Authors note: So I decided to make a sequel to The Obsession of Love. After I posted my little one-shot story, I just knew I wanted to go through with it. Why? Simply because I think I can make a sequel that will expound and enhance the previous story. That truly is the reason for this story. Oh…and because most of the reviews wanted one too. (I was so happy to see such a positive response! The poll on my profile went awesome!) I'm so excited to be writing about these characters again. I'm not sure which story I will like more…we'll see. I hope reviewers from my last story will come and read this story. I really do! Also, for anyone who hasn't read the first story, the Obsession of Love, it is quite important that you do. I try to give a background in this story but it's not complete without the previous book. I'll also write a summary to this story after a few chapters pass. So…I guess without further ado…here is The Last Cry.
During my short lifetime, I've concluded that fathers are the only people who immediately become awkward when discussing 'change'. Yes, 'change'. Change refers to the time of life when your voice sounds like a broken keyboard, your face is breaking out in pimples, and your body starts doing some pretty strange crap.
It's when you reach that time in your life that fathers start to tense up. They try to teach you about altering bodily functions by using tools and pillows. They try to explain that you're only going through a cycle. And they try not to pass out as they teach you about…well…puberty.
However recently, I've come to find that fathers aren't the only tongue-tied, embarrassed instructors in the ways of life.
No, my mom has that duty all taken care of.
When I received my lovely gift from Mother Nature, the period…or menstrual cycle if you will, my mother decided to tell me I was currently a caterpillar in a cocoon. She said that right then I was undergoing a transformation from a little girl to a mature woman. She said that during this journey there would be triumphs and failures, happiness and pain, love and broken hearts. She then determined that my period was the start of the rest of my life.
Being only thirteen, I was pretty disgusted with this analogy. A puddle of blood in my pants every month was not my idea of a 'fun' rest of my life! Not to mention, caterpillars and cocoons are pretty darn ugly.
As you can see, my mother is pretty awkward. I would have simply appreciated the raw facts on the matter. Being a girl sucks. But in her uncomfortable storytelling, my mother was able to clean up her act…a little.
She said that at the end of all this growth and transforming, I would turn into a lovely butterfly. My colorful, painted wings would spread with beauty and give off an air of knowledge. I would then fly off into my future to live happily ever after, of course.
It was cliché but certainly better than hearing about periods and cocoons. And so, for awhile, I thought only people could become butterflies. But once again, I learned that I'm usually wrong. Turns out anything can change…even something as concrete as the sidewalk.
I'm certain this all sounds crazy…but if someone were to randomly enter my life, they would see all the change. And they would be certain, that everything turns into a butterfly in some way or another. It may be an ugly creature…but it has changed, that's for sure.
So…where are all these butterflies? Where is all this change?
Wake up…look…it's there.
My feet thundered through the house as I poked my head in and out of every room. If no one was within the room, I ran to another. My feet…thundered? I hoped I wasn't gaining weight. I wasn't drinking all this water for nothing.
Where the heck was she? Working at home means one usually should be accessible at home. I ran down the stairs, tripping over several dirty clothes strewn on the steps. I groaned; Oliver and his nasty habit of being a professional slob.
"Mom, where are you?!" I screamed, coughing after.
I passed the kitchen and then breakfast nook and lastly the living room. I sighed with irritation finally locating her in the office. Why hadn't I looked here before? She was working at home! Where else would she be?
"You know," she started, glancing at me as I entered the room, "I'm really liking this telecommuting thing. I mean, having to step down as a CEO is not the best but…I really love being home all the time."
"Yeah…now you can control my life even more than before…"
She smirked in my direction, unnecessarily filing a few papers in her already painstakingly neat office.
"We'll probably move before graduation…" I muttered.
I knew my mother could see my growing disdain for the subject. We would be moving. A move was inevitable. We had been living in Phoenix for almost two years. I couldn't believe we hadn't been relocated yet.
"There isn't any talk about my job moving, Mary…" my mother said reassuringly, "And with John's job at the repair shop working out…I think this place works for us."
"For now," I simply replied.
"For now…" my mother rightfully replied.
Stillness blanketed the room.
"So," my mom finally said, "What did you come here for? Certainly not to talk about my anal behavior and moving?"
I rolled my eyes, suddenly realizing the paper in my hand. A smile returned to my face as I paced over to my mother. I knelt beside her, handing her the piece of paper.
