As clear as Day

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Chapter 23

“Good practice everyone. I’ll see you tomorrow same time.” Coach spoke as everyone made their way to the shower. Chase grimaced as he watched the new media guy snap shots of them, well maybe not new, he’s been here three months now.

“Chase can I have a word before you hit the shower?” Coach’s voice ring from behind him, Chase gives Ricky a solemn nod and turns around to face their coach.

“Chase this wasn’t an easy decision but I’ve decided to bench you for the next few games. You aren’t playing near what you used to and I’d rather have you figure your shit out than go on like this.” Coach eyed him with suspicion, waiting for a reaction. Chase gave a grimace, he knew this was coming.

Ever since he ran out of Melanie’s hospital room he knew he would never be the same, he felt like death and he couldn’t even explain why. Two weeks later when coach introduced them to their new media guy he lost it, he would truly never see her again because he was a coward.

“Try to practise as hard as you can, I want you back on the team to keep agent’s interest in you. You have to bury your demons Chase, if you want to talk you know where to find me.” Coach gave him a pat on the back and walked off the field.

You have to bury your demons.

You have to bury your demons.

You have to bury your demons.

When he couldn’t get the phrase out of his head he decided to drive back home, a few hours later he sat in his Gran’s kitchen with a cup of coffee and some choc chip cookies.

“Well I agree with the coach.” The elderly woman said with a blank look on her face, ever so calmly taking a sip of her tea and speaking again “The girl has a strong head on her shoulders. You ran away from her twice and so she decided to go on with her life, about time someone calls you out on your bullshit.”

Chase let out the breath he was holding as his grandmother took another sip of her tea, her response to his story hasn’t really shed light on what he should do, rather showed him what idiot he was, still is.

“Gran that doesn’t really give me any advice on what to do and it’s been months already.”

His grandmother gave him a long look and then reached to touch his cheek, “Baby boy you have to confront what you’ve been feeling. Lilly would never have wanted you to carry this hate towards yourself, you did not cause her death. She would be scolding you for not living the life she had wanted for you, why do you think she was lecturing you on dating and parties?”

Chase felt a heavy weight on his heart, as if Lilly was pointing at him that their grandmother was right. “I just wish I could have done something to save her Gran” Chase swiped at the lone tear that rolled across his cheek.

“You weren’t supposed to my boy, Lilly was stolen from us yes and you and your parents endured a hurt nobody should but don’t you think she’s the best guardian angel to have? I’m betting she’s up there shaking her head at how you basically lost the only girl she would ever approve.” His gran gave him a sad smile and he returned a shaky one.

Her look turned serious as she took another sip of tea, “I never knew you were seeing Melanie. She’s a beautiful soul that one, easy on the eyes too.”

This came as a surprise to Chase, he didn’t know his Gran had met Melanie, how did he not know about her then?

As if reading his mind his Gran gave him a smile “You were drafted for the summer vacation practise at the university, Scotty was at UCL the same time and Lilly had asked if Melanie would come visit. They really hit it of the pervious summer when she went to meet the rest of the family. She left about two days before you came back and you never really cared to hear anything of Lilly’s friends so you wouldn’t have known.”

Chase had a million questions but before he could get to asking one his gran gave him a grin “Lilly never told you this Chase but she wanted to set you and Melanie up as soon as they were in senior year. She had said that she’d be the one to fix you up and out of your single ways. Something about how she could feel that Melanie was made for you, to take you into the clouds while you would be able to keep her grounded. She was so sure you’d get weak at the knees once you’ve met.”

Chase’s heart did that same tug, as if Lilly was yet again pointing out how their Gran was right. He could see her being friends with Melanie, they had the same appreciation for life, the same sparkle.

His grandmother sighed “I thought that maybe you two would meet on Lilly’s funeral but Melanie couldn’t make it, she was writing exams that whole week. She showed up a week after, but then you have left to clear your head. It’s amazing that you finally crossed paths eventually, must be that guardian angel you both have.”

His grandmother’s word rang in his ears as he walked to his sister’s grave, he hasn’t been here since her death but he knew exactly how to get there, he gave a sad smile as he saw a bunch of red roses atop of it.

As he sat in front of her gravestone he let out a sob “I am so sorry Lilly, I am so sorry I couldn’t protect you like I should. You always had the older sibling wisdom, you knew life way before I did. I know you wouldn’t want to see me like this and I promise that I’ll do better. I’ll do better for you from now on.”

He wiped at his tears and gave a smile “Gran told me how you knew Melanie was made for me. You were right little sister, she’s… she’s exceptional. I’ll sort things out with her, I promise. I just need to figure out how…”

Chase will never be able to tell if he was high on emotions or if he was hallucinating but as the wind picked up he could feel it embracing him as if it was Lilly giving him a hug of encouragement.

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