Friday 14th April 2006
I had changed out of my school clothes into a simple dress my aunt gave me last Christmas. It was dark purple, reaching my knees. I had pulled on my cardigan and coat, plain black stockings on my legs, finely polished black shoes on my feet. I wanted to try and look my best despite I'd want to get changed right away when I got home.
Home. How that word had changed for me over the past few years. The house I now lived in was comfortable, had pictures and posters over my bedroom walls, had my clothes and belongings. But a house is just a house. I learnt that a long time ago.
No, home for me is my family, and, of course, it is Seth. I wouldn't be the person I am today without him. He sat next to me in the car, my brother on my other side. He had driven down during my school time and was wearing nice clothes too- his best dark blue button up was ironed to perfection. Seth... well, Seth had his best t-shirt on. I really didn't mind what he wore. He could've turned up in a bin bag and I wouldn't have cared.
In my hands I tightly clutched a bouquet of light pink roses. Mrs Call had ordered them in specifically for us and had given us a discount. Fifteen were there. Seven for mom, seven for dad, and one for Harry.
Once we got there, Logan got out first and I slowly emerged after him. This always made me feel slightly sick. I took my brother's hand in mine and we began up the path to the gate that would let us in the graveyard.
It really was a beautiful place. The trees were so tall, the church small but perfect sized for the yard. The bushes were perfectly trimmed and the grass cut carefully, the stones well looked after. I remembered the last time I had been here. I was so lost, so distraught with losing my best friend. I remembered that feeling, that hopelessness, and I knew I would never forget it.
We placed the flowers down and for a long time all I did was stand. I watched the petals flutter in the breeze in the small pots provided. I twisted Harry's flower in my hand, feeling cold and hollow.
I glanced around and saw Seth by his father's grave, his hand on the oak tree, his muscles taut. I ached for him, for both of us, and so I moved gently forward, taking his warm hand and carefully placing the rose in the pot. We stood there hand in hand momentarily and then I turned to him, reaching up to hug his large form. He wrapped his arms around me too, lifting me a little off the ground, pressing his face into my shoulder.
There was nothing between us now. We knew each others pain and we knew it well. I felt so connected to him that I knew it would be unbearable- unthinkable- to be away from him for too long.
"Pizza created by yours truly!" Logan exclaimed as he brought out the chopping board with two pizzas he had heated up on them. I beamed, jumping up in my seat. "And..." He brought forth a large bag of popcorn and I grinned, snatching it from him. Then Seth snatched it from me and I scowled, reaching across him to try and get it.
The mood had completely lifted now we were home, dressed in PJ's and ready to watch loads of films. First up was a tradition for my birthday. My favourite Disney movie- Mulan. My grandparents had gone out for a meal so it was just us. I snuggled into my blanket, Seth beside me and keeping me warm by wrapping an arm around me. Logan kept checking his phone while we chewed the pizza and I kicked him in the ribs a few times. It was distracting me. He sighed heavily, looking to me in the monitor light. I grinned at him and he rolled his eyes.
Once my grandparents came back we had the cake. It was the usual- them parading it in, five candles on the chocolate chip cake with my grandpa's careful calligraphy in royal icing saying:Happy 15thBirthday to our wonderful Evelyn! Once I blew the candles out, Seth decreed it was time for me to open my presents. I had waited until after we had visited my parents and of course I wanted every one here.
Everyone was here, everyone on this planet I truly loved. My grandpa sat in his armchair, munching on the moist cake, my grandmother on the foot stool. We had paused the movie and the lights were on dimly. I crossed my legs as my brother presented his present to me. It was wrapped in shiny gold paper, a star stuck on top. I carefully opened it, revealing three gorgeous sari like notebooks wrapped in fine cotton, the colours dusky pink, periwinkle blue and mint green. A glittery pen was at the side of one. I gasped, smiling as I looked to Logan. He was grinning.
"Went to Seattle on a surprise road trip couple of weeks back." He said quietly. "Found this old little book shop that sold these, too."
"They're beautiful. Thank you." I told him, reaching up to gently hug him.
Next were my grandparent's presents. There were two of them. One was thick and squishy and the other solid and rectangular. I didn't really have to guess.
