Falling

~A Short Story~

By: Clarissa Rose

The sky was the color of shadows with bright stars shining through. It was just visible enough for me to make out their fuzzy shape. I knew I should've turned back sooner and that when I finally got there I may not ever come back, but I had to go. I had to know where, I had to understand why. But then again going to the sight wouldn't exactly tell me all the answers of what I needed to know.

I could just barely make out the small patch of grass leading to the cliff. I won't lie of what my next thought was. Even if this does sound hopeless and pathetic I half expected him to be there, to turn around and see my car and wave me over to sit by him at the edge of the cliff, but of course he wasn't there.

When I rolled onto the grass I stopped my car and hopped out. The only things to guide the path in front of me were the stars above and the gentle light of the moon. There was a moment of hesitation as I walked toward the cliff, there was one more chance for me to turn back, to run away just like always, but I didn't. I kept walking until I got there. I sat down on the rock and scooted forward until I was to the edge, letting my feet dangle in the air. I could see the glittering waters hundreds of feet beneath it and smell the ocean sent.

I lay on my back, still letting my feet dangle and stared up to the stars thinking of the night it had all begun, the night where my whole life changed in a flash, the night I met him.

Usually when I tell this story I begin at the end, but I never went any further because the only thing that seemed to matter at the time was that he jumped. The facts of when and why were simply words I wasn't ready to think of, wasn't ready to remember. I had known why from the moment I heard what happened, and when from the moment I received the call. Until this very moment in time it was all blurred together in my mind, like a painting dipped in a glass of water. Every detail, ever color was all falling into each other, all colliding to each other until there was nothing there but a big dark mess.

It had been the summer before 4th grade that I had looked out the window and saw the little boy getting out of the car. He only had one small bag and he was clutching it close to his chest. The man behind him had lived in that house for a long time, but the woman standing by the front door was a new sight. She was breathtaking with long, gentle black curls and bright blue eyes, just like the boy.

"You see our new neighbors?" My mother had asked me. She came up behind me and made me jump. She always had a way to surprise me whether for better or for worst. "That boy is around your age."

"Cool," I said. But at the time it hadn't been. In fact from the moment I laid eyes on him until the time I actually said a word to him I loathed him. He may have been beautiful, and that was obvious to anyone, even a young sporty girl like me, but I was the only young one in my neighborhood. I was the only child of my age who was invited to big parties. I guess you could say, in my small town, I felt special and a boy moving so close to my home, my kingdom, was somewhat of a disruption, especially someone as stunning as him.

Thinking about my hatred for him in the beginning always made me laugh, considering only two weeks later he was invited to my mother's end of summer party and my feelings for him began to change. The whole town was invited, but the fact that he was made me furious.

"Oh but he's such a nice boy," My mother would say every time I brought this up.

My father would nod and say, "He's a bit shy, but he certainly does know how to make an impression."

It seemed to me they were practically worshiping the boy. The only things they could ever say about him was how amazing he was, and how he always managed to surprise them one way or another.

"Oh did you hear?" My mother would say after she would get home from her daily errands. "That little boy across the street can play the piano." Or, "That little boy across the street can play the viola and cello." Or, this from my father, "That little boy is such a good little athlete. He can run, throw a ball, and jump."

Of course, I never learned his name until just a week before the party, considering my parents always referred to him as 'the little boy across the street.'

Apparently his name was Shay which if you asked me, or most anyone else in the world, it is the worst possible name to ever give a boy, but my parents absolutely adored it and after a while I grew to love it myself.

At the party I learned Shay really did have all the musical talent in the world. He could play seven different instruments, his mother and new Step-Father had explained to my parents. Shay though, was no where to be found, that is until I walked outside and saw him swinging on my favorite swing. It had been declared in first grade that the blue swing was mine and the red one was for guests, but he seemed to have a different idea about this.

"Hey Shay!" I yelled my voice full of fury.

He glanced over at me and stopped the swing. "Hi, Alexandria."

"Get off my swing!" I demanded stamping my foot hard against the ground trying to make it clear this was serious business, but he didn't seem to understand.

He gave me a blank expression and said, "There's a swing right beside me-"

"But you're on my swing! The blue one is mine!" I had yelled.

He looked taken aback by my tone and gave me a funny look. "You know," he began and started swinging again. I could feel red crawling up my neck as I gritted my teeth and got ready to attack. "I really can't tell which one is the blue swing."

