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Close Your Eyes and Make a Wish
Yes I hear them… the sneers, the snickers. Yes I see them pointing, I hear the laughing. I ignore them now because I had something that I know those girls will never have. The teachers look at me with pained expressions, since I don’t have it now. But really, I do. I was lucky to have that one year and five months of my life. In that time, I actually smiled, maybe even laughed. I was happy for once in my life. And now he’s gone.
Two years, maybe a little longer. Two years and three months, yeah that seems about right, we met. It was a Tuesday, and as usual, I was sitting on the green bench outside the principal’s office. I got distracted in chemistry class and blew up a desk. Again. I started tapping my foot on the horrid salmon- colored linoleum flooring. Just when I thought my black boot would disintegrate from tapping it so hard, a boy slid onto the bench next to me. I’m not going to say this guy was ugly, in fact he was far from it, but there was something about him that was irritating me. I began to blow bubbles with my gum that lost its flavor ages ago, when the dude started staring at me. Didn’t his parents tell him that staring at strangers isn’t nice?
“What?” I snapped at him. If he was going to make some comment about how I’m wearing too much black, or that streaking my hair damages it, I would punch that boy. The guy just kept staring at me like it was some sort of game. Ok, this was going too far on my level of tolerance. “I like your eyebrow piercing.” He simply said. Well, I wasn’t expecting him to say that. “I mean, usually I don’t like it when girls pierce their face,” he continued, “but for some reason, it looks pretty on you.” He smiled. And it was a genuine smile. Not one of those smiles guys do to woo you. But seriously, pretty? Did this guy just call my facial piercing pretty? Without bothering to thank him, or do anything polite for that matter, I asked, “So why are you here? Get in trouble?” The guy just chuckled, “Naw, I’m a new student, I just transferred. Have to get my classes.” He replied, still not taking his gaze away from me. “I knew it” I said, playing with a blue strand of hair. “By the look of you, you wouldn’t have what it takes to do something risky.” He smirked and leaned back against the wall. “Then you definitely don’t know me.” Who does this guy think he is? I was about to reply with some snarky little comment when the secretary, Ms. Fuse, opened the door. “Nicolette, you may come in now.” I slung my bag over my shoulder and started to walk towards the door. “See ya, Nicolette,” The stupid dude on the bench said. “Don’t call me that.” I called over my shoulder. Before I turned my head away, I saw him smile. And it was that darn genuine smile.
I didn’t get detention for destroying the desks however I did need to find a way to raise money for new ones. Which if you ask me, is getting off pretty easy, since the last thing a sixteen year-old wants is detention. I didn’t see that new kid for a week, until he ended up in my chemistry class. I didn’t even know his name until the teacher called role and introduced him as a new student. All I knew about this kid was that he was tall, had long-ish sandy colored hair, sage green eyes, and he liked staring at people. “Hey, Nickster” He said sliding into the seat next to me. Nickster? Really, this has got to stop. “I don’t think I actually introduced myself,” he blabbed on, “I’m Blake.” “I know,” I said. “The teacher just announced that while she took role.” I added a little “duh” hint to my voice. “Oh, I am hurt, Nick.” Blake said, putting a dramatic hand over his heart. “Good,” I said turning away. And that was the day he asked me out.
I couldn’t believe it. I acted like a total jerk, diva even, and he asked me out? It’s not supposed to work that way. But the thing that surprised me most was that I said yes. Why would I even say yes? It’s not like I need a boyfriend. I’m perfectly independent on my own. Maybe that was the thing. Maybe I was tired of being alone. So it went on like that. We would fight, he would annoy me, but it would always end with a soft little “I love you”. Girls would talk about us. I heard them every day in the locker room. Swarms of “Why is he with her?” and “He could do so much better.” always filled the room. I would always just roll my eyes and walk away. We got each other. He could see the girl that was hidden under all the dark clothing and gobs of eyeliner. And thus, we became the world’s most dysfunctional couple.
I hated it when we fought. The fights were never big or deep enough to break us up. They were usually just to let off some steam. Mostly they were about girls. I knew girls liked Blake and didn’t think I deserved him. So I wasn’t afraid to remind Blake who he belonged to. It was maybe three months into our relationship when I finally asked him about his necklace. He wore a necklace every day, the same one. It was a simple black string with a square metal ring on it. I always teased him for wearing “man jewelry”. I thought it was some family heirloom that was passed down to him, but he said it was just for luck. We got coffee every morning before school. I would always get a skinny caramel macchiato and he would just get black coffee. We walked down the halls of school with our coffee in hand and his arm slung protectively around my shoulder. As we walked by, people would roll their eyes as if to say, “Those two are still together? I give them a week before they kill each other.” We ignored them of course, because we knew that they just didn’t get us. Then again, I didn’t really get us either.