"Mary…what is this?" she asked.
I shook my head. "Read."
"Alright, alright," she mumbled, putting on her reading glasses. She brought the piece of paper close to her face and slowly began to murmur the words under her breath. "Dear Miss Mary Brighton…we would like…Berkeley…you are…attend the…selected!"
I giggled as she joyfully jumped into the air.
"You got accepted to the University of California, Berkeley!" she started screaming, leaping around the room on her tiptoes.
"No, no," I laughed, "Not yet…but I'm in the top selection group. We have to attend the orientation event in order to see if I'm truly in. I'll have to write an essay, and…do an interview—"
"Oh who cares?!" she retorted, "You're a shoe in. What college wouldn't take my lovely girl?"
"A lot…" I whispered. I folded the letter back into the golden envelope.
"Well…they are just missing out."
I rolled my eyes as my mother placed a wet kiss upon my forehead.
"This is everything you've ever dreamed of…now it's really happening," she whispered excitedly.
I nodded and smiled, actually believing her. "Thanks, mom,"
I beamed again, edging my way out of the office. My mom was still giddily waving her hands in the air, talking about how I've grown up too fast and how she remembers when I was still the shy little junior who enrolled into Kingston so long ago.
I shook my head, my cheeks reddening.
"Ugh…you're leaving so soon. I can't believe in two months you'll be graduating. Then…you're all grown up. You won't even have to worry about us moving anymore. You'll be living in a dorm. Because you're…you're graduating. I cannot believe you're a senior…a senior!"
"Okay…okay. I'll stop. But…this is big. I mean I—wait, oh wait, what about Leon? Wasn't he trying to get into Berkeley too?"
I shrugged. "Yeah…he was talking about that. But we haven't—"
"Well when he gets his acceptance letter…the Mokena and Brighton families will have to party!"
"Mom, this isn't an acceptance letter. It's a letter saying Berkeley is thinking of—"
"Oh shut up! You're in!"
She proceeded to throw her hands in the air and shake her hips like a dorky teenager. That's when I left the room.
A party would be nice…in theory. Maybe if we didn't move…it would actually take place.
Dorm room or not, moving before graduation would not come as a surprise to me.
"Okay seniors, it's only two months till graduation. Now is the time to make your last few moments at Kingston High count! Buy tickets to prom! One week away people! Make your mark!"
Was it me…or was making one's final stamp on life at one's final high school prom kind of…stupid? Eh…maybe it was just me.
"Mary, you going to prom?"
I glanced at Melody, sneering, "Yeah…with whom?"
The cheerleader pressed her index finger against her lower-lip in deep thought. Yes, this required strenuous effort. After awhile, she shrugged with a sugary sweet smile.
"I don't know…take Harry," she finally offered.
I sighed. I already hated prom. Taking Harry, the biggest skateboarding freak and pervert in the whole school would be certain hell. Friend or not, he worked my nerves.
"No…he's going with Vida," I plainly replied. Thank God. That was the best excuse…ever.
"Vida?" Melody inquired, thinking of our book-worm buddy, "Doesn't she have a boyfriend?"
"He dumped her."
"Ouch…so Harry's taking her as a pity date?"
"Pretty much," I finished.
After a momentary silence, we both shuddered. Vida had seriously been having boy issues lately.
I sighing knowing this could only mean one thing. Ryan was here.
I loved Ryan and Melody as a couple, I did. It had taken most of my first year at Kingston High to get them together; I was quite pleased with myself. I was responsible for making two best friends fall in love. They had been together for almost a year!
Yet and still, at times I found their romantic behavior slightly...aggravating. As a 'single', there is only so much 'coupleiness' I can handle. Coupleiness…is that a word?
"Mary," Ryan said, nodding at me.
At least he didn't hate me anymore. I smiled back. "Ryan."
He wrapped his arms around Melody's neck as the two turned to me. I was already quickly fleeing the premises.
"Mary…what about that guy you dated…what was his name…Todd? You could go with him to prom."
I didn't even want to think about…him.
"No," I simply replied, retracting down the hallway.
"Mary…go to prom!" I could hear Melody pleading, "Even if you don't have a date! It's the end of high school…make it count!"
"Thanks!" I replied, covering my face in shame, fleeing the laughter of the student body.
