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I walk into the funeral parlor. Many of the people are high school kids. Kids from the Track Team, the wrestling team, and people from the poetry club. I told myself I wasn’t going to come. Somehow I couldn’t stand to not come. I felt like I would be stabbing my friend in the back if I didn’t.
As the line moves up taking me closer to the casket I feel a lump rise in my throat. I feel memories of the good and the bad consume me, eating away at my soul. I see my friend’s mom tears clouding her blue eyes as she looks at me.
“I just don’t understand why he did this,” says an obnoxious cheerleader behind me who hugs Jacob’s mother with tears in her eyes. Her name is Pamela Spalding. She believes she was bestest friends with Jacob and that I was nothing to him. Another thing Jacob confessed to me seconds before he died.
“Pam is alright. But she annoys the hell out of me. I just don’t like her as close as she likes me. As much as I like you, Michelle,” he says grabbing my hand. I looked into his eyes knowing the time is coming. This is way he had asked me to come here. He wanted me to watch him die.
I know why he killed himself. I know why he did the things he did. I understand the sorrows he felt. I can understand because I’ve felt them before. Every time I’m stressed I feel them. But like always I swallow them down with salty tears. Never to be heard from again. After Jacob’s death it felt like my heart was being ripped out of my body. I couldn’t think straight for days. I couldn’t stop looking at his locker without balling up on the hallway floor into tears. I couldn’t spit out a remark to Pam when she called me an ‘emo freak’ Thursday and Friday.
As I see the open casket I see him lying there with a tie and suit. Dressed in his Sunday best and I know how much he hates all of this. He hates ties and how they make him feel constricted. Memories of him ripping off his tie after a special event flood my head and my knees feel weak.
‘God Damn! Mick can you help me get this thing off me?” he asks me desperately after his Dad’s re-marriage. He had asked me to come with him on a date. He didn’t want to face his dad’s family without me by his side. That should have been a clue to Pamela that he didn’t like her. Though, Pamela isn’t the brightest crayon in the box.
I help Jacob out of his tie and he takes a deep breath of fresh air. He fake coughs and hacks and I can’t help but almost fall to the ground laughing at his antics. He smiled at me as he put his black lip stick on and his thick eyeliner is now on his eyes faster than you can say Mississippi. I smiled at him as he wrapped his arm around my waist. He leaned his head on my shoulder.
“You’re the only one who understands me Mickey,” he said sighing.
I walk away from the casket…no actually I was shoved by Pamela. I glare at her and I just want to smack her. It takes every fiber in my being not to as I walk away from her. I see her cry her tears as I walk out of the funeral home. I see jocks flood out from every corner of the funeral home. Actual tears spilling out their eyes. I look at the cold hard October ground. I kick the ground as hard as I can with my two inch heel…nothing…not a single dent in the dirt. I begin to look for both ways before I cross…but right now I feel so numb that I kind of encourage for a car to come hit me right now. So I can get the feeling back in my soul.
Waking up in a cold sweat, my heart pounding out of my chest so fast I feel as if I’m about to die. I feel my cheeks to feel moisture. I’ve been crying, I think to myself as I struggle to get out of bed. I fall out of bed and lay on the cold floor. I think of how cold the ground must be outside and tears form as I cry some more. I want to scream at Jacob and ask him why but I know because he told me. I guess it’s just a natural feeling to ask the open air questions we know that won’t get answered.
I struggle getting off my knees as they buckle and shake beneath my weight. I feel my stomach get weak as I realize how hard I’ve been crying. Crying always makes my stomach upset…I don’t understand why…just does. I trudge to my computer desk, unplugging my laptop from the cord and carrying it to my bed. I crawl in between the covers where I woke up…the pillow has a cold moisture to it but I lay it aside only looking for the warmth. I turn on the laptop and log on. I saw Jacob’s account on there…I haven’t brought myself to delete it yet. But I have to soon since my parents have been talking about getting me a new one…since this one holds on too many memories. They don’t want me to feel pain anymore. But pain is the only constant friend in my life…just like how Jacob was.
