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Promise?

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I gave him my last hug, barely feeling him through the thick winter clothes we have on.
He gently whispers beside my ear, “I’ll come back in a few days. I promise.” He always keep his promises.
I felt him tie something behind my neck. “Proof that I’ll come back,” he said, a smile eminent in his voice, “Since you partially don’t believe me.”
“What is it?” I ask, looking only into his evergreen eyes, ignoring the ashen heavens behind his head.
“You’ll always have the key to my heart,” he chuckled as he gave me a gentle kiss on the tip of my nose. “Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol,” he added. “Just don’t fall in love with the singer.”
I tried to stifle my laugh. “You know I won’t,” I reply, trying to extend the ending time.
It was always the same when we’d separate; a tradition he started the first time I left: he’d dedicate songs to me—everyone as special as the last—and by the time we’d reunite, he would know how to play the song on his pawn-store, hickory-hued guitar, and sing me the lyrics. It was the greatest homecoming gift I could ever ask for. No one’s voice was as good as his.
He had to leave now. He carefully pushed me away, making sure that he wasn’t hurting my feelings in any way. “I have to go now—my parents are going to be worried.”
He made his way across the street to where his shiny grey car was parked.
“Why would they be worried,” I joked. “You’re only five-hundred miles away.” I rubbed my arms, trying to regain the warmth that he took with him.
“Try telling them that,” he exclaimed, laughing with that bittersweet joy.
Before he got in, he waved to me, and blew me a kiss. I dramatically pretended that the kiss had landed smack dab on my lips, playfully shaking my head with disapproval.
He smiled the heartbreaking final goodbye, the goodbye that tears our joined hearts apart.
Vaguely, I felt what he had tied around my neck. A heart locket with a little gold key etched into it. I opened the locket and looked inside.
There was a picture of him and me, smiling and squishing our cheeks together in order to fit into the photo—he had only taken the picture a few days ago, but it seemed like it was an eternity since then. I smiled, feeling sudden relief—he would come back for me, no matter what….
He opened the car door, and swung his long leg into the front seat.
Out of nowhere, a sixteen-wheeler appeared and crashed into my boy friend’s car, crushing it like a tin can.
Everything was so fast and blurry. The atmosphere spun, the ground gave way.
I screamed at the top of my lungs once I realized what had happened. My heart disintegrated into a million sharp splinters, the needles traveling through my rushing bloodstream piercing everything inside of me.
The truck screeched as the driver slammed on the brakes, sending the cargo toppling over. The large wheels rolled haphazardly, around and around….
The cascade of water flowed from my eyes, even before I had completely comprehended the accident. I ran—my legs feeling like dead weights—looking for him.
The car was smashed against a tree on the side of the road, but I didn’t see him in it.
Maybe he got away, I thought hopefully.
But then I saw the trail of crimson blood.
I fell to my knees as I examined his broken remains.
“NO!” I wailed weakly as I tried to hold his body up—he was so heavy, and I was so feeble.
He opened his eyes, and a streak of hope shot up me. That soon disappeared when I heard that his labored and slow breathing.
He looked up into my eyes for a fraction of a second, and I knew he loved me, and I loved him. We would always feel the same way no matter what. We were soul mates, no matter how banal that sounded.
His eyes glazed a bit and he mumbled something. “I’ll come back…I promise…”
Then his eyes closed.
His strong arms went limp.
And he stopped breathing.
I put my ear to his chest, trying desperately to hear his heart—but I couldn’t. “No!” I whispered. “You can’t leave me!”
My one chance of happiness was gone just like that. Everything was gone. The world didn’t make sense—what use was love if you couldn’t have it? I knew that he would be the only one I would ever love, but he was gone, never to come back to me. Just like my parents, just like my friends. Everyone left. Everyone was gone.
I sobbed into his hard chest. His blood was all over my hands, all over my face, my clothes.
Suddenly, cruelly, the skies began began to rain, washing his blood away with freezing water, seeping down into the depth of the drain.
Just like our lives.
A few months later, I came back to church, angry with God. I would get my revenge. I would prove that he was never there for me. I would prove that all he ever caused for me was pain and torture—despite the few happy and fleeting days when I spent such precious time with him.
I waited in the chapel’s corridor, leaning against the wall. I overheard the other waiting girls’ gossip, chattering away with their menial nonsense.
I was unusually quiet and apathetic so they usually made fun of me. But that didn’t matter. Nothing mattered anymore; I was dead inside, for there was nothing to live for.
“Did you ever have a crush?” Emily suddenly asked me, moving to lean beside me. She and her friends had been talking about boys. That was all that they ever talked about.
“Does love count?” I asked them absent-mindedly, dryly. Everyone immediately turned towards me, eyes wide, brows raised.
“Yes,” they agreed in unison.
“Who is he?” Emily squealed. “What does he look like?”
“He has ivory skin, blue-green eyes, and black hair…” I told them reminiscently—more for my benefit, than for theirs. I didn’t care about them. I didn’t care about anyone anymore.
“Ooh!” they giggled.
“So what’s his name?” another asked. “And where is he, have we ever seen him before?”
“Connor… I met him in San Diego, and everything was perfect…until I moved here…” I felt my voice crack with despair. I didn’t care if the girls noticed.
“So where is he?” one asked, still curious of his whereabouts.
“Did he break up with you?” Emily inquired—her tone overly sympathetic, but still fake.
“No,” I declared obstinately, biting my tongue as hard as I could.
I felt the tears coming again. There was no need to hide them though. “He promised he would come back…” I muttered.
“What?” they asked boorishly.
I glared at them, trying to replace the sadness with anger, but it was all in vain. I burst out crying, uncontrollably so. “I watched him get hit by a truck!” I gasped for air as the sobs became more violent. “He died in my arms…and there was nothing that I could do…nothing!!!”
They looked as if they didn’t expect this sudden explanation—no, what they wanted was some heart-felt, mushy story about how the first time he kissed me or something like that—how juvenile. I didn’t even get a chance to experience my first kiss. And I never would.
“And I want to be with him so badly,” I pleaded. I took out the gun from my backpack. I didn’t plan on doing it now, but it seemed stupid waiting. Waiting wouldn’t help anything. He’d still be dead. I needed to be with him—or die trying. I would throw away the supposed greatest of God’s gifts.
I put the cold metal to the skin of my temple and squeezed the chilly gold locket in my even colder hands.
I absentmindedly opened the little trinket and looked into the picture one last time.
“I love you,” I told the boy in the fading photograph one last time.
Someone busted though the door.





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