I stared at him. "What?" I asked. "Are you stupid?"

He shook his head and slid his feet across the grass beneath him, slowing the swing down and making him stop. "I'm color blind. But since you told me to get off your swing and said yours was the blue one," he stood up and moved to the red swing. "I'm going to assume that one is yours."

This was new to me. I hadn't ever met anyone who was color blind before. I came over and sat beside him instantly intrigued. "So you can only see black and white?" I asked. "Like a dog or something?"

Now it was his turn to stare and he definitely took advantage of it. He just sat there looking at me for good two or three minutes. I really wasn't sure how to react so I just sat there and stared back. It grew a bit awkward.

Finally, he said. "No. It's when I mix up colors-" Then he cut himself off and sighed. "It's really kind of hard to explain."

"Oh." The feeling of stupidity flooded over me and I bowed my head in shame. To me, the worst feeling was being ignorant. I hated not knowing things, even the most random facts. It didn't matter if the question was how many pieces of grass were in the ground, if I didn't know the answer I felt like a failure.

He smiled at me. "It's okay though," he started to laugh and as if he could read my mind he said, "I don't know a lot of things. In fact I don't know more than I do. It's good not to know things." He got up from the swing and leaned back against the solid, wood leg of the set. "I mean life would be so boring if you always knew everything."

"You wouldn't have to go to school," I pointed out.

"I like school," he muttered scratching the back of his head.

Never in my life had I heard a child say something as ridiculous as that. "Why?"

"Why not?" He was drawing something with his shoe in the dirt and was staring down at it with a very intense gaze almost as if our conversation wasn't nearly as important as a picture drawn in the dirt.

"Because," I began loudly so he'd look up at me. I hated it when I was talking and no one was looking at me. "It's run by these crazy ladies who think they can just boss you around and stuff."

To my surprise, he looked very offended and for a moment I felt awful. Maybe his mother was a teacher, but that wasn't exactly why he was shooting me this look.

"Not all teachers are woman," he stated flatly. "I want to become a teacher."

"That's disgusting," I replied.

"I want to be a music teacher," he went on. I started to walk in the house and he followed me inside. "You know like a director and stuff."

"Sure," I said and smiled. "I can't wait to see the day when a little boy is a music teacher."

Though I didn't act like it. From the moment words came out of his mouth I was intrigued. I had never met a single person who sounded so sure about everything they said, or a kid who already knew what he wanted in life, who already had a plan set out. So, from then on I made it a goal to be his friend, since he did seem quite lonely anyway and I didn't want him to be so out in the cold.

By the time school began, we were completely inseparable. It wasn't as if we had just met at a small summer party because we had to. It was more like we had been born to know each other, to be each other's friend. No one quite understood our relationship though. He was always so quiet and shy even though he really had no reason to be. I was always loud and sporty. He was the only boy the girls in our grade ever talked about and everyone hated me because we were such close friends.

It was the end of 6th grade when we first found what came to be known as something as simple as the rock. As usual, we were playing out down by the ocean, but this time Shay spotted something neither one of us had realized before.

"Look!" He said pointing to a tall patch of land. A large rock was coming out of the edge of it. It was all the way on the other side of the beach from us. "I wonder how high up that must be."

"Probably like a thousand feet," I said dipping my toes in the icy water of the beach. The habit of me needing to know everything was still somewhat there, but Shay had tamed it a bit. Since he was just naturally smart and top of our class he usually knew if I was wrong or right. But there were those few times when he would wonder something or ask a question and I would just need to have an answer.

He gave me what I would learn to call one of those "Shay looks" or the better explanation for it: he would raise one of his dark eyebrows at me and slant his head to the side probably wondering if I was kidding or being serious. Which usually meant my answer or explanation was far from right.

"Well Mr. I know everything in the world why don't we go check it out then?"

"But it's all the way across the beach," he said quietly looking down at his feet. "If I get home when it's dark I'll get in trouble."

"It's only like two or something," I said, but once again I was wrong. It was actually six and by the time we got halfway there we were both tired and the sun was setting. We found that we had to go up a giant hill then through a ton of woods to get there, but once we did the sight was definitely worth it.

To this day I believe the rock brings me to the most beautiful place in the whole entire world, especially as I lay out a night. With the stars shining clearly above, the glittering water floating dozens of feet down below.

By the time we got home it was dark and we both got a scolding, but at least we knew where our new place would be.

