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Finding My Way Home
As I look back toward my house, the memories began to invade my mind. Shaking my head I began my long journey. Having nothing but the things in my pack I started walking. Not once looking back again.
I’ve been walking for hours and decided to stop at a motel. I paid the manager and walked into my insect infesting room. Cockroaches running away from the light, ants crawling back into the cracks. I go check the restroom and recoiled back at the stench. I ran out the room and threw up my lunch. After the shakes stopped I walked back inside and thought, “Welcome home.”
That night I dreamt about her. The woman who changed my life, the woman I’m trying to find. Her long, straight brunette hair emitting the smell of watermelon. Her soft lips brushing against mine. Her radiant blue eyes always saying that I’m not the loser that people say I am. The way she laughs always brings me back from the edge of despair. And just like that she’s gone.
I wake up my hand grabbing nothing. Knowing from past experiences that I wouldn’t be able to sleep again, I stood up and got dressed. As I left the room getting ready to leave I sense someone watching me. I looked to my left and saw her. I was stunned beyond measure. She looks just the way I last saw her. Her hair tied back into a ponytail, sandals, her flowery dress and the necklace that I made for her. She looked into my eyes and I saw the same message. That I wasn’t a loser; I will always be her number 1 guy in the world. I try to say something but all that came out of my mouth was, “Uh.”
She smiled and motioned me to follow. In a heartbeat I started running towards her. She smiled more broadly and ran into an ally. I followed her like a lost puppy. Twists and turns I followed devoutly until I saw her standing in front of a fence.
Hands behind her back she looks at me and starts to climb. I ran after her but one step forward and I slipped on something and hit my head on the concrete floor hard. Dots and stars dominated my sight but I looked at the fence and saw disappointment etched all over her face. Not wanting to let her down I try to stand up, but the world started to spin and soon I passed out.
It was morning when I started to regain conscious. The back of my head was throbbing with pain. I gently brushed the spot and waves of pain took hold of me. I was wondering why I was outside when I remembered. I stood up so fast that I was nauseated for a few seconds. After that pass I walked toward the fence and on the other side was the necklace I gave her.
I climbed past the fence and grabbed the necklace. It was cold to the touch. As I traced my finger over the necklace I remember the first time I met her. It was when my parents and I had another fallout. I got expelled from school and wanted no more of me being there. My parents started out with what an embarrassment I am to the whole family. I got mad and started shouting at them. It escalated to the point where they called me a loser, and it was then that I snapped and attacked my parents. After that my parents kicked me out of the house.
I started to drink and got even in more fights. I got a battery charge one time and the police sent me to prison. They let me out a few days later since I was underage to be legally in a jail cell. Police officers hoped that that stint in jail would set me back straight but they were dead wrong. I started using drugs and my life spiraled out of control then. Selling and using drugs. Living in the streets, wearing nothing but rags. I was a tramp.
When I realized this I began to cry and made a decision. Scared that I would back out, I went inside an ally that hardly anyone uses and pulled out my knife. I was ready to slice my neck open until I heard a small gasp. I turned around and saw the most beautiful girl in the whole world. Wearing blue jeans, a pink tank top with a matching jacket, and Nike shoes, that’s all she wore. She came up to me and slapped the knife out of my hand. She looked at me right in the eye and started yelling at me. She told me that I’m wasting my life and people will never find out how special I am. I looked at her like she was crazy but she continued her rant. Once done she took my hand and proclaimed, “C’mon you need to wash up, badly.”
She took me to her house (which was right behind the ally,) and took my clothes not even embarrassed at looking at me. She turned on the shower, put me in the tub and wash me like I was a five month toddler. Once done she handed me clothes that her late brother used to wear. Then she sat me down and cut my hair and the beard that I grew. She had a hard time with all the tangles and cursed out a few times and soon I was able to see my face again in over a year. I looked at the mirror for a long time. Then she grabbed my hand put on some music and we started to dance. Dancing slowly in her apartment, my hand on her hip, the smell of watermelon coming out of her brunette hair and for the first time in a few years I smiled.
