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You Could be Happy

By hamiltons

Poetry / Romance

You Could be Happy

*12 years before*

He never spoke. Not after his mother died, at least. And that's a big mission for a first grader. He was only 6 when she first came to his school, an immediate social butterfly. Everyone noticed her, but no one noticed him. He was in the first grade, but she was barely out of preschool. What was she doing at an elementary? Five year olds are supposed to be in kindergarten, not first grade. She intrigued him, but she never saw him. He was always in the shadows, spoke through writing, and only ever directly looked teachers or his father in the eye. Who would see him? It only took her about a month to get one of her friends to point out the quiet Four that she had heard so much about. She saw him, and knew that he had been walked all over. But she couldn't figure out by who. She tried talking, but his eyes stayed trained on the ground and his mouth clamped shut. She would sit next to him everyday, until he moved from his usual spot and she never ended up finding where he went. But he always knew where she was. He knew how perfect her family was, and how much his father wished that he could be more like them. But he never was. She thought that every family was happy like hers, and that no one could have that much pain associated to their own home, like he did. She was fragile, and yet he was worn down and toughened, almost too much for a six year old.

*9 years before*

He hadn't celebrated his birthday for two years. But here he was, quietly sitting at his desk while he listened to her class sing Happy Birthday to her. She was seven today, and he had been eight for four months. December 7th. His father always called it the day of the Devil, and was harder on him in his birthday. He would, instead of tell him Happy Birthday, remind him that he was a year closer to death. Her family would sing to her, and give her presents. She would have a party the next day and invite all of her friends. When she told her mom about the quiet boy who was a year ahead of her in school, her mother started packing an extra apple or sandwich in her lunch box to give to him everyday. He never said thank you, seeing as he never said anything. But the look in his eyes was enough for her. He learned that her name was Beatrice from the bold black letters on her paper bag that were the colour of fresh, summer grass to him. His father had always said that synesthesia was something to be afraid of, and that he was less worthy than "normal people" because of it. But when he saw her name or heard her voice (which was a creamier shade of green), he was almost glad that he had it. He hated the dark, blood-like crimson of his name, and the dull gray of his voice. That was why he wasn't particularly fond of talking, once he stopped grieving for his mother. On the last day of school, her mother came. She introduced her mom to the strange boy who she gave a lunch to everyday. It was the first time he had felt cared for in three years.

*7 years before*

He absolutely hated the fifth grade. If his year in the fifth grade was a paint pallet, summer would be filled with grey-ish blues and the bright dash of yellow. Spring would be blobs of dark, dull greys, whites, and blacks. Fall was a neutral tan colour with streaks of baby blue. Winter was a blank canvas, a time when he was numb and oblivious to anything going on around him. He spent three weeks in the hospital because of an unsuccessful suicide attempt. She, seeing that she was only a nine year old, didn't understand when she heard from her mother that he was "not mentally stable enough" to return to school. She cried and told her mother that he wasn't crazy, that he was just lonely. Her mother told her that loneliness can ruin someone, and she made the resolution in January to make sure that he knew she cared about him. He only came back to school for the very last week, and the first thing she did was hug him. He had always been wary of physical contact, so it took him a second to hug back, and his touch was cautious and careful. She cried into his shirt, and told him that she was so worried about him. It was the first time he had smiled in five years.

*5 years before*

She had gotten him to talk to her the summer before the seventh grade started for him, and she ended up taking math with him that year. The colours had always messed with him in math, so he couldn't even fathom how she, a 6th grader, managed to make it into his seventh grade math class. But he didn't mind, seeing as he finally had someone to work with in class. And he had to admit, she was quite good at math. They always did everything together, even if the project wasn't meant for a group of people or they were in different groups. He helped her on her homework, and she helped him see why life was worth living. It was hard for her to think that he, who never seemed to be gloomy when with her, could have hated himself enough to try and kill himself. Whenever his dad was out of town, which seemed to happen more every month, he went to her house and spoke politely with her mother. But for some reason, he found it hard to talk to her father. He was a police officer, and technically worked with his father, seeing they were both government officials. She loved her father, so deep down, she knew the way he flinched away from her father hurt her- more than she would let on. Whenever his father was away during his birthday, they would celebrate together and pull all-nighters. She never questioned why he didn't want her to go over to his house- she could already see that it didn't carry the best of memories for him. She just made him feel cared for, and special. Not like a mistake and a waste of space. No, that was his father's job.

*3 years before*

By the time she was 13, she had gotten more popular. He became more of just a memory to her, and he retreated slowly back into his shell. Sure, their friendship lasted for a solid seven years, but he was in high school now. They weren't able to talk aimlessly in math together anymore, so he stayed quiet to everyone at his new school. She didn't yet know what high school she would be going to, but he still secretly wished that it was the same as him. He didn't go over to her house for his birthday anymore, and he just stayed home alone when his father went out of town for long periods of time. He kept to himself and reverted back to the way he was in elementary. When he meet Zeke, it was his birthday and Zeke was the only one who cared enough to notice. He stuck to a one-word vocabulary, but Zeke was the closest thing that he would find like Beatrice for some time. She never responded to his texts, and when she did, she was always busy. But, Zeke and his friends were nice enough, and they accepted him without question.