In the 7th grade Shay and I both went through some major changes. He became more outgoing and started playing sports, which in return usually granted you popularity, but still he never took it to his head. That was the same year I put away my tennis shoes and T-shirts and started wearing makeup and skirts. He would make fun of me at first, especially since I usually had no idea what I was doing and some days I would come to school looking like a clown.

There was this one time in particular when my friend, Lauren had to literally take me into a bathroom and help me wash it until it was all off. She then reapplied it again for me and I watched her carefully. That day a lot more people seemed to notice me, even Shay who told me I looked pretty, which he never said until from then on.

It was around that same time in seventh grade when Shay and I started to develop feelings for each other. He was the sweetest and most beautiful boy I had literally ever met or seen for that matter, and that isn't a joke. He really was beautiful. It was rare for him to walk into a room and not every head turn around and stare at him in utter silence for a moment. He definitely gained his beauty from his mother; his beautiful mother.

"She's sick," he had said to me one night when we were lying on the rock. Shay was always so much closer to the edge than me, he loved being on the edge, loved taking life threatening risks, I never really understood why.

"Who?" I had asked and scooted closer to him.

"My mom," he replied his face was so sad that tears started to form in my eyes even though really I had no idea what he was talking about. But here's the thing with Shay, I knew before he moved to Victoria Shores his life hadn't exactly been ideal. I could tell that enough by his constant need to avoid the subject of his old life. Me on the other hand… Well so far life hadn't dealt me a bad hand. I was so close with Shay that whenever he felt even a twinge of pain, odds were, I would feel it too.

"What do you mean by sick?" I asked slowly, my tone careful.

He looked up at me and dropped the sad expression and smiled. "Well you know. Everyone gets sick once in a while"

I had wanted to say more; to talk about it because I knew that wasn't the case, but he quickly changed the subject.

"You look really pretty," he said pushing a piece of blond hair out of my face.

"Thanks, Shay," I whispered under my breath trying everything just to hold back my entirely too happy smile. It wasn't as hard as I had thought especially when Shay leaned in and kissed me.

It wasn't a very long kiss more like a quick peck on the lips, but it had meant enough to both of us.

"Thanks, Shay." I said again, but this time I didn't even try to hold back the smile.

Middle school went by fast, though I can't say Shay and I ever actually made it to the title of boyfriend and girlfriend, it was an exciting couple years. We were, as always, constantly together either at the rock or out wondering around town. The only really bad thing about those couple years was his mother. By the end of eighth grade it was clear to everyone she didn't have much time left.

She died three weeks before the start of freshmen year and it had been a lot harder on him than I had predicted it would be, but that was when I began to see the life he had before Victoria Shores still left a parting scar on him.

"Shay," I whispered holding onto his hand as we sat on the edge of the rock. He hadn't spoken to me the whole entire walk here; he hadn't even looked at me. "I'm really sorry."

He only nodded, but then looked down at my hand and started to trace my veins. His cool touch made me shiver, but I couldn't deny I liked the feeling of it. Then I realized he was trying to pull me away from my earlier thought. He could always tell whenever I was about to confront him about something and most times he was successful to lead me away from it, but not this time.

"Shay," I said and pulled my hand away from his and touched the side of his face with it instead. I felt him tremble beneath my touch. "Where did you live before here?"

"A long ways away," he whispered. "Why?"

"What happened there?"

He stared at me, sending me an unreadable expression. Then he sighed, got up, and started to walk. He walked so close to the edge of the rock I was sure in one small motion he would fall.

"What if I jumped?" He asked putting his hand out in front of him as if to catch something. "What if I were to jump and never come back up?"

That night I had seen something in his eyes. Something I would never let myself forget. No matter what he said, no matter how hard he tried to hide it he wasn't okay. In my whole life that was the moment where I had felt the worst pain and it hadn't even been my own.

I had walked hesitantly up behind him and pulled him away from the cliff and all the way to my house. We sat and watched movies for hours until we could hardly keep our eyes open. I knew from then on my perfect image of Shay was very flawed.

Freshmen year was the year I referred to as our love-hate years. We fought more in that time than we ever had before. In fact usually at one time or another, over stupid little things we were fighting. Our worst one was over a boy I had started seeing named Nick.

"He's a jerk," Shay told me.

I glared at him. "He's really sweet. Of course you probably wouldn't be able to recognize something like that now would you?"

We were in biology, both of our least favorite classes, so we often passed notes and talked to each other until we were yelled at by the teacher to shut up and get to work.

