"We need drugs, cigarettes and
alcohol to escape reality and we need
to turn the music up so fucking loud,
we can not feel a fucking thing."
Lily Walker and Ethan Rodriguez, both happy and sad at the same time. Same Hell, just different devils. They deal with their devils in different ways but only end up destroying themselves—killing the pain.
They get to choose, save one another or themselves. Will they put the other above themselves? Or will they put themselves on #1?
The white casket is hanging on just four ropes, which are being held by four strong men in tuxedos. The casket is closed and when the priest is done talking, the four men let the casket go down, fairly slowly. Through the pine twigs, you can still catch a brief glimpse of the white painted, yet closed, casket. My mom is holding my shoulders, while her hands are shaking from sobbing. My uncle on the other hand, is staring blankly at the hole in the ground, showing absolutely no emotion. My niece is standing somewhere in the back and my eyes are starting to water. I haven't shown any signs of grief since my teacher told me. My mom's been an emotional wreck, and I haven't seen my dad in a week.
You can start to see the other gravestones as the people, having tear-streaked cheeks, start to scatter. I remember some of them. Almost everyone gave me a hug and told me everything would be okay eventually, at the memorial. I didn't understand what they meant. I'm only 9 for that matter. They say she was too young to die, and I was too young to loose such an important person in my life. Yet again, I didn't understand what they meant. Maybe there will come a day, when I will finally realize how much she actually meant to me. Now it's just a faint picture. Maybe next week she will call again, asking us if we want to come visit. “Maybe next weekend”, we would answer. They lived a one hour drive away after all. My twin brother, Nathan, wanted to play outside. He would throw a football, aiming for my head. And my other brothers and my sister would be doing something for themselves. Mom didn't have much time and neither did my dad. But when we did visit, they would be happy and we would be too.
"Lily, honey?" I look up to see my mom. Her eyes are bloodshot and she has mascara stains on her cheeks. She is still sobbing.
"Mom, will we ever see her again?" She whimper and nods, "One day honey, one day. Now go play with your brothers and sister.” She says somewhat cheerfully.
I may be only 9 years old, but I know that the smile on her lips, is a hundred percent fake.
I just nod and walk over to Nathan. He has his football in his hand and looks defeated. "Nate?" I sit down on the graveyard's cobbled pathway.
"Lills," he looks up from his football and sends me a small smile, but his eyes betray him. They're bloodshot and swollen.
"Nate, don't cry." I say casually.
"Lills, how can you deal with this so... so... maturely?" He looks up at me and I can see my own reflection in his eyes, because new tears are filling them up. And I just shrug, because I don't know the answer to that question either.
"You know Lill-,"
I grunt as I hit my phone in an attempt to turn my alarm clock off. It woke me up from one the most horrible dreams I've been having lately. This isn't the worst, though. I've had nightmares and flashbacks of the car crash too.
"Lills!" Nathan yells from behind my door while pounding hard on it.
"Uh, Nate I'm almost ready," my voice breaks at the end of my sentence as a tear rolls down my cheeks.
No, no, no, no, please no. I beg, but it's too late.
Tears are running down my cheeks and my cries turn into sobs. "Lills! I'm coming in!" Nathan's voice echoes from the hallway.
"Nathan, I'm fine!" I try to yell, but it comes out barely a whisper.
The door opens with a loud bang as it hits the wall, because of the force Nathan opened it with.
"Lills!" His eyes look sad and he rushes over to me, "Did it happen again? Was it the funeral or the crash?"
I swallow, trying to hold back a sob, "Funeral." I say, but it comes out as a whisper.
"It'll be okay, Lills, I'm here." He holds my shoulders as I bury my head in the crook of his neck.
"Nathan?" I slowly look up and see him looking down at me, with sad eyes.
"Thank you," I hug him once more until I feel the stress bubbling up. I only have less than 30 minutes left to get ready.
"Nathan, I need to get ready or else I'll be late, please leave,” I usher him out of my room and rush over to my closet, picking out a simple outfit fairly quickly, and then rush over to the bathroom. I apply some mascara, fill in my eyebrows and conceal some of my imperfections. There are a lot more imperfections, but those I can't cover up with concealer.
I rush back into my room after spending at least 20 minutes in the bathroom, and change into my clothes for the day: a black pair of jeans—ripped at the knees, a dark violet knitted sweater, and my black and white checkered scarf. I'm obsessed with scarfs. I take one last look in my full-length mirror, and quickly fix my hair before running downstairs, almost tripping over my own feet.
"Lily, eat your breakfast!" My mom yells the second I enter the kitchen.
"Mom, I'll eat a granola bar or something on my way, but I really have to go now!" She sighs and shoves an apple, a granola bar, and some lunch money towards me. She grabs the newspaper from the counter and starts reading.
"Mom," my sister Madison whines.
"Yes, Madison?" She looks up from the newspaper she was reading.
"Why does Lily get more lunch money than me?" My mom sighs and goes back to reading the newspaper.
"Because I like her more than you, now finish your breakfast," You can hear a hint of sarcasm in her voice and I chuckle, slightly.
"Lills, you ready?" My twin brother Nathan peeks his head around the corner of the door between the hall and the kitchen. He is twirling his car keys around his index finger.
"Yup, let me put my shoes on!" I put the apple between my teeth, taking half a bite, and grab the 10 dollar note and granola bar.