I run my fingers over the keys and slam them down when I see Jacob’s face as my wallpaper. And the only thing that comes out of my mouth is, “Oh, crap.” I forgot about this image. It’s Jacob’s face, guyliner around his eyes thickly applied the way he and I both love it, black lipstick on his beautiful soft lips, his pale skin shining bright almost looking like a star, and his right cheek having a red heart on it from my lipstick. He kept it on his cheek for several days. At least until the football team practically held him down and wiped it off. He hated them all for a couple weeks but he eventually seemed to have gotten it but every time I offered to re-do it with Sharpie he tensed up and shot me a glare. I almost smile but as the corners twitch it’s such a foreign feeling that I almost get lost in the thought of what I’m about to do. I see the words around his face and read them aloud.
“F*** all the jerks, Mick. I’m the only REAL MAN in your life,” I feel tears stream down my face and they instantly get heavy with sorrow. I wipe my nose with a Kleenex and continue on my quest for Facebook friendship. I see my friend Rex is online. He is always a night person.
I met Rex about three years ago. He and Jacob have talked several times before…not that I know what or anything but I tried to pry once…got nothing in return. I type in something to Rex and wait for a response.
I check up on different things while I wait for his answer. I look up Jacob’s page and I instantly get teary eyed.
Hey Darlin’ how u doin?
-sighs- A’ight I guess…
Oh noes the dreaded three dots. Call me sweetheart.
I groan as I pull up my profile and type in something for the status.
The memories haunt me severely…I might ditch school tomorrow just for the hell of it. Can’t stand to see his locker again.
I reach onto my nightstand as I grab for my phone my eyes lay on an old picture of Jacob and I. I see the snow falling around our faces as our lips are a deep purple…evidence of how freakin’ cold we are.
We tried so hard to get a perfect image. I thought we succeeded several times. But Jacob always complained that the pictures never captured my full beauty. I always rolled my eyes at him when he made this comment.
I enter in Rex’s digits in the keypad and press call. It doesn’t even ring once before he answers with his husky voice that I’ve inevitably fallen in love with.
“Hey sweetheart. Don’t tell me you’ve been crying all day,” he says in a whiny voice. I let out a sigh.
“I can’t lie Rex…I have,” I say sadly. He sighs now as I can see him scratching his head. There is a silence on both of our ends. I can tell he is thinking about something crazy, insane…I just don’t feel like asking him what it is.
“Mick…you and I are going to ditch school tomorrow,” he commands. I know Rex has some stupid ideas…and this is by far one of the less insane. But I know I can’t just not show up to school. At least someone will notice. I look at the clock and see it’s about five o’ clock in the morning.
“Maybe I deserve a break,” I meant to say this in my head but my mouth reacted faster than my mind could stop it. I accidentally said it out loud while I run my fingers through my dyed jet black hair.
“Yes, you do Mick. Jacob would want you to. You know he would,” he says as I hear something fall on his end. I let out a sign as I give in to Rex’s crazy insane request.
“Fine. I’ll go with you,” I say as Rex lets go of a sound of excitement. I laugh, I actually laugh; the sound so foreign but so worth it as Rex does the same thing.
“You’re going to have so much fun. Mick you won’t regret it,” he says his voice so animated.
“Alright, pick me up in a couple of hours?” I ask him wanting to have fun as soon as possible. Plus…in order for Rex to get here he’s going to have to leave right now in order to get here. Since he lives kind of out of state. He lives somewhere in the middle of Missouri whilst I live in the North Eastern part.
“Yep, bring your camera and your phone,” he says quickly. I tell him I will and we get off the phone with each other. As my heart is racing a mile a minute and I feel myself recoil a bit. What if this is a mistake? I feel tears fall down my face as I begin to regret saying yes. I cough and sniffle making my throat irritated and something Jacob said comes back to haunt me.