"I wouldn't?" He let out a dry laugh. Everyone in that class was staring at us; some were even making bets as to who was going to attack the other first, even our friends who by this time were a bit sick of it. "You're the one who's oblivious to every single detail around you-"

"At least I can see detail! Unlike you! You can't even see colors!" I had said a lot of stupid things in that fight. And in the end, as always, Shay had proved me wrong.

The day before our winter dance I walked in on Nick and some senior girl making out on his bed. I had lost my pride that night and called Shay explaining to him what happened. He told me to meet him at the rock and when I did he held me for a long time and just let me cry, never once saying I told you so. Looking back at it now, Nick's and my relationship really wasn't worth so many tears.

Sophomore year was the year that things between Shay and I got a little bit more rocky, but a calmer kind of rocky. At the beginning of the year he told me he was in love with me, but I hadn't believed it. Now though, as I sit here looking up at the stars I don't have a doubt it was true.

I met a boy named Jace. He was very cute and the quarter back of our school football team. We instantly had a connection and soon enough I found myself falling very hard for him. It was a given Shay would be jealous considering he had always been the only boy I had ever shown romantic interest in. But I was older now and though my feelings for Shay were far more than the extent of love, I wasn't in love with him.

After Jace and I had sex, the two of us started to grow even closer. I called Shay right after it happened and Jace left not even thinking it would affect him.

"What?"

"Oh don't make me repeat it again! You heard me! You have to have heard me!"

"I heard you," his voice was little more than a whisper; this was often how he spoke to me if I called him and he was at his house. He never really told me why, but I suppose I never really asked either. "I just can't believe you."

I frowned. "Why not?"

I could practically see him through the phone giving me one of his "Shay looks" as he said to me. "Nothing; never mind."

"You're just jealous aren't you?" I said, but was entirely too giddy so he probably couldn't make it out through the phone with all of my giggles. "I think it's funny that the one boy every girl wants is still up for grabs."

"Not every girl," he muttered. "I can name one off the top of my head."

I groaned. "Shut up, Shay. Listen whatever girl gets you first will be very lucky and-"

"I'm done talking about this with you." And with that he hung up.

I suppose sophomore year was definitely not my saintly year. In fact throughout the whole year I treated Shay like crap.

I was very pissed at Jace for missing our date and since I was still a bit scarred over the whole Nick incident I called Shay up and explained my situation to him. He told me to just get over it and that he probably had a good excuse as to why he was missing the date. But I was incredibly bored and finally he agreed to come over. My parents were gone for the night and he never mentioned anything to me about his father. It was dark and stormy and I remember when he got to my house he was completely drenched. We sat in my living room and watched movies for a while. Shay had a tendency to make fun of all the parts I thought were cute and touching and completely ruin the whole thing for me which might've been why I started to kiss him. At least that's what I would've liked to say, but that wasn't exactly the case.

Let's just say I was very angry with Jace because I believed he was cheating on me. It turned out he needed to baby-sit his sisters last minute and couldn't get a hold of me. Oops. Either way, Shay and I had sex simply because I was mad and sort of wanted to get back at Jace. Though the worst part of the whole situation was that Shay knew, he knew that was the only reason why I was doing this with him, but still he went with it. I really regret ever having sex with Shay, though a side of him I had been blinded to before opened up to me. He was really good at pretending he was okay and he had a very low self-esteem. Both things I had been so oblivious to until that night. He was already insecure, more insecure than I was at the time. But as I said before he was really good at pretending, especially at pretending none of it ever happened.

After that night we never spoke of it again, especially after Jace told me what had actually happened. For the rest of sophomore year I felt like an absolutely terrible person. I had used my best friend and cheated on my boyfriend; both things are still hard for me to think about.

The summer before junior year was a very hard time for both Shay and I. Me because Jace had to go to summer camp all summer and Shay because his father had learned the magic's of coping with alcohol. Since the death of his beloved wife he hadn't been the same. I learned that was why Shay never wanted to be home.

One summer night, when we met at the rock, Shay confessed to me he had come addicted to pain killers and he had met a girl. He said the first thing very fast and the second one very slow and one after another with no spaces in between. Of course the only thing I really paid attention to was the first one.

"Shay!" I gasped. "What did you just say?"

"I like this-"

"Brand of drugs-"

"-girl."