Lunch was busy, as usual. Kingston High had experienced a great increase of students this year. Lately, I had to push my way through hoards of freshmen just to get to class. However, finally, I wasn't everyone's entertainment. I was still laughed at, as evidence from earlier today with Melody, but usually I was ignored.
Not being a completely shy idiot has its benefits.
"Hey…you're looking especially hot today, Miss Brighton."
I eyed Harry curiously as he sat across from me at the lunch table. We all still sat together. This part of my life had never changed.
"What do you want?" I mumbled.
"What? I can't say you look attractive without wanting something. That's offensive! What happened to the old Mary that agreed to everything I said?"
"She's on holiday."
Harry scoffed. I smiled victoriously.
Soon, we were joined by Melody and Ryan and then Vida five minutes later. She was looking depressed…as usual.
"Ugh, can you guys please get a room?" she whispered, opening her new Jane Austen novel. She was staring at Melody and Ryan who were playing footsy underneath the table.
"Don't be jealous, Vida," Melody said with a bothersome giggle. Ryan smiled, squeezing his girlfriend's forearm.
I pulled my squashed and squished ham sandwich from my messenger bag. When I looked up from placing my lunch on the table, they had arrived.
She looked especially pretty today. Her red locks seemed to bounce even when she wasn't moving. Her emerald green eyes darted from one student to another before they became fixated on Leon. Her mouth slowly began to spread into a grin as he pinched her arm, whispering secrets into her ear. They both laughed.
I didn't dislike Loran Adams. I just didn't like her either.
"Hey guys," Leon murmured, "What is up today?"
"Yeah guys, what's up?" Loran added happily.
Now see that…that annoys me. Why does she have to add some redundant statement after everything Leon says? I mean it's completely…completely…I'm doing it again. I'm being…whatever.
"Nothin' much…just watching two morons exchange spit," Vida muttered, glaring in Ryan and Melody's direction. They ignored her.
Leon laughed at his friends. Loran laughed too…of course.
I instantly looked over at Leon. Had he said my name? He hadn't personally spoken to me in a week. He grinned at me, lifting something from his backpack and throwing it swiftly in my path. After juggling it for a few seconds, I looked at my palms to clearly see the object.
It was a yogurt cup.
I glanced up. He was still smiling at me.
"Thanks…" I whispered.
"Welcome," he replied, before Loran murmured something into his ear. He began to laugh loudly as she cackled along with him.
But I didn't mind. I was too busy enjoying my strawberry banana yogurt.
Lunch passed by quickly. It seemed to do that a lot these days. As the bell rang, we all began to pack up our things, ready to go our separate ways; separate ways being the rest of the group splitting up into pairs of two while I journeyed off alone.
Leon was emptying his tray over by the trash cans. Loran was nowhere in sight. This was my chance. I paced over quickly to him, my heart skipping a few beats. Lately, whenever we spoke…well, I couldn't really say lately. We hadn't spoken lately. In any event, Leon made me nervous. He made me jumpy. I don't know why. He just did.
As I inched up to him, I glanced around the cafeteria. Loran was still nowhere to be seen.
"Um…Leon?" I said. His back was turned to me.
After a light tap to his shoulder, Leon whirled around instantly, his face breaking into a grin. I could just…melt in his smile.
"Hey Mary…what up?" he said, shoving his waist length braid behind his shoulder. I frowned. Loran so wanted him to get rid of his lengthy hair. I hoped and prayed he would never cut it. It was something I admired about him. Thankfully, it looked as if he wouldn't budge on the matter. The hair stayed.
"Um…nothing is really up," I responded, "I just…I just wanted to tell you about some…some college news."
"Really? What about it?"
"Um…just this um…like letter I got from Califor—"
"California…wait…no…Berkeley?!" he exclaimed, his voice resounding off the lunchroom walls.
I looked away, my face growing hot. "Um…actually, yeah. I got this like letter in the—"
"You're in!" Leon interrupted, grabbing my hands and intertwining them with his. We hadn't touched in so long. His touch felt strange. The thought of him letting go made me ache.
"Well…n-not exactly," I stuttered, "I just wanted to see if you got this…well…if you got this letter because if you did I—"
"Leon, we're going to be late for class," I heard her voice say as she neared us from behind.
