I’ve noticed that when something bad happens most people just stare. I don’t know if its a coping mechanism or something of that nature, but I’ve noticed it. My mom stares at me, and I stare at my ceiling. The Wade’s parents stare at a closed door, and most of the students in my school stare out the window, or at their desks, or at blank pieces of paper. I guess it’s because there’s nothing else to do but come to the sudden realization that everything is temporary, even a blank piece of paper. In this case, a person’s life. Usually someone dying wouldn’t be so surprising. Death is inevitable, and people who think they can cheat death are simply fools. But no one dared to think that the Davy Wade would die, much less kill himself.
I haven’t moved from my bed in five days. My dad thinks I’m overreacting, my mom thinks I’m depressed and I think I should just be left alone. By this time I’ve probably memorized every nook and cranny of my bedroom ceiling. My favorite one was white with microscopic multicolored specs on it. On the corner close to my closet an empty cob web nested, and the part above my bathroom changed to an off-white color. I used to hate it, but after five days of scrutinizing it I have to admit, it grew on me.
I heard my mom walk up to my room. 15 steps this time. On the day I heard of the news it was 9. She knocked on my bedroom door as if it was going to crumble to the ground. I hated how fragile she acted around me.
“Eden?” She whispered thinking I was probably sleeping. Unfortunately I haven’t acquired a wink of sleep in five days. She slightly opened the door, afraid of the teenage girl hibernating in it. “Honey, are you awake?”
“Yea,” I croaked out, allowing her to poke her tiny head into my room. She looked dull, like everything else.
“Eden… do you want to eat something? You can come downstairs and get some breakfast if you’re up to it,” She proceeded to whisper and slowly creep into my bedroom as if I was afraid of loud noises and sudden movements. When I didn’t answer, she sighed and sat at the edge of my bed. For the past week she’s been doing this; trying to give me pep talks to get my sorry ass out of bed. She talks of the full life ahead of me, and how this is just a new mountain to climb. She preaches that this will allow my mind to open up and learn from my experiences, though the only thing my mind can open up to is the fact that my best friend in the whole fucking world killed himself and I didn’t even have a clue.
“Please look at me honey. You have to get out of this room today,” She tried being firm. She failed.
“Mom, leave me alone,” I mumbled not giving the effort to say words coherently.
“This is a time where you can’t be alone. Your father and I… we’re worried about you,” Her words hit my knuckles like rulers. “This is something a teenager should never have to go through, especially someone like you. We all loved Davy-“
“Get out,” My voice finally found my mouth, and it was harsh. “Get out of my room,” My mother flinched at my words as if they burned her. She tried to respond but the chill from my eyes made her leave. She probably was on her way to tell my dad of my abrupt coldness and then they were going sit down together and overanalyze my behavior. I hated when they do that; I hated when people did that. I wish they just left me alone and let me wallow in my absolute sadness. What else was I supposed to do? What did they expect me to do?
I didn’t want to go anywhere anyway. A mass amount of people running up to me and telling me how sorry they were wasn’t going help, not even a little. It didn’t matter how many hugs I received, or kisses on the forehead, or tears on shoulders, Davy was still dead and no amount of hugs or kisses or tears can fill that void in my chest. I wanted to scream, but I didn’t have it in me. I wanted to yell at everyone that they shouldn’t even be crying because they didn’t even know Davy. I did. Everyone used him to be a better person or for their own benefit. But Davy was more than that; he was so much fucking more. He could make a strangers day better with a simple sentence, or even just one of his beautiful smiles. Davy had the capacity and the heart to change someones life. If he wanted to, he could’ve changed the world. He was the boy that could make the rain fall backwards. That’s why it was so shocking to find out that he jumped from thirty story building.
A knock jolted me out of my train of thought. “Eden,” My dad’s voice rang through my ears. Shit. “Eden, you have to get out of bed. Sulking won’t make anything better,”.
“Nothing could make this better, Dad,” My voice was harsh but when is it not.
“Davy wouldn’t want you depressed, and missing school,” My dad responded exasperatedly.
“Don’t do that…don’t act like Davy is still here.You mean you wouldn’t want that,” I shot back quickly. He ran a hand over his face and sighed. Everyone has been doing that lately.
“Please… get out of bed. We have to go to his wake, I don’t think you should miss that,” His voice muffled in my ears as the word wake stung my skin. He gave me a sad smile and walked out of my room, shutting the door. I didn’t want to go to his wake, I didn’t want to move. I felt like if I did then everything would not feel so much like a dream anymore, and time would catch up with me. I really don’t want time catching up with me. It took me an extra 30 minutes to finally move the covers off of me. I slowly placed my feet on the floor, and stood up.
It felt weird. It felt weird picking a black dress with black shoes. It felt weird getting ready for the day. It felt weird because it was supposed to be normal, but it wasn’t. I wasn’t. I walked over to the mirror behind my closet door and clenched my teeth. The bags under my puffy eyes were concealed with the help of makeup, and my black dress with long sleeves looked awkward. My wet hair dripped on my bare feet and my arms were so rigid I thought they were going to break any moment. How am I going to do this?