My grandmother had gotten me a floaty white tunic with small bluebirds around the collar, accompanied with a pair of light grey leggings. She had deemed it as the perfect summer outfit. I loved it. Then there was two books from my grandpa- one called Art of the Movies- something I had spotted in Port Angeles while checking out Logan's apartment- and the other called North American and Canadian Wildlife. It was a giant book, filled with rich drawings and photos from hungry predators to small field mice. I glanced to Seth when I flicked the page of the Olympian Wolf and he just grinned. Our secret.
Then it came to his present- the one I had been looking forward to the most. First of all he gave me a packet of Twizzlers and I beamed like an idiot.
The thing with Native Americans is that they give you the best gifts. Seth always gave me something home made, something special, something that had taken him time to do. It wasn't just a quick grab and buy type of thing. They really thought long and hard on the types of things that made people happy.
For instance, Seth has given me hand woven pencil cases before, bead necklaces, dream catchers, tiny sculptures of eagles and owls. I treasured each and every one of them, knowing that no one had the exact same thing as me.
There were two small packages. My heart began to beat quicker as I reached for the larger one. It was wrapped in cloth, not paper, and it was light purple with a violet ribbon around it. I carefully opened it and the treasure fell on my lap.
It was a wooden butterfly, small, hand carved and on a necklace. It was carefully painted so it looked like a Monarch Butterfly. A flash of a memory of Seth and I camping out one summer presented itself. We were by the lake, watching the sun go down past the trees. He pointed out the blue butterflies in the distance, and they twirled around each other like birds in flight.
I looked to him, astounded as ever that he would get me something so beautiful. He smiled knowingly, leaning forward in his seat, gesturing to the next one with his head.
I swallowed, reaching for the other one and opening it as well. Inside was a dark red bracelet with small stone animals around it.
"It's a spirit bracelet." He explained, reaching over to help me place it on my wrist. "Made from Southwest Jasper stone."
"I love it." I grinned, hugging his chest, feeling my cheeks burn with a blush.
Seth and I stayed downstairs watching movies all night. My brother scampered upstairs some time through because we were laughing too much. But that was the thing with me and Seth. We giggled at inappropriate things as we snaffled down popcorn. It was warm and cosy next to him, hearing his laughter rumble in his belly, his arm around me as always.
During the night we fell asleep, me on his chest. I remember him stroking my hair as we talked quietly. It was strangely intimate, hardly like us. It felt like we were changing in a way- into something better, less childlike. But Seth would always be childlike, as would I.
I awoke all warm and I stretched like a cat on his chest. I had curled up on his side but I didn't feel achy at all. I felt all gooey, like a marshmallow. As I stretched, I accidentally hit his chin and he mumbled in his sleep. I glanced up to him, seeing his eyes were closed, his hair all messed up, both of his arms circling me. I felt my cheeks redden yet again as I watched him, barely daring to breathe in case I awoke him. A gap in the curtains told me it was early morning- yet again did grey sunlight greet us. When I looked back to Seth, his eyes were a little open, watching me.
"Hi." I smiled sleepily.
"Hello." He said in a lower voice than usual. His brown eyes were soft, warm as per usual. I began to feel lost in them when his stomach abruptly grumbled and he sighed. I grinned, getting up and pulling him up gently.
I fondly jingled Seth's bracelet as I tried to tidy my room. He was gone now after a bitter-sweet goodbye and all I had were good memories for today. There was nothing that hazed it- he hadn't left, I wasn't alone. It hadn't occurred to me that I was missing Gina or my other friends. It all went away when I was with him.
"Hey," Logan pulled back my slightly ajar door, looking around my slightly messy room.
"Hi." I smiled. He grinned.
"Well, I've got to get going." He came into the room. I pouted and ran to him, hugging my big brother tightly. He choked, trying to wrap his arms around me. "O-kay-"
I beamed as I let go of him. "You have a good time."
"You too." He scuffled my wild hair. "It's really nice to see you happy Lynnie."
I smiled at his old nickname. "I am."
"Can't wonder why." He rolled his eyes and turned, picking up his backpack before he went down the stairs.
"Bye!" I exclaimed. He lifted a hand to me before my grandma hugged him. I smiled and retreated back to my room, closing my door and sitting on the edge of my bed.
I remembered waking up this morning and seeing Seth still asleep. It was lovely to see his innocence, the hard lines of the pack ware away to show the boy I've always known. My heart began to beat faster as I remembered and a slight smile lit my face. I hugged my knees, a blush tingeing my cheeks.
I knew it was worth it- to lose my friends. All I've ever needed was Seth.
I didn't know if he knew that.