Gone

-

Amy Ewell

The Neighborhood Is Bleeding - Manchester Orchestra

As Amy Ewell waited in line at the London International Airport, she couldn't help but scoff impatiently and look out the terminal window at the line of giant jets waiting on the runway. If only life were less of a wait and more of a "ready, set, go!" But it wasn't. Not for her.

Eight years ago, when Amy was diagnosed with her liver cancer at age 20, she would've given anything to live life as if she wasn't sure she'd die. Amy's oncologist, a stout man in his fifties with a balding scalp and a large pair of horn-rimmed glasses, had come to her hospital bed with a big clipboard piled high with medical papers. He wore a grim expression and Amy could only assume the worst.

"No need to say it, Doctor," she had said with a watery smile and wet eyes. He gave her a curt nod, and proceeded with the news that shattered the already frayed pieces of her heart.

"Ms. Ewell, one of the worst parts of my job is telling my patients exactly what type of cancer they have and giving them an estimated length of life," the oncologist sighed and took off his glasses. "But since part of my job is telling you these details…you have a malignant tumor on the left lobe of your liver. It is quite large for its size, and given the size, it could have spread to your right lobe. You can choose to let us operate on the tumor before anything more serious appears, but I can give you no guarantees that the cancer will disappear completely. In the case that the cancer does return, you might have bought yourself about five, maybe six years to live, Ms. Ewell."

The Ewells had chosen to operate. The operation was successful and Amy's doctor had high hopes for the next six years, but still maintained that it was unlikely that she would live longer than that.

The only funny thing about the situation (to Amy) was that this prediction was overdue by two years. However, Amy had been living in the shadow of her looming demise for longer than she would've liked and it seemed to slow her down more than the disease itself. Irony, she often thought. God is full of bogus shit and irony.

Amy had a top notch job at The Chiswick, a regional paper of London. Although it wasn't the most popular paper of choice, Amy was still proud of the fact that she had at least managed to follow her lifelong dream of becoming a reporter, despite her set back. Speaking of which, Amy hadn't told anyone except a few close friends of hers about her cancer. Of course her parents knew, but Amy felt superstitious about letting her personal life merge with her professional life.

"Besides," she often said, "if I let on that I'm sick and decrepit, as you all say, the game might go easy on me and that won't be any fun will it?"

Amy's mother, a homemaker of some esteem in the South London region, was a hopeless romantic. That trait, apparently hereditary in the maternal lineage of Amy's family, manifested itself in said woman's life. Amy's mother, though she meant well, constantly fussed over Amy's love life, albeit none existent. And the reason was such: a man in Amy's life would only cause for more heartache on both party's sides. However, Mrs. Ewell's take on the whole matter was that Amy's cancer had subsided due to the miracle of God and it now meant that Amy could move on with her life. Amy never bought it. Her life was a ticking bomb.

Since Amy Ewell was The Chiswick's top reporter, her publisher had sent her on a plane to Carlisle to cover a "front page story" on a Londoner robber who had stolen the Crown jewels and had fled to Carlisle, only to be ambushed by the local police. Amy considered rejecting the offer, kindly, but knew she would never get another real chance to get out of the city with a good excuse. Besides, Amy could take her time gathering her material; the publisher wouldn't mind. So here Amy was: waiting at the terminal with the flight from London bound to Carlisle. Exciting.

-

Jason Richardson

Lonely Lonely- Taking Back Sunday

Jason had a flight to catch at 8:15 AM on Monday, March 30th. However, he was running late. Again.

Jason's girlfriend, Tisha Wilson, had moved in the previous month. Instead of making things more solidified between them, it seemed to rip their relationship apart. On nights when Jason came home from the hospital in a good mood, Tisha could usually be found with a bottle of rum and the TV on to a recording of The Secret Diary of a Call Girl. She never wanted to talk, she just wanted to have sex, and frankly, Jason didn't want to have intimate relations with a woman who was half buzzed out of her mind and would probably wake up in the morning with a killer migraine and no memory of the previous night. And when Jason came home with a sour attitude, it was always the other way around. Instead of heading straight to Tisha for a cuddle or comfort, it was the fridge with its beer and "manly" drinks that he took refuge with. The relationship seemed shot, but Jason wanted to keep hanging on. He felt that if he lost her, he'd lose himself as well.

