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Flashback - Chapter 2
Three months had passed since Jayson left. I was still so shaken up about everything that had happened. My thoughts were constantly going and my mind was on a winding road of wonder and confusion with no visual end. I hardly slept and school became a prison. It was a place where I was left alone by everyone surrounding me, a place where I had only my thoughts to keep me company. Sometimes my thoughts were positive, but those times were rare. Most of the time they consisted of regret and frustration, and most of all fear. Not knowing what had happened to cause Jayson to leave was torturing, and being left to wonder if he was even okay was worse.
Do you remember being a little kid and doing something bad? More than likely your parents took away your toys or told you that you couldn’t watch TV for a while. At the time, it was as if everything you knew was coming to an end. You were so young that you didn’t know much of anything else to do and they were taking away the only things that seemed any fun to you. The second they’d take these things from you, you threw a fit, right? You screamed and cried and begged your mom to just give you another chance. Depending on what you did and how old you were, maybe that chance was given to you. Other times you gave up after a while of screaming and just found something else to do with your time until the time of punishment went away.
Jayson being taken away from me was similar to, but much worse than that. He was all that I knew, the only person I’d ever loved. He had taught me everything about life, and being a couple years older than I was he had always known what to do in most situations. He was my guide through life, my hero, my strength. When he left, all of that left with him. All that I knew disappeared. The only way of life that I had known was taken away and I was left with absolutely nothing. So I did what you did as a child. I escaped to my room and I’d cry, scream, and beg for someone to just let him come back to me. But unlike when you were a kid, no one was there to listen and no one was there to even consider giving me what I wanted. He was gone and there was not anything I could do, anything I could say, to make him come back. And unlike when I was a child getting a toy taken away, there was no replacement. There was not anything there to take his place and to fill the hole that seemed would now forever be in my chest.
Every morning after the nights that I actually fell asleep, I would woke up and turn over and face the picture of us beside my bed. A week before Jayson left we were in my backyard joking around when my mom had come out with the camera. She went on and on about how cute we were, and we laughed as the flashes from the camera practically blinded us. We pranced around the backyard making the weirdest faces and gestures we could think of as my mom’s laughter began to echo ours. As she had turned to leave Jayson had told her to take one more, and right before she clicked down on the button, he grabbed me by the arms and turned my face towards his gently, colliding his lips with mine. My mom had brought her hand up to her mouth and I watched a smile take over her face as she saw us together. She had wanted Jayson and I to end up together ever since we had met as little kids, and watching us happy like that satisfied her.
She took the camera to the store to have the film developed later that afternoon. She bought a frame and framed the picture of us kissing and surprised me with it that night. Jayson had gotten a copy as well, but who knows if he still had it. Sometimes the picture would make me smile, which was something that rarely happened anymore. However, if I did smile it would usually fade soon after it spread across my face. The realization that that was possibly the last picture we would ever have together hit me hard every time and at times it was more than I could take.
My mom had tried everything she could to make me feel better. She tried so hard to make me smile that at times it even made me angry. She too was shaken up about Jayson’s disappearance since he had been a second son to her. He had moved in with us a couple years ago because of some problems at home and my mom had welcomed him with open arms. I’m not sure she really knew what to do in the situation herself because of her being almost as hurt as I am, so her handling me on top of that was impossible. She didn’t want to face this realization however, and every now and then she would do something over the top to try and get me to forget even just for a moment. I appreciated her efforts and I was grateful that I had a mom that cared so much, but everything she planned always ended up sending a painful memory through my mind and ripping me apart. It wasn’t intentional and I knew that, but sometimes I wish she would just leave me be and let me be unhappy.
But she was my mother, and watching your child stay unhappy isn’t something mothers do when they care for their children deeply. She wasn’t going to give up and I knew that, so when she told me she had planned a birthday party for my seventeenth birthday I didn’t argue or even fight it. I accepted the fact and told her thank you, and then went to my room and screamed into my pillow. Kids from school were going to show up, most of them probably only for the cake and to listen to the local band my mom had hired. Some of them probably only because they knew my family owned most of the companies in the city and wanted to see if my house was as awesome as everyone claimed it was. The people that showed up for that reason would not be disappointed. My house was one of the biggest and nicest in the city.
I lived a rich life, and I could honestly have pretty much anything I wanted. But with Jayson gone, I didn’t want anything. I didn’t care about my life and living in a big house was more like having a lot of extra empty space to me. Most of the rooms were always empty, and all walking around my house did was remind me of how alone I was now. I wouldn’t even walk to the left of my room. Jayson’s room was down that hall and I still hadn’t gotten up the courage to step foot in it.
Everyone at school knew of what had happened and I’d become a completely different person. I lost every one of my friends by pushing them away to the point that they could no longer fight back. And in all honesty, I didn’t want them to. I didn’t want them to stick around to see me the way that I was. They all reacted to my behavior just the way I wanted them to; they all gave up on me. The phone calls started coming further and further apart until they finally stopped once they realized that I was ignoring them, and I had avoided eye contact with them at all costs in the hallway during passing periods. The only time I would have anything to do with them was when a teacher would pair me up with them for a project. Even then I didn’t talk. I would just nod and do the assignments, listening to them try and comfort me but completely ignoring all advice they gave. They didn’t know what I was dealing with. They had no idea what I was feeling and their advice didn’t do any good because of that fact.
It wasn’t only them that had given up, either. I had been the rich and popular girl. I wasn’t one that was a snob, and in fact I tried hard to be nice to pretty much everyone in the school that wasn’t too intimidated to come and talk to me. I had the biggest heart of anyone at school according to most of the kids. Now that Jayson was gone and that I was losing myself, no one at school wanted to have much of anything to do with me anymore. After all, who would want to hang out with a depressed girl that did nothing but stare at the walls all day? I know that if I were someone else, that would be the last thing I would prefer doing in my spare time. I didn’t mind them not wanting to communicate with me, and even those that actually did usually got the cold shoulder. I felt bad for ignoring them and shooting down their attempts at conversation with me, but I knew they’d be better off without someone that felt as low as me being around them. My negativity would rub off on them if they spent too much time with me. In some ways I guess I felt as if by staying away from them I was doing them a favor.
But whether I liked it or not, the party was going to happen and I was going to have to seem appreciative as the kids from school showed up. I’d have to force a smile on my face as they handed me gifts and told me happy birthday, and I told myself that for that one afternoon I would attempt to be social. My mom was trying so hard and I didn’t want her to think that all of her efforts were useless, even if that really were the case.