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Flashback - Chapter 1
It was April 20th, 2007 and I was standing on my front porch looking up at him, though he wasn’t returning the gaze.
“Jayson, don’t…” I pleaded, choking back the tears that were forming rapidly in my eyes.
The sound coming from the engine of his car clashed through the noise from the rain as it fell down around us, me in my pajama shorts and tank top with my arms clinging to my skin as I tried to keep warm, and him already dressed in a sweatshirt and jeans. He had planned this out well, the only question is how long he had been doing so, and of course what exactly it was he was about to do.
“I have to.” He stated, looking back at me.
The look in his hazel colored eyes was one that I had never seen before, especially coming from him. The eyes I loved that had once been so full of life and of happiness were at this moment filled with dread. They were dead, dull, and empty. It was as if someone had drained every bit of joy out of him.
The tears that I had fought so hard to hold back were now streaming down my face, and I felt like I was going to collapse right there. Maybe that would have been a good thing, collapsing there in his arms. Maybe then he wouldn’t let go and he wouldn’t be leaving.
“No, you don’t!” I forced out, my voice cracking. “Why would you have to leave Jayson?” I asked, pleading for any sort of explanation as to why he would be doing this, leaving me, leaving my family, leaving everything. There was no logical explanation that I could come up with.
He shook his head and closed his eyes. I thought I saw a tear form in his lashes as his eyes were closed, but he quickly turned from me to where I couldn’t tell for sure and began walking off of my porch and towards his already cranked car, the rain splashing off of him.
I didn’t care that it was raining or that I was barely covered. I ran out after him and grabbed him by the arm, turning him around to face me and pushed my lips as hard as I could against his. I know he wanted to give in, I could feel it. After growing up with someone and falling in love with hem, it’s as if you can always tell what’s on their mind and right now I could tell that he wanted nothing more than to kiss me back just like we had when we finally admitted our feelings for each other the previous summer by the river. He wanted a slow, passionate kiss almost as much as I did.
But he didn’t kiss me back. He didn’t even look at me. He pushed me off of him and turned to leave. Maybe what was scaring me so much right then was that he was going against everything that I knew he would normally be doing. Something was wrong with him and I needed to know what exactly it was.
“Just tell me why…” I said softly, almost giving up hope.
He looked back at me, and for the first time in the ten years that I had known him, I saw him cry. “I’m sorry Autumn.” He said his voice raspy. As I heard the foreign sound in his voice I became more worried than I had ever been and desperately tried to get him to look at me.
“Just tell me I didn’t do this, Jayson. Tell me you love me.” I begged, staring at him as he faced away from me. He turned towards me then, and he kissed my forehead. But instead of hearing the three words I was wishing to hear, he whispered two simple words against my skin,” Stay strong.” I know he wanted to say it back. There was some reasoning behind him holding it in, and I think now that maybe he was trying to keep from hurting me more than he already had. Little did he know, however, that him depriving me of those three simple words that would have meant everything in the world to me cut me more than anything.
He opened the door to his car and got in without looking at me. I stood there helpless, staring at him through the window. Thunder echoed around us and a flash of lightening erupted through the sky, and he pulled out of my driveway just like that. He slowed down as he reached halfway down the long driveway, and I could barely make out his face.
I don’t know if he was really looking towards me or if I just wished that he were so much that I saw it. I ran down the driveway, hoping that he had wanted me to come to where he was, but just as I reached the corner of his car he pulled the rest of the way down the driveway. Through my teary eyes and the rain splashing off of his windshield, I tried my hardest to focus on his face, realizing it may be the last time I ever saw him.
As he pulled out of the driveway, I started running again. I don’t know why but I felt as if I needed to. I felt as if I could stop him, as if it were possible that me catching up to his car would keep him from leaving. I ran with all the strength I had, but as I reached the end of the driveway I saw him turn the corner at the end of our street.
I fell to my knees, grasping my face in my hands. My tears were falling even harder than before, if that were even possible. The thunder sounded louder through the sky, and in that very moment I knew that I had just lost my best friend, and the love of my life.
Stay strong, Autumn, stay strong.