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His name was Tom Anderson. He was tall and lanky, with eyelashes that every girl could want. Long and curled at the tip of his eyelid. They made him seem innocent and sweet. Surrounded by those lashes were unforgettable blue eyes. The shades of blue that changed based on the color he wore that day, so crystal clear that you could see yourself in them if you tried. Tom was insecure about his height, so he always hunched his shoulders over when he walked down the hallway. Casey loved that about him, the little characteristics that made him unique. She herself was petite. Every time he bent down to kiss her she had to go on her tippy toes in order for her lips to reach his. They were the couple everyone was jealous of at school, the two that looked like they were made to be together. Everyone knew it, even their parents. However, everyone knows that even to people who are meant to be together, don't always end up together.
They had met only 10 months ago at a party over the summer for a brief moment. He had thrown an open glow stick at her that night to get her attention. Splattering the glowing liquid on her top he apologized and introduced himself. Embarrassed by the glowing mess on her recently purchased tank top she went inside to try and clean it off. It was her first time attending a party in this new town. The small town of Lemon Cove, California everyone knew your name. Its population was under one thousand so one could only imagine how fast the word of mouth went around. Casey had recently moved thanks to her father’s job. He was a salesman who consonantly traveled. However this was the first time his job had affected the entire family. Casey was an only child. She too had blue eyes like
Tom. She had long blond hair that went past her shoulders. When Casey and Tom spent time together He would always run his fingers though her hair cresting her neck right before he leaned in to kiss her. The feeling always gave her butterflies. At the time, she didn't know anyone in this new town besides her long time friend from summer camp, Allison, the one who was having the party. The two girls had always been close growing up, more like sisters then friends. They were thrilled that they would be going to the same school starting this September. The only thing Casey wasn't too happy about was the fact it was a private school. This meant she had to wear a uniform. However, it seemed as though as if Allison were there, it was worth it.
“I see you met Tom,” a voice called, it was Allison.
Chuckling, Casey pointed to her shirt, “Yeah.”
“He likes you, I can tell.”
The puzzling look on Casey's face spoke for itself. How could Allison make such a statement from watching a brief moment of an introduction? Smiling, Allison began to explain how she knew this. She talked about the way she herself met Tom at freshmen orientation. Allison had never seen Tom smile the way he did until the moment he saw Casey. She told Casey about him and with every detail Casey became more and more fascinated.
Like every relationship in high school, Casey and Tom believed they were in love. It didn't take a scientist to see it. You could tell based on the way they looked at each other, by the way he held her hand a little bit tighter if he saw another boy gazing at her beauty. Tom made sure everyone knew he was hers, and she was his. They shared many memories together and had the definition of a perfect relationship. It was everything the two of them could have asked for.
Every morning Casey would wake up to the sound of her alarm, hug the stuffed animal Tom had gotten her that past Christmas and start to get ready for school. That morning like all the rest her
Mother would make her scrambled eggs as she did her makeup in the mirror of her bathroom and put on her school uniform. As she walked out the door she would kiss her mother goodbye. She loved her family and wasn't afraid to show it unlike most teenagers. The idea of life being so precious made Casey realize that something as simple as saying goodbye was a necessity. How do you know it wouldn't be the last moment you saw them? Even though he didn't live close, Tom would pick her up to go to school in the morning. He would rather have her with him instead of her taking the bus. As they got to school he would hold the door open for her like a gentleman. It was the little things that made Tom different to her.
By junior year of high school most kids get freedom. They're able to go to a parties, typically where there would be drinking and smoking in the backyard. This Friday, Allison was having another party. Casey was sleeping over since her parents were going to be out of town. Mr. and Mrs. Michaels liked Tom, but not enough to let Casey spend the night with him alone at their house. Even though Casey's parents trusted Tom, that night they wanted her to stay with Allison. At parties, Casey usually drank and Tom got high. You could say that Tom and Casey had worked out their problems to not get into arguments anymore. However, they did have their share of fights. She didn't appreciate being around Tom when he got high. It was the one thing she despised. Most of their fights revolved around this topic. When Tom was high, he seemed like a different person to her; not the sweet boy she was in love with. When he was high he wasn't himself, he was a monster. That night went like all the rest; spending time with their friends, hanging out and having fun. Like every other party after kissing Casey goodnight Tom got in his car and drove home.
