pulling me close. Warmth from the shirt that covered his perfect chest.
“Alex, I... I never got to apologize to you..” I pleaded through broken cries. I lifted my chin till our eyes met, his so perfect. Embarrassed I looked down, I hadn’t even bothered to makeup on.
His thumb placed under my chin, he lifted my face back up. Lightly kissing away the tears on my cheeks. “You don’t need to.” A burning overcame the empty pit in my stomach. The energy inside of me changed.
I smiled slowly as the rain slipped through our interwind hands.
"Whatcha thinking about now?" Alex's voice softly pressed against my ears, forcing me to smile brighter.
"Trey..." I said slowly. Alex looked up at my eyes, unable to figure out what I was feeling. He used the back his hand to brush raindrops off my face. I laughed quietly. "Nothing bad... I just well... realized something..." I continued slowly.
"What did you realize, Ali?" A puzzled look replaced the worried one.
“That Trey spent his whole life, making mine better. All he wanted for me was to be happy, to give me the life he always wanted. I have wasted the last part of my summer crying over losing him, and disappointing him, when all he would have wanted is me to do this..." I looked up at Alex and took his face in mine. Slowly, but perfectly, I pressed my lips to his.