I rush into the hallway and grab my grey backpack and black and white Adidas superstars. I put them on, tying them on my way outside, while attempting to grab my jacket and swinging my backpack over my shoulder.
You can't do anything right, clumsy girl.
I sigh at my own thoughts while scrabbling back up, and jump into Nathan's car.
"Loser," he laughs, and turns on the radio.
"Shut up, will ya?" I sigh, and properly tie my shoes.
"Lills?" The humor in his voice disappears and he looks seriously.
"Please look out for yourself. If something happens, call me, okay? I'll even skip class if I have to. You can call me whenever." He glances over for a brief second, and I nod. "Thanks nate."
He smiles and pulls into the school's parking lot, "See ya after school." He waves goodbye and jogs over to his football friends, the school jocks.
Great. I'm alone again.
I hurry into school, trying not to trip over my own feet, and finally reach my locker, right next to the cafeteria. I quickly empty my bag into my locker, and only take out the books I need: Modern World History and AP English Language and Composition.
The bell rings and I slam my locker shut, hurrying to World History. Flying up the stairs, and again, trying not to trip over my own feet.
I reach the classroom on the second floor, just in time, and see my best friend sitting somewhere in the middle of the room. She’s on her phone.
"Hales," I shout, and walk over to the seat in front of her. When I turn around, she looks up, and sends me a happy smile; one of her commonly used ones.
She's a happy kid.
"Hey Lills, sup?"
"Nothing. Where's Mr. Yo-" I shut my mouth, because Mr. Young enters the classroom, silencing everyone.
Mr. Young is one of the best teachers, though fairly strict. And if you're not a junior or a senior, he would not hesitate to send you to the principal's office for just saying one word. And no, I'm not exaggerating.
"Morning, class," He sits down and makes himself comfortable.
"Good morning Mr. Young," Everyone says in unison, and Mr. Young’s lips curl up to a slight smirk.
"I've taught y'all well." His Texan accent clearly noticeable, "Y'all can put your books back in yours bags and we gon' watch a movie t'day ‘bout World War two. Y'all gon' pay attention ‘cos most of this gon' be in y’alls test next week. And that test will count for 70% of y'all's final grade. Y'all understand me?"
You hear a few 'yes's and 'sure's, and Mr. Young starts the movie.
I hug my books against my chest and hurry down the corridors towards the cafeteria, since it's lunchtime and I' m literally starving. I turn the corner and hit a wall, tumbling onto my butt, yelping in pain.
"Can I help you, klutz?"
I didn't know walls could talk...
"Walls can't talk." I open my eyes and look up, immediately getting up as I realize I: 1. Just walked into the baddest and rudest boy of Burlingame High School, and 2. I just said out loud I thought he was a wall.
Great Lily, just great.
"Well, are you going to say sorry, or what?" He snaps.
"I'm s-sorry" I stutter, staring at the ground and letting my anxiety get the best of me again. My breathing gets heavier and I slowly look up at him, staring at the piece of cloth that's wrapped around his wrist. Wondering if maybe he's hiding something, just like I used to do, or whether he got it from someone close to him. It could also be just a random piece of cloth.
Tears are brimming in my eyes as I focus on the fabric around his wrist.
"Fuck, are you okay?" I close my eyes and slide against the cold metal lockers, onto the floor.
"I-I-I'm f-fine," I stutter as I start to focus on something else besides the piece of cloth around his wrist, since I can't see it anymore.
"No, you aren't. Are you having a panic attack?" His voice remains cold but a slight hint of worry is existent, something that's not common for Ethan Rodriguez, the school's bad boy.
I try to count my breaths and try to focus on the cold floor in front of me.
I slowly stand up again as I finally get my breath under control, and the tears stopped brimming in my eyes. I sniffle once as I slowly look up at him.
"I-I'm sorry," I say embarrassed.
Did you have to have a panic attack in front of Ethan Rodriguez out all people?
"Don't be embarrassed," He says, and walks away. Leaving me behind shocked.
Great first impression Lily.
I sigh deeply before slowly continuing my way to the cafeteria. As I reach the cafeteria I see Nathan sitting with his Football friends, and I slowly walk up to him, careful not to make eye contact with one of the football players.
"Nathan?" I say, barely a whisper. And he looks up to me, jumping to his feet.
"Lills!" He shouts worried. Realizing he's in the cafeteria he says, "Come with me."
He grabs my wrist and drags me all the way to the boys' locker room. Lucky me, there are no boys in here.
Right now at least.
"Ouch, why did you hold on so tight?!" I say, rubbing my wrist.
"What happened?" He grabs me by my shoulder, and looks me straight in the eye.
"Why did you drag me all the way to the locker rooms?”
He sighs in frustration, "Will you just answer my question?!"
"Well, I bumped in to Ethan an-"
He cuts me off, "Ethan, as in the Ethan Rodriguez?"
I nod, "Well and he called me a klutz—which is true, because I also stumbled onto the floor after walking into him. And I, not intentionally, said out loud I thought he was a wall, and yeah kinda had a panic attack."
He rubs his face, and sits down on a bench. "Well, are you okay now?" He glances back up.
I nod, and he smiles at me, "Next time just... I don't know, try not to bump into someone. Or at least not into Ethan." He chuckles, and I send him a sly smile. Giving him a hug as he stands up.
"Let's get you back Hales then."