The next morning Casey was woken up by the sound of crying. Allison was sitting with her mother downstairs at the kitchen table.
“What happened? Is everything alright?” Casey asked coming downstairs.
“There's been an accident,” Allison said, “Tom...” her voice trailed off. Casey choked on her
words, “Tom, what?”
“Last night when he was driving home, he got into a car accident. He's okay, just a few minor
injuries. But, the other car, it was totaled.”
Casey's mouth dropped at the word totaled but was relieved to hear that he was all right.
Crying harder now, Allison tried to finish her sentence. Casey thought to herself,
“If Tom was okay, why would Ally be crying?”
“The other car,” she began to say, “was your parents. They were killed instantly.”
Nothing would ever be the same again.
When you have no where to go you look for the people closest to you for comfort and Tom's family was the closest Casey had. She loved Tom, but how could you love someone who took your parents? It was all an accident of course, she knew that but the initial shock stayed with her for months. She could not let go of what had happened. Everyday Tom would find a way to tell her how sorry he was. He explained that the car had come out of nowhere. Initially, Casey parents weren't even supposed to come home that night, but they did. As months went by, she got tired of hearing it. Casey no longer wanted to talk about what could have been, would should have happened. The Anderson family welcomed Casey into their home with open arms. It was the least they could do; after all she no longer had a family of her own. Tom liked to think that she became a part of his. He planned on marrying her anyway. Casey wondered if she ever would feel like part of the family.
At the scene of the accident, there had been a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) test. It required Tom to breathe into a breathalyzer to see if he had been drinking. Tom had not been drinking that night so alcohol was not a factor. Little did anyone know, but Tom had been high while driving home that night. Would he ever have the heart to tell anyone, to tell Casey? More than sorrow, Tom was in fear...how would she react if she ever found out?
He wrote her a letter that night explaining everything. Telling her how sorry he was, telling her the truth about his state of mind during the accident. He never got the courage to give it to her, so it sat at the bottom of his night stand until he was. He wondered if that day would ever come.
It took Casey some time to open up to discussion. Initially she didn't want to hear what Tom had to say. He tried to talk to her many times, to tell her the truth. He would try to put his hands on her waist, hugging her from behind. Tom knew how much she loved it when he did that. Ten months ago, the exact feeling made her weak at the knees. Now, she couldn't stand to be touched by him. Something inside her was broken. She felt empty, like she needed to be completed somehow. She had a boyfriend who was her everything but lacked a family. She missed her parents more than anything. Over time Casey warmed up to Tom again. Things had gone back to normal; at least that's what Tom had thought. She presented herself as if she became more comfortable in his home.
“I know it looks bad babe, but I'm happy you're here,” Tom would say.
She always smiled back at him. Somewhere in the back of her mind she always wondered what happened to those who caused accidents. Were they really accidents? Or were they just crimes people got away with? No one would ever have expected she stayed in his house for one reason: she wanted revenge. She was in pain. Casey wanted him to know how she felt, but how?
“Hello?” Mrs. Anderson called.
She had just gotten home from work. It was quiet and only a single light was on in the house.
“Kids, have you eaten dinner yet?”
The light was coming from Tom's room. She walked inside to find a piece of paper on the floor. Casey had never told anyone, but she knew. A year had passed since the accident. Her planning took time. She found the letter Tom had written. It held his secret; he wasn't able to function when he realized the oncoming headlights he was driving into. In her eyes, she no longer looked at Tom the way she did before, but in everyone else’s' she looked fine. She needed someone to feel the empty feeling she had for the past year. What was worse than being empty? Mrs. Anderson walked in to find Casey standing over her son’s body which was lying face down on the floor. She bent down, picking up the letter which lied next to her son. Her hand reached out to touch his shoulder turning him on his side. There was a pool of blood beneath him. Mrs. Anderson looked up from her son’s body which she was now holding in her hands. With a sinister smile coming across her face, Casey said,
“It was only an accident.”