Gone Before Tomorrow

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Chapter 12: A Rose for A Rose

Paisley

We walk quickly down a hallways toward, what I assume is, Jamie’s room. A comfortable silence has settled between us and my mind wanders back to the scene that unfolded right before me only a few minutes earlier. ’What happened?″ of course was the first question I wanted to ask but I had a feeling that wouldn’t’ve gone over too well. His eyes had looked so hollow and lost, like someone had pulled all the light out piece by piece. It was haunting. If I knew one thing it was that I never wanted to see him like that again. His anger scared me yes, but that lost look shook me to the core. And he had cried. I had only known him for a day but for some reason I knew that he wasn’t really the crying type. ‘Most boys aren’t’ a voice says and I just nod. I could tell that I had just witnessed something rare.

Just then we reached Jamie’s room and my pondering had to be put on hold for the time being. I turn my gaze from the floor, where it had been for the duration of the walk, to the door. It had pink and purple flowers painted on it; with names on the petals. A small smile creeps to my face as I imagine little girls coming and writing their names on the door. I look over to Derek and see that his eyes have become clouded again, his hand extended toward the door handle but not touching it. I follow his line of sight and see he is looking at one of the names. Amy is written in small, scraggly writing in the center of a small pink flower. I cock my head to the side confused and go to say something when he shakes his head, as if to clear it, and throws open the door.

Jamie is sitting at a little table with little chairs placed rather haphazardly in the middle of the room. When she hears the door open her head shoots up toward us a smile spreading instantly across her face. She jumps up from her seat at the table and runs over to us. “I thought you guys were never gonna get here!” she exclaims hugging Derek’s legs tightly.

“Sorry we’re late princes.” he says dropping my hand so that he can pick up, and hug the girl properly.

“Danny said you weren’t gonna come cuz you would rather be alone with Paisley.” The small girl says pouting and crossing her arms.

‘Who’s Danny?’ I think confused, but before I can ask Derek says “Don’t let those guys get to you okay? They just like to mess with you.”

Jamie nods, and Derek puts her back on the ground. Once down she turns to me and opens her arms expectantly. I smile, walk over to her, bend down, and give her a big hug. I pull away and she quickly grabs my hand dragging me to the table. I take a seat in one of the small chairs as a piece of paper and crayons are pushed toward me. I take them with a smile and a nod of gratitude as Derek walks slowly over; hands shoved deep in his pockets and a contemplative expression on his face and takes a seat in one of the big chairs that occupy every room.

“Aren’t you going to join us?” I ask motioning to one of the empty chairs at the table. He just shakes his head and continues to think about whatever.

I shrug and begin drawing with one of the pencils given to me. I begin to draw a rose, but about halfway through I feel breathing on my neck and turn to see Jamie. She is staring wide eyed over my shoulder at the drawing. I smile and gesture to the picture “Do you like it?” I ask.

“Do I like it?!” she yells in my ear, and I drop my pencil to cover them “Of course I like it, it’s so pretty!” she yells again, her voice going higher and higher.

I laugh “Well how bout this, when I’m done you can have it to color in okay?”

“Really?”

“Really.”

“Thank you!” she squeals wrapping her arms around my neck and giving me a hug. I just laugh and return to the picture. Jamie also returns to her seat and continues to watch me as I draw. Once I am done, as promised, I slide the drawing across the table for her to color. She pulls the paper toward herself excitedly, before bending her head and beginning coloring. I smile at her, amused by the little things that manage to bring her joy. I sit back in the small chair, at the small table, and think back to when little things, or hell anything, brought me joy.

As I am flipping through my memories trying to find one that really, and I mean really, made me happy I hear a sigh and turn my attention to the partially forgotten boy across the room. I cast a glance over to Jamie and see that she is happily coloring and talking to herself. I get up from the table and walk over to him; perching on the arm of the chair. “What’s up?”

Derek looks up at me startled, as if he hadn’t noticed my presence until I had spoken. He lets out another sigh and leans back in the chair before responding “Nothing.”

“You’re lying.” I shoot back immediately

“No I’m not.”

“Yes you are, nobody sighs like that when nothing is on their mind.”

“I said it was nothing.”

“And I said you were lying.”

Derek whirls around to look at me, his eyes blazing “Fine let me rephrase, yes something is wrong but why the bloody hell do you think I want to talk about it!” he yells. My eyes go wide as I turn my gaze toward the ground ashamed as he goes on “And even if I did want to talk about it why would I want to talk about it with you?! Someone who can’t even manage to find the strength to stay alive!!”

I stand up sharply from where I had been sitting and walk back toward the small table. Jamie has stopped coloring and is now staring at Derek and I; eyes wide and a crayon rolling off the table. I pick up the crayon and place it on the table before giving Jamie a hug and a kiss on the top of the head. “Good night, and sweet dreams love.” I say softly. She looks up at me slowly before taking me by the hand and walking me toward the door. Once there she opens the door and points down the hallway.

“Go back toward the cafeteria and when you get there go left down the hallway and your room should be down that way on the left.”

I manage a smile and bend down to give her another hug, whispering in her ear “Thank you.” I stand and begin walking down the hallway quickly. Tears are prickling behind my eyes and I don’t even bother to try and stop them. ‘Why would he say that?’ I think wiping away tears, as fresh ones form ‘Because you’re an idiot’ one voice responds ’you never think things through, why would he want to talk to you about something personal huh? Just cuz you saw him cry once doesn’t make you anything special.′ It continues ‘He doesn’t like you. Why would he? Why would anyone? You’re broken and torn, and nobody can deal with you.’

By now I have reached my room and I flop myself on my bed thinking weakly ‘I may be broken, but so is he. If he wants to admit it or not.’ I bury myself under the covers and just stare at the wall. After a few minutes of just letting the tears roll out I squeeze my eyes shut and just listen to the sounds around me; knowing that sleep would not come tonight.

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