ℂℍ𝔸ℙ𝕋𝔼ℝ 𝟙: Amelia
I should have realized sooner. I should have noticed more. I should have known when my boyfriend of two years called me at three in the morning that it wasn't his usual nightmare that woke him up. I should have gotten into my car and drove straight towards his house to check up on him. But I didn't. Instead, I muttered soft words of encouragement before singing him back to sleep. He needed to talk and I didn't give him the opportunity. He needed me and I was too blind to see it. We all were.
"Funny when you're dead, how people starts listening" I think to myself, staring at Kellen's casket being lowered into the greedy earth. It took him long before I was ready to give him. Kellen is, was, my best friend. My first love. Almost my first everything. We shared nearly every waking moment together and when he wasn't with me, he was hanging out with his childhood best friend, Nick. Why didn't we listen sooner? Why didn't we pay attention sooner? Perhaps we would have been able to prevent this situation.
Gazing around me, I watch the tears stroll down each and every person's cheeks as they stand around Kellen's casket. A loud, murderous crack booms from the sky before rain starts pouring down. Almost as if the sky is mourning his loss too. I was supposed to give my eulogy but when my eyes fell on the portrait of my handsome boyfriend, I crumbled. Suddenly everything I wanted to say seemed too personal.
Warm rugged fingers lace mine as I sob, shaking. Trailing my eyes up to the figure beside me, I tighten my hold around the familiar hand. Traitorous tears spill from Nick's vibrant emerald eyes. He's trying to be strong just like I am, but we're both failing miserably. The men quickly start to fill up the grave with muddy ground before everything is completely drenched while others scatter towards their cars, still crying profusely. When Nick notices that I'm frozen in place, unable to move, he positions his body in front of mine, hugging me closely to his chest.
"It's so difficult." I weep into his chest. Angry at Kellen for leaving us. Furious with myself for not being able to stop this. For not being able to prevent Kellen from dying.
"I know, Amelia, I know." He answers tensely. This is just as hard for him as it is for me. Maybe even more. I need to remind myself that I am not the only one who lost someone I love. I'm not the only one mourning.
"Do you... do you wanna come over to my place?" I ask timidly, my eyes pleading with him to say yes. I don't want to be alone with my thoughts. Not tonight. Conflict passes through Nick's vibrant eyes and I prepare myself for a 'no'.
"Yes, of course Mel. I'll drive us there." He mumbles softly, looking deeply into my troubled eyes. We never were exceptionally close before, but when we received the news about Kellen, both of is gravitated towards each other for emotional support. If there's anyone who loved Kellen as much as I do, it's Nick. The past week since the news spread until today when the funeral strolled by, Nick and I spent nearly every day together. Sometimes we would speak about our fondest memories, other times we wouldn't mutter a single word. We were just there for each other.
The drive to my house is another one of those occasions where neither of us have anything we want to say. In a way, I suppose we are both processing the finality of Kellen's death. There's no denying the gut wrenching fact anymore. He's gone and he's never coming back again.
When we finally reach my house, I notice that there's no car in the driveway. You would have thought that a tragedy of this proportion would draw my parents to be closer to me. To want to be involved in my life. But I guess not everyone grasps the severity of a situation like this one. Not once did they check up on me this entire week when I've been thrashing in bed, crying for help. Not once did they even offer a sympathetic hug to comfort me. To them, I'm a silly teenager who knows nothing about love. Who knows nothing about loss.
I often wonder if Kellen felt as alone as I do some nights. Did he feel abandoned or neglected by us? Did he feel that we simply didn't care enough? I guess the question that bugs me the most is whether I could have done more to save him. Would I have been able to change his mind? For me, the not-knowing is the worst. Not knowing what triggered him. Not knowing what was going through his mind. Not knowing whether he realized too late that it was a mistake. Not knowing if I'm to blame.
The cool air slaps me forcefully in the face as I enter my cold room. Even my room feels like it's mourning for Kellen. A trail of goosebumps spread over my arms as the wind hits my cold, wet body. I should change, before I get sick but even that seems like a nearly impossible task.
"Mel, you need to change. Come on, I'll be right here when you're done." Nick suggests sadly. Almost like he is afraid of letting me go to the bathroom alone. Like I might not come back out if I do. I nod mutely at Nick, taking my dry pyjama from his trembling hands.
"You can wear something of my brother's. He left some of his stuff before leaving for college." I suggest before walking into the bathroom. Taking a glance at my reflection staring back at me through the mirror, I feel my throat constrict once more. Eyes welling up with a fresh set of tears. Kellen and I became so entwined with one another that I fear I will never be able to be myself again. I can hardly remember who I was before him.
I numbly complete my cleaning routine. Starting with my makeup and then moving to my teeth. Part of me feels like I don't want to neglect myself while the bigger part of me is saying 'who cares anyway.' Walking back into my room, my eyes fall on Nick's half asleep figure on my bed. Staring at him a while longer, I feel guilt gnawing at my heart. I shouldn't be sharing a bed with Kellen's best friend. I shouldn't be betraying him like this. Nick's tired gaze falls upon me, and I notice it frantically scanning over my entire body.
"Are you.. alright?" He asks tentatively as I walk towards my bed. He pulls himself into a more upright position when I come closer, fighting his sleep in order to check on me first.
"I... I don't know." I answer truthfully, climbing on the bed, settling my face on his chest. I feel his arm snake around my back, holding me to him securely.