We lay there in the darkness, our arms wrapped around each other. Not saying a single word, we both know that this is gonna be the longest three months. Knowing that he will be all the way in Europe, and I will be here 5,369 miles away in New York. We have lived here in New York for only four years now and we are kind of getting the hang of things here in the big apple. Alex and I are from California City, California, it is a little different from home. Especially the snow, it’s always sunny in California or raining, but it never snows. With Alex gone I will be all alone in our junior one (a New York term for a studio apartment with small extra rooms, sometimes they do not have any doors.)
I can see his face directed toward mine. His warm breath slides across my face like a piece of silk. He sucks in a deep breath of air and breaks the silence. “I don’t have to go to Russia. You can tell me to stay and I will.”
I place my fingers to trace on his jaw line, I can feel scruff rub against the tips of my fingers. I can see his face in the dark, I can feel his blue eyes staring into my brown eyes. I feel the tears trying to break away from my eyes. “No, you need to go. This trip to Russia is the most important trip in your college life. Once you come back, we will have graduate and then you start the job at The Museum of Russian Art. If you don’t go your internship there would have just been a colossal waste of your time!”
He grabs my hand off his face and wraps his hand around mine. “Okay, fine I will go.”
He lets go of my hands, the bed creaks as he gets up. I look over to the alarm clock on the night stand on the right and it glows 3:45 a.m. I hear his hand hit the wall and the rooms lights up with a blinding light. “Come on babe. We have to get ready now or I will be late for my flight.”
I can hear his footsteps fade into the kitchen. I sit up the bed creaks as I move and I sit there. Don’t cry Liz. It’s only three months, he is just studying the art at the Russian Academy of Arts. Don’t worry three months he will be home and we will graduate and be happy. Right? I had to shake that thought out of my head, right now I need a shower.
I let the water drip down my body, I heard a knock on the door. “Liz I made you a toasted English Muffin when you are done. We need to leave in 20 minutes. Okay?”
“Yeah, I will be ready in like five minutes.”
I stand there not ready for what the day has ahead. I twist the knob and stop the water. I climb out and grab the towel. I walk into my room and throw on a pair of sweats and one of his T-shirts.
I slowly walked into the kitchen, I notice him standing there his bags leaning on the rosewood cabinets. He smiles as I walk in, I noticed that he was wearing the Scream if You Think I’m Hot shirt, I bought him this as a joke because I heard him talk with a bunch of guys, all of them saying that all the girls were trying to get with him. He holds out a mug full of coffee and the English Muffin. I grab the items and put them on the counter and hugged him. I can tell I caught him by surprise, it took him about thirty seconds before he held me close. His sweats rubbing against my bare legs. The hug did not last forever because he looked down to me and frowned. “You know you still have the--”
I grabbed my mug and English Muffin, and ran out the door. I sit there in the driver’s seat and munched on the food and sipped my coffee. The back door of the car opened and I hear something’s being moved in the back, I know that it’s his bags. I feel like I’m gonna lose the little food that I just ate. I turn to see him sit in the passenger’s seat and shutting the door. The drive to the airport was long and quiet. I slowly turn the car into the airport parking lot. We sit in the car, he looks over to me. “Are you gonna be okay without me here?”
I want to tell him that I want him to stay and not go. But that would seem that I am being super selfish and it would seem like that I would want him to fail in life…. I have to let him go… Right?
“Yeah, I will be fine don’t worry, I will be fine nothing bad is gonna happen.”
I can see in his eyes that he doesn’t believe me, because he knows that this is gonna be hard for the both of us. I look at him and smile but the only thing that he does is frown and throw his arms around me and cry.
“Just tell me to stay and I will.” He kisses me before I could say anything. “Don’t tell me that I need to go. You and I both know that, you do want me to stay, I know that you want me to be successful. But being with you makes me know that I am a successful guy because I have a girl that supports me with every decision and that you encourage me to do whatever that makes me feel happy.”
Those words are like a knife to the gut, now I know this goodbye is gonna be the hardest thing in my life.
“You’re going to Russia if you like to or not, you have to go. I want you to learn everything you can.”
“That’s what you want. Then I will do it, I understand. I would do the same thing for you.”
“Have fun in Russia, but not too much fun. I would love to get you back in one piece.”
He smiles and starts walking to the airport. I look out and I can see not just Alex walking away, but my heart. I can see them walking hand in hand. I sit in the car and cry, I couldn’t go in there I would cry and make to much of a scene. I noticed that all the workers just seem like they were distracted. Not worried about it I pulled out of the airport, tears burning my face.
I finally get home after the two hour delay, because there was an old man who had heart attack and hit a van. The man from what I heard was heading to the hospital because he thought he was just having heart burn, but he had already taken his heartburn medication and he wanted to see what was wrong. When I unlocked my door it was like being welcomed home by loneliness and dust.
I walk through the empty hallway and flop down on my bed, I can feel myself doze off into sleep. Except I was woken up by the ringing of my phone.
I reach to the floor and rummage through my purse and find my phone, the screen blinds my, when my eyes finally adjust it was my sister calling so I answer my phone. “Hello?”
The sound of my disturbed sleep rings through the house. “Turn...Turn on the news!”
She is crying very loud I try to calm her down. “Hey, Shelbie. Breathe tell me what is wrong.”
I can hear her clear her throat. “Liz, just turn on the news. You will know everything that I do.”
