Always and Forever. | Teen Ink

Always and Forever.

May 16, 2013
By EmmaClaireCupcake SILVER, Buffalo, New York
EmmaClaireCupcake SILVER, Buffalo, New York
9 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
Sometimes you just need to forget what you feel and remember what you deserve.

Yay, thought Ella Levix, prom just had to be tonight. She didn’t like the idea of dancing the night away in 6-inch heels and a strapless, frilly, pink dress that never layed quite right on her petite frame. The dress really didn’t look right with her spiky black hair and lip ring. At 17, most girls enjoyed this torture. Ella would rather take her shift at Mighty Taco cleaning toilets. Brinnnnnng! Brinnnnnng! Well, thought Ella, at least school’s almost over for the year. After hopping in her forest-green Jeep Wrangler, she pulled her black Tracfone out of her worn out purple backpack and called her ‘date’ for that night’s torture-fest.

“Hey, Ian, can you tell mom to pick up my shoes on the way home at Burlington?” said an annoyed Ella. She loved the idea of Ian taking her to the senior prom just as much as she liked prom itself. The moment her mom found out she didn’t have a date to the “social event of the year”, she asked Ian to take his little sister. Ian missed his senior prom because, well, how do you put this nicely; his girlfriend at the time gave him mono.

“Ya, sure. But only if you make me and Josh some of those tiny pizza roll thingies,” replied Ian. Ew. Joshua Johnson. Ella was getting sick of her brother’s friends being over at the weirdest times, like when she felt like running on the treadmill. The treadmill happens to be in the basement where the Xbox is, so Josh and Ian spend a lot of time down there.

“Can you remind Dad to fix the hole in my ceiling? I think it’s going to rain this weekend,” said Ella, remembering the human-sized gaping hole in her bedroom.
“Sure, whatever.By the way, Josh might be there before me, so hurry up on the pizza things.” Click. Ugh, thought Ella, how much more torture can one night pack in? She pulled into the driveway, seeing Josh ride up on his sleek, black motorcycle.
“Hey Joshie-woshie. Why do you come here almost every day when you have a perfectly fine house of your own?” said Ella. She’s called him Joshie-woshie ever since she met him, when she was so young she could hardly talk.
“Sup Ella-wella. Your mom told me to pick up your shoes, the black heels, right? And Ian wanted to me to show him how to build an elevator in Minecraft with Redstone and…” Ella zoned out after Josh said something about her shoes. Why did he bother to pick them up? thought Ella, maybe he… nah. That’d never happen.

“Can you just get them out of my backpack? I was told you wouldn’t make us food, and you know how hungry your brother gets.”
“Ya, sure. And I was too gonna put the pizza rolls in the oven!” Ella tried leaning around Josh to the left, and apparently he thought it was a good idea to go right, making them go the same direction.
“Joooooosh, go in the right direction for once,” said a very annoyed Ella.

“Fine. I go left, you go right,” Josh said
They ended up going, again, in the same direction.

“Stop being so annoyingly awkward!” shouted Ella.

“You want me to do this instead?” said Josh, full of sass.

Ella went to question him, not knowing what he meant, but she soon figured it out. He kissed her. Josh was kissing her, Ella. What?! thought Ella, I was right earlier! He does! WOOP WOOP!

A couple of minutes later (after she really needed some good ol’ oxygen), Josh looked at her, smiling like a crazy idiot.
“Why did you starting cheering?” he said.
“Um, what?” Ella replied. I didn’t do that out loud, did I? she hoped.
“We were…ya know… kissing, and you said…or tried to say at least…woop woop? I think?” said a very confused Josh.
“Oh. That,” said Ella, trying to be nonchalant but failing. After some thinking, she finally had the courage to say what’s been on her mind for the past three years.
“IreallylikedyouforalongtimeandwantedtotellyoubecauseIthoughyoulikedmetooandnowIknowyoudosoya,” quickly said Ella.
“Hey, babe, can you slow down a little?” Ella blushed at Josh calling her ‘babe.’
“Fine. I really like you for a long time and I wanted to tell you because I thought you liked me too and know you know so ya.”
“Awh, you’re so cute when you blush. Hey what’s that?” said Josh, smirking.

