What's Left Behind

Sara had just settled in with her book when Jacob popped in her window startling her a little. "Couldn't you at least knock? I was reading." She said, although she knew he wouldn't listen. This wasn't the first time her boyfriend had invaded her bedroom this way. In fact, he seemed to show up every night around that time.

"What, aren't you glad to see me?" he said, his big hazel eyes giving him the aspect of a pouting puppy.

"Of course I am, but my parents are getting suspicious about all the time I'm spending in my room." Almost as if punctuating her remark, her mother knocked on her door. Sara mouthed a quick goodbye to Jacob before he disappeared out her window, and then opened the door for her mother.

"Who were you talking to, Sara?" her mother asked with a concerned look on her face.

Sara feigned innocence. "I was just talking to myself." Her mother looked at her with slight disbelief, then left her alone. Sara slumped onto her bed with a sigh of relief and fell asleep soon after.

The next day at school, Sara told her best friend, Janna, about what had happened. She looked concerned. "You were talking to him again, Sara? You know you're not supposed to. If your parents find out, you could get sent away again."

Sara sighed. "If I thought another guy would want me, maybe I could let Jacob go."

Janna smiled. "Well, if that's all, then I have good news for you. Do you know Lukas?"

"The cute guitarist from church? The one with the deep blue eyes and the sexy smile?"

"One and the same. I heard he wants to ask you out." That managed to brighten her mood. She had met Lukas at a church party a few months before, and they had really hit it off. He was smart and funny, and he really seemed to be interested in her. She could only hope that the rumor was true.

At lunch, Lukas sat down next to her and flashed his trademark grin. "Think any of this is edible?" he said, pointing at their trays. The grilled cheese looked like a charcoal briquette and the tomato soup resembled ketchup.

Sara smiled. "I truly doubt it."

Lukas picked his grilled cheese up off his tray and dropped it. It hit the table with a loud crash. He shook his head. "Guess not. Hey, I've been meaning to ask you, are you doing anything this weekend?"

Sara shrugged. "I doubt it. Why?"

Lukas stared at his tray for a second. "Because I'm planning to go hiking up to Cairn's Rock, and I was wondering if you wanted to go with me."

Sara froze. Cairn's Rock was where...no, she had held on to that for far too long. "Sure, Lukas, I'd love to."

She sat in her room that night, milling over what she had to say to Jacob. Once again, he popped in the window and smiled at her. "Hi beautiful."

Sara smiled sadly back at him. "Jacob, we have to talk."

Jacob's smile faded. "That doesn't sound good."

She took a deep breath. "Jacob, you have to stop coming here like this. I don't need you anymore. I think that it's time we both moved on."

Jacob wouldn't look her in the eyes, but she knew he agreed. "You won't go and forget me, will you?" he said.

"Of course not. I care about you a lot; I could never forget you." Jacob shook his head in understanding and went back out the window.

Lukas came to pick her up on Saturday afternoon. When she answered the door, he handed her a daisy. "Janna said they were your favorite."

Their hike was perfect. The weather was warm and the company was pleasant. They were nearly to the top when she saw something that made her stop. It was a small plaque on a tree that read:

Jacob Charles Dawes

February 20,1985-May 14, 2002

She looked up. Surprisingly, you could still see what was left of the rope, even though it had been three years. She was amazed that the guilt didn't flood her mind again, being in the place where her ex-boyfriend had committed suicide after their breakup. It had haunted her for years, causing her to have to spend time in a psychiatric ward. But now all she felt was peace. She turned and walked on, hand in hand with Lukas, leaving her daisy and her past behind them.