Today was the the day! I was finally going to tell Claire Marrow that I am in love with her. Lola finally pushed me to do it. I mean it was risky, sure but she might like me back though I was thinking though the whole idea, while Lola and I were sitting at lunch. I started nervously looking over at Claire.
“Would you just go over there and talk to her you wimp” Lola said snapping me out of my thoughts. I looked at her.
Lola and I have been best friends since third grade. She’s been goading me to tell Claire how I really felt since I started having a crush on her in sixth grade.
“Well what would you do if the girl you’ve liked for five years was now single?” I snapped back.
“Well. James” Lola said thoughtfully. “I would grow a pair and ask her out unlike you.” She looked at me with a smirk. I looked away nervously. Lola seemed to notice and looked at me with a look I couldn’t name. She thought a moment and silently reached around her neck and unhooked the clasp to her locket. She took it off and put it in my hand. I looked at her then the locket sitting piled up in my hand. This locket was very special. Her mom gave it to her before she left to go fight in Iraq. Ever since then her brother was taking care of her, but she never saw him between college and his job that supported them, so my family took her in.
“Lola I can’t take this.” I stammered.
“I know you’ll give it back to me when you’re finished asking out the girl of your dreams” She said smiling back at me.
“Okay, I’ll be back.” I said “hopefully.” I added as an afterthought. I picked up the locket, put it on, and stood up.
I started walking to Claire’s lunch table. I looked back at Lola and she gave me a thumbs up. I took a deep breath in, and sat down at her table. The entire table hushed at the sight of me. Claire however just looked at me and smiled. We started talking about school and this particularly hard assignment from a particularly frustrating teacher. I got her to laugh at a sarcastic comment.
“You know you’re really pretty when you smile.” I say nervously. That seemed to go well. So, I took a deep breath and said “ You know, I’ve liked you for a while now and I was wondering if you would like to go to the movies with me on Friday.” I mumble the last part and look down. The whole table went dead silent. Claire’s friends looked around In a way of ‘Is this guy serious’ type of way. It felt like the entire cafeteria was holding its breath or it might of just been in my head.
“I’d love too! Here’s my number so we can work out the details.” She says happily as I let out the breath I was holding in. She handed me a piece of paper with her number on it.
“Okay, see you later!” I say. As I walk back to Lola I give a thumbs up and a smile.
After my first date with Claire we started hangout out a lot more. Lola didn’t seem to mind all that much. Before long I started hanging out with Claire more than Lola. Lola and I slowly drifted apart over the year. Hanging out less and less. Meanwhile Claire and I became very close, telling each other more and spending more time with each other. Slowly falling in love. I was finally happy. Lola just became that strange girl that I knew a while back.
Until one day.
She came to my house in the middle of the night in the pouring rain and tapped on my window like she did when we were kids.She kept tapping. Tap, tap, tap. It felt like it would go on forever. I finally gave in and opened the window. She climbed into my room and looked around before before looking in my eyes. She started so intently it made me gulp. Right as I opened my mouth to speak she started.
“I need my locket back,” she said expectantly. I had to think for a moment before remembering that fateful day when I first asked Claire out. Something was different about Lola’s eyes that I couldn’t put my finger on. I brushed it off as I walked over to my dresser, opened a drawer, pulled out the locket, turned back to Lola and looked at her. She didn’t seem to be paying attention as she looked around my room so I studied her. Her hair was freshly washed, I could smell the strong fruity smell that I could recognise after all this time she had the same shampoo from when we were friends after all. I had a bottle of it in my bathroom for some time when they couldn't pay the water bills.She had her usual black hoodie with a Day of the Dead sugar skull on it, I could see the parts that she’s had to patch up. She got new combat boots, for her birthday most likely. I felt the rolling waves of guilt as I realized I missed her birthday for the first time. I brushed it off, it’s not my fault that we stopped talking--even though the voice in my head said different-- She had gotten a little more taller, but yet she looked thinner and more… hollow, I showed the locket to her and she took it and gave me one last look before giving a classic old Lola smiled that was just enough to make you smile back but worry you about what she might have planned.
“Thanks, Nerd. Good luck.” She turned around and went back out the window. As I went back to bed I thought about the strange thing that just happened and I was drifting off to sleep I realized with a not-fully aware mind that Lola was crying before I could ponder this thought more the faithful grip of sleep grabbed me and I was blissfully unaware of the problems of the world.
