I was a flute player and a singer. That was it, nothing more when it came to music. I can't rhyme to save my life. But Matt, oh man, Matt was something. He couldn't sing that well, but his clarinet skills are amazing beyond belief…for an 8th grader, anyway. I was a 9th grader at the time, a freshman, yet a senior at heart. Matt and I have been good friends since I first came out here, one year ago, at the beginning of my 8th grade year. He had deep blue-green eyes matched by short blonde hair and pale skin.
He was always honest, too.
"Hey Sarah," he would call out everyday in advanced band class, "how are you, baby?"
"Hey Matt," I would reply in a seductive tone. We would laugh, as usual, and play seductive games. During free days I would play pool on my ipod and you would come up out of nowhere and wrap your arm around my shoulder just to scare me. I would jolt and my head would land in his lap. He would push a strand of my red hair from my eyes, smile, and I would jolt backwards, hitting my head on the tuba case. It would happen all the time.
But we were still close friends, despite the weirdness.
"Hey, Sarah," he said one day after are time of playing. We had about half an hour until class was over, and then another 40 minutes to get to class, "Can I talk to you?"
"Sure," I turned to my band teacher, Mr. Sand, "Hey, Mr. Sand, can we walk outside for a little bit, please?"
"It's pouring down rain," he said and I smiled.
"My point. Please?"
"If you get sick it isn't my fault," he warned.
I smiled and Matt and I walked outside. It wasn't necessarily pouring outside, but we did get wet after a few minutes of just walking. The sound of the water striking the tin roof of the school was calming as well as the wind streaking and rustling the pine trees. I had tilted my face up to the sky and let the water land on my face. Matt just watched me. "So," I begin, turning back to face him. I let my crazy red hair out of its ponytail to enjoy the breeze and rain, "what did you want to talk about?" He stuttered for a moment and I smiled at him. Instead of speaking, he stopped and grabbed my hand. He stopped walking, forcing me to as well.
"What are you thinking right now?"
"What is he thinking?" I responded with a light chuckle. "What are you thinking?"
"What would happen if I kissed you right now." But before I could answer him, he moved forward, molding his lips against mine. He was younger than me by a few months, but he was still taller, even with my high-heeled boots on. The kiss was enjoyable. His lips were smooth and wondering. His hands were holding me against him but he didn't need them. I would stay. I kissed him back, not really thinking, because it was my first kiss with anyone and I had had boyfriends in the past. Every time he stopped for a breath he would smile and quickly bring his lips back to mine.
We stopped too soon for my enjoyment.
"Wow," he said, gasping for breath. I chuckled and took his hand.
"If we don't head back now, Mr. Sand will begin to worry," I told him. He chuckled and we both walked back.
We sat in the park on a clear sunny day. We were alone, which we were both thankful for, and the birds chirped overhead. We sat underneath a large oak tree that we had previously climbed on just a few hours ago. We were just talking, as if old friends, but then he stood up, pulling me up too. "Come look at this!" I sighed and pulled myself up onto the tree, following him. He leaned against the trunk and helped me sit in between his legs. I leaned against his chest and smiled when he wrapped his hands around me.
"It's beautiful," I whispered, watching the sun set below the horizon, casting the sky into beautiful shades of blue, yellow, orange, red, and pinks. He kissed my underneath my ear.
"Not as beautiful as you," he said, just barely loud enough for me to hear. I smiled again. I could feel his hands creep up underneath the black and white striped tang top I wore. His hands were smooth against my scarred back. He rubbed gently at the sore spots and I smiled thankfully. He knew how much my back hurt me. "Are you alright?"
"Yeah," I said. "My back is just a little sore, that's all. Nothing different."
"You're like a treble clef, Sarah," he said with a warm smile against my neck.
"How is that?" I asked. Being a fifth year flute player made me familiar with the certain rules when making a treble clef.
"You are distinct yet different." I nodded. Made sense. "Beautiful."
"Now you lost me, Matt," I chuckled.
"You have a very distinct set of rules. You have to curve here," his hands ran across my hips, "and here," his hands curved on my sides underneath my armpits, "and here," over my breast, never lingering in respect, "and you end up here." He laid his hand on top of my heart, like he always did. It always made me smile. "You're like a treble clef!" I smiled and leaned back against him. He kissed the crook of my neck. "Happy Birthday, Sarah."
That night, walking back to our house, it was dark. The stars shown brightly above and the full moon lit the way for us. We didn't hear the car screech…But I did hear the sound of his breath as he push me away…I did hear the sound of metal on bones…I did hear the grunts of his pain…I did hear the thud of his body on the road. "Matt!" I cried out. "Matt!" I looked over his body and cried. His leg was snapped backwards, I could see ribs sticking out of his chest, and one of his arms was shattered. Blood trickled down from the corner of his mouth. "Asshole!" I yelled at the driver. "Call 9-1-1! Now!" The ambulance came about three minutes later. He was still alive, just barely, but still alive. "Will you ride?" the doctor asked. I nodded and climbed into the back of the ambulance. I scooted up near his head and took his good hand in mine. I could see the effort it took him to smile.
"Now I'm the treble clef," he said. His voice was raspy. He began to cough.
"Stay still and don't talk, Matt," I ordered him. I turned to the doctor. "How bad is it?"
"A broken arm, a broken leg, and two broken ribs. He really hit that car." I turned back to him. "Everything is a clean break, except his arm. That might take a little longer to heal, if it does at all."
"Thank you," I told him. I turned back to Matt. His eyes were filled with pain. He caught sight of my arms.
"You're bleeding," he said. I turned my bulky arm around and looked at the thin cuts on my arm. The skin was all gone and it bled openly. I had hardly noticed them. I was too busy worrying over Matt.
"I'm fine," I told him, "now shut up. You've broken a few ribs, or do you want me to use sign language for you?"
"Sarah," he growled.
"Matt, shut up!" I snapped. He smiled and his eyes drifted close. Then the loud screech of the heart monitor sounded. I was pushed away, to the far back of the ambulance, to watch as they charged up the shock panels. I gasped as the first shock raked at your body. The second was like a knife stabbing my heart. The third was a slow and painful death, and the fourth, the final shock, was an invisible hand pulling my still beating heart from my chest.
"Call it, John," said one of the doctors.
"10.21 PM, May 23, 2008." I brought my knees up to my face and wept.
I'm an old woman now, just turned 87 years old. My glorious red hair has turned to white, my dark tan skin has turned to a pale and wrinkled coat of skin, and my blue eyes have faded to nothing. My birthday ever since the incident has haunted me. I would visit our oak, sit up there until I was too old to climb it, and then walk to my old home, which I moved out of two years later…hoping…wishing…that a car would come speeding by and let me fly.
More than once I have tried to kill myself but I would find some immature reason to stop myself.
Then the pain of the past would strike me.
But this is the first day I do not visit Matt's grave. I sit on my couch, watching the TV, and slowly let my eyes drift close. My left hand, which feels so heavy even with no rings on it, fell down. My entire body went weak.
Then I was looking into his eyes. His glorious blue green eyes. I looked down at my body. I wore a shimmering white dress that fit my curves perfectly. I looked 15 again. My red hair danced about me in some invisible wind and he wore a white tuxedo. I smiled and fell into his arms. "I missed you."
"I'm so sorry."
"No, don't be," he said, making me look at him fully in the face. "It is my fault I left you. My will wasn't strong enough to hold me there."
"It's alright." He held me close and wrapped his arms around me, like we used to when we were young.
"Happy birthday, my little treble clef."