Memories of Us

June 10, 2010
It was a normal Tuesday night and I was lying on the soft, light blue carpet in my bedroom, struggling with my math homework… again. “Ugh,” I thought to myself. “Why do we even need to learn this stupid stuff? We are never actually going to use this again in real life.”

I would not be having this problem if he were here. Yes, him. Zac Tarren. The first I had ever loved. Oh, no. I could not start thinking about him again. It was just too painful.

Of course, it probably didn’t help that I was wearing his sweatshirt. His soft, cozy, Pursun Blue Devils basketball sweatshirt. It still smelled like him, too, whatever it was that he smelled like. His smell was kind of like a Dr. Pepper, it has 23 flavors, but you cannot pinpoint all of them, you just know that they smell amazing all mixed together. It was just like him, a mixture of aftershave, minty Trident, and a few other things that made him smell even more amazing. Just thinking about him brought me back to that day.

I was sitting in my bedroom listening to our song, “Love Story”, by Taylor Swift. I would never listen that song again after the phone call I received right during the middle of the seventeenth time I listened to it. I picked up my cell phone and heard a quiet voice at the end of the line. “Hello?” “Hi Tess. It’s Emily.”

Of course. I knew I recognized that voice. It was Zac’s mom. Why would she be calling me?

“Oh, hey. What’s up?” I aked confusingly. “Well, I’m not exactly calling with the best news.” She sounded depressed and I could hear a few sniffles in the background.

Oh no. What was wrong? I suddenly panicked and felt my world slipping away. “What’s wrong? What happened?”

I was freaking out and I did not know what to think. All I could think about was Zac and how much he meant to me.

“Well, Zac’s been in an accident.” No words could explain how I felt and it changed my whole life.

“Ok, snap out of it,” I thought to myself. Back to my math homework. If only I could keep myself focused long enough. “Oh well. I’ll have my best friend, Lindsey, help me tomorrow.” It is nice to have a best friend who is practically a genius.

The next day at school was pretty much a normal day. I actually managed to focus in all of my classes, which rarely happens. As long as I didn’t let my mind wander, I would be fine.

However, I knew nothing would ever be fine. I had an empty space in my heart just like the empty spaces between my fingers that were meant to be filled with his. Whoever said time heals all wounds never had a wound this deep or this painful. I felt like I had no spirit without him by my side.

The days dragged on and on, always the same, with no Zac by my side. I could not think straight and I was so numb I didn’t fell anything. I couldn’t remember anything either because nothing seemed to stick in my head anymore.

One day I found myself driving around town after school. I did not know where to go, so I just kept driving. I couldn’t go home because my mind would start wandering and bringing back the memories. I drove around town for about ten minutes before pulling to a stop in front of the local park.

It was not much of a park. There was a small playground with monkey bars, a couple of slides, some swings, and a teeter-totter. There were two baseball fields to the left of it and the local pool sat right in the middle of everything. There was also a small, babbling creek running along the edge of the land.

The creek was the most painful for me to look at. The memories were so vibrant in my mind that it seemed like had happened just yesterday.

Zac and I were riding our bikes around town, chatting the whole time. Suddenly he turned left into the park and jumped off his bike. I had no idea where we were going, but I decided to follow him anyways. He threw off his blue, striped polo shirt, showing off his gorgeous, perfectly tan six-pack, and leaped into the water.

“Come on, Tess. Jump in! The water is amazing!” he yelled to me. I took one step forward and dipped my toe in.

“No way. That water is freezing.”

“Well I guess we’ll just have to do this the hard way.” He grabbed my foot and dragged me into the water with all of my clothes on.

“Zac! Stop!” But of course, he didn’t. He picked me up with his amazingly toned biceps and dunked my head underwater. “Ok, fine. I surrender.”

He took my hand as we walked around in the creek. He playfully splashed me and we got into a massive water fight. By the end, he had won and I was soaked.

We were continuing our walk when suddenly I saw something move and I jumped about five feet in the air and screamed.

“What’s wrong?” he questioned.