The next morning when I got out of bed and walked to the kitchen. It was quiet, it was too quiet even with my parents both in it. Strange I thought. I walked in cautiously, and saw them both with shocked confused faces looking at the paper on the table. I just saw a glance before the doorbell rang. This seemed snap my parents out of their daze. My father quickly grabbed the paper and my mother went to answer the door. I shrugged of the encounter. It was to much for a non-morning person. I gathered to items for cereal when my mother called me to the door. I rolled my eyes and trotted to the door. What I was expecting was a family friend who stopped by for a chat but seeing a police officer at my door was the last person in my mind. When the police officer saw me he gave me a pitying smile and stuck out his had for me to shack.
“My name is Logan, I’m here to talk to you about your friend Lola García.” He said. My mind instantly jumped to conclusions
“Whatever trouble she’s in I am not apart of I promise.” After I said that I could see the shocked faces on both my mother and the police officer.
“Son, she’s not in trouble.” He said condescending.
“So why are you here” I snapped. My mother looked shocked I would use such a tone.
“James Turner!” My mother exclaimed
“It’s okay ma’am, I’m here to tell you that we found Lola hanging in meadows park early this morning.” The officer’s voice change to a soldem one. It took me a moment to realize what I just heard. It was like punch the the gut.
“I am telling you this because she left a letter for you” I cut him off right then and there.
“Where is it? Let me see it. Please let me see it” I said while trying to keep back the tears that were forming. The offers pulled the letter out of his pocket. I grabbed it and ran. I could hear my mother call after me but I didn't listen. I went to my room and locked the door. A letter for me. I thought as I stared at the letter. I guess, as I tried to rationalize the whole thing, I was the last of her good friends. That’s the reason she wrote me a… a … a. I couldn't even imagine it.. A suicide letter I finally thought. My best friend wrote me a suicide note. My mind raced about what it could say. I carefully opened the envelope. Worried I would ruin the last thing I had left of her. What if I’m the reason she killed herself? What if she was in love with me? Before I could think about it in any finer detail I started reading the letter.
By now I’m sure you know that I have killed myself. I know what you're probably thinking. ‘What if I’m the reason why she did it?’ or ‘What if she was in love with me all along?’ Well let me answer both, you aren’t that special. Now I do-or-did, I guess, love you, I loved you like a brother James. You were my best friend in the world and I would not change the way anything happened. There are two main reasons why I killed myself, I guess. The first was I didn’t want to exist here anymore. As simply as that. I was sick of it, after you left I didn’t really have anyone to hang out with so I just existed. The other was my family dying. When David went to go get my mom we were both excited but I couldn’t go because I had homework. Homework, isn’t that a funny thing? The only reason I did not get to die with my family was because of homework. I found out they died in a car crash a hour before I saw you for the last time. Part of me wanted the locket back and the less logical part wanted to see you. I’m glad you didn’t try to stop because I think I still would of done it anyway. For me there was no other choice. On a lighter note you can make up any reason why I killed myself. Any at all. My favorite that I have come up with so far is that I was a spy and I had to sacrifice myself for the greater good, but hey, that’s just a suggestion. But I want you to know you better not blame yourself for me. I am happy for you and Claire. I always was and always will be. I did miss you, but you were happy and that's all I ever wanted from you, and who was I to come between that happiness for a friend? So thank you for the years of friendship, thanks James Turner for showing me that the world isn’t all bad. And I’m sorry.
Good luck Dork,
P.S I hope you get the package
I must've read that letter a dozen times. Carefully analyzing the whole thing. I started crying after the fifth time I read it but at the end of the thirteenth I was bawling. The truth was I did blame myself for not being there. I blamed myself for the death of my best friend because she still was my best friend. No matter how much time apart she was still the first person I told anything to, the first person to check in on me when I broke my leg or when I didn’t get onto the soccer team. She didn’t tell me the bull***t of ‘You’ll get it next year champ’ she told me that I sucked and I needed to get better. She was the one to tell me if that outfit was ugly or I looked really dumb in that haircut. She told me the truth. She was there in the other moments too. She was there the whole time for me. Why couldn’t I have been there for her this time? There was thing however that bothered me above the rest. The postscript. What package? Before I could think about it what I assumed was my mother knocked on my door. I went up to see what she wanted to just find a small box. I laughed grimly. At least Lola would've appreciated that timing. I want back to my bed and opened the box. Inside sat a locket with a note. “Wear this and think of the good times; you are the perfect latte art James don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.” The note made me cry harder; I picked up the dainty chain and opened the locket. And inside sat a girl I knew in a beautiful dress and a boy on a swing. The boy laughing and the girl giving a smirk that would make people wonder just what she was up to. Those kids were always by my heart after that day. A girl with a smirk and a boy with a best friend.