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Death Do Us Part
They were just lying there together in the grass, simply revelling in the moment saying odd things that come to mind. They have nowhere to go with nothing to do but waste away the copious teenage years they have in this world by being together. The sky was overcast and a rainstorm was threatening. They didn’t care. World War III could have broken out when they were together and the two teenagers wouldn’t have noticed. Miracles do occur everyday and if you saw them together, you wouldn’t be able to deny that this was one of them. The love they shared was so pure and inevitable, they belonged together. If you were ever to glance at the way he looked at her, it was as if you were intruding on something personal. His eyes were filled with nothing but pure adoration and worship. He ran his fingers through her deep mahogany hair and kissed her forehead whispering “I love you”. She didn’t need reminding, but responded back with a kiss anyway. It was the distant sound of a lawn mower that kept her aware that this was reality. And if it was all a dream, she never wanted to wake up.
I woke up. As hard and as painful as it is, I managed to wake up. With a new morning brings new truths about that year, especially that summer. The realism of my past reminds me that there once was a time I knew my future. I knew my beliefs. I knew love. Most of all, I once knew myself. This, what I am now, is all foreign to me. The stranger that is grief has taken over me and who I used to be. Maybe I’ll never be rescued. But that’s not important.
What’s important is this thought that never seems to leave my mind, the thought of how there never used to be a single doubt big enough to question my fate or the morals I’ve been taught or the views of how I see my world around me. You see, my life back then was full of blissful ignorance of the reality of the world, but at least I was happy. It was just a few months ago that I could have sworn that happiness will always fill my life. If wrong dared come my way to the very top, I thought I will act mature and calm in the situation which will cause the problem to go away as fast as it came. I believed nothing really bad can ever happen to me. If anything, tears streaming down my face out of pure anguish and frustration will surely turn to tears from laughing way too hard. Nothing really bad ever happens to a sixteen year old. I mean, of course, the world has more good than bad and love conquers evil. Most importantly, love always prevails, always, or so I thought.
Then something happens to you so you no longer think this way, you no longer feel like you have the entire world in the palm of your hands. The pain outweighs any amount of happiness you’ve ever felt. The sadness penetrates from the very core of your soul, and it will hurt so much that you can’t even bare to move. It might as well have been me in that wooden casket that windy October morning. Perhaps I’m being dramatic as I say this but it was something more precious than the air I breathe or even the beating of my heart. I would sacrifice that all for him to be here with me. But not enough pleading or crying can change that because trust me, I have tried. Because no matter what happens in my life, no matter how much I need him, he won’t be there. The one person in this twisted, messed up world who knew me better than myself, the one who I could always count on to be there won’t be there anymore. My love, my laughter, my happiness, my best friend, my Elliot, oh God, he’s really gone.
He left me on October 18th 2009. That was just last week. It was another ordinary day in the penitentiary known as high school when someone called me down to the guidance office. Some lady I don’t recognize says something but all I hear is “accident, drunk driver, Elliot, dead.” Elliot? Dead? Those are the words that stick out the most. Nothing else matters. It doesn’t make sense, I saw him last night...just last night. The lady who I don’t know is apparently a grief counsellor. She stares at me, waiting for a response. I say nothing; I don’t shed a single tear. She’s got this all wrong. Elliot Wentworth isn’t dead. My Elliot can’t be dead.
The doctors said he didn’t feel any pain when he died. But I do, I hurt. I still do even now, two months after the accident. The pain outweighs any amount of pain that I have ever felt before. I wished I was in that car with him and then I could have died too. Or at least I would have gotten hurt. I would take the physical pain any day just to get my mind off the emotional one.
The calendar reads November 15th. It has been six months since the accident. I can say it now out loud without crying. As little as that is, it’s a big milestone in accepting what happened. But when I think I’m just a little bit better and ready to function in society again, something happens. I’d see a couple holding hands or someone who has the exact same shade of sandy brown hair as he once did, pass by me. Then, the grief resurfaces, the pain penetrates even harder throughout my veins and I have to start from square one again.
I hate my life, there’s no point to anything anymore. When I’m in school, people stare at me like I’m going to break. People I’ve never talked to in years come up to me to say they’re sorry. Sorry can’t make it better. Sorry can’t bring him back from the grave. I’m sick of it. I’m sick of the fake sorrow people paint on their face acting as if they knew Elliot. They didn’t know Elliot. Nobody knew him like I did. I’m sick of crying and feeling sad. The therapist I’m forced to see tells me I feel this way because I’m human and have emotions. But I don’t want to have emotions. Emotions cause you to love. Love only ends in pain. So what’s the point?
. The thought of the cool strawberry puree and lemon blended with ice was the only reason I got out of bed that Saturday. I usually never get out of the house if I don’t have to. But, I wanted that strawberry lemonade. To my dismay, the only place where they sell that strawberry lemonade is at this coffee shop called The Mixed Tape. It wasn’t crowded like the Starbucks across the street from it. The Mixed Tape had character. It was small, quaint, and personal. It was why Elliot and I loved that place. The Mixed Tape was our Central Perk. We spent hours there on this beaten up blue love seat, doing our homework when school was in session or just talking in the summer. It was there on that beaten blue love seat that he told me he loved me and it was there on that beaten blue love seat that we had our first kiss.
It was pretty obvious of why I avoided that place like the plague. But I wanted that strawberry lemonade. My plan was to walk in, order and get out, quick and painless. I opened the door to The Mixed Tape and with a deep breath, I walked inside and tried to pass the couch as quickly as I could. But then from the corner of my eye I saw someone was sitting in it. I turned around, and just stared in a mixture of shock and awe. Nobody sat on that couch, even when we weren’t there, it was always free. I don’t know how long I stood there staring at the couch when the person who was occupying it stood up. Truth be told, I never even saw who was sitting in it till he did. “Do you want to sit?” he asked, clearly confused. I have never seen him before. He seemed a year older than me. He was tall for his age, but he was polite. “Oh no, I was just...” I stammered. “I’m Bryan”, he said and put out his hand, and for some reason, I took it.
Little by little, day by day, life got easier. It’s what scared me the most, to start living a normal life without Elliot. But everyday, I’m learning how to live again. Step by step, day by day, it’s getting easier for me.
At one time or another, we will all be faced with death. Death is powerful. It’s big enough to question our fate, our morals, and the views we see the world. Death has the ability to change what you believe, who you are, who you are going to become. It comes with doubts and questioning, but in every lifetime, it happens. People live and die. In between that time frame, we learn how to love, and learn how precious life really is. The death of my first love crushed me. But if it wasn’t for Elliot’s life and death, I would never have become the person I am today. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and even though his life was short, it was full of people who loved and cared for him. No matter how powerful death is, it can never separate the love I had for Elliot. And because of that, I believe that Elliot has been watching down on me from above for the past ten years since his death. I believe that he is still with me today when I will walk down that aisle. It’s true. Despite all the grief, I’ve managed to fall in love again. I believe that in this life, there is always more good in the world than bad. Love conquers evil. And most importantly, love prevails. Always.