“I just saw a huge water snake!” I yelled. He lifted me up out of the water and set me down on the grass outside of the creek.

“Oh, my hero!” I exclaimed as I hugged him and held him in my arms. I looked up into his sparkling blue eyes. His sandy blonde hair was blowing in the breeze and I could have sworn that the world stopped right at that moment. Then he leaned down, and for the first time, he kissed me.

The memory brought back many mixed emotions. It brought back the feeling of warmth I had with him by my side, but it also mad the gnawing hole in my heart grow ten times greater.

It was only then that I realized that I was leaning against my steering wheel, crying. I hadn’t cried over Zac for two weeks, a record, but now that record was broken. I let out everything that I had been holding in for the past two weeks.

After I had calmed myself down enough to breathe, I decided to finally go home. When I got home, I proceeded with my normal activities. Chores, homework, walk the dog, practice basketball, repeat. Every day.

By the time I was done, it was already nine o’clock. I was still all alone because my mom had to work late every night so we would be able to maintain our lifestyle. She and my father had gotten a tense divorce and now I spent all of my time with her. It is a tough life, but we manage.

I looked at the calendar, trying to remember the last time we had actually sat down and had a family dinner. Instead, I sat staring at the date. It was April 23, 2009. Exactly one year ago was the date of the accident.

As soon as I hung up the phone, I rushed straight to the hospital. For some reason when Zac was walking down the stairs of his mother’s office building, he had fainted and fell out of a fourth story window. According to his mom, he was in bad shape.

I was actually calmer that I thought was possible with that sort of news. I politely asked the nurse which room he was in and headed up to the sixth floor. I had no idea what to expect when I walked into his room.

When I entered and saw him sleeping on the bed with blood stained bandages covering his body, I choked up and stopped in my tracks. I saw both of his parents and the worry in their eyes.

“Hi Tess. Thanks for coming to visit. He really wanted to see you,” his dad said.

“It’s no problem,” I replied. “I really hope he is okay.”

“The doctors aren’t sure at the moment. He took a hard fall and we don’t know what will happen next.”

I could have cried right at that moment, but I knew I had to be strong for Zac. I walked over to him and watched as he slept. He seemed very peaceful as he laid there. After about an hour, he woke up.

He opened his bright blue eyes and looked at me. He grinned and said the three words that would touch my heart forever. “I love you,” he whispered quietly. Then, he shut his eyes and his heart rate slowed to almost a stop.

As a few doctors ran into the room, they realized what had happened. He had fallen into a coma, and closed his eyes for possibly the last time.
I awoke from my nightmare and realized that I had fallen asleep while doing my homework. I looked up and saw the bright headlights of my mom’s beat-up old car pulling into the driveway. It was 2:00 in the morning and I was exhausted. As my mom walked in, I quickly gave her a hug then hurried off to bed.

There were fields of flowers: roses, sunflowers, daffodils, anything you could imagine. I was lying on the ground watching the clouds roll by and Zac was right by my side; but he seemed a little distant, like his body was there but not his mind or spirit.

“Zac, it seems like it has been so long; I missed talking to you.”

He just looked at me with his cold, lifeless eyes. He started to disappear into a beam of illuminating, bright light.

I chased after him, but the faster I ran after him, the further away he seemed to get.

I chased him for what seemed like an eternity until I saw him disappear into the sunset spreading on the horizon. Just as quickly as he had arrived, he had left me stranded just as fast. I could feel the tears starting to form in the corners of my eyes.

--BEEP, BEEP, BEEP-- The sound of the alarm clock woke me with a startle. I snapped out of my fantasy world and realized that my pillow was damp from the tears I had cried during my sleep. I could feel that it would be a long day (and I was right).

I got ready for school like normal, but I still was thinking of my dream. When, if ever would Zac wake up and come back to me?

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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

gymbabe This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 21, 2010 at 8:20 am

This is amazing, very sad and absolutely beautiful.  Please continue it!

Btw, will you check out and comment on my work?

purva said...
Jun. 15, 2010 at 8:44 am
beautiful writing...
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