When Barnet General Hospital gave Jason extended leave for a medical conference in Carlisle, he naturally jumped at the chance. Anything besides sharing a bed with Tisha (aka the wannabe Belle de Jour) for one more night would do. He was in heaven until he had come home and told Tisha about his trip, which was scheduled to happen in two days. Of course, she just had to make things difficult and dramatic, and almost kicked Jason out of his own apartment. In the end, it was Tisha who packed her things and went to the nearest bar in search of someone "cheaper and less high maintenance to screw." Jason couldn't say that he was happy, but he sure was relieved that he wouldn't have to deal with that the morning of his departure.

Much to Jason's annoyance, Tisha had come round knocking on his door at 5:40 on the morning of his departure, wanting to give out her apology. Jason was unwilling to really get out of bed, so Tisha ended up using her bobby pin to pick the lock and had stormed into the flat yelling about Jason's annoying habits and about all the reasons why she shouldn't have hooked up with him. Now irritated, Jason joined in with the yelling, bombarding his girlfriend (ex or not?) with insults of a grisly nature. On this went for the next hour, until Jason finally realized he was still in his boxers and hadn't packed for the airport, which was a thirty minute drive with traffic. Shoving Tisha out the door mid-sentence, he went about in a frenzy packing his things.

So here Jason was: running along the London International Airport terminal that would take him to Carlisle for the next two weeks.

-

Amy Ewell

Somewhere a Clock is Ticking- Snow Patrol

Flight number 21 began boarding at approximately 8:20 AM, five minutes after the scheduled departure time. A long line of weary-eyed travelers had accumulated, starting at the boarding desk and ending some ways down the terminal hall, all with boarding passes. Amy Ewell had hers out and ready, shifting her weight from one leg to the other every so often. She looked annoyed, which she was, because it didn't look like the flight was going to leave anytime soon, which in turn meant that a couple of hours cooped up in the plane cabin on the runway were in store for her.

It must've been her hormones or something, but Amy was actually quite upset at the prospect of leaving London. She didn't know why, because just the other day, it seemed like Carlisle could be a home away from home for her, but now, standing in line, it seemed like a hell. Amy just wanted to go home and rest. Stare at the ceiling or watch old reruns of Faulty Towers. Fantasize about Richard Hammond from Top Gear. Or drool over David Tennant's Hamlet. Anything other than this.

-

Jason Richardson

Papillon- The Airborne Toxic Event

Jason stood in line for flight 21 to Carlisle, feeling rather relieved that fate had just decided to back up the runway with other late flights; if it weren't for that, he would've missed his flight. Ahead of him, a woman in her late twenties stood. She had glossy red hair and vivid blue eyes. Her brow was scrunched in annoyance, and every so often she would shift her weight from leg to leg. She must've been here at the crack of dawn, he thought. That, or she really hates waiting in line. Then the woman turned to him, gave him a quick glance up and down, and turned away. Wow, Jason mentally whistled, she's pretty good looking. It wasn't like he tried to be obnoxious or rude, but he couldn't help but stare. This woman's hair was so shiny and clean, and looked soft to the touch. Her skin, glowing without make up, looked like it had never been touched by a foreign hand. Her body, lithe and slim, not to mention tall, stood just five inches shorter than his 6'2 height. And her blue eyes looked like they could pierce through anything known to mankind.

"Excuse me, but do you mind?" the woman said, turning to meet his boring eyes. "I'm not a museum exhibit."

"Sorry," Jason said, realizing that he had stared a bit too long. "I just- I mean, you're really beautiful- I mean, attractive, um, soft on the eye… I'm sorry, I'm Jason Richardson."

The woman looked at his outstretched hand snidely, but didn't shake it.

"Well sorry to let you down," she said, obviously not meaning an apology, "but you're not getting anywhere with me."

"Not even a name?"

"No."

The woman turned away from him again as the line began to move. Jason felt like he was twelve again, trying to woo a crush into being a girlfriend. He had probably left a bad impression. Hell, Jason thought, I left a terrible impression.

-

Amy Ewell

Let It Go- Blue October

The line began to move, and Amy sighed in relief, although she wasn't looking forward to another long wait cramped in the airplane cabin. And then there was the man, Jason Richardson, behind her, who was probably looking at her ass by now and guessing her breast size. Men like that were absolute dogs and didn't deserve anyone in life. I however, Amy thought, should get any man I want. She quickly reprimanded herself; she couldn't allow herself to get too attached to anyone, even if it had proven itself impossible. A wave of sadness and loneliness washed over Amy, and she remembered back to nine years ago, when she was just an intern at The Chiswick.

