Dallas and Charlotte
By Ayla-Monic McKay
© April 18th, 2004

Charlotte and Dallas were perfect for each other. Charlotte was creative, imaginative, and full of ideas. Dallas was precocious, outgoing, and helped Charlotte actually make something out of the ideas that poured out of Charlotte's head like wine from the bottle.
They were sixteen when they met and started going out, and a year later, they'd never so much as thought of straying from the other. They loved each other deeply and they couldn't imagine being without the other.

Charlotte was bored. She was alone on a Friday night, sitting on her back porch, sucking on a cigarette. And not only was she bored, but she was angry. Angry at herself, because she was the reason she was sitting here alone on a Friday night, bored out of her mind.
She hadn't even done anything that bad. Okay, so she had ditched her little sister at the mall. But please, Anne was eleven. Being alone at the mall wasn't an event to get hysterical about. When I was eleven, I was at the mall all the time - without a chaperone, Charlotte thought bitterly. She took another drag of her cigarette, and leaned back in the lawn chair.
She looked up at the sky and scowled. "Thanks a lot," she grumbled. "This is all your fault. If you hadn't made Anne such a spoiled little brat, I wouldn't be in this position. You goofed big time."
"Keep that up and people might think you're crazy."
Charlotte jumped up and turned around, setting her cigarette in the ashtray on the table. "Dallas!" she squealed, pulling him into a hug. She kissed him quickly and then pulled back. "How'd you get past the female parental unit?"
"Why, my unmatchable charm and suave conversationalism," he replied, trying to smile charmingly. The ring pierced through his lower lip threw off the look, however, and Charlotte smiled. "Dear Maggie just couldn't ignore my negotiations."
"You're so ridiculous," she said. "But tell me, how did you really convince her to let you into my dungeon?"
Dallas dropped his backpack on the ground next to one of the deck chairs and sunk into the chair. "I brought homework."
Charlotte groaned. "Of course." She dropped back into her previous chair and picked her cigarette up from the ashtray. She finished it with a long drag and then put it out. "So," she said, breathing out the smoke. "What're we working on first then?"
"I figure we should probably work on the history assignment," Dallas suggested. "We don't have that long to finish it." Charlotte sighed.
"Okie dokie then. Where are we with it?"
They set to work and a few hours later, Charlotte's mother sent Dallas home and Charlotte to bed.

Lights flashing, pain, pain, so much pain, what happened? Loud noises; can't remember anything. Screeching. scared. What are those lights? Flashing flashing flashing. Red and white. red and white.
Voices talking, can't understand. Something in ears. like water. can't hear.
More pain, being moved, who are these people? Can't see, can barely hear, what's going on? So confused.
Head hurts so much. what's wrong with me?
Charlotte. Need Charlotte. Where's Charlotte?

"Charlotte! Charlotte!"
Charlotte woke up suddenly, her mother shaking her frantically.
"Charlotte, oh God, Charlotte, get up!" Maggie's voice was high pitched, full of worry. Charlotte bolted upright.
"What's wrong?" she asked. "Mom, what's wrong?"
Maggie shook her head. "Just get up, get up quickly and get dressed. We have to go to the hospital." She bit her lip, and her eyes began to tear up. "Hurry," she said, her voice cracking. She turned and left Charlotte's bedroom. Charlotte looked at the digital clock on her nightstand. The red glowing numbers said three forty-five AM.
With her heart in her throat and beating a mile a minute, Charlotte jumped out of bed and quickly threw on whatever clothes she grabbed. She nearly flew downstairs and grabbed an apple in the kitchen where her mom was putting a note on the fridge for Anne.
"Get your shoes on," She told Charlotte without turning around. Charlotte slipped on her runners, not bothering to tie them up.
"Mom, you have to tell me what's going on," Charlotte cried as they rushed to the car. "You can't just rush me off to the hospital like this and not tell me what happened to who!"
"Just give me a minute, Charlotte," Maggie said quietly, starting the car and backing out of the driveway.
Once they were on the road, Charlotte tried to wait patiently, but she couldn't. She was scared. She knew something was wrong, and she kept thinking that maybe something had happened to Dallas, but she kept pushing that thought from her mind. If something were wrong with Dallas, her mom would have told her by now.
"Mom, please tell me," Charlotte begged. Maggie bit her lip again. "Just tell me nothing's wrong with Dallas," Charlotte tried.
Maggie didn't reply but just kept staring at the road ahead of her. Charlotte slowly felt her heart sinking from her throat and into the pit of her stomach.
"Mom, tell me nothing happened to Dallas," she said again. She could feel tears starting to well up and she felt sick to her stomach. "Mom." Her voice cracked. "Mom, what happened to Dallas?"
Finally Maggie spoke. "Car accident. Linda called me from the hospital. That's where they are now. He's in emergency right now."
It felt to Charlotte as if her chest had exploded and her head had imploded. She couldn't speak. She couldn't think. Only one thought ran through her head: If he dies, I'll die.
Charlotte didn't speak again until they reached the hospital. When they parked the car Charlotte jumped out and shot across the parking lot. Inside the emergency waiting room she found Dallas' mom, Linda.
The moment they laid eyes on each other, Charlotte started to cry and ran to hug Linda, who already had tears streaming down her face.
The two stood together for a few moments. Charlotte was sobbing onto Linda's shoulder, and when she finally pulled away there was a large damp patch on the older woman's shirt. Maggie had come in by this point, and she led them to a row of chairs, where they all sat down.
Charlotte tried to stop her sobbing and speak. "Is he - What - How -"
She stopped talking and tried to breathe, but couldn't do so without blubbering. Finally, she took a deep breath and said quickly and quietly. "What are they doing?"
Linda looked down at the floor. "They haven't told me yet. Only that they're performing emergency surgery." She wiped her eyes with a Kleenex, but more tears took the place of the ones she wiped away.
"What happened?" Maggie asked.
"He was driving home, and they think the brakes must have locked, because there was no one else involved in the accident. He swung sideways into a lightpost, and then -" she took a deep breath, "- and then the car spun into a building."
Maggie gasped, and Charlotte felt her test constrict. She couldn't breathe. Dallas was dying, and she couldn't do anything about it. She tried to breathe, but her throat wasn't listening; it had closed up on her. Her chest was getting tighter and tighter. She tugged on Maggie's sleeve, and tried to motion that she couldn't breathe.
"Oh, God, I think she's having a panic attack," Linda said, getting up and rushing to the emergency desk. A minute later a nurse came and took Charlotte to a small room and gave her two pills, which she told her would 'calm her down'.
They did indeed calm her down; they calmed her down to the point where she fell asleep in the chair in which she was sitting.

