Circles

October 24, 2017

I stared past the deep red light trapped in the seemingly perfect and round delicate drops of rain on the window shield. I’m mesmerized by the blurry mirror images reflected on the glossy layer of water that covered the road as my world suddenly turns from red to green. Closing my heavy eyes, I take a shaky breath to then grip the cold grey steering wheel with my clammy hands. The faint sound of a song played in the background to the honks and yells of the people behind me, but I remained unphased by the noise. I sit patiently through the yellow light until it fades into that deep red. My goosebumped covered leg gracefully glides off the brake pedal. My dark coffee brown eyes shut for a moment while I inhale a shallow breath. Then, I pry my heavy eyelids apart followed by my eyelashes which are; long; dark; and bare. My bare foot sternly presses the smooth gas pedal. My car races through the intersection, as I stare blankly with an empty mind into the dark night with my shoulders pushed against the leather seats.  It is crazy what love can do to a person, I wasn’t always like this. I remember first wanting to be a dog when I grew up, when I discovered that wasn’t going to work I decided a veterinarian was the next best thing. It’s not like I wasn’t always happy but I know I was strong. I’m not sure when everything changed, maybe it wasn’t one thing at all but instead everything combined. I was trapped in a circle of events, worries, moments and issues that weren’t mine and I couldn’t control. I see in circles. Life is one big circle, everything connects, it all comes back to one moment, death. If someone dies, five babies would be born in that hour alone to replace them. In the grand scheme of things, there are only circles. All the people you have met and the things you have done means nothing, your life becomes one of the specks to create not even half of a single line. These thoughts run through my head in a loop, never stops scratching at the back of my mind. Finally, I bring my shimmering dark blue car to a stop at the side of the road. My hand slip off the steering wheel, leaving marks on the leather from where my hand had sweat. I let go, I can feel control slipping away as my shoulders violently shake. My sandy hair falls over my face and I raise my frayed sleeve, to wipe the warm tears falling from my cheeks. My hand stumbles to pull the car door open as my bare feet stomp into the ground coated in gravel. By bending my torso over to hold my knees, I let my tears fall onto the cold wet asphalt as the rain pounds against my head in rhythm with my heart beat. Sniffling, I crane my neck up and straighten my knees to walk to the other side of my car. The dark blue smooth, wet surface of the vehicle pushes against my spine, covering the back of my shirt in a layer of dirt and mud. I stare at the rotting green tissue paper to the right of the old flower corpses. The blue light from the moon reflected off of the metal pole that still had a dent near the bottom where the car had hit. It has been almost three months since the accident, and still everyday I come to look at the place where he died. Most people managed to start moving on after the funeral, most people except for me. I don’t know how they do it, I don't know how they are at peace with his death. He was here one day and the gone the next. His absence didn’t even feel real at first, you go through life, assuming people will always be around...but they won’t. Everyone always leaves. His death broke me, I wake up every morning and expect to see him in a few hours until I remember what happened. Those few minutes when I forget are the best part of my day, every second of everyday I think of the accident. I think of his eyes when he turned to me, full of terror, I think of the headlights out his window, inching closer as if it was in slow motion. I remember the way the music stopped and for a second all you could hear was silence until the glass started breaking and the screams started. I hear the cracking sound of the pole when our car hit it. I remember everything from that night. My eyes blink away the lukewarm tears turned cold because of the wind that was clawing at my hair. These memories cause me to turn around and tug on the shiny silver handle of the car to pick up the fresh bouquet. Cradling the soft and sweet flowers in my hand, I look towards the wispy clouds and start speaking in a fragile tone as if my vocal chords could break at any second.
“Hey, sorry I haven’t bought these around in a while” I gestured to the dead flowers as if he could see me, and in that moment, there was nothing I wouldn’t do to make that happen. My eyes start to burn once more as the bottom lash line began to fill with the familiar salty liquid and spill over. I forcefully blink and shake my head quickly as I exhale to say, “I’m sorry. I’m-so-sorry-It’s my fault-”  my breaths start to speed up, as memories flash through my mind. The story I was telling, the way he laughed, the way he looked at me before realizing he ran the light. My knees bucked and I found myself on the dewy ground in front of the ancient flowers. I paused to look at the old beauty and felt sympathetic towards the thing that was once so beautiful ruined and turned into something so sad. I gathered my breaths to continue, I owed him this. “ I don’t understand why it was you- it shouldn’t have been- I run red lights everyday and nothing happens to me, so why were you taken from us.” I sniffled, gathered my hair behind my hair and threw it into a ponytail before getting up and placing the bouquet at the base of the pole. My hands grasp the dead and damp stems of the grey plants and crawl into the leather seat of my car and start to drive home. I  arrive to the dully painted grey house with a white picket fence, sneak inside to lay in my bed. My back is still damp from the rain and crinkles the once clean sheets. Slowly, I close my eyes desperate for rest and as I start to drift into sleep, I think about the memories of him.
“Tessa, you have to see this” He shouts through a grin. I roll my eyes and start running over to him. He points his finger into the distance and says with such excitement in his eyes, “Look! I think it’s a hawk. There! On the top of that dead tree.” I laugh and tell him,
“Noah, There's about twenty dead trees in that direction, and I certainly don’t see any hawks either.” He gives me this ‘all knowing look’ that is much too familiar as he smirked quiety and raises his eyebrow to me before turning away to look through his camera lense. I giggle quietly to myself, he never goes anywhere without that camera, and anytime I brought it up, he just told me one thing. ‘So now, I won’t ever forget.’  My thoughts get interrupted by Noah's’ victorious scream,
“Ha! I told you Tessa. I’m always right!” This time, it was my turn to smirk, but I’m not sure he saw through all his excitement. “Look!” He slipped the black and red striped strap off his neck and handed the camera to me. I hug the camera tightly in my palms in fear of dropping his most prized possession. I peer at the screen and there it was, the hawk, on a dead tree. I lift my chin to stare at him and narrow my eyes to say,
“Fine. You were right. You’re a genius. You win.” I unwillingly admit.
“I knew it! Ha! Take that loser!” He statches the camera away from me and laughs, I join in as we carefully walk down a hill covered in yellow grass.
“Geek.” I mutter underneath my breath, and we continue walking all the way to the edge of a lake where we spend the rest of the day.
I wake up with a warm smile plastered on my face. I sit up to discover I'm in the same clothes as yesterday and remember once again. The smile fades almost immediately. I look around my dull room lit only with the cool sunlight glowing from behind the blinds. I stop my scan to focus on a frame hanging on the white wall across from my bed. Inside is a photo of a grassy hill, a lake, a dead tree and a regal hawk perched proudly on a grey branch. Over the corner of the dark frame is a camera strap with black and red stripes.
“So now, I won’t ever forget” I mutter with a half smile on my face and a glimmer in my eyes as I remember Noah.






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