-

Amy Ewell

Zero- Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Amy Ewell, 19, sat at her intern desk, inside her intern cubicle, sorting through the potential articles that a reporter had given her. They were to be sorted into feature pieces, celeb watches, obituaries, engagements, political news, and regional happenings. After those were sorted into their respected piles, she was to deliver them to a Mr. Luke Yorkshire, the editor, who was to pick through them and choose the articles that were fit for publication. Her job wasn't hard, but it wasn't easy either. Then there was the trouble of actually locating Mr. Yorkshire; the staff at The Chiswick wasn't exactly friendly to interns. She'd climb that fence when she got there.

A blonde man tapped her cubicle wall. Amy looked up expectantly; the man smiled.

"You're the new intern?" he asked.

"Yes, you need something, sir?" Amy replied, putting down the papers in her hand.

"No, nothing really. Just wondering how you're fairing. The halls of The Chiswick aren't exactly the safest places to be."

Amy laughed lightly and said, "Yeah, I sort of found that out on my own." A woman about five years older had spilled coffee on her skirt somewhat deliberately this morning. A man had tripped her as she had rushed to copy off an important newsletter to the staff. Two blonde women had locked her in the supply closet, and Amy was only rescued by a janitor after twenty minutes of pounding and screaming.

"So, besides that, how do you like the reporter life?" the blonde asked. He leaned casually against the cubicle wall. Amy leaned back in her chair.

"Eh, it's alright. It's not what I expected, a little slower than I thought it would be. I guess All the President's Men played the whole news room thing up, then," Amy replied, trying to seem aloof and comfortable with her surroundings.

"Sure you are. Keep that façade up and you might get thrown in a dumpster by the end of the day," the man laughed.

"What do you mean?"

"People around here like to get the interns so riled up that they quit half way through their internship, that way, no new meat will come onto The Chiswick as long as they're here."

"That sounds like bullshit," Amy said, unconvinced.

"Bob's your uncle."

"If you don't mind," Amy sneered, "I've got to finish sorting these papers and then deliver them to the editor."

"Well then, I'll just wait until you're finished then."

"Excuse me?"

"Because I'm the editor."

-

Amy Ewell

There's a Class for This- Cute Is What We Aim For

"Boarding pass, ma'm," the airport official asked. Amy handed her the pass. A few minutes later, she had found her seat next to the window in aisle 9. Stowing her suit case up above and sitting down with her purse, Amy looked out the window. It would be awhile until they moved. She could see six other planes ahead of them on the taxi way. It was funny how her whole life was about waiting. Waiting for the stupid plane to take off to Carlisle. Waiting for the next big story. Waiting to fall in love (but of course she could never do such a thing). Waiting for her cancer to show up… and waiting to die.

"Oh crap."

Amy looked over to her left, to where the voice came from. It was Jason Richardson.

"Are you aisle 9?"

"Obviously, I'm sitting here aren't I?" Amy rebuked.

"I'm aisle 9 too."

"Well, sit on the other side then."

"Look over there and tell me if I can," Jason said impatiently. Amy looked around him at the mother and daughter sitting together, chatting. There was no way Amy would be able to convince one of them to change seats with her; the girl looked to be only in primary school.

"Fine, sit, why should I care?" Amy growled, looking away and curling up towards the window.

"You talk to me as if you've known me all your life," Jason said, sitting down. She ignored that comment. "Well fine then, don't be civil."

-

Jason Richardson

Ways & Means- Snow Patrol

"I'll be civil to whomever I please, Mr. Richardson. How's that for civility on my part?"

"Fine by my standards," Jason grumbled, taking out his laptop to check his email. He was sure Tisha had left him about a dozen or so emails consisting of morbid insults, soon followed by sorrowful apologies and promises of a beautiful life together when (and if) he returned. His laptop took a moment to boot up, and Jason looked over at his travel partner; she had taken out a purple iPod and was tucking the ear buds into her ears. He could hear the music coming out, and it was Thirteen Senses, a relatively popular Cornish band. His laptop chirped in a "hello" sensed beep, and Jason was pulled back into his world. Sure enough, Tisha was sending one email after another, their subjects varying from "YOU ASSWIPE" to "I LOVE YOU SO MUCH COME BACK TO ME." He didn't have time for this, he decided, and signed off his email.