I remember this one time when we were walking in the park. It started to rain and we were just about to leave, when Blake stopped at a fountain. “Make a wish, Nick.” He smiled as he handed me a shiny penny. I closed my eyes, made a wish, and tossed the penny in the water. “So, what did you wish for?” Blake asked in a sing-song voice. “I can’t tell you, dummy.” I said, rolling my eyes. But deep down, I couldn’t tell him that I just wished for us to be together forever. That would sound way to cliché, and I already have problems with being romantic as it is.
We were together for a year and five months before the accident. Just three days before, Blake had promised that he would never leave me. I was sitting in the middle of history class when I was called down to the office. Blake hadn’t come to school that day which I was a little bit glad about at the moment because he would probably lecture me later about going down to the principal’s office. I didn’t know why the office had called me. I didn’t do anything bad. At least I didn’t think I did. Ms. Fuse opened the door for me as soon as I got there. I could tell she had been crying as she led me down to the principal. What was going on? Mr. Bunter, the principal, was sitting in his swivel chair looking out the window when I walked in. Instead of his usual stern expression, his face seemed sullen. “Nicolette,” Mr. Bunter started. “I called you in here because Blake, well, um…” he paused and looked out the window as if he was thinking of what to say next. Why would he pause in the middle of a sentence like that? What about Blake? It seemed like an eternity before he continued, “… Blake was shot today.” He did not just say that. What does he mean by shot? Like with a gun? That’s impossible I just talked to him this morning! He had offered to take me to school. I declined because I had some home work to catch up on. Thoughts ran through my head as Mr. Bunter kept talking. I only half listened. Something about how Mr. Bunter wanted me to be the first student to know and blah, blah, blah. I felt numb. Like I couldn’t move, couldn’t breathe. Eventually I found myself whisper “When was he shot?” Mr. Bunter looked me in the eyes and took a deep breath. I could tell he was trying to stay strong for my sake. “He was shot this morning on his way to school. We’re not sure who the gun man was. He was only shot once, but it could be fatal.” I froze. What if I had gone to school with him this morning? Would I have been shot too? I refused to make this whole thing a reality.
When I visited him in the hospital that day, it was a reality. Tubes and machines were all hooked up to him. It was painful to see. It was truly agonizing. Everyone left his room so I could see him alone. He opened his eyes and whispered, “Nick.” His voice was strained and barely audible. “Shh, don’t talk. Let me” I commanded. I wanted to say so many things to him. But I couldn’t do it. My words were trapped in my throat, trying to escape. Tears welled in my eyes. Why couldn’t I say anything? This might be the last time I can talk to him and I’m not saying anything! I grabbed his hand and placed soft kisses on each of his fingers. That’s when I noticed the single red tulip by his window. Red tulips symbolize undying love. Is this some kind of cruel joke? Undying love? Explain that to my dying boyfriend right now. “I love you Blake,” I started. “I can’t imagine life without you. Well, actually I can, because I was alone before I met you. I don’t want to go back to that life. You’re the only person I have conversations with. You’re the only person I share secrets with. I even laugh when I’m with you. And you know I hardly ever laugh. I’m so angry right now, Blake. I don’t tell you how much you mean to me very often. And now I’m pouring out all my feelings right now and you’re dying! There, I said it! You’re dying and I can’t let you die. You don’t know how much I need you, Blake.” I didn’t care if that sounded like the cheesiest thing in the world. I needed him to know all those things. And I didn’t know if I’d have another chance to tell him. He reached over, grabbed the red tulip and placed it behind my ear. That was it. Just that little act made me break down in sobs. Then if that wasn’t enough, Blake reached over, brushed a strand of hair out of my eyes and said “I broke a promise.” “W-what are you talking about?” I choked. “I promised I would never leave you.” he whispered. A single tear streamed down his cheek. The monitor beside his bed went blank, and I knew Blake was gone.
The funeral was the worst part. I tried to say a few words, but it sounded like gibberish because I was trying so hard not to cry. People from school came up to me and said they were sorry for my loss. But I could tell that the girls were just sorry they never got a chance to date him. I was going to be alone again. I just had to deal with it. People say that life isn’t fair. It’s not when someone you love get’s taken away from you. School went on, life went on. I still think of Blake every day. I don’t think of him in the corny movie way where the girl writes about him in her diary or thinks about him walking down the hall in slow-motion. I think of the simple things about Blake. I think of how there’s now an empty seat in chemistry class. The scent of his cologne that I always told him was too strong. His love of music and how every time he heard a song, he would rate it from 1 to 10. But most of all, I think of the vacancy in my heart that will never be filled. There is one thing I still can’t figure out though. A couple days after Blake’s funeral, I woke up and found something on my night stand. I looked at it closely and realized it was Blake’s lucky necklace. I asked his parents if they had put it there. “That’s weird,” Blake’s mom had said. “I put that necklace in my jewelry box the night Blake died.” No one could figure out how the necklace got there. But I think I know who put it there. I love you too, Blake.