My mom walked into my room and was fairly surprised to see me up and actually looking put together. She gave me that same damn sad smile and walked over to me with a sigh. She put her hands on my shoulders as she looked at herself and me in the mirror.
“It’s time to leave honey…how are you?” She asked quietly. I knew she was just trying to be how a mother should always be when their daughter is feeling sad, but I wasn’t sad. I was angry- furious even. I moved from her grasp and walked toward the door in long strides.
“Let’s go,” I demanded. She eventually caught up with me when I was walking down the stairs. 14 steps. I grabbed my coat from the coat closet and saw my dad fixing his tie in the mirror adjacent to the door.
“You’re ready?” His voice sounded as surprised as his face.
“Should I not have been?” I shot back, my skin pricking with annoyance. He cleared his throat, and that was his final answer.
The ride to the church was quiet. As it should be; I wasn’t expecting any type of appealing conversation anyway. The air felt weird outside, and maybe it was because I haven’t been outside or maybe its because everything felt peculiar. I haven’t decided yet. When we got to the church, the whole five blocks were filled with cars. The whole town, and possibly the whole town over, came to Davy’s wake. I wasn’t surprised though, Davy had that effect on people. My mouth was aching, but I realized it was because I’ve been clenching my jaw the whole car ride over. My dad found a parking space a few blocks further and we walked back to the church in silence. My dad and mom tried to make small conversation by talking about how fast the leaves changed, and how cold it was becoming. I just rolled my eyes and kept my gaze on the sidewalk.
When the church came into my view I felt time catching up with me and I involuntary walked slower trying to keep it from touching me. My mom noticed my change in speed and put her arm around me, pushing me forward. I think I’ll always dislike her for doing that. The steps of the church looked like twigs and I was afraid that if I stepped on them I would fall into a dark abyss. I realized the dark abyss was better than Davy’s wake because once I stepped through those large white doors someone’s arms were around me almost immediately. It took me a second to realize the potent perfume of Mrs. Wade. She clutched me as if her life depended on it, and my heart broke a little when I felt her tears on my back. She reluctantly pulled back and held me at arms length. She still looked beautiful with her eyes puffy and red. She gave me a sad smile and looked me up and down like she always does.
“Still beautiful,” She smiled as a tears proceeded to fall down her flawless face. Her green eyes reminded me of Davy’s, but only a little. They were dull, just like everything in the church. “Thank you for coming today,” She said as if it was instinctual.
“Of course Mrs. Wade,” I spoke not knowing what else to say. I felt a large hand squeeze my arm and I looked up to see a miserable Mr. Wade. He didn’t hide his emotions, and I respected him for that. He lost not only a son, but a great man never to become one. He didn’t have to speak, I didn’t want him too. I squeezed his arm with my hand and looked at both of them. I didn’t smile because I couldn’t. I couldn’t act like all of this would be okay and pass over in a couple of months because I knew it wouldn’t. I knew it shouldn’t. My mom and dad gave their condolences to the Wade’s while I walked into the great hall. The lights were dim beside the one bright light on a brown casket in the front. I froze in place realizing that in that moment time had finally caught up with me. It wasn’t a good feeling. I felt a hand on my back and I looked up to see Mrs. Wade looking at Davy’s casket with an expression I will never forget.
“The sermon is about to start. I would really appreciate it if you sat next to me,” Her hands were trembling when she took mine. I felt the pressure in my chest rise again, just like it did the night I heard of the news. All I could do was nod my head as she tugged me along to the front. I was surprised when my legs actually worked, but it was because I was distracted while walking to the front of the great hall. I saw every single student at my high school except one, but that didn’t matter. What mattered was how they were all staring, not at Mrs. Wade, but at me. Trust me, I thought they all would look at me with sadness and empathy but I was terribly wrong. My vision was filled with frozen daggers piercing my skin. They looked at me as if I was the one who pushed Davy off the building, and that hurt more than any pain I ever felt.
I didn’t know what to think, so I didn’t. What I needed to focus on was helping Mrs. Wade. She looked like she was about to crumble to the floor any second screaming to God why he took the light in her life away from her. Mr. Wade would normally help her, but he shouldn’t have that responsibility now. I readjusted my grasp on Mrs. Wade’s hand, and squeezed it once the Pastor started to speak. I didn’t listen to a word the Pastor spoke. All I could see was the casket in front of me, and that was it. There was a time when I felt an abundance of tears falling on my hand, but all I did was hold Mrs. Wade’s hand tighter.