"Your girlfriend, I take it," Amy said stiffly, looking at the ghost of his once opened laptop, which was now closed. "She seems charming, I'm sure."

"Yeah, she is," Jason murmured sarcastically, rubbing his temples. "A real piece of gold, Tisha is."

-

Amy Ewell

Panic Switch- Silversun Pickups

"Trouble on the homestead?"

"Are you trying to comfort me?" Jason realised, looking at her with a sliver of a smile on his angular face. He looked so young, but Amy reckoned that he couldn't be much older than her. He had small brown eyes that weren't (surprisingly) beady in any way. His hair was a dark shade of brown cut in a long manly style and was mussed around his eyes in a perfect frame. His skin was pale, but glowed with a hue of light; his cheek bones were prominently etched on his face, giving him a very adult look, but still allowed him some of his old youth. His nose was a bit oddly shaped; looking as if he had broken it right at the bridge some years ago, but it fit him and made him more handsome. His mouth was manly in every aspect. Amy couldn't help but think that the expression Jason had worn since she first saw him a mere half an hour ago was one of hopelessness and abandonment, even when he was annoyed-looking or slightly amused.

"In no such way will I ever comfort someone like you," she snapped, realizing that she had stared a bit too long at him as he awaited his answer. "You're all mouth and no trousers, that's what you are."

"Oh really?"

"Yes, I should think so," Amy clarified as she looked away from him and again out the window.

"Well, you're all fur coat and no knickers underneath!" Jason joked. Amy stiffened and turned her head.

"You don't even know me. How can you say that?"

"How can you?"

Touché, Amy thought. Smart man this Jason, but not in the scholarly way. He resembled someone with a load of common sense and instinct. He could cope in a crisis if the situation presented itself.

Amy sighed. She was in such a bad mood this morning. She missed her flat with her kitten, Tegan, and her rabbit, Rose Bud. She missed her office at The Chiswick. She missed her mother, surprisingly, and she missed her usual café in London. What she needed was a cuppa to calm the nerves. But since she was already on the plane, Amy had no choice but to sit through her misery with nothing but her iPod, which would run out of power at any minute, and a battered copy of Mr. Darcy, Vampyre. It wasn't exactly Guns, Germs, and Steel, but it would do.

"Look, Carlisle isn't a long flight, so can you just…? I don't know, maybe be a good man, okay?" Amy reasoned in a tired voice. Jason gave her a second's glance and then closed his eyes. Acknowledging his reserved gesture, Amy took out her cancer medication (three bottles of highly toxic pills to anyone without the disease) and swallowed them.

"What are you doing?" Jason asked suddenly. Amy shrugged.

"Medication."

"I know I shouldn't pry because we 'don't know each other,'" he added in air quotes and a funny voice, "but they look like seriously loaded medications."

"That's because they are, Mr. Richardson," Amy said tiredly. A tear pulled at the corner of her eye. She'd never really cried about the fact that she wasn't destined to live out her life, but now seemed like a good time to. No one outside her circle of friends had ever questioned her about something so personal. The tear fell, followed by another and another and another.

"W-what's wrong?"

"I-I-I," Amy tried, but found that she was too overcome by her sudden mood change. Dammit, she thought, I'm blubbering to a complete stranger. There had to be a first time for everything.

"Tell me, its okay, I won't judge you," Jason cooed, rubbing her shoulder. The mother and her daughter stopped talking and craned their necks to look at what was going on.

"Sir," the mother asked. "Is she alright? Does she need something?"

"I'm fine," Amy managed weakly. "I'm… I'm fine, really."

"Obviously, you aren't," Jason countered.

-

Jason Richardson

One Red Thread- Blind Pilot

Jason had rarely seen someone cry, and when he did, it was usually Tisha who was making a big fit. It was never his sister, Cheyenne, or his mother and father. They were all composed, even when Jason was a kid. Tears and sobs were foreign to Jason. However, sadness was an emotion he was well acquainted with.