Ella turned around quickly, waiting for something abnormal to be in the vicinity. The only people outside were Josh and Ella, and a staggering man about ½ a mile away. While Ella was turned, Josh quickly took her into a bear hug and carried her into the house.

Ella decided to ignore the strange man. It was probably just a drunk guy, thought Ella.

“Hey Johnson, did you see the drunk guy outside?”

“Yup, he said, smile still plastered to his face. “But he didn’t look drunk. He looked like a zombie! Maybe I’ll finally be able to put my skills to the test!”

“Sure Joshie-woshie. Whatever you say. Just remember who always beats you at Call of Duty Zombies.”

“You won’t even need to worry about the zombie apocalypse with all of this food your mom keeps in the house for your brother, and a strong and incredibly attractive man in the house.”

“Are you talking about Ian? He’s not that-“

“No Ella! Ew. Ever heard of incest? I’m talking about me,” interrupted Josh. “I promised Ian I would help protect you and your mom in a zombie apocalypse if he died, so I should probably stay here.”

Suddenly there was a sound at the door. It sounds like someone is throwing their whole body against that thing, thought Ella. Maybe I should go see if it’s Mom, home early.

“I’ll see who it is. Ian texted me a few hours ago that he won’t be home until it’s time for prom.”
No. I totally forgot about prom! thought Ella. Maybe I’ll get ‘sick’ and make Josh watch The Notebook.

Josh opened the door, not knowing that this one little action would change everything.

“Hey bro, how’s- Ella, quick! Pass me something to hit him with!” panicked Josh.
Ella quickly looked around her kitchen, wondering why Josh wanted to hit her brother, his best friend. She found Ian’s baseball bag and hurriedly unzipped it, immediately pulling out the bat.

“Josh, catch!” said Ella, throwing the bat across the room.

He caught it and proceeded to crush in Ian’s skull.

“What are you doing?! That’s my brother!” yelled Ella. What just happened? and her mind was suddenly flooded with thoughts.

Josh is crushing in Ian’s brain! He killed him! Why did Ian try to bite him? OMG I just kissed my brother’s best friend who is now killing my brother! Wow. My life is messed up. I should go see what’s wrong.

“Not anymore. Come get a closer look,” Josh said, bringing Ella’s thoughts back to the real world.

“I don’t want to. How do you know he won’t attack me, too?”

“Would I ever do anything to hurt you?”

“Well, you sure hurt Ian.”

“Ella, listen to me,” Josh said as Ella quickly looked at her brother, or what used to be him. “this is not Ian anymore, ok? I think he was the ‘drunk’ guy we saw earlier. He is… he’s…he was a zombie, Ella.”

“Stop joking. This isn’t real. This is a dream, right? Wake me. Please wake up. Ian isn’t dead or a… zombie… and Josh didn’t… beat his… his skull in…” rambled Ella, half talking to herself.
Josh grabbed her by the shoulders. “Ella! Listen to me! This isn’t a dream, you’re not being pranked. THIS IS REAL LIFE!” shouted Josh uncontrollably, falling to the floor weeping in a tangled mass of appendages, swoopy boy hair, and brain goo.

*Ella sat on her couch, looking at her scarred arms recalling when she did them, why she did them, and how no one seemed to notice. The only person she had ever told she did this was Josh. He understood that people bullied Ella, because the same thing happened to him. They thought Ella’s leather jackets, band shirts, and spiked hair made her not human, a chew toy to take out aggression on. She started crying when she realized that it didn’t matter anymore, how those people just wanted to eat her. Ella decided to check her laptop for notifications and to look at pictures of Gerard Way and Frank Iero on tumblr. That always made her feel better.
After a few hours, when Josh had finally gotten himself together, Ella started wondering about the near future. She put down her laptop, because she finally gave up on trying to connect to someone still alive on a social-networking site, like Facebook or Twitter.
“Joshua, what do we do?! There are human flesh-hungry people outside! We’ll get eaten, or bit, or starve!”
“They aren’t people anymore, Ella. They’re monsters. Relax. Tomorrow we can take my motorcycle and its full gas tank to Wal-Mart and get some canned goods, water, and weapons. Ok?” calmly said Josh.
“O…ok,” hesitantly stammered Ella between sobs, “but we need to remember to bring that baseball bat.”
“Why don’t you go get your Dad’s old electric guitar? I think I left my bass in the basement. Playing always helps you calm down.”

