~ Who doesn't long for someone to hold ~
~ Who knows how to love you without being told ~
~ Somebody tell me why I'm on my own ~
~ If there's a soulmate for everyone ~
Natasha Bedingfield: Soulmate
What would it finally be like to be free?
Free from this place they call a life.
Where our only purpose is to be.
Be respectable, be lovable, be loved.
Living in this place, being what they make of you,
is like asking the function of a rubber duck.
Wouldn't a better question be:
Does a rubber duck have a function?
Eyeliner beneath the lids, like Momma showed me.
Then the eye shadow, smooth like the pastels
that Nate and I used yesterday in class.
Jaime will notice the blues mixed with reds
but he won't see the slight purple hue like Nate does.
With Jaime it's always one thing or another, but Nate sees both.
But that would equate to: Do we have a function?
Nobody answers, not even Him, and they say He's omniscient.
Born to be a star; earn a football scholarship to the U
and be what my old man never could.
I say he lives vicariously through me;
he says he's only thinking of my future.
From where I'm standing my future looks a lot like his did.
Jaime doesn't comment on my eye shadow.
When he picks me up it's just a "Hey, ready?"
Not a sorry for being late. No compliment
because that would show he actually cares
and God forbid his boys believe he's turning soft
and God forbid I mean more to him than his friends.
But the thing is that I don't want to be like him.
I don't want to be stuck in this town forever
where the only social event is the Friday night game.
I want to leave this town, go to an East coast school,
bring Cassy away with me
and have her break my heart only to realize
that she's the one that I need, that I can't live without.
But my dad's got other plans.
At least he walks me out to his car
but I have to open the door for myself.
I put on the seatbelt that is frayed and
probably won't give much protection
and immediately Jaime moves in on me.
He holds my hands so I can't push him away
even though I really, really want to.
I didn't want to be like my dad. I didn't want
to stay here any longer than absolutely necessary.
But I guess I'm going to have to take that road anyway
because he's already signed me up for classes at the U.
So all my chances of living my own life, being my own person
and saving us both from this town
disappeared when he signed my life away for me.
Thanks Dad, really.
I freeze beneath Jaime's lips and let him do
as he pleases, but when his hands roam too far
south of the border, I bite down.
"Christ Cassy!" Jaime screams. Nate wouldn't have done that to me, I think.
"Why do you always do that?" he shouts and for a moment
I actually think that he might hit me.
But he drops his hand and starts the car.
I finger the cool metal of the gun and just for a moment
I think about putting it back in its case
in the back of my father's closet and never
touching it again.
And then I remember that even if I don't do it tonight
a part of me will still be dead; the part of me that is me.
I am not my father.
One way or another I will get out of this town.
He doesn't want to, but Jaime listens to me for once.
"We're going to be late," he barks out.
I stare out the windshield and gasp
when a burning pain sears through my chest.
I close my eyes against it but it doesn't go away.
My heart is burning. Nate is burning.
It hurts like freakin' hell, but at the same time
I've never felt better than right at this moment,
lying on the floor and waiting until it stops hurting.
I think I should be scared, but I'm not;
I feel like I do when I'm with Cassy. I think I'm finally at peace.
My dad should have heard the shot, he was downstairs.
Buzzing disturbs the sound of footsteps pounding up the stairs.
The last sight I see is the door opening a crack.
I writhe and wince in the seat.
My hand tries desperately to undo the seatbelt
and I'm gasping for air because it hurts to breathe.
Jaime sits and stares, watching me as I struggle.
Soon it's all over, but a part of me feels
like it's been ripped out.
It hurts to breathe. Nate is hurting.
Words come in little snippets here and there.
"Save my son."
So now he cares about me.
"Why would he have done this?"
Take a look in the mirror.
"Oh, God! Please!"
Please, God, there are other people praying now.
Jaime still doesn't say anything. No concern lines his face.
I close my eyes and breathe deeply.
In mind I see his face, Nate, my lab partner.
He's smiling at me and I feel my own lips part.
Suddenly blood appears on the front of his shirt
and keeps pouring out.
He looks down and touches the wound
and when he removes his hand it too
is covered in blood.
I gasp and run toward him,
but he never gets any closer.
Nate can't die, I think, Nate you can't die on me.
He's my lab partner, he's my friend
and I might be in love with him.
I close my eyes and put my head down
to run faster, get to him quicker.
But when I open them,
"Nate!" I scream, I lurch forward and suddenly
my hands slam against the dashboard
and I am back in Jaime's passenger seat.
Jaime blinks, "Who is Nate?"
I try to find some hint of jealousy in his voice
but there is nothing.
My fingers scramble for the door handle
and I'm not talking coherently.
"It's Nate! He's…he's dying!" I scream.
I open the door and fly out of Jaime's car,
as I run down the street he doesn't
even call to me.
So this is what dying feels like.
I fall back, deeper into the darkness and relax,
because without my father forcing his ideal life down my throat
I can finally relax.
But then I see her face and I start to panic.
I never told her how I felt about her.
I never told her I loved her.
I thought I loved her.
I know I loved her.
Cassy, I love you,
I'm sorry I didn't tell you.
When I finally stop running I am not any closer
to Nate's house or to the hospital.
I'm just tired and sad and angry
because I know.
Something inside me knows
that what he was supposedly joking about yesterday
he actually did today.
I fall to my knees in the middle of the street
"Nate!" I sob.
The vision of Cassy in front of me
crumples and tears stream down her face.
I have the urge to go to her and hold her
and apologize for everything I did
and for everything I will never do
because I love her.
I want to tell her that I love her,
but I think she already knows.
When she lifts her head I smile at her
and mouth the words I should have said before.
Cassy & Nate:
"I love you."
A/N: Well, the good news is that I haven't dropped off the end of the Earth like I'm sure many of you thought! The bad news is that I unfortunately chose to announce my return through the sad piece above.^ All in all I think it's pretty powerful, but in a good way, I hope! I had originally planned it to be that Cassy and Nate didn't know each other but they were connected. The dialogue that I was going to use (which anyone is free to use, I'd just like to know if you got inspiration from it, thanks!) was to have from Nate's point of view say, "Do you believe in soulmates?" after he shot himself (yes, he did shoot himself), and then have Cassy say "No" as the final lines. But I think I like this way better.
In other news, expect an Uncharted Territory update soon. Do you want a super long chapter or two regular length chapters?
--Abby is BACK!