I wake up on my own this morning ten minutes before my alarm is set to go off. I am pleasantly surprised considering I am prone to oversleeping and being difficult to get out of bed.
“Maybe if I get ready quickly, I’ll have time to run by Starbucks!” I think to myself then quickly shuffle to my bathroom.
I run a brush through my hair and decide I will put it up in a messy bun today. Mainly because I forgot to shower before passing out on my bed last night so it is not my best hair day. I apply my usual light makeup and grab a pair of leggings to wear along with a black tank top and a light grey zip up hoodie on top. It is uncharacteristically cold for this time of year but that’s Oregon for you. I swear the weather here has moods that change so quick it could cause whiplash. One day the sun in beaming with only a few clouds in the sky and it’s mildly warm and the next the sky is covered in dark grey clouds and it is spitting rain.
I walk into the kitchen and I see a bouquet of flowers on the counter. I make my way over to them and see an envelope with my name on it sitting underneath them. I would recognize that handwriting anywhere, It’s Tyler’s. I open the envelope and begin to read.
I can’t even begin to thank you for the last two years of my life that I’ve had the privilege to spend with you. You are one in a million and I don’t want you to forget that. But I can’t stay here Charls. I’ve been battling myself for awhile just not being fully satisfied with my life here in Oregon and I decided I need to make a change. It’s not you and I don’t want you to think it is. I tried to tell you a thousand times over the last month but I am a coward. So, this is the only way I know how to say goodbye. I won’t call and I won’t text. You won’t hear from me because I know this is unfair to you and the only way for you to truly be happy again after this is to just let me go. I’ll always love you. Goodbye Charlie.
My body feels numb, my legs are shaking, and I can no longer feel my heart beating in my chest. The letter slips out of my hands and falls slowly on to the floor as I stand there completely still, unable to move. Tears begin to fill my eyes and run down my faces leaving streaks down my face. I can’t seem to snap myself out of this state of shock and disbelief. I want to move; I want to say something or scream but my feet are glued to the ground.
"This isn’t real, it can’t be” I say in my head.
“He isn’t gone, he wouldn’t.” Another thought bursts through my mind.
Finally I force myself to make a move to grab my phone off the counter and I quickly dial his number. It goes straight to voicemail. Nausea takes over my stomach, this pain is making me physically sick. I do the next thing that comes to my mind and grab my keys and take off in a sprint to my car. My hands are shaking as I try to jam my key in the ignition and turn it to start my car. I throw my car into reverse and speed out of the parking lot. I am doing about 55 mph in a 35 mph zone on the way to his house but I could careless right now. My eyes are still flowing with tears making the road appear as a blur. I pull my car into the driveway of Tyler and his two roommates live. I try to wipe my eyes to clean up the black mascara that has dripped and ran down my cheeks but it is no use, I look like a wreck either way. My heart is pounding to a point where it is actually painful as I sling the front door open and shout his name.
“TYLER!” I shout through my tears but I get no response.
I head to his bedroom and sling the door open, it is completely empty. The only thing left is the bed frame and nightstand in the back corner of the room. I walk over to the nightstand and see a black frame with a picture of me and him inside. My pain takes ahold of me triggering me to pick it up and slam it against the wall leaving shattered pieces on the floor.
“Please.” I call out, shaking.
I don’t know why said that because he isn’t here to listen. All I know is that the pain is overwhelming, and I would do anything to make it stop. I stand in the middle of the room gripping my chest. I am trying to steady my breathing, but I am failing miserably. My heart is pounding so hard it’s all I can hear, everything else is silent.
“Charlie...” I hear a voice softly say from behind me.
I turn around to see Jackson standing there. He is giving me a look I have never seen from him before and that is how I know this is really happening. He is looking at me like someone just shot my puppy and I had to watch. His eyes are clearly sympathetic and he appears hurt as well.
“This isn’t real, this is a joke.” I spit, barely able to breath from crying so hard. “I know it is. It’s some sick joke you decided would be funny, isn’t its Jackson?”
He doesn’t say anything back, he is just staring at me. It looks like he is trying to come up with the right thing to say. His eyes travel around the room taking in the blank walls and empty closet until he finally looks back and, connects his eyes with mine.