I could feel myself shooting daggers at him and I wanted so much just to punch him in the face, but for some reason I just couldn't bring myself to do it. "You're addicted to pain killers?" I asked slowly.

He shrugged and nodded. At that moment I had to wonder what everyone would think about perfect, beautiful Shay being on drugs. Teachers adored him because he never once neglected to turn in an assignment, he got strait A's and he always knew the right answer. Students loved him because he was down to earth, seemingly put together (I knew better), confident (I really knew better), smart, and gorgeous.

"Don't shrug!" I snapped. "This is serious!" Throughout the summer I made sure to get him help. He went with everything I said very easily and to be honest that deeply worried me. To this day I still don't know if he ever actually got over his addiction.

Toward the middle of summer Shay informed me he had an official girlfriend. Her name was Alyson Benet and she went to our school. I knew who he was talking about. Alyson was absolutely gorgeous with a glittering sort of coppery shade of hair that flowed to her shoulders in perfect ringlets. I won't deny the twinge of jealousy I felt especially when the year began and I saw them together. Though, at the same time I was very happy about the whole situation. Now, I had Jace and Shay had Alyson, but things don't always go as planed.

It was the first week of October when I met Shay on the rock and he told me Alyson was pregnant with his child. The thought was more than shocking, especially the thought of young, insecure Shay as a father, but he stuck by her. It seemed that Alyson brought out a piece of him I was never able to, security. But, their relationship soon came to an end.

November 10th was when the accident happened. Alyson and her unborn baby had died the moment the car was hit by a drunk driver. After that was when everything changed. Something, in that moment that second changed in Shay, changed between us and him and the rest of the world. It was as if he had crawled into total darkness and I regret to say I didn't help him out. At the time Jace and I were at the height of our relationship and for the first time I felt like I was in love. I was afraid to go to Shay, I was afraid to help him crawl back into the light because somehow, for a little while things were easier without him. I could focus entirely on my relationship with Jace.

"Where's Shay been?" Lauren and Kylie, two of our best friends, asked me one day in my science class. Junior year was the year I had every class with Shay, but history.

"I don't know," I had replied and not given it a second thought. I cared about Shay; in fact, I loved him more than anything in the world, he was my childhood, he defined who I was. Shay and Alexandria… But Shay wasn't the same, or he just wasn't hiding it anymore. I found out from Jared, another one of ours friends, he had quit the baseball team, and I found out from Christina, a girl who hardly knew him, he had quit music completely.

I went over to his house one day after he hadn't returned to class in a while. When he opened the door I could smell pot smoke and liquor. I knew it was his father, especially when I saw the small bruise on his left temple.

"You need to get help, Shay," I had insisted.

"Just go," he had said and I did. I left him the moment he asked me to. The thing was I didn't try hard enough. That was the last time I had really seen Shay as my best friend.

I knew it was getting really bad when I would walk in the hallways with Jace and I would look right at Shay but Jace would be the one to say hi.

I was so into my relationship with him that anything outside of us didn't seem to concern me as much.

The rest of junior year went on like this and suddenly I was no longer known as Alexandria, Shay's best friend, but instead Alexandria Jace's girlfriend who probably didn't even know who the heck Shay Aarons was. He had become so quiet; he didn't talk to the rest of our group either. But at the time not an inch of me was worried about him, not an inch of me was even thinking about that boy who had once held me cry for three hours strait, the boy who used to pretend like everything was okay just so I wouldn't have to worry, the boy who had confessed he was in love with me, but still even then I ignored it. But it wasn't as if the name Shay Aarons meant nothing to me anymore. I can remember one time in particular when the name meant a lot to me.

There were three girls, all standing by the vending machines all in my grade.

"You know Shay Aarons?" One of them was saying and my ears perked up when I heard this. I was staying in a class late to finish a test I had been absent for. The teacher had gone to get some coffee and she told me when I was done just to leave it on her desk.

"Who doesn't?" Another asked. "He's gorgeous, too bad he's come to be a messed up freak."

At first it was hard for me to even convince myself that was what they had actually said, considering no one had ever preferred to Shay as messed up or a freak, but that, I had to remind myself, was before.

"Well what about him?" Asked the third girl.

"I just think its funny," Said the first one. "I mean he used to be so awesome."

There was a short silence, and then the second girl said. "Well like I said he's a just messed up. He'll probably end up being some drug seller."

