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April 4, 2010
Will and I sat in his car, the silence between us deafening. He was staring straight ahead and I was staring out my window. We weren’t doing anything. We were just sitting in the parking lot of the diner we’d spent the night at yesterday. Things were pretty awkward between us now.
It used to be so easy with Will. So easy to talk to him and hang out with him. But not anymore. Now it was a struggle just to stay with him. Now I was mentally debating whether or not Kristy was right. Now I was considering leaving him, because I knew deep down that it was the right thing to do.
The radio was playing at a low volume, but it was mostly just static. It was also very dark out, almost pitch black. The whole setting was pretty creepy, and I couldn’t help but feel paranoid. I could just see Michael popping out of nowhere with an ice mallet and getting his revenge by brutally murdering us both.
Between the paranoia about Michael and the doubt about staying with Will, I was falling apart at the seems. My life had done a complete one-eighty right before my eyes and now it was pretty much ruined. If only Ash hadn’t gone off to war. If only he’d stayed with me. If only he’d stayed alive.
I wondered what my life would’ve been like if that were the case. It would probably be a h*** of a lot better than this. Because I knew for a fact that Ash wouldn’t ever hit me. I also knew that if Michael was after me, Ash would put his life on the line just to protect me. He was just that kind of guy. The kind who is completely caring and selfless.
The more I thought about Ash, the more I realized just how much I missed him. I’d done a pretty good job of bottling up my feelings for him so far. I’d distracted myself with other guys like Will and Cole. But now that I was allowing myself to open up and let the memory of Ash into my mind, I couldn’t continue to distract myself. Now it was out in the open and it was killing me inside.
I felt tears flooding my eyes and I bit down hard on my lower lip to keep myself from crying out. I didn’t want Will to know that I was crying, so I just kept my head turned towards the window and kept completely silent. But the tears still flowed out of my eyes, trickling down my face noiselessly.
I sucked in a deep breath and tried desperately to blink the tears away. But they just kept coming. I just couldn’t tear my mind away from Ash. Now that I had let the memory of him enter my mind, I couldn’t get it to go away. I felt my body begin to tremble and I let out a deep shaky breath, which Will noticed.
“Hey,” he said to me, his voice full of concern. “What’s the matter?” When I didn’t answer him, he tucked a strand of my blonde hair between my ears and cupped my chin in his hand. Gently, he turned my head so that I was looking at him and wiped the tears away from eyes with his thumb. “Why are you crying?” he asked me.
“I miss Ash,” I murmured. Once that much was out, the rest of my emotions poured out of me like an avalanche. “It’s just not fair!” I cried. “This wasn’t supposed to happen. He wasn’t supposed to die! We got married for God’s sakes! We were supposed to be together forever. He was my life, Will. I married him because I wanted him to stay with me until the day that I died.
We were supposed to start a family together. We were supposed to grow old together. But now we can’t because he’s dead! And I know that it’s horrible of me to sit here moping about it, because I’m still alive. I know I should move on with my life and make the best of it. And I tried to do that, but then things didn’t work out with Cole, and Michael happened, and you hit me. Gosh, Will, you freakin’ hit me!
I don’t deserve that! Ash would’ve never done that, because he loved me. Only now he doesn’t get to love me anymore. He doesn’t get to hold me or kiss me or smile at me anymore. He doesn’t get to do anything anymore, because he’s dead! But you’re here, well and alive. You have you’re entire life ahead of you, yet you choose to spend it punching me in the face. So that would be why I’m crying, Will.”
When I was finally done with all of my ranting and raving, the tears had finally cleared up. It felt really good to let all of that off my chest, but seeing the hurt look on Will’s face didn’t feel so good. I knew that I shouldn’t have felt bad for him. Not after what he’d done to me, but I just couldn’t help it. I felt bad for Will, and I hated myself for that. He didn’t deserve my sympathy.
Furiously, I pulled myself away from him. I turned back toward the window. I didn’t want to look at Will anymore. It would just make me even angrier. It was hard to just sit there though, not looking at him, because it had already been at least a minute and he still hadn’t spoken.
“So that’s it?” I finally said, turning to look at him. Realizing that he wasn’t going to respond to me anytime soon. “You don’t have anything to say for yourself?”
“Well what the h*** do you want me to say, Evalynne?” he demanded. “I messed up, ok? I’ve already admitted it, and I’ve already apologized for it. So I really don’t know what else you want me to say! I’m sorry that I’m not a perfect as Ash, and I wish that Ash was still alive too. You definitely deserve him over me. I know that.” The corners of his mouth creased down, forming a frown.