*1 year before*

He eagerly went to the list of the freshman and sophomore to see if she was still at his school on his first day as a junior. She was. He was happy, and it was a rare, true happiness that his mother had always told him to cherish. He felt lighter, somehow. He didn't look it, though. His signature scowl was sewn onto his face, and he didn't talk. He saw her standing at his locker, trying to open the one next to his. He was giddy, but she dreaded the moment when he tried to talk to him. So when he tapped her shoulder, she lashed out and snapped at him. She told him that though they were friends in middle school, that was middle school. She said that she didn't hang out with people who close themselves off when something bad happens. She ran away after that, leaving him stunned and heartbroken. He closed himself off from everyone again, scarred from his experience with someone that he thought was his best friend. He didn't trust Zeke enough to convince himself that the same thing that had happened with Beatrice (she called herself "Tris", now) to not happen again. But, this time he also grew aggressive. He lashed out instead of curling back when people got to close to him. Instead of trying to get Tris to notice him again, he fought with society and tried to get her to forget him. Easier said than done.

*The Day Of*

He was surprisingly aggressive to her when she tried to wish him a happy birthday. He snapped at her and asked if she had really cared in middle school. She cried herself to sleep, with one thought overwhelming her. She couldn't stop wishing she had the guts to say it to him.

You could be happy.

*19 days after*

He hadn't been to school in over two weeks. His father hadn't been to work in over to weeks. They were mourning for his mother, and everything they had done wrong. His father had left for Washington, leaving his 17 year old son at home, alone. His father had left money for college, and he had left a note. The note apologized, and it said that Marcus doubted he could ever make a sound father. So Marcus left. He had gotten frustrated at that. He knew it was a lie. He always seemed to know when someone was lying. Except for when Tris had left him.

*37 days after*

He only went to school for finals and graduation. He went to college, and forgot about her. That's what he told himself- she never loved you the way you loved her. Love is a stupid thing that hurts people. Love will only end in tragedy. He moved to Oregon. He never answered her calls. He never called her back. But he always listened to her voicemails. And he listened to her cry and plead for her forgiveness. He listened to her beg him to come back, for her. He listened to her tell him that she loved him at the end of every message. He listened to her give up on him. He listened to her move on from their love. He listened to her forget.

*2 years after*

He never got up the guts to press that green call button, or ever hit that tiny send button when he wanted to talk to her. He knew she had forgotten about him. He was painfully aware of it when an invitation to her wedding came in the mail.

*754 days after*

He waited three weeks before sending the letter back, saying he would come. The wedding was in a week. He flew in to Chicago three days before he was supposed to be there. He didn't come to the rehearsal. He didn't want to see her so very much in love with a man that wasn't him. She greeted him with a tight smile that hurt him to return when it was the actual wedding. He could have just a easily stood up and not 'forever held his peace', but he saw the love and adoration towards this man she was marrying. He wasn't selfish enough to actually stand.

*4 years after*

He got a call from her and answered. She was crying about how her husband had cheated on her, and asked him if she could get a divorce. He told her she should, but it was completely her choice. He told her, "You could be happy." He could hear her nodding on the other end of the line, and he could hear the tears in her voice as she thanked him.

*6 years after*

She was in Oregon, and ran into him on the streets. They hugged for a brief moment, and he was reminded of their hug when he was ten. They celebrated her birthday at his house, just like they did when they were kids, and in the morning, he drove her back to the hotel she was staying at.

*8 years after*

She had moved to Oregon, and he had told her his name. Tobias. She liked how smoothly it rolled of her tongue, and he kissed her. He told her he loved her, and she repeated his words.

*10 years after*

She was trying marriage again. She said that he was different, and the fact that she's known him since middle school makes her confident he won't cheat like her first husband did. It was a much smaller wedding, also. She knew that he didn't like crowds, but he wanted to have her family there. It was a happy wedding, and the entire time, he kept repeating the same thing.

I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you.

*12 years after*

It was hard for her to imagine him as a depressed fifth grader who hasn't smiled or spoken in five years. He was so happy an encouraging to their child. He never seemed more than just, sad. He shook things off easily. That was why she loved him. That was why he loved her. It was moments like these, that made her realize that nothing is more important that what you love- not popularity, not money, not your public image. She loved him and their child, so she held them above everything else. Not everyone learns that easily, but somehow he always seemed to know. He told her everything. There were no secrets in their marriage. There was no hatred. There was only love. She would sing to herself in the shower, and one time he heard her beautiful voice singing a sadder tune. When she was out of the shower, he told her the same thing over and over; "I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you."

You could be happy

I won't know

But you weren't happy

The day I watched you go

And all the things

That I wished I had not said

Are played on loops

Till it's madness in my head

Is it too late to remind you

How we were

But not our last days of silence

Screaming, blur

Most of what I remember

Makes me sure

I should have stopped you from walking

Out the door

You could be happy

I hope you are

You made me happier

Than I'd been by far

Somehow everything

I own smells of you

And for the tiniest moment

It's all not true

Do the things

That you always wanted to

Without me there to hold you back

Don't think, just do

More than anything

I want to see you girl

Take a glorious bite

Out of the whole world.

The colour of the song was the colour of a sunset- orange with streaks of blues, pinks, and purples. The colour of their love.

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