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Love Never Dies
Jeanie Parker walked quickly down the street. Today was January the fourth. Exactly one year after the death of her fiancé. The day before the two were going to be married, Colton Smith was murdered in a drive by shooting. Completely random, the police had said. Somehow, that had done nothing to ease the pain in Jeanie’s heart.
Today was also the first time Jeanie could bring herself to visit Colton’s grave.
She hurried down the street, darkly lit only by florescent streetlights. They cast a sickly glow on the sidewalk. The graveyard sat at the top of a steep hill. Her pulse sped up as it came into sight. There were no other people on the street, and Jeanie was glad. She always felt nervous walking along the side of the road at night now. It was irrational, she knew, but how could she not be frightened? The love of her life had been killed when he had been walking down a street like this one.
She had made her way to the gate at the edge of the cemetery by now. She hesitated a moment, then reached out a hesitant hand and pushed it open. It creaked and groaned, before falling off its hinges completely. Jeanie had a tight ball of foreboding in the pit of her stomach.
She made her way carefully along the path, searching for the white headstone with his name on it. She walked through the overgrown grass to stand before the cross of marble.
Colton R. Smith
Gone but never forgotten,
She pulled a single red rose out of her purse. She knelt down and gently layed the flower across the dirt. The tears started flowing then, in silent rivers down her cheeks. The hole in her life was enormous. There could be no emotional spackle to fill it, like a wall that was about to be covered in paint.
To all her family and friends she seemed fine. Normal, even. As if she were over the loss. But that wasn’t the truth, not even close to it. They all avoided speaking of him, but she knew when they did behind her back. They would suddenly break off hushed whispers when she entered a room. There was a certain period of time when people expected you to get over it. To rip the band aid off, so to speak. An unspoken code for the grieving to move on and find someone else.
For Jeanie there was no one else, there never would be. Colton was technically her “ex”. People had called him that. Her “ex-fiancé”. That might have been technically true, but it didn’t feel like it. She would never have another love. Love was forever, Jeanie thought. No matter what.
She wiped her sleeve across her damp face. It didn’t stop the flow of tears, though.
“Your eyes look so blue, tonight,” said a wistful voice behind her, breaking her from her reverie. Jeanie flipped around, searching for the speaker.
“Hello? Who’s there?” She asked in a quivering voice.
“You don’t recognize me, Jeanie? It’s only been a year and you don’t even know your dearly departed,” the voice said sadly. Jeanie could feel her chest rising and falling quickly.
“Colton?” She whispered into the night.
“In the flesh. Well…not exactly, but close enough.” A figure was fading into view. A tall male figure sat on the top of the headstone directly in front of Jeanie. He hopped off the stone and walked closer to her. He was white in the moonlight, but transparent at the same time. It was like he was made of glass and there was smoke whirling around inside. You couldn’t see the outline but the smoke was clearly there, but not dispersing. Trapped, somehow. He appeared to be constantly moving due to the swirling motions.
“Oh!” Jeanie said on a breath. She flung herself at him, only to find herself sprawled on the ground behind him.
He chuckled a little. “Jeans, I’m a spirit. Were non-corporal. No body.” He shrugged.
“A…a spirit? Like a ghost?” She asked tentatively.
He frowned a little. “I don’t jump out and say, ‘boo!’ on Halloween, if that’s what you mean. I only come to earth on the anniversary of my death. So, this would be the first time. I’m glad you came to see me, though.” He smiled widely.
Jeanie started crying harder. “I’ve missed you so much. I’ll never find anyone else, you know. I never could. I just want you, forever,” she sobbed.
He gave her a miserable look. “Jeans, I’m not alive anymore. You can’t have me now. I love you with all of my heart, like I have since we were seven years old, but there’s no chance for us anymore.”
Jeanie’s breath caught. “Are you…breaking up with me?” She asked brokenly.
He laughed humorlessly. “The things you say, Jeans. I miss them. I miss you. But no. I’m not ‘breaking up with you’. I could never. I just had to tell you. You should move on.”
“Never,” Jeanie practically snarled. She jumped to her feet and started pacing. “You’re the other half of my soul. Replacing you with someone else would be like sawing a truck in half and attaching a bike to the end. It wouldn’t work.” She put her face in her hands and stopped walking. “Love never dies. Not really. Its always right here.” She gestured to her chest. “My love for you is as hug as the universe. And like the universe, my love can’t just disappear.”
“No one’s saying it should. Just don’t let someone who’s dead stand in the way of your life. You deserve to be happy,” Colton told her soothingly. “I can visit you every year, once. A real living man could visit you every day. He could love you the way I wish I could. Promise me something though, Jeanie.”
“Anything,” she whispered.
“ If you meet someone, keep coming to visit. It’s selfish of me, but I need to see you. Once a year, for as long as you live.”
“Of course,” Jeanie whimpered.
“I have to go. It’s almost midnight.” Colton was starting to fade out again.
“No! No, please, please try to stay!” Jeanie shouted in a panic.
Colton smiled ruefully. “I love you, Jeans. I always have, and I always will.”
“I love you, too,” she whispered, but her was already gone. She wiped away the wet tracks on her face, but the tears had ended. She felt…free. She realized the reason she had never been able to even look at a man since Colton’s death was because she didn’t know, wasn’t one hundred percent sure, he would forgiver her for it. Now she knew that if she ever wanted to, she could. She doubted it though. As long as she loved Colton she would never feel right about loving someone else. She knew, knew in her heart, that she would love Colton to till the day she died. And after that, she would love im then, too.