“I care a lot about you, Mick. But don’t be in pain. I hate to see you like that.”
I feel tears well up inside and I shake my shoulders violently while I cry yet again more tears of sorrow. I grab the laptop, slamming the top shut, and then throwing it to the edge of the bed near my feet. I vehemently grab the edge of my bed covers thrusting myself away from their warm grasp. I can’t stand the pain anymore. I have to do something.
I run to my bathroom as I get my razor off the bathroom sink. I turn the water on and test the temperature out of habit. It’s searing hot…just how I want it. I rip off all of my clothes and walk into the glass shower enclosure. I press myself against the only tile wall farthest from the showerhead’s spray. The water still manages to get me, the water burning my skin on contact. I don’t care. My head rattles about like an overly hyper child telling me it’s too damn hot. I ignore it, and don’t mess with it. Eerily enjoying the pain I’m causing within myself. I get used to the burning sensation. I get the blade out of the razor and drag it across the skin of my left wrist. I whimper the sharp pain hell when mixed with the hot water.
I see the blood trickle out of the wounds. The very sight causes me to drag the blade across my skin again and again. I begin to get numb but suddenly a feeling rises above the numbness causing my stomach to drop to the floor.
Fear. I’m afraid of what I’m doing. I’m afraid of what I’ve become. I’m afraid of dying. I see the cuts in my arm, the blood trickle down the palm of my hand and dance off of my fingertips. I drop the blade as I’ve got myself in the corner of the shower. I gasp at the tendrils of bitter coldness of the tiles. I bring my knees to my chest and rock back and forth.
I grab my elbows and feel myself get lost in the pain and fear. I get deep breaths and I begin to calm down. I calm down enough to lower the temperature of the water and actually take a shower.
After I bandage myself up and everything I get my favorite black skinny jeans and my August Burns Red band tee on my body. My skin feels tender and soft from the high temperature water. I silently curse myself but I can’t bring myself to regret the cuts I made in my wrist. I can’t bring myself to lie about the pain I feel anymore. I had to release it and I’m glad I did. I put on my black eyeliner thickly around my green eyes, my mascara making my eyelashes very dramatic, and put on black lip stick. I smile and realize why Jacob loved to wear the lipstick so much. It makes me look super spooky. Great, that’s what I’m going for. I pick up my phone and see it’s seven o’ clock in the morning. I grab my black backpack and stuff my camera, extra batteries, and my cell phone inside. I pack a water bottle too. My heart races as I get something that I haven’t felt ever since Jacob died….I finally get happiness in my soul. It’s a weird feeling but I don’t banish it as all. I welcome it.
As I wait for Rex on my front porch I see several joggers stop and stare at me. Not exactly sure of what to make of me as I sit wearing all black, from my head to my toes. I just smile and wave at them. I listen to Rage by Attila. I smile as I bang my head while Rex pulls up listening to the same song. I smile at him and jump inside the black Pontiac Grand Prix. It’s such a beat up car…but I can tell he loves it. He has the stereo cranked up so loud you can probably hear it all the way to Hannibal. I can’t stop grinning as I get in and take in how he’s dressed. He’s got on black skinny jeans, Zoo York skater shoes, a white V-neck tee on with that says ‘Yea, I’m a Emo Kid…So What?’, his red eyes surrounded by solid black guyliner, and his lips painted black as well. I smile at him as he starts laughing at the both of us.
“We look like a freaking twin set!” he exclaims laughing hysterically. I laugh with him and hit the dash of the messy car. Mickey D bags littered everywhere along with CDs from various screamo bands and other items. He finally gains composure as he pulls away from the sidewalk and speeds away with the squeal of his brakes. I give him a look as his brakes squeal some more.
“Where are we going?” I ask him as he cruises by Hannibal without hesitation. He cracks a grin at me and I frown at him really wanting to know where the heck we’re going.
“Somewhere special. Don’t worry,” he says smiling at me as he cranks up the song Dear Insanity By: Asking Alexandria. I get sleepy and fall asleep while we pass New London. I’m not concerned that he won’t tell me where we’re going….but I am a little hesitant.