Boom! I jumped and saw that a thunderstorm was here and ran for safety. Once out of harm’s way, I looked at the necklace. I made this necklace on our very first date. Not only to show her my love but to thank her for saving my life. The night I presented to her we were up on the roof of her apartment. We just came back from having dinner and waiting for the meteor shower that was supposed to come. While we waited we talked about unimportant things, life, why the government sucks so much. Then she brought up a touchy subject. She wanted to know about my family. I must have had a scowl on my face because she asked what’s wrong. I began talking and the more I said the angrier I got at them. By the time I got to them calling me a loser my whole body was shaking with rage and there was a ringing sound inside my head. The next thing I knew she put her arms around my neck and hugged me.
No one has ever hugged me like this before. It was a hug full of love and compassion. A hug that I would never forget. I pulled out a box and presented it to her. She looked at me with a look of surprise on her face. At first she hesitated but with some persistence she finally accepted. She flipped it open and gasped. What she pulled out was a heart shape necklace with two figures in the middle holding hands. I waited for her to say something and began to get nervous when she was quite for awhile. She finally looked at me and was startled to find tears. But these were tears of happiness. I took the necklace and put it around her neck. We looked up at the meteor shower, then at each other. And we kissed.
I heard a creaking sound above me. Instincts took over and I dived for safety. As I landed on the cold wet asphalt, the metal staircase above me crashed down. Felling lucky to be alive, I walked out of the ally and into the open road.
Rain continued to pour down hard and soon I was a soaking mess. There was a flash of lightning and there she was. Smiling she began to run down the street. Not wanting to lose her again I sprinted after her. She ran all the way to the town cemetery. Wondering why she would lead me to this place, I stopped in front of the gates. I don’t know why but I feel a sense of dread in the pit of my stomach. Every core of my body yelled at me to go away, you won’t like what you’ll find. Then I found her in the middle, staring at two gravestones. Sadness etched all over her body. I unlocked the gate and entered.
I walked slowly towards her. Names of people from all generations were displayed right in front of me. When I was a few feet away from her I read the names on the gravestones she was staring at. What I read didn’t make sense. I shook my head like that will make it go away but it didn’t. Terror was beginning to take a hold of me. Then I lost it completely, “No! This can’t be happening! It has to be a dream or something!”
I was on all fours panting like I just ran a marathon. Then a soft hand grabbed my chin and tilted it up. Her eyes were full of love and sadness. Then she pointed at the tombstones again. I read them over and over not understanding how it could be. The names are Danny Wilson and Sophie Betts. Our names are on the tombstone. I’m dead.
I look at her and exclaimed, “How is it possible? How come were not in heaven or something? How did I die?”
Then I heard her voice inside my head. “The reason is that you didn’t accept death the way I did. You wanted to keep on living and your soul granted this wish. Then to stay in the realm of the living, you concoct a scenario where I was missing and you tried to find me. You did this for over a year.”
“A –a year,” I stuttered.
She nodded her head. “Every single time you at the entrance to the cemetery. But you remembered what happened and started over. As for your death its better if I show you.”
She raised her other hand and put two fingers on my left temple and images raced around my brain. The insect infested hotel where we spent the night. We agreeing it’s better to leave the place. Running all over the ally and climbing the fence. The unannounced thunderstorm. Us finding shelter under the fire escaping stairs. And finally the stairs crushing us to death. She removed her fingers and I came crashing back. Shacking all over from watching that I looked and asked, “What was different from all the other times? How come I finally accepted my – no our deaths.”
“I’ll give you three guesses,” she answered playfully.
“You?” I replied.
She nodded her head. “You needed some extra motivation, so I came down here in order for you to finally come home.”
She stood up and offered up her hand. I grabbed it and pulled myself up to my feet.
“Ready to go home?” she inquired.
I took one long shaky breath. “I’m ready.”
Her dazzling blue eyes were full of love and we kissed, as we disappeared in a flash of light, and ready to start my life with her again.