I'm on this hill. I've been here, every night since I can remember. Since he was gone. It's night, with the stars hanging over me like little beacons, and the moon is just a sliver of a crescent. The only thing that would make this moment, or any of the others, better would be him by my side.
He led me up the hill. It was dark out, and the moon was a cream crescent hanging low in the sky. The stars were bright pinpricks of light, of life, out in the cosmos, and even the soft, gentle wind was full of life.
Then I was on the ground, laying next to him looking at the perfect stars in the perfect sky. My head was on the sweet-smelling fresh grass, and it was all perfect.
His hand inched over and his fingers laced with mine slowly. I turned my head to meet his shining green eyes with my own watery blue ones. He smiled and the wind picked up the soft brown strands of his hair and blew them into his face. I reached over, brushing them out of the way and laughing quietly. He smiled again, and then he caught my hand with his free one and he kissed the fingers one by one.
He leaned over, rolling so he was closer to me. He sat up on his elbow and moved in slowly. I still didn't see it coming.
When his lips met mine, the night air filled with electricity. I could feel the heat rising from his face, and I was sure he could feel the heat from mine. It lasted only seconds, but it could have been a lifetime that his lips were pressed so beautifully into mine.
As he pulled away, I opened my eyes to look at him. I smiled and his gaze locked with mine. Then the words, those beautiful words, came from his soft, beautiful voice.
"I love you, Kasey Johnson. Always remember that."
I could almost hear the tears of happiness in my voice, even if I couldn't cry them. "I love you too, Matt Mitchell. And I will always remember if you promise to."
He smiled and his lips came to mine one more time, just briefly, to seal the promise. "I swear I'll never forget."
The next day, Matt called me from his cell phone on his way home.
"I'm with my brother, Kasey. He's driving me home and I'll be there in twenty minutes. I love you." He whispered the last three words quietly into the receiver so his brother couldn't hear.
"I love you too, Matt. See you soon." Then he hung up.
The next few hours turned out to be the most horrific of my life. Twenty minutes after the call from Matt, I sat in the living room with the television on, awaiting his return. Suddenly the TV started spouting something about an accident on Smith Street, two and a half miles from my house. I wondered why I hadn't heard the sirens of the police cars and ambulances they showed on screen.
They showed the accident. A car had apparently come speeding down the road and crashed into a blue VW Beetle. The horror of it all hit me as I read the mangled license plate of the bug.
"No…" I whispered to myself as I read the familiar letters for what might have been the last time. My feet had carried me out the door before I knew what I was doing. I was down the street in minutes, and as I stood in front of the smoking wreck of metal, I started to cry for the first time since it happened. The tears came hard, and an unknown officer came and hugged me, feeling my sorrow and pain. I found out soon after that he was Matt and Tim's dad.
I had never cried so hard in my life. I had never wanted to die so badly, just so I could be with him again. I had never felt so stereotypical. My Romeo was dead, and Juliet was about to follow.
But I didn't. I carried on with life as I should have, as I knew Matt would have wanted me to. Even with the pain, the hurt, the loss, I carried on strong as I knew Matt would have if I were gone.
After a week I started going back to the hill where her had kissed me, where he told me he loved me, and where I said the same. I laid on the grass like we did before, but it didn't seem as soft or warm as I'd remembered. The summer breeze was colder than I expected, and there was nothing of a memory that could resurrect itself here. I only had the memories of my long-gone love that could never live again. I sat on the too-hard grass in the too-cold wind and cried my heart out for too long.
When I came home, my father saw me, saw that I had been crying, and he tried to comfort me. I shook my head and told him that nothing could make me better. Nothing but Matt in my arms again, Matt's lips on mine again.
But still every night I was there on the hill, and I remembered everything, like I promised I would.
So I'm here again. On this hill, in the grass that seems softer now than before, in the somehow-warmer summer breeze. It's been almost a year since I last came here, but I still remember everything like I was told.
And as I laid back in the grass and smelled the sweet summer air, I heard a soft, sweet sound on the wind. It brought tears to my eyes, remembering what that sounded like in my ears.
And then I didn't have to remember. Then he was next to me, whispering in my ear. I could feel his tender lips there, kissing the shell of my ear affectionately. Then came his voice, and I cried when I heard it, soft and clear just as I'd remembered.
"Do you remember the night you said you loved me, Kasey?" I rolled to my side to see him, but when I did…He wasn't there. Just his warm, comforting presence was. But he wasn't. Fresh tears flowed as I answered the voice in my imagination, or on the wind. I wasn't sure which it was anymore.
"How could I forget, Matt? How could I forget that…Forget you?"
I could feel his smile at me ear, then the words again as they rushed by my senses, flooding them with the loving memories of him. I felt his fingers caress my cheek.
"Always remember, Kasey. Always remember."