*Ella hiked up the curving stairs from the downstairs hall to the second floor of her home. She could smell the orchids from outside, due to a slight breeze coming through the hole in her bedroom ceiling. She sauntered into her parent’s old room, and ran her fingers over the worn periwinkle comforter on the way to the Dad’s guitar stand. She opened a window in the stuffed room before reaching the guitar, and heard the birds chirp and the zombies moan.
Mom’s probably dead, thought Ella, noticing her mother wasn’t home, at least she and Dad didn’t have to see Ian’s guts on the hall floor.

She grabbed the old Epiphone Black Beauty Les Paul off its stand.

“Hey Josh? Do you think my amp will still work?” shouted Ella down the nearby stairs, yelling over the pounding bass music coming up from the living room.

“Mine does, so I don’t see why yours wouldn’t,” he replied, shouting over his loud plucking.

BEEP…BEEP… BEEP… BEEP… “Josh! Can you please shut off that stupid timer?”

“Sure, but why is there a timer going off? We are in the middle of a crisis here, remember?” sarcastically said Josh.
And with that, Ella suddenly noticed the constant moaning and growling outside her safe home.

“I wanted some food ‘cause we didn’t get to eat any earlier,” she said, not letting Josh see her worry about how safe the house actually was.

After they found some paper plates and two unopened cans of soda, Joshua and Ella ate their lousy frozen pizza while Josh attempted to sing some of Ella’s favorite songs.

“You should never have opened that door, now you're never gonna see her no more…” he sang, quoting The Ramones.

“Josh! Is this really the time for that song?” Ella was ready to break down. All she wanted to do was put on sweatpants and crawl into Josh’s lap.

“Do you know a better song?”

“Give me a D-E-G-A strum pattern please,” sassily replied Ella.

Josh, already knowing the song, burst into full-blown rocker mode, head banging with his tongue out of his mouth.
Ella started off. “Well it rains and it pours, when you're out on your own, if I crash on the couch can I sleep in my clothes?...”

When they were finished, Ella went upstairs to find the air mattress. “Why will we need that tonight?” smugly asked Josh.

“Because we’d be safer this way from…from those things out there.”

“Are you sure you just don’t want to cuddle me all night?” asked Josh, being completely serious.

“Joshua Johnson! What would your mother say?”


“Well, what?”

“Is it true?”

“Again Johnson, it’s so not the time.”

The next morning, the muted orange sun continued to rise and the birds continued to chirp their sweet melodies. Just as Ella was opening her eyes to greet the misery and anxiety she now called home, there was a knock at the door. She wearily turned to wake up Josh, but he wasn’t there.
Oh no! she thought, They got him! But then who’s knocking?
“Ella!” someone screamed “Hurry up open the door for me!”
She bolted for the door. As she fuzzily undid the lock system, her brain still foggy from waking up, she saw his face in the window.
She saw Joshua, holding two duffel bags almost overflowing with food and blankets.
He’s all right. They didn’t get him, she thought, but he broke his promise! He went off on his own!

“Ella! Come on!” She saw the fear in his eyes as she scrambled to get the lock system open that she and Josh rigged the night before.
She finally found the final key in the spare set she had put together years prior to sneak out and back in unnoticed.
As she wiggled the key in the lock, she heard a faint snap.

“Um, El, what was that?” asked Josh.
“Are you safe at the moment?” she answered, her heart sinking.
“Ella. Tell me what’s wrong!” frantically asked Josh, while a look of hopelessness suddenly crossed his face.

“I… I broke the key. It’s stuck in the lock. I’m so sorry Joshua,” mumbled Ella. She started silently weeping, not wanting him to sense her despair.
“Ella, I left a walkie-talkie in the living room, on your amp. I think it’s blue, and I’m pretty sure I left it on,” yelled Josh through the thick wooden door. “Go grab it so we can figure out a plan. I think these things are attracted to noise.”

