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I stared blankly at the mirror. The girl I saw was not the girl I remembered. She was not the girl I wanted to be. Those dull, lifeless eyes couldn’t possibly be mine but lo and behold, they were. Ever since you died the color had drained from my face, the sparkle had left my eye, and the will to live had abandoned my soul. I was incapable of love and happiness. For a moment, the girl in the glass swirled back to the girl I was in the past - lively, happy, passionate… but that girl doesn’t exist anymore.
I remember the day you were taken from me. As much as I try to forget it, I remember it distinctly. We were walking down the road on a cold January morning, holding hands and laughing at every little thing as we always did. We stood in front of your house chatting for a bit and then I sadly told you I had to go home. I began to cross the street when you called my name. I turned around and you kissed me. It was quick, sweet, and much unexpected. You smiled at me shyly afterward and I couldn’t help but return the smile. I began to walk across the street once more, but this time I was in a daze. All of a sudden I heard you yell my name and then I felt a blow to the back. I turned around as soon as I regained my balance to see the car hit you.
It happened as if in slow motion. I hadn’t heard the car nor seen it. But you had. And you saved my life. I screamed your name in disbelief as you flew limply across the road. I ran to your side. You were bleeding badly and I was crying.
“Josh! Josh, baby, please talk to me! Please!” I choked out the words.
You looked up at me with your twinkling blue eyes and managed a weak smile.
“I always wanted to die in your arms.”
I stared at him in disbelief. “Josh, don’t say that. Just look at me and keep talking. You’re gonna be alright. Please don’t leave me.” I begged him.
He whispered, “Kiss me one more time. I want to remember the taste of your lips. I love you Aubrey.”
With tears streaming down my face I kissed him. When I pulled away, I couldn’t bear to look at him. I just held him in my arms and cried into his chest. I listened to his heartbeat slow down until it finally stopped.
The EMTs had to wrench me away from Josh. I screamed and kicked and begged to stay with him. My mother pulled up and ran to me, holding me as I cried. My arms were cut up but I didn’t notice until I saw the blood get on her jacket. The medics checked me quickly at the scene and told my mother I was just a little scraped up but could go home. I didn’t want to go home. I saw them pick his lifeless body up and put into the body bag leaving the snow stained red.
I didn’t believe it at first. I went home and puked for hours on end. I told my mother she was lying and that this was just a nightmare. But it wasn’t. Josh was dead… and it should’ve been me.
I spent that Valentine’s Day alone along with the next two. It’s been two years since that accident; in fact today was Valentine’s Day. I missed seeing him at the door with roses. He always brought me roses for the most random things. Each time he would bring eleven real roses and one fake with a note attached saying,
“I’ll love you until the last rose dies.” It made me cry every time.
I heard a knock at the door and I tore myself away from the mirror. I pulled open the door and saw no one. On the step was a vase of roses. My eyes started tearing up. No, no this couldn’t be happening. I picked up the vase and read the note.
“I’ll love you until the last rose dies.”
Who could do this to me? Who could be heartless enough to do this to me? I screamed at the wind.
“It isn’t funny! It isn’t funny… it isn’t funny…”
My yelps turned to sobs. I slammed the door and cradled the vase. I walked back to the mirror. As I stared at this girl who wasn’t me, I saw tears flood down her face much like the ones flooding down mine. I couldn’t handle it anymore. I threw the vase at the wall. It shattered and left the roses scattered. Then I looked at the girl.
“You’re not who I am! You’re not me!”
And in a wave of sudden fury I threw my fist through her face. The mirror broke and my hand bled but I didn’t care. I collapsed onto the ground and cried.
I cried until I thought there were no more tears remaining in me. For a few moments, I looked around at the chaos I had caused. Broken glass was strewn around me. I noticed the blood dripping from my hand onto the roses and from the roses onto the floor. It almost was as if they were bleeding as well.
I gathered up those roses and the note and charged out of my house. I ran through the snow to the cemetery. I lacked a coat but I didn’t notice the cold. I ran through the gate and directly to his plot. I looked at his marker,
“Here lies Joshua Marcus Johansen. Beloved son, grandson, and friend. January 18th, 2008. May he rest in peace.”
They had forgotten beloved boyfriend. He was my world. I knelt to the ground without a word, tears cascading down my cheeks once more.
I placed my bloody roses upon his grave, staining the snow red.