“He’s gone Charlie.” Jackson says softly.
“Where? Where! Why? Why did he do this to me? I don’t understand!” I cry out and drop to my knees clutching my chest with my right hand.
Jackson swiftly moves across the room to be beside me and sits down on the carpet. He places his arm around me like he is giving me a side hug but he keeps it there. I slide off my knees and sit next to him. I am unable to look up at him, I just stay staring at the floor in disbelief, shock, denial or whatever you want to call it. I can’t find the right words to describe how I feel inside but I know it isn’t pleasant.
“I don’t know what happened Charlie. I don’t know why.” he whispers.
“The guys and I are just as blindsided as you.” he assures me.
I know he is telling the truth about not knowing anything because this is not like him at all, to sit here and be kind. He is hurt too, and he feels for me, I hear the sincerity behind his words. That does not make this feel any better though, no matter how bad I wish it would. At this point I am shaking; I feel sick to my stomach and I don’t even have the strength to pull myself up off this floor. The sobs begin to escape me so hard and so quickly, I don’t have time to even attempt to stop them. I can feel my heart beating faster to try to keep up with the breaths I’m losing, I suck in air after each one trying to keep my heart from exploding inside my chest. I want to scream but nothing comes out. Jackson wraps both arms around me and pulls my head into his chest allowing me to soak his shirt in tears. He doesn’t say anything. I don’t think he knows what to say, hell I wouldn’t if I was in his position.
“It hurts so bad.” I cry out.
“I know.” He whispers clutching me tighter.
I allow myself to lay there with him in the middle of what use to be my boyfriend’s bedroom. I don’t want to be alone so any company is better than no company and I am in no condition to drive home. I can barely stand this feeling of being blindsided; I never saw this coming.
“Charlie...” I hear Jackson say softly while shaking me as I still lay in his arms.
I slowly open my eyes and look up at him.
“I’m sorry I don’t want to wake you, but I have practice and then people will be showing up for the party... I didn’t think you would want to be here for that.” He says slowly like he is trying to be cautious with his words.
“Wake me?” I say confused and pull myself away from him.
“Yeah...you were just crying so hard and then you fell asleep.” He replies with a small sympathetic smile. “I just wanted to let you sleep for a little bit.”
“Oh, I didn’t realize, I’m sorry.” I quickly say.
“No big deal. I just have to go. You can stay if you want while I’m gone but I’m sure you’re not in the mood to party.” He says causally, with his tone almost cold.
“Party? You’re still going to have that damn party?” I snap.
Who am I kidding? Of course, he is, it’s Jackson.
“A party is just what we need to right now to get drunk and forget.” He spits back.
“Forget? Are you kidding me?” I practically yell.
“Okay calm down, I didn’t mean it like that. But what am I supposed to do? Guys don’t sit around and pathetically cry.” He sternly replies.
“Pathetic? You think I’m pathetic?” I say my voice thick with disgust and anger.
“No, that’s not what I’m trying to say. Why do you women always take things the wrong way?” He rolls his eyes so far back I don’t know how it didn’t cause him a headache.
“You women? You are such a jerk, you do realize, that right?” I don’t even look up at him as I respond. Only he could make one of the worst days of my life, worse.
“This is why I don’t date. This right here. Look I know you’re going through it I get it but don’t take it out on me.” He says with a glare that only ignites my anger further.
“No, you don’t get it because you’ve never been in love you! You have never even dated anyone. All you do is sleep around!” I yell as I collect myself off the ground and walk out of Tyler’s room leaving Jackson behind.
I could not stand to be in that room for another second anyways. Seeing it that way, so empty was too much for me to handle. I start my car and make my way back to my apartment, there is no way in hell I am going to any of my classes today. It is a short drive from Tyler’s house to my apartment but right now it feels like hours getting back. When I finally arrive back, I just sit in my car with my forehead pressed against the steering wheel and I continue with my never-ending sobs. I actually feel the urge to vomit but I choke it down. I collect myself as best I can and force myself to open my car door and head up the stairs to my apartment. A few people walking by stare at me which I already expected my tear-soaked cheeks and destroyed make up to be a little bit of an eye catcher, I guess I just hoped not to see anyone.