Thankfully the sermon ended before anyone could curse God for taking Davy away, and everyone stood up hugging, crying, and kissing. I felt terribly uncomfortable. Mr. and Mrs. Wade held each other for quite a while, crying to each other, and whispering in each others ears. My dad and mom went over and hugged them again, giving them hope as any normal person should. I didn’t have to look to see people glaring at me. I felt it with every step I took to Davy’s casket. I didn’t know why I went there because I wasn’t planning to. The brown casket looked as if it was mocking me. Shoving it in my face that the last thing holding Davy would be a big fucking brown box. I wanted to punch a hole through that damn casket and start screaming at Davy. I wanted to scream until blood started to come out of my throat. But I didn’t. I couldn’t. Davy would be pretty pissed at me even if he was dead. I gazed at the casket a little bit longer and then turned away with a stone cold expression on my face. I blocked out all the glares and walked out of the great hall with such ease it even scared me.
I waited for my parents by the car. The sun set before I came outside, but the wind gradually picked up while I have been waiting. The street lamp above me flickered on even though I actually enjoyed the darkness. I wrapped my arms around me, wishing I brought a heavier coat. I sighed involuntary as I rested my head back on the car window. I looked up at the sky hoping to see some stars, but all I was greeted with was clouds hiding away the night sky. I usually adored clouds, but it was times like these where stars would make things just a little better.
“Is it over?” I screamed as a voice suddenly appeared. “Sorry,” I looked out past the street lamp to see a silhouette by a tree close by. I tried making out the face, but it was too dark.
“You mean the wake?” I called out. The silhouette put its hands in its pocket and bowed it head, causing its messy hair to fall in front of its face.
“Yea, the wake,” The silhouettes deep voice responded. I came to the conclusion that whoever the mystery guy is, was harmless. I continued to rest my head back on the car window, still searching for some sort of constellation.
“I don’t know, I ran out early,” I confessed easily.
“So is it a waste of time to go now?” Mystery guy was gradually vexing me, so I pushed off of the car and tried to get a better look at him. I made it to the street lamp when I finally realized who it was. Dawson Wade’s dark grey eyes snapped up to mine as he noticed my close proximity.
“Dawson? What the hell are you doing here?” My voice rose without regard.
“Isn’t it obvious? I’m trying to decide if I should go or not,” His voice grew cold but I didn’t really give a shit.
“There shouldn’t be a decision to make! How could you not go to your brothers wake? Do you know how distraught your mother and father looked? I had to keep your mom from having a mental breakdown!” I was screaming at this point. I know I shouldn’t have let all my anger out at Dawson, but he always used to get under my skin. Though I was best friends with Davy, Dawson and I never got along. I didn’t think we even wanted to. He stayed away, as did I. I usually ignored him, but this time I just couldn’t.
“They aren’t the only ones that are hurting Eden!” He yelled back, towering over me in such rage I could almost feel it.
“You’re right, everyone is! The whole fucking town is hurting, and you’re over here wondering if you should go to your brothers wake or not,” I spat back.
“And what are you doing huh? You’re a lot of things Eden, but I wouldn’t suspect a hypocrite,” His words were venom, but my skin was used to it.
“At least I went to the sermon. At least I was there holding your mothers hand as she cried her heart out seeing her son in a god damn casket,” My words burned myself as well as Dawson. He stared into my eyes, until he sulked back to his tree putting his hands back into his pockets. “I’m sorry,” I mumbled quickly after.
“No, you’re right,” His voice sounded hurt, and guilt washed over me. I put my hands over my mouth and sighed, regretting everything I just said. I wrapped my arms around myself again and looked up at the sky, hoping- wishing even, to see some sort of stars. But all I saw were stupid clouds. Davy said to always look up at the stars if your sad, because for some reason it always makes everything better. But I couldn’t see the stars now, and everything wasn’t better. In fact, it was worse. I felt this huge weight suddenly crash down on my shoulders, and I instantly crouched to the ground hiding my face between my knees. Flashbacks started to zip through my mind and I squeezed my eyes shut trying to force them out. Don’t think about him. Don’t think about him. His green eyes squinted in the sun as he put his hand up to shield it. Don’t think about him. Don’t think about him. He threw his head back, and his contagious laugh echoed through my ears. Don’t think about him. Don’t fucking think about him. His face was shining from the light of the moon as he looked into my eyes. For god sake, don’t think about him. My arms tightened around my body and I tried to control my breathing. I didn’t want a repeat of the night I heard about Davy.
Larger arms wrapped around me and the warmth enveloped me like a warm fire. I almost forgot that Dawson was there yet I found myself saying I’m sorry over and over again to him. He held me tighter, and that was his response. When I finally got my breathing under control I picked my head up to see Dawson’s eyes red. I never seen him cry before, and it intrigued me. I usually don’t cry in front of people, which is why he was probably surprised to see my eyes dry. I didn’t want to explain to him that I was simply having a panic attack due to not seeing the stars because that would just be embarrassing. I cleared my throat as I began to stand up. I ran a hand through my hair and took deep breaths.
“It’s been a long day,” I decided to say and I found a way to look everywhere but his face.
“Trust me, I know,” He sighed himself and looked up at the sky too. I guess everyone is looking for stars now.