“You just don’t get it, Will!” I exploded. “I had the perfect guy! He was kind and sweet and loyal and he loved me. And then one day I woke up and there was some guy in a uniform standing at my door, telling me that my perfect guy was gone. A complete stranger told me that Ash was dead, and then that was it. Ever since that day my life has sucked. But then I met you, and I thought that things could be good again. And they were for a little while. But then you hit me.”
I just wished he could see how deeply he’d hurt me. It hadn’t just hurt me physically. It had scarred me emotionally too. I couldn’t trust him now. I wanted to stay with him, but only because I was still hoping that things could somehow go back to normal. That was pretty unlikely though. Too much damage had already been done for us to repair it. Things would never go back to normal now.
“Well things can be good again. I know that what I did was wrong, and I promise that I’ll never do it again. But can’t we just get past that so that things can go back to the way they were?” Will asked me pleadingly.
“How can we just get past this?” I demanded. “What you did was awful. We can act like we don’t care and pretend like it never happened, but we’ll always know that it did. And I don’t want to live a lie, Will. I wish things could be good again, but I think it’s a little too late for that.”
“What does this mean then?” he asked. “Are you trying to tell me that you’re leaving me?”
I opened my mouth to respond, but before any words came out, both of our phones buzzed. I clamped my mouth shut and met Will’s eyes, which were full of irritation. “Let’s see what my psychotic brother has to say now,” he muttered to himself as he yanked his phone out of his pocket.
I watched his facial expression go from irritated to uneasy and felt my stomach begin to churn. “What does it say?” I asked him.
He swallowed hard, causing his Adam’s apple to bob up and down in his throat. “Here,” he said softly, handing me his cell phone. I nervously read the text message that was on his screen.
Roses are red, violets are blue…hit her again and I’ll freakin kill you
“Oh my God,” I nearly dropped the phone when I read these threatening words. Will reached over and took the phone back, a grim look on his face.
“What does yours say?” he asked, his voice thin and throaty. Honestly, I didn’t want to know what mine said. But I pulled my phone out of my pocket and read it anyways.
Violets are blue, roses are red…better leave now before he hits you again
I bit down on my lower lip and instinctively glanced out the window, expecting to see Michael standing there. The paranoia was getting worse. I still had to keep in mind that it might not be Michael though. I obviously wasn’t going to try to convince Will to keep that in mind. In fact, I was scared to say anything about these texts now. What if I said something wrong and Will got angry again? What if this time I wound up with a black eye or something?
“Can I see it?” Will asked. But he was grabbing the phone out of my hands before I even got a chance to respond. His eyes were glassy as he read it and once he was done, he silently handed me my phone back. “I know it’s Michael.” he stated, and I didn’t dare argue. “But there’s one thing I’m confused about.”
“What?” I asked him.
“Why is he trying to protect you? I thought he wanted to kill you too.” he pointed out. He definitely had a point. It really didn’t make any sense for Michael to try and keep me from getting hurt when he had tried to bash my head in with an ice mallet. This new realization only led me to believe that Ash was the one who was really behind this.
It made sense. He’d sent the first texts to make me remember that Will had cheated once so he might do it again, and also to make Will remember that I couldn’t settle for just one person. That was his attempt at adding tension to our relationship. Then he’d told us to listen to that song so that we would know that he was always watching us. And he’d sent these last texts to keep Will from hitting me and to keep me away from Will.
It had to have been Ash. Michael wouldn’t try to keep Will from hitting me. If he knew that Will was hitting me, he’d probably be proud of him for it. He was just twisted like that.
“Will,” I began, “do you believe in ghosts?”
“Ghosts?” he asked, sounding confused. “What does that have to do with anything?”
“Just answer the question,” I told him.
“Fine, I don’t believe in ghosts.” he replied. “Now tell me why you wanted to know that so bad.”
I sighed, knowing that I couldn’t tell him the truth now. Because if I told him that Ash’s ghost was haunting us, he’d call me crazy. “I was just wondering,” I lied.
He looked at me doubtfully, obviously not believing me. “Well there had to be a reason behind it. Just tell me. Why’d you want to know?”
I pressed my lips together, unsure of what to say. So I didn’t say anything.
“Evalynne, just answer the question.” he remarked, sounding aggravated now.
“But if I answer and I say the wrong thing, you might get mad at me again. And if you get mad at me again, you might hit me again. So I think I’ll just keep my mouth shut this time.” I retorted.
