The Hole Where You Used to Be
Disclaimer : The Vampire Diaries belongs to CWTV and L.J. Smith.
" No way. I'm not doing it."
And I turned away and left. I could feel their staring—or even glaring—at my back. I tried to make them think that I was just too jackass to do it, I would be glad if they now just hated me. Didn't they already do?
I hadn't done it just to make them think that way. I hadn't done it deliberately just to mock at them. It just had felt like I had to turn away.
As I walked further, I could hear Elena saying, "This is for... my mom, my dad...," before then I didn't care enough to hear what she was going to say next.
Because the mention of that name just had stabbed me. So I walked away. Maybe I could just stay there and watch them do this stupid ocassion—thanks to my brother, or maybe mockingly laughed at them, but that name, almost stunned me. That name, I was sure had made a change on my expression. Like when my brother said it for the first time, I wondered if anyone of them could notice the nervousness in my gesture. Or when Little Gilbert said it once more, I wondered if my brother noticed my uneasy breath despite of my very annoyed face. And why the hell had Jeremy thrown that glance to me? I even wondered if Elena could see the same expression I had showed the night I had killed Rose. But I would never know. Because now, that name, had successfully distracted me.
Just then I realized that I didn't want to hear them at all. It wasn't about the lantern. It wasn't about how stupid they were. It wasn't that I was too busy looking for any clue about who the hell was this new vampire hunter. The reason why I didn't stay was that I didn't want them to know that I cared, that I actually grieved for Alaric's death.
Damn it. I missed him.
And I didn't want any of them see how I really felt about him, thought maybe Stefan and Elena had already known. Hell, and maybe both of them knew that I could have shed a tear in front of them.
I hopped in to my car and drive away. But instead of going home, I went to the cemetery.
I grabbed a bottle of my favorite bourbon from my car. This was the same brand of bourbon I had shared with him on the day he was supposed to die. Speaking of that day… Oh, Ric, you were really supposed to die that day, so that your death would be easier, inhumanly human. Because you being dying in my arms never made me feel better. It didn't made it easier both for me and you, and maybe all of them.
I easily found the grave and stare at the name carved on it, as if it hadn't been the name I knew so well. Then I sighed and sat on a stone bench in front of the stone with 'Alaric Saltzman' on it.
I opened the bottle and started to drink. On my third gulp, I wondered if this bourbon was really this strong.
Then I suddenly recalled what my brother had made them do just now.
"Floating lanterns in the sky, do you believe that?" I started. As if the stone in front of me was listening.
"Japanese lantern is a symbol of letting go of the past," I recalled a fact about Japanese tradition that I once read. I bet Stefan had once read it too. "Well, here's the newsflash : we're not Japanese," I mockingly added before I had another gulp of the alcohol from the bottle.
"I know what they are," my voice was lower. The alcohol was somehow bitter on my tounge, more than usual, as if it had slapped me for what I was going to say. "Children."
"Like lighting candle's gonna make everything okay or even saying a prayer. Or pretending Elena's not gonna end up like the rest of us, murderous vampires. ," I finally finished. Seriously, they had too much hope for Elena. I did too, of course, but in more realistic way.
"Stupid, delusional, esasperating little children," I described them as I was thinking of how I actually hated this situation.
"I know what you're gonna say," I prepared to mimic his voice and tone, "'It makes then feel better,Damon.'" You're really gonna say that, aren't you? But though I know what you would say if you were here, talking with me, and you would know that I wouldn't believe your reply—but you'd say it anyway, I wish you were here to say that. "So what? For how long? A minute? A day? What difference does it make?"
Then I rose up and threw my gaze to the tombstone in front of me, as if the stone had been really him and I was talking to him—arguing with him, just like our usual day at the boarding house.
"Because in the end, when you lose somebody, every candle, every prayer's not gonna make up for the fact that the only thing that you have left is a hole in your life where that somebody that you cared about used to be." Hell, Ric, do you really know who I refer my words to?
"And a rock, with the birthday carved into it that I'm pretty sure is wrong," I added, rolling my eyes, ending a confession I'd just done. Feeling a little bit content with my speech, I went around his tombstone to sit on it. I didn't even know if I was just drunk.
I let a big sigh that sounded more like a groan as I sat down. I hoped he didn't mind. No. You can't mind, I thought. You owe me for being in there.
"So, thanks, friend," I finally said. I turned to the tombstone under me, as if the person under it could hear me.
"Thanks for leaving me here to babysit. Because I should be long gone by now." I couldn't hold my sarcasm any longer as I slurred. Or maybe my pride was just too high even to let him know that I really meant what I had said. And I really had meant it when I had said thanks. I always did when it came to a gratitude. And I really meant it too when I had used the word 'friend' as a replacement of his name.
"I didn't get the girl, remember?" I turned my head to the tombstone again, just to indicate that I was still talking to him. "I'm just stuck here, fighting with my brother and taking care of the kids," I raised my eyebrows with a sad smile that unintentionally escaped my lips.
"You owe me big," I finally concluded my speech. Yeah, you owe me big, for making me betray my own words. I shouldn't be here. I should be somewhere else, letting go of someone else. Not you. But here I am, having a job of babysitting you should be doing.
I took a gulp of the liquid in the bottle I was holding for the last time. I wished he could have finished the rest of it just like that time, so I'd left it on his tombstone before I stood up as an 'offering', though I knew the expensive drink would be wasted anyway.
As I walked away, I could imagine him—even almost hear him—saying, "I miss you too, buddy." I chuckled and shook my head in disbelief. I must have been drunk. Oh, or maybe I must have been crazy.
Maybe they were right. I should've let go of the past. I should've let go of you. But the hole where you used to be would remain the same.