She dreamed about Dallas. He was sitting with her, holding her. Charlotte looked at him and began to cry.
"I love you so much," she said.
"I love you more than life itself," Dallas said. "I'm so sorry. I never wanted to leave you. I won't ever leave you. I'm always here." A tear slipped down his cheek. Charlotte began to cry harder, and she wrapped her arms around him tighter.
"No, no, no," she sobbed. "Dallas, you can't do this. Dallas, don't die. Don't die, I need you. Please, please, don't leave me, I love you."
He rubbed her back, and held her tighter to him. "I won't ever leave you. I'll always be here." He lightly kissed the top of her head. "I love you. It'll be okay. I love you."

Charlotte woke up. Maggie was gently shaking her. "Dallas?"
"Come on, sweetie. He's awake, but the doctor's say he won't - they say it - it won't be long."
Charlotte jumped up, but stumbled, still groggy. "Where is he?" she demanded.
"Come on," Maggie said.
Maggie led her out of the little room she was in, and they met a nurse who led them through a few halls and into another room.
The room was pale blue, and the sheets on Dallas' bed matched it. He lay in the bed limp and vulnerable. Charlotte whimpered when she saw him.
"Dallas," she whispered, coming to the side of the bed. "Dallas, open your eyes please, look at me."
His eyes flickered open, and rested on hers. "Char," he croaked out. Charlotte broke into more tears. "Don't cry," he whispered. "I love you."
"I know," she whimpered. "I love you more than life itself," she said. He smiled lightly.
"Then you. you know." He took a deep breath, and his eyes fluttered slightly.
"Dallas," Charlotte cried. "Oh, God, Dallas. I love you so much. I love you. I love you. I love you."
"You're everything."
Charlotte sat beside him, whispering that she loved him. She held his hand, and whispered to him, over and over again. Finally, he closed his eyes and whispered back.
"I love you."
Charlotte watched him slip away. She heard him, felt him slip away. She knew he was gone, but she couldn't stop whispering to him. She wanted him to never forget. She never wanted to forget.

Dallas' funeral was a week later. Family and friends were there. Charlotte was there. Linda and Craig, Dallas' dad, allowed her to through the first clod of dirt into the grave. She did so, and then she left. She had already said goodbye. She had already said goodbye. She didn't want to do it again.
And he was with her, anyways. She had said goodbye, but that didn't mean he was gone. She could feel him with her. When her heart got warm, and her head felt clear, she knew he was with her. She knew he'd always be with her. He had told her the truth; he never left her. She still wished he was with her physically, she always would. But he was her soulmate, and not even death would keep them truly apart.

A few years later, Charlotte met a boy, who she fell in love with. They got married four years later. His name was Noah, and Charlotte never told him about Dallas. If he asked about the old pictures that she kept, she told him he was an old high school sweetheart. She never told him his name.
Charlotte and Noah had a baby boy a couple years after they got married. He was healthy and happy and had the most charming smile. He was the most important thing in Charlotte's life. She loved him more than anything in the living world.
She named him Dallas.
A few years after Dallas was born, Charlotte got very sick. After trips to the doctor and to specialists and hospitals, they found that she had multiple sclerosis.
A few years later, she died. She was sad that she was leaving her husband and her son behind, but she was secretly glad that she would finally get a chance to be back with Dallas, who had never left her side. He was with her when little Dallas was born and he was with her when she died.

Dallas and Charlotte were made for each other. They completed each other. There was an understanding between them that they would never be alone, no matter whatever happened.
They stayed together until death. They stayed together after death. And they stayed together during death.
This is true love. This is what we should all strive for. This is what is important in life.