I watched as the expression on his face went from irritated to hurt. And then from hurt to downright p*ssed. “This isn’t fair, Evalynne!” he exploded, startling me. “You can’t keep holding this over me! Stop trying to make me feel bad about hitting you! I felt horrible at first, but honestly, I don’t feel all that bad about it now. I’m too irritated with you to feel bad anymore.”
I stared at him for a moment, wondering if I had just been hallucinating. But I hadn’t been. Will had actually just told me that he didn’t even feel bad about hitting me anymore. I felt like he had just hit me again, only this time it was worse. Because this time I knew he didn’t care whether or not it hurt me.
“What the h*** is wrong with you?” I demanded, my voice low and angry. “How could you say that to me? You’re sitting here, trying to get me to forgive you, trying to get things to go back to normal, and then you tell me you don’t feel bad about hitting me? What the h***, Will?”
“Well you’re obviously just going to break up with me, so what’s the point in trying to win you over, huh?” he cried. He bowed his head towards his lap, holding his hand against his forehead so that I couldn’t see his eyes. When he looked back up at me, they were glistening with unshed tears. “You think you have it so bad, Evalynne.” he murmured. “You think that just because you’re husband died and I hit you, that you’re the most unfortunate person in whole world.
Well, guess what? You’re not. My brother is a sadistic serial killer. Ever since the day I was born, he’s gone out of his way to make my life a living h***. I started dating Valerie, and I really liked her too. In fact, I was in love with her. But then I went and screwed things up. Now, she’s with my brother, and he’s only with her to p*ss me off. He tried to kill me. He tried to freakin kill me, Evalynne!
And Valerie just stood there and watched. But luckily, we got a hold of the police, and we told them the whole story. Then they told my parents the story. But even after being told by the cops what Michael had done, they still blamed everything on me. They thought I was framing him. So they kicked me out onto the streets.
Now, they’re searching for Michael so he can come back home to live with him, while I’m in the parking lot of some scummy diner, living in my car. So no, Evalynne, you really don’t have it all that bad.”
I sat there, soaking all of this in. He had a point. His life definitely did suck, but so did mine. I wasn’t quite sure who’s sucked more, but either way, we both had some serious issues. And I knew very well that when all of these issues were piled on top of you all at once, you wound up doing some pretty crazy things. Like stepping in front of a car coming full speed ahead at you for example. Or punching your girlfriend in the face.
Now that I took this into consideration, I began to realize just how harsh I was being on Will. Sure, what he had done was wrong, and I was still very upset about it. But at least now I got why he did it. It hadn’t been something he’d wanted to do because he was angry with me. It had happened simply because he couldn’t stop it from happening. All the stress of his messed up life had gotten to be too much for him to handle, so he instinctively let out some steam.
“You’re right,” I replied. “You’re totally and completely right.” I felt hot tears welling up in my own eyes as I thought about the situation we were in. Both of us, with our screwed up lives and beyond-repairable issues, were living in our cars because we weren’t wanted anywhere else. All we had was eachother. Was I really going to give that up just because of a mistake that Will made?
He let out a deep sigh of relief, probably because I hadn’t gotten mad at him for ranting right back at me. “Yeah, sorry if what I said was totally brutal and harsh. I just needed you to know how I’m feeling right now. You’re all I’ve got left, Evalynne. I don’t know what I’d do if you left me.”
I smiled sadly at him, wishing this could all just go away. Wishing that we could be living happily ever after together in a big, beautiful house right off the beach. Where we could step outside into our backyard, and be only a short walk away from the ocean. Where we could be happy together and settle down together and raise a family together.
I tried putting this blissful picture in my head, but when I did, rather than seeing Will and I together, I saw myself with Ash. I blinked a few times, trying to get the image to change. But it wouldn’t. All I saw was Ash.
Him and I were lying on a hammock together, on the beach. We were about ten years older and two children, a boy and a girl, were building a sand castle on the ground a few feet away from us. The boy had sandy blonde hair and light hazel eyes that were almost identical to Ash’s, while the girl had a mess of untamable blonde curls on top of her head, with pale blue eyes that resembled mine.
I blinked once more, clearing the picture out of my mind altogether. Then I looked back at Will, into his deep brown eyes, and sighed. “I don’t know what I’d do if I left you either.” I said to him.
A small smile spread across his lips. “So does this mean that you aren’t going to break up with me?”
I took a deep breath, fighting the slight urge to just leave Will and go kill myself so that I could be with Ash once and for all. I knew that was the wrong thing to do though. Ash would be extremely disappointed in me if I did something as selfish and careless as that. So instead, I nodded and replied, “That’s exactly what it means.”