I walk into the living room and turn on the TV. I switch to the news channel. “Okay, I just turned on the news-”
I hear my phone hang up. So I sit and wait for what she was getting at. Finally after waiting 20 minutes I see what she was talking about. The news reporter looks at me like he knows that I am watching. “Hello New York, this is Kate Winsburg reporting at the John F. Kennedy International airport where flight W-469 crashed into W-458. The planes crashed while the W-469 was leaving to Russia-”
I look over the burning plane and I can see someone sticking out of one of the windows. I look at what was supposed to be Alex’s flight burn up. The metal form the planes was everywhere, but I could see my heart thrown everywhere and burning. I feel like I was hit by a car several times. I tune back into the news reporter. “There are no survivors from this crash.”
I just lost the one person in my life that I felt so connected to and now that connection is lost. What am I supposed to do? I have to go to his funeral, but how am I supposed to talk to his mom?
All I could really do is just lay there and cry. I don't go to school and I don't want to go to work. I am just gonna lay here and rot, there is no reason why I should be even alive. Right now I feel like I am nothing but an empty shell, laying in my bed. My phone rings, I want to answer it, but I can't get my body moving to answer it. It started to ring again so I left it, but it kept ringing, I answer it. "Hello?"
"Liz is it you?" A women answered.
"Um... Yeah. Who is it?"
"Liz, it's Jasmine, Alex's mom. Do you know what happened to him he hasn't called me?" I can hear the shaking in her voice.
I forgot that she doesn't have a TV. I should tell her the truth, but it is gonna be so hard, she is gonna be so heartbroken. What can I do. Should I lie and tell her that he just called me and that there is nothing to worry about. But if I lie she is gonna find out from Max, Alex’s brother. How am I supposed to tell the one woman other than me who cared so much about Alex? “Well Jasmine he… He didn’t make it. My sister called me this morning. She told me to turn on the news, I knew that you would have been crushed--”
I watch her as she crumbled to the floor her heart falling out and shattering all over the floor. I sit next to her and hug her as she cries. “Why Alex? Why him? He was such a good kid, he didn’t do anything wrong. Out of all the people in the world they had to take away my son.”
I sit there crying with her, I didn’t know what to do. I know that she is hurting about this. So am I so I stayed there crying, hugging her. Not moving holding her, wishing that he was here with us laughing and enjoying his company.
Today is the day, no matter how much I want to ignore it. Today is Alex’s funeral. I walk over to where his service is at the church. I clutch the engagement ring that he gave me and I put it on a necklace chain, so even when he is gone I know he is always close to my heart. Walking into the church feeling like if this is going to be the hardest thing to do. I know that losing someone you love is hard but this is different. He made my life make sense even when things were at there worst.
“Liz. Liz honey. How are you feeling?” I look over not really knowing who this woman is. “Liz do you not remember me? I’m Mrs. Wicof your history teacher. It was Ms. Williams when you were in high school.
Shocked that I didn’t know who she was. “Oh, hi Ms. Williams. I’m okay sorry I didn’t recognize who you were. Um, I guess I’m doing okay. It was really hard seeing the wreck on the news.”
Mrs. Wicoff reaches over and grabs my shoulder. “Sweetheart I can only imagine how you are feeling. When you guys were in my class I can tell that you guys had such an amazing connection. I hope that you are feeling a little better.”
She hugs me and looks away as she begins to walk away. “Um, Ms. Wi- Mrs. Wicoff. Thank you.”
Mrs. Wicoff looks at me and smiles. “Your welcome and it’s okay if you call me Ms. Williams. I was married after you left.”
She walks away and I look down the aisle to see his coffin. My heart just fell to my feet. I don’t know if I can even make it up there what if people think that I just didn’t like him, and they think that I think that this funeral is pointless. I don’t think I will even make it up there. All of a sudden I felt a hand touch my back. “Hey Liz. You okay?”
I turn to see Jasmine, who is looking at me with such emptiness in her eyes. It just seems weird that the one person who effected both me and Alex. She was the one person who was there when we would fight. I know her and Alex were the best of friends. I could understand what she is going through, it’s been hard for me. It must be pretty hard for her.
“Hey Jasmine. I am as good as I could be.”
She looked at me trying to give her my best smile, “Yeah, I know. Are you doing okay. I know it must be really hard for you. You guys were each others everything, you two have been together for six years. There was no way to even separate you guys.”
Jasmine seemed so distant, I have never seen her the way she is right now.
The way she looks, it seems like she was never even a happy person. In high schools she was like the rainbow, her closet had every color but black. So seeing her in this lacy top black dress, this was just a big shock. Our freshman year to show her school spirit she wore a dark blue dress with a dark orange belt and stilettos. See her like this really shows that losing him did suck a lot of happiness out of the world.
“Well Liz I’m going to go take a seat.”
“Okay, save me a spot next to you and I will sit there with you.” She looked at me and built the best smile that she could fester up.
This is going to be the longest day since I found out about his death three days ago. Sitting there with her felt like all this was supposed to be a nightmare that none of this is supposed to exist. I tried pinching my stomach to see if I would wake up, but nothing happened this shows that this isn’t a dream that this is real. Now it is the time for a select people to go up and share good stories about him. First it was his mother. She walked up with a tissue in her hand, sniffling every so often.
“Alex was my baby, he was my only child and now I am alone.I remember when he was three years old. He was getting really good with talking, he could talk in almost complete sentences. I remember one day when he was five years old. I was doing the dishes. He looked up at me and said you know mom, you need to sit down you work way to much. Have you been outside today? I couldn't help but smile, so I told him no honey