I immediately broke the hold between Leon's hands and my own. However, I could tell by the suspicious expression on Loran's face that she had seen a glimpse of the embrace.
"We gotta go," Loran said to Leon, "Mrs. Broderick won't let us take the quiz if we're late." She glanced my way, "Oh… hi Mary."
I forced a grin on my face.
"Oh okay," Leon said as Loran began to pull him away from me. "Um…Mary, we'll finish this later. Stop by on my shift at the restaurant tomorrow, alright?"
"Okay…" I murmured.
"Don't forget now!" he said with a laugh.
I nodded happily, waving goodbye.
Loran gave me a long stare before draping her full body over Leon. I had to turn away when they kissed.
It had been like this for the past eight months.
Part of me was convinced she had a slight aversion for me.
I was Leon's best friend…or at least his former best friend.
In any case, she probably believed I had some kind of hold on him. It seemed as if she planned to keep me from him until gradation and then all of summer.
…Well, she was doing a pretty darn good job.
"Mary Brighton…I've got a bone to pick with you!"
There's always that one really annoying kid at school. You know, the kid who thinks because he's the leader of a stupid student program that he's the dictator of the whole world. Just because some idiot teacher put him in charge of a minuscule, useless, money-waster club…the kid thinks he's so ubberly awesome. He wears pants that are too short and shirts that are too big. He waits in fervent anticipation for the latest Naruto manga. He plays his PSP while telling everyone else they aren't working hard enough. He thinks his position of power gives him the right to tell every other student in 'his' program what to do.
Well that kid…that kid for me is Sheldon Kaiser.
Sheldon…what mother names their child Sheldon? Hmm…she probably hates him too.
"Mary Brighton, are you listening to me?!" Sheldon screamed, slamming his tiny fist against my computer desk. He was so puny. Leon could slam him into a wall with one finger. I smiled. I really wanted to see that.
"Mary?!" the weakling shrieked, "You listen and you listen good—"
"What?" he asked, exasperated.
"The appropriate grammatical phrasing of the statement is 'You listen well'…" I replied, "Not 'good'. The statement "You listen good" has just been passed down from generation to generation without the syntax being corrected."
I think he wanted to murder me at this point.
"Fine…you listen well," he was barely able to grumble, "You…are a writer for the school newspaper."
"…Is that a question?"
"No! I mean…no…it's a statement." He sighed, "And I'm…I'm the chief editor and publisher of the school paper. At the request of your junior-year English teacher, Ms. Mandingo, I had you join the Kingston Bugle. She said you were an exceptional writer and that you would make a great addition to the paper. Now…how is it that with all this being said…in a full two months you haven't written one column for the paper and yet you are still being given extra curricular credits?"
I raised an eyebrow. "…Is that a statement?"
"It's a question!"
I shrugged. Sheldon was breathing heavily now. "Um…you never asked me for an article. I've had a lot of ideas—"
"Oh really?! Did you ever think to ask me to publish them, huh?"
I smirked. "I did. You were playing World of Warcrap—"
"Craft! It's craft…" he fumed.
"Whatever…all I know is you told me not to bother you. So I didn't."
Sheldon rubbed his forehead with his two forefingers, sighing heavily. Several other students on the school newspaper committee were looking over at me. I shrugged at them in reply.
As Sheldon began muttering gibberish, I could see Vida making-out with some guy through the slits in the door. I gulped. They were really getting it on. She was supposed to be in math.
"Look…" Sheldon finally said, "Just have an article on my desk by the end of this period."
"Fine" I murmured as he began stomping away from me. I snickered, "Will do…Sharon."
"It's Sheldon!" he screamed from over his shoulder.
I giggled to myself as did the rest of his tormented writers. Smiling, I began to scan through all the stories I had previously written. Although I couldn't stand Sheldon, I loved spending my free period on the student newspaper committee. It was the one thing at Kingston that felt like mine. And though Sheldon wouldn't believe me, I had published several columns behind his back. Actually, quite a few of his favorite articles were my columns written by an 'anonymous' author. I would die to see the look on his face when he found out it was me. Maybe then he wouldn't—
"Oh, and tell your boyfriend to stay out of this room when we're in session!" Sheldon shouted from the front.
I rolled my eyes. "I don't have a boyfriend, Sheldon."
"Right…then who is this Todd Beckerman who keeps stopping in for you?"