Jason sat there on the airplane as other passengers filed in around him, talking on cell phones, typing on laptops, texting, or reading. A second ago, this woman was being hostile in words and body language, seemingly tough as stone. But now, she was falling apart. It seemed like she had been keeping it all in, and it was the source of all her anger. This sort of confrontation between the two seemed a bit premature; Jason didn't even know her name or age!

"Hey, hey, you'll be fine," he tried, but found that he was completely unprepared to make it all "fine."

"I'm sorry, I don't know why I'm crying," the woman said weakly, a faint smile crossing her lips as she shielded her eyes from him. "I'm just… so fucked up right now."

"I know the feeling. And… I know we just met, but it looks like we're going to be here for awhile," Jason said shyly, "and it looks as if you need someone to talk to."

"You're right I do, and no offense, but I sincerely don't think you're the right person," she replied quickly, still not looking at him.

Jason felt a twinge in his heart for this woman. Without so many words to help her describe it, Jason had surmised her life story. She was a girl without a real life, someone who was just making do. She didn't have any really close friends; her family was her only anchor to the real world. She once had dreams, but something took it away from her and she was now resigning herself to her fate. And she looked so young too, possibly the same age as him at twenty eight. Jason had the feeling that although she didn't want to talk to him, she needed to, whether she liked it or not. So he told her so.

"Seriously, I don't need that bullshit from you," she shot, taking her hand away from her eyes. They were watery but shown with a light that didn't seem like it came from the withering sun outside or the cabin lights. "I've taken a lot in my life, but I will not sit here and be lectured by a guy who I just met and really have no respect for."

Jason tried a different tactic.

"Hi, my name is Jason Richardson and I live in East London in a flat with my girlfriend, Tisha Wilson," he said quickly, catching the woman off guard. "I work as a paramedic at the Barnet General Hospital in North London, and they're sending me up to Carlisle for a medical conference for the next two weeks. My girlfriend and I are having some problems because she thinks she's Belle de Jour from The Secret Diary of a Call Girl and I think I'm in denial about our lack of chemistry together. I don't really have anything else to live for, except my sister Cheyenne and my parents. I met you this morning in line for this flight, which is flight 21, and now we're sitting in the same aisle and you were just crying and now you're basically telling me to fuck off."

Amy sat for a moment, processing everything he had just said. A watery smile crossed her face.

"You forgot to tell me how old you are," she laughed quietly.

"I'm twenty eight," Jason replied with a straight face. Amy smiled a bit more.

"Well then, Jason, my name is Amy Ewell and I live in South London in the apartment below my Mum and Dad's with my cat Tegan and my rabbit Rose Bud. I've been single for eight years. I work as a reporter at The Chiswick, which is sending me up to Carlisle to cover a story. I'm twenty eight," Amy said with deliberation which made Jason smile, "but I feel like I'm nineteen. My mum thinks I still look it."

"Bravo, Amy Ewell," Jason said, clapping lightly. Amy smiled a bit. "But…"

"But what?" Amy said, feigning innocence. Jason had a feeling that she was a lot dirtier than she looked.

"What about those pills a moment ago? They made you so upset," Jason asked in all seriousness. Amy's smile faded.

"So, what? That 'Hi, my name is' shit a moment ago was just you trying to find out why I had a mental breakdown?" Amy snapped.

"Well, yeah," Jason said, as if it were obvious. "I told you my whole life story, basically, then you told me yours, but I don't think you're saying much at all compared to what you've really went through, so I'd think the medication should be covered if we're going to be friends."

"Friends?"

"Uh, yeah," Jason clarified, a little confused. "If that's what you want. But I think you need a friend."

-

Amy Ewell

You Could Be Happy- Snow Patrol

Mr. Yorkshire seemed more amused with Amy than with anyone else at The Chiswick after their first encounter. Amy, however, felt as if she had gone through the office looking like a call girl. How could she abandon her professionalism at the face of a gorgeous man such as Mr. Yorkshire, and then snap at him as if he wasn't a staff member of The Chiswick? Amy thought she would for sure be kicked out off of the newspaper for her rudeness, but no complaints ever came from the publisher. It seemed as if Mr. Yorkshire had kept his mouth shut about their first impressions on each other. Amy had begun to relax when the thought crossed her mind.

During her third week of internship at The Chiswick, Amy came across Mr. Yorkshire in the supply closet. She had heard a strange sound coming down the hall that no one else seemed to notice. Either that or they were quite used to it by now. Amy got up to investigate.