Ella rushed into the living room, glad that Josh thought of a backup form of communication. She saw the walkie-talkie, and seized it immediately. Ella noticed it was purple, not blue, as she sprinted back to the door.
Boy, he still can’t tell blue from purple, she thought, reminiscing about their childhood, remembering how life was before everything went wrong. Ella looked out her hall window, seeing those zombie things in her backyard. Hmm… is the ladder still outside?
She arrived at the door, scrambling trying to find the right button. When she finally found the big button with a speaker symbol on it, she pressed it like her life depended on it, holding on like a final leaf of autumn to a tree branch.
“Josh. I think my Dad left out the ladder from when he was fixing the roof.”
“Ok? This is important because….”
“Because he was fixing the hole in my ceiling! My human-sized hole! You can just jump through it and land on my floor,” exclaimed Ella, extremely overjoyed by her plan.

“I actually think this might just work. Where did your Dad leave it?”
“If you’re facing the street, it’s on the left near the back.”
“So you want me just to climb it and jump?” skeptically replied Joshua.
“Exactly! Just remember to bring a weapon.”
“Like these?” Josh pulled out two stainless steel machetes.
“Where did you get those?!” asked Ella, shocked.
“Apparently Wal-Mart sells these things. They weren’t even locked up.”
“Just don’t cut your fingers off,” she warned the clumsy boy.

Joshua turned and looked at Ella through the thick, cold, hard glass that made the window in her front door. She had one single tear gently making its way down her cheek. Josh took her Ella’s hands in his, and looked her in her deep chocolate-colored eyes.

“I love you. Always,” he said to her, a depressed tone to his voice. “Just remember that every day.”

“I love you, too. I’ll be upstairs waiting,” Ella said, slowly turning away from Josh, not wanting him to get hurt.

Ella sat on her bed, impatiently tapping her fingers and hearing the zombies moan, wondering how Josh was doing, not really thinking of anything else. She heard footsteps, and knew that he was coming up the ladder to safety. He dropped his two hefty duffel bags through the gaping hole, and Ella looked up at her love, entirely unaware that it was for the last time.

“Ella, I’ll never leave you.”

Joshua Johnson did jump, but not through the hole into Ella Levix’s room. He jumped off the roof, into a horde of flesh-hungry beasts. If he wasn’t killed by impact, they surely got him.

Ella couldn’t eat or sleep for three days. She wouldn’t leave her bedroom, except to go to the bathroom, not wanting to go downstairs and see something that was once a part of Josh. When she finally ate, she almost choked on her canned peaches through sobs. Ella grabbed her pillow, and she fell asleep on her floor, realizing how much she was deprived of the mindless pleasure.

She woke up with her pillow covered in tears and rain.

Ella finally pulled herself together enough to open the second duffel bag, the one abundant with supplies and weapons. When she did, she couldn’t believe her eyes. In the bag, Josh had left a tightly folded note written in his favorite blue fountain pen.
My dear Ella,

I know, at this time, you will be wondering why I have done what I done. The truth is, I couldn’t bear to see the world end like this. People, they were mindless and power-hungry before, and now, it’s quite similar, except they just want to eat human flesh.
When I went to Wal-Mart, there was a group of survivors like us. The army was protecting them, and they gave me the supplies and told me to bring you to them. If you need someone there to talk to, or to protect you, they will help. Just knock on the main door 3 times and tell them you know me.
I’m so sorry Ella. Don’t ever give up.
Love you always,
Joshua Johnson

Ella sobbed as she read this, her mid full of depression and anguish.

Why? she thought. I thought he’d be here forever… and always. That word haunted her, creeped into her every thought. It was like he meant to pick that exact word, knowing how it would affect her.
No, he’d never want me to do that, she thought through sniffles. He always tried to stop me when I…
She couldn’t bear to go on with the thought. Too many memories of blood covering her wrists swarmed her mind.

Maybe I should be with him. Always had to mean something, right?

She moved her desk chair below the hole in her ceiling, not caring how the loud squeaking would attract the zombies. She stood on it and climbed onto the roof. She looked out on the world for one last time.
Goodbye, cruel world, forever and always.

The author's comments:
I wrote this as an assignment for my ELA class.

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