I glanced around nervously before hiding myself behind my computer screen.
"I promise he won't be stopping around anymore…he's not my boyfriend," I mumbled.
"Good," Sheldon simply responded, reaching for his gaming device. A disturbing grin was spreading across his face.
"Mary…how was school? Did you and Leon talk about Berkley?" I heard my mother scream right as I walked in the front door.
I sighed. "Yup…we talked about it over lunch. We just talked for hours and hours. We both got the letter from Berkeley. We're both going to be successful…yippee."
I sighed again. Maybe that had been just a tad too much sarcasm.
"Wow…that statement was so slavered in irony I could barely catch a word."
I rolled my eyes as I began my journey up the stairs. My mother, thankfully, didn't pursue our conversation any further. She had finally come to realize that at this point it was pretty useless to be interested in a discussion with me.
I walked into my room, slipping off my converses in the process. As I moved towards my window seat, I heard Oliver's car drive up next to our house. He was going to be home for two weeks from his internship at Sears. I groaned. He already made a mess while he was gone. Now it was just going to be Judgment Day.
"Dad!" I heard him scream. I pursed my lips. He never thought of the neighbors. John was somewhere repairing something in the basement. Hopefully the two would find each other soon. The only thing worse than Oliver's normal voice was his screaming voice.
After awhile, my surroundings began to quiet down. I pulled out my ever-growing stack of homework. Senior homework sucks.
"Where to start?" I muttered to myself, scratching my head.
There were so many places to start.
That's when I heard the flitter of his wings. That's when I heard him calling to me. That's when I felt him…in every way.
I turned around. I walked over to the far corner of my room. It was the darkest place in my room. He liked the dark.
When I came upon him, I opened his enclosing and felt him in my palms.
"We only have a little bit more time together, don't we?" I said, speaking to the butterfly. It was the same butterfly from eleven whole months ago. It was the same black and gray butterfly that he had given me.
"I'm sorry I was never able to set you free," I said, feeling a lone tear spill down my cheek.
He responded with a simple move of his antennas. I hope he was bidding me forgiveness.
I placed him safely back in his cage before I sauntered over to the one window in my room. I sat on the window seat, pushing the glass pane out. I turned my eyes to the evening sky.
It was almost a year.
It was almost year from just about…everything.
A year ago…I was a junior. My life had been so much…fuller then. I was only a shell of that person now. A year ago, Leon was my best friend. We spent every moment together. Even if we didn't speak, we didn't care. We just liked being together. A year ago, Hannah was still here. A year ago, Leon's sister was alive and well.
And a year ago…Bastion…Bastion Welles was still with me. I still had the note. It told me to find him. I had the directions to his soul. But I couldn't find him. It had been almost a full year…and I still hadn't found him. He had to be wondering why I hadn't come yet. Maybe he had replaced me. Maybe he was truly…gone…
I shook my head, not wanting to believe the thought.
I didn't want to believe that it was almost a year. I didn't want to come to grips with the idea that I would never set the butterfly free. My butterfly would die a lonely, bitter life. Did the same fate lie in wait for Bastion…my Bastion?
But he wasn't my Bastion.
I couldn't even remember his face.
It was almost a year now and everything had changed.
Soon, everything would change for good. With gradation came the end of my life in Kingston. And with the end of Kingston came the end of…
"I hate change," I whispered, grabbing the pillow beside my leg. I clutched it tightly, hiding my face in its warmth.
I didn't want to think about all the change at present. I didn't want to think about all the change of the future.
I just wanted to go back…back to one year ago. I wanted a do-over. I wanted a different ending.
But that was simply too bad…because this was it.
Change had arrived…and it planned to stay.
Authors note: OKAY, so that's the first chapter. Um…what do you think? Are you interested? Loran, if anyone forgot, is the girl Leon liked for a little while in the first story. Just refer back to chapter nine and nineteen of the Obsession of Love if you're confused. Also, I'm certain I've messed up time periods between the two stories. I'll have to go and re-edit the Obsession of Love so that in lines up with this story. This is the first chapter so I'm trying to not rush it…and keep it steady. Alright then, like I said, I wanted it to be different so…I changed stuff around. Please review with your opinions! Okay, Indigo? :) I have great things in store. I'll update when I can. I want to make sure I'm only posting my best.