In the supply closet was Mr. Luke Yorkshire, sobbing against a file cabinet.

"Mr. Yorkshire?" Amy whispered. Mr. Yorkshire ceased his crying immediately and stiffened. He took a moment to wipe his face and compose his breathing. Thought it was still dark in the supply closet, Amy could see how upset he still was.

"Ms. Ewell, looking lovely as always," he replied in a curt way, and rushed past her and out of the supply room.

"Thank you sir," Amy said to herself, feeling her mood drop significantly.

-

Amy Ewell

I Can Feel Your Pain- Manchester Orchestra

Amy looked away from Jason for a moment. She thought about Luke Yorkshire and the last time she had a "friend." Mary Crosby was hardly a good example of such. Shaking her head to clear her mind, Amy ran a hand through her hair.

"You know, I don't know if that's what I need," Amy told Jason. "It may be what you need, but I just don't know about me."

"We can try, Amy."

"You sound like you're my ex-boyfriend, you know that?" Amy laughed, looking at Jason. He laughed a moment, and then stopped abruptly.

"We should go out."

Amy froze, still with her smile on her face. Then it fell and she looked confused.

"W-what? I thought you just said-"

"Yeah, I know what I said, and I think we should go out," Jason repeated, colouring a bit in the cheeks. "You made it obviously clear that you don't want a friend, so maybe what you need is someone to show you a good time, and not in the dirty sense."

"I honestly don't know what to say," Amy said, looking a bit flustered. She felt a sense of completion at the idea of a man in her life, but then she felt like it would shatter. When her cancer would come back, there would be a missing piece to the puzzle once again. There cannot be love between a person who is dead and a person who is alive and well, she thought.

"Say anything."

Amy broke a bit inside. She looked at him for a moment, eventually letting two perfect tears slip down her cheeks once again.

"I have cancer."

-

Amy Ewell

Gone- Thirteen Senses

The sun shone bright through the silk curtain in Luke Yorkshire's flat. It gave the room an airy look and reflected off of the white roses kept in the far corner of the room. Amy opened her eyes to the smell of morning and roses. She smiled sadly and turned over to see a sleeping Luke. She stroked his cheek lightly, trailing his strong jaw and soft lips. With her other hand, she toyed with his blonde hair. Amy knew she had to go. But she couldn't because leaving while Luke was still asleep felt too cliché and it would surely break his heart because he would know it would be the last time they'd see each other. Well, see each other in an intimate way. Then, Amy remembered the whole reason why she had ended up in Luke's bed.

Amy had told Luke about her diagnosis with liver cancer the previous night. He had taken her back to his flat for the first time and the two had made love to each other. Luke and she had shared a long relationship since their first meeting.

Though the supply closet incident was certainly a traumatic one, Luke had explained that had been an unhappy man for awhile.

"Frankly, Amy, you're really the only person who's cared enough about this," he had said over coffee, very seriously. "I-I just want a mate."

"A mate?" Amy deadpanned.

"No, no, no, no, Amy, not like that," Luke said, looking as if he was about to explain. Instead, he stopped short and fell back against his chair with tears brimming in his eyes. "I lost my wife a year ago."

Amy's expression crumpled. "I wish I could say something more intelligent and sympathetic, but I'm so, so, so sorry Luke. I really am."

"Its fine," he murmured, shaking his head. "No, it's not, but, it's just… I realize now that it's impossible for me to go on in life without someone by my side. I had a girlfriend for about six months, but… she left because she felt as though I didn't truly need her. She was right, because really, I just used her as an anchor. I was afraid that I would float off without someone keeping me down.

And… I don't need a lover, or anything sexual or saucy, I just need a friend with compassion and virtues and personality… I need someone like Mia…"

"Luke," Amy whispered, reaching across the table to take his hand. "I'm here. I won't think a thing about what happened between us at work, really, Luke. I- I just can't bear to see anyone like this."

Though Amy thought it was incredibly cliché how their relationship progressed from that point on, she couldn't help but smile at how close the two of them had become. They had spent almost all of their time together, drinking coffee, reading books at the bookstore, taking long bus rides around the whole of London, riding the London Eye... the two had become something of a "friend-couple." The attraction had grown between them and finally reached a point where the pressure to stay friends had reached an immense level; Amy could tell that even Luke ached to kiss her rather than cuddle innocently on a couch during a movie night.