Waking up with a blindfold over my eyes causes my heart rate to go up when I know I have no freakin’ idea of where I am. But I trust Rex as his brakes let out another screech allowing the vechile to come to a halt. I let out a deep breath as I try to as Rex where we are. He only laughs as he slams the door shut. I groan as I place my head in my hands. Being blind sucks, I think to myself as I instantly get a shot of cold air I cringe and my teeth begin chattering.
Blindly, fingers wrap around my hand which is placed in my lap and they pull me to my feet. Rex tells me to watch my step as he shuts the door behind me shut. I thank him silently as he leads me to a path of uncertainty. I actually begin to question how much I trust him. But I just tell myself I’m being silly. I take a huge deep breath, hoping my sense of smell will help me figure out where the hell we are. I hear a foghorn from a boat go off In the distance. I feel the rocks beneath my feet. I feel Rex let go of my shoulders and I instantly feel lost. I see nothing until Rex takes off my blindfold and I see rocks up and down the shore of the muddled Might Mississippi. I see ships go up and down towards New Orleans. I look at Rex as he shrugs off his Black Dahlia Murder jacket, placing it on my shoulders. Then he unties a different jacket that hugs his waist the puts that on so he isn’t cold.
I stare that the brown water and realize it looks so familiar to me. The look of the water, the crunch of the rocks…this is the place that Jacob first told me he wanted to die. I feel like crying but there aren’t anymore tears for me to cry. I’ve been crying too much lately so there simply aren’t anymore tears for me to cry. I put on Rex’s jacket slipping my arms into the gigantic sleeves. Rex wraps his arms around my waist. In an instant I’m in a different place in time…
“Mick I want to commit suicide,” he says whispering. I look at him my preteen brain unable to process this information. That’s the last time I wore pink. When my parents weren’t looking I threw all of my pink article of clothing in the fireplace while we burned the Yule Log, after that black was the only color I would allow myself to wear. We were thirteen; now in my Junior year, I only had four good years with him before he left. Jacob had begged his big brother, Craig to drive us here…to his special place.
“Why do you want to kill yourself, J?!” I say to him, yelling at him as tears form in my eyes while I jump off the picnic table. So he can see me exactly face to face, see the hurt that I feel. He easily gets up off the table surface and wraps his arms around me. I spent the whole way home crying into his chest. I couldn’t think of a life without him. I spent the whole week not speaking to Jacob at all…I could always see the hurt look on his face…it crushed me; eventually I got over it and realized…only if Jacob weren’t truly unhappy would he do something like this…so I decided I should still be friends with him while I still have him.
In an instant I’m back on the shore…but instead of with Jacob…I’m with Rex who still has his arms around me. I turn around and face him, holding him so tight…not wanting to let go. Without my realizing I’m actually crying…there are in fact tears left for me to shed. Rex reaches upwards with his thumb and wipes my tears that are coming out faster than he can wipe. I look into Rex’s baby blue eyes and realize how much he means to me. He’s been there through my ups and downs; highs and lows.
I watch Rex as he seems scared, frozen in my gaze. The cold wind comes up and whips some loose hair before my face. Rex grins slightly then he reaches up, gently tucking the hairs behind my ear. With his hand on the back of my neck he pulls me in gently, his eyes full of doubt and uncertainty. It seems like forever until our lips meet in the middle but when we do a tingle goes up and down my spine. The embrace causes me to reel backwards, I relinquish my emotions as they ravish me; my lost soul and purple heart flutter like a butterfly as they allow the feeling of love and happiness enter through the arteries and I feel like souring to the sky. I tendrils of okay-ness enter through me. I get the strong feeling that everything is going to be okay. I feel like Jacob is there with us, laughing and smiling at our awkwardness. Smiling that I can actually achieve happiness.
“Mick…all I want for you when I’m gone…is for you to be happy.”