They all giggled and the third one said. "Maybe he'll go insane and start killing everyone. To me that wasn't funny, not at all. But to them it was hilarious. They said more a long these lines and I was finally just sick of hearing it.

"Shut up!" I had made my way out of the class and in front of these girls before I actually knew why. I was right up in their faces, pointing, yelling. "Don't you ever talk about him that way ever again, understand? Do you understand?"

They all either thought I was a freak too or were just scared out of their minds because every time they saw me again they made sure to keep their distance. Not many people talked much about Shay anymore.

It was a Saturday night when I looked out my window and saw the crowd of people all scattered around his house and an ambulance truck pulled in front of it.

The moment I saw this it was as if nothing between us had ever changed. Without hesitation I ran over to his house. They were blocking the door off and carrying someone out in a stretcher. The body was big and purely white. It was his father. I ignored the firemen as they warned me not to go inside. When I got inside Shay was sitting on the kitchen floor, a firemen was talking to him but I could tell he wasn't listening. He was covered in bruises and all around him was a bottle of spit alcohol and drugs.

I stayed with him until everything was taken care of and his aunt came to pick him up. He was to live with her until his eighteenth birthday which would've been next August. He had a very late birthday. She only lived a couple blocks away so he would still go to Victoria Shores High School, but after this he really didn't much.

The few times he did return things between us had gone back to normal, as in we didn't really recognize each other's existence, even after such a huge fiasco. I had come to be the popular, smart, beautiful Alexandria and he had come to be known as simply messed up. But everyone knew Shay Aarons because he had once been the definition of popularity and some people still thought of him, even at his lowest, just as that. He was still beautiful, he would never stop being beautiful, but somehow his beauty couldn't save him anymore.

"Hey Alex," he had turned to me in science one day while we were taking notes. He was very pale and looked really tired. He pulled out a piece of paper from his binder and asked, "Did you finish your math homework?"

"Yeah," I had said. "It was really easy though didn't you?"

He had given me a smile and there in that smile was that look, the look of pure brokenness I had first recognized on the rock after his mother died, the look I thought I would never forget, but then I was as oblivious as ever.

"No. I guess I just didn't have time."

I had nodded and turned back to my notes, not even giving him a second glance. I hadn't even thought about how Shay had never, in his life, forgotten to do an assignment, it hadn't even crossed my mind.

For a little while he was the topic of my group's conversations mainly because Jared had brought up how he had our lunch shift, but he was never there. Everyone said they missed him, everyone said they needed to talk to him, but none of us said we would help him.

Shay was living because he was breathing and had to not because he felt alive. That to me is still the saddest part out of all of it. No one ever dreamed that perfect Shay could sink to the bottom so easily, but what no one ever realized was that Shay was always on the edge of the cliff and even the slightest push could send him falling. He hadn't ever been the god everyone set him up to be, he had been troubled from the beginning. He was just good at pretending.

The last time any of us talked to Shay was on a Friday when he came and sat with all of us at lunch. This was a huge surprise to everyone, but he was smiling and he was laughing. No one wanted to question why. He seemed fine… But he always seemed fine even when everyone knew he wasn't, they all trusted he would be. But expecting Shay to be fine all the time was like scattering glass across the kitchen floor and just expecting that no one will walk in and step on it, in the end someone's going to get hurt.

Shay hadn't been fine. Two days later I received a call saying he had jumped off the rock, or what they called it, the cliff. He had been trying to kill himself, but the attempt failed.

Which brings me back to where I sat now, taking in the sight above me. I sat up and started to scoot forward until I made it to the edge of the cliff. I was so close that one slight move forward and I would surely fall. I wondered if this was how Shay always felt, always at the edge, yet he never seemed afraid to fall.

A cold summer breeze hit the side of my face and I trembled just barely catching myself before falling forward I quickly pushed back and curled myself into a ball laying down against the rocks, rocking back and forth, tears making my vision hazy. There were times when I would wonder if I had just tried harder to pull him back would I have succeeded? But it wasn't really something I wondered about anymore because I knew for a fact it was true. If I would've actually looked at Shay when the changes started to happen, if I would've just held on there's no doubt in my mind I could've pulled him back up.

I pushed myself up from the ground and started walking to my jeep when I got in I started driving and driving. There was a reason he wasn't completely gone. There was still time for me to grab onto him and I wasn't going to pull away this time. That was when I realized why Shay had fallen so easily, almost everyone, one way or another, had let him go. I wasn't going to let him fall again. I would never let go.