Then Amy was diagnosed with her liver cancer. It was as if the sun had forever been eclipsed by a hand of darkness and sorrow. Luke was patient with her, but knew that she would never tell him what was bothering her without the proper motivation. He asked her to meet him at their favorite café, and there they met. Luke kissed her and told her that he loved her with all of his heart. Amy had cracked and spilled her secret, to which Luke had pulled her out of the café and grabbed a taxi back to his flat.

Sitting on the edge of his bed, Amy had felt as though her heart was in two places: within her and within him. She realised that even though Luke had told her that he loved her, he didn't really mean it. Amy was just another Mia Romeo to him… and so would be the next girl. She wished that there was some other way than leaving Luke, but if she stayed, she would become an exact replica of Luke's deceased wife; she would die like her. Amy had nodded her head with determinedly and decided that she had to go, regardless of another huge movie cliché she was about to commit, she had to go. It absolutely was the best way to end things. So Amy had dressed quickly and left Luke Yorkshire's flat for the first and last time.

-

Jason Richardson

Telling Lies- Great Northern

Jason felt as if God Himself was choking him. He felt stunned beyond belief, and certainly embarrassed. He had had no idea that Amy Ewell was the bearer of such grief and rage and pain. And perhaps that was why he leaned over and kissed Amy Ewell on the lips, bringing his hand to cup her check, which was just as soft as he had thought it to be.

-

Amy Ewell

Run- Snow Patrol

His lips were on hers gently, his hand against her cheek. She didn't respond at first, too surprised to do anything, but then it soaked in. There was a man, Jason Richardson, kissing her, Amy Ewell. It felt so right for a moment, then it was wrong, but it was soon right again. She was confused; why? Why was he doing this? What made him do this?

She didn't care, suddenly. Ever since Luke, she had made herself as unhappy as she could be, telling herself that love was overrated because God made her have cancer, therefore taking away her permission to love. No. It was her. All her. She made herself believe that lie just so she could laugh at the world and their happiness and feel like she was special because of her setback. She did it to herself, and why? Because she liked the feeling of being abandoned and forlorn; it felt right to her. But this, Jason, felt even more justified.

So Amy kissed back, bringing her hands to the back of his neck and kissing him hard. She scooted closer, and their lips worked faster against each other, slanting, nipping, biting. It was experience Amy had never felt, and it felt incredibly right. More right than Luke had felt against her skin. It was Jason.

Jason was right.

-

Jason Richardson

I Can Feel a Hot One- Manchester Orchestra

Jason stood in Putney Vale Cemetery, under a sky of low-hanging clouds. A gravestone sat in front of him, newer and more polished than all the others around him. He felt like he should cry; he had been crying all night, so maybe he was just all cried-out. Something inside of Jason told him that it wasn't what she would've wanted. She would've wanted him to laugh every day of his life, be with the person that made him happy. But… he couldn't. At least not today. Today was a day devoted to her, the woman who made his life bright and full of meaning.

There was something so morbid about saying goodbye to people. Most times, a person said goodbye knowing they'd see the other person soon. But what if you had that intention and the other person didn't? What would you do then? How would you cope with it? Is it even a big deal? Or what if the two of you had the intention to see each other, but destiny would never allow it. What if the other person died? What if you died? How are you ever supposed to come to terms? Coming to terms: what does that mean? Forget? Occupy your time with something else? Jason didn't know. He didn't understand.

A soft hand clutched his. He looked to his left and saw Amy, his fiancée. She smiled sadly at him, tears brimming in her eyes. A part of him wanted to reprimand her for crying about a woman who she never really knew. Jason's mother was a woman who was understood by few, least of all Amy who had only met her once. But another part of him told him to comfort her too. In the face of death was surely a place where Amy did not want to be; it reminded her of her own looming death which would come (most likely) sooner than Jason's would. He put an arm around her, and she wound her slender arm around his waist, turning her face into his chest.

"I'm so sorry," she murmured.

"I am too," Jason replied, resting his head on top of hers.

It started to rain. A long, dank rain, it seemed. It blurred Jason's vision, filled it with water and steam morphing itself into the faces of the dead below the ground. The two of them stood in Putney Vale Cemetery in the rain. And for the first time, Jason began to cry.


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