Those choices you have. Those undying, relentless options you have, whether you choose the right option, or the wrong option, but neither is going to majorly phase your life in anyway. How do you choose what to do? How do you know it's not going to kill you? How do you know it won't destroy everything you've ever lived for?
"Brighten up, it's a warm summer night and we're spending it all to ourselves. Can't you be happy?"
Olena peers at me through purple Ray Bans and pushes her hair off her forehead. "I mean seriously Harley; soon we'll be out of here."
I lean against the tinted window in the back seat. I'm stuck sitting next to my best friends, Sweeney and Olena. Olena sits on the other window with poor Sweeney caught in the middle of two girls. Somehow he'd lost a bet with Vince, and Vince rode up front with Jacob. We're spending a weekend away from our little suburban hometown to dwell in sunshine and designer bathing suits. Not to mention Sweeney was all keen for girlfriend-potential hunting. If only he noticed Olena's affection for him.
I huff a long, suppressed sigh and look over at Sweeney, who has both his earphones in, which stand out contrastingly against his black hair. He lip-sings along to his song, and taps his ankles together, in which he has a tattoo with the word, "Faith" which he'd gotten on his seventeenth birthday with consent from his flat mate, Daniel who was three years older than the rest of us.
Sweeney notices my penetrating glare.
"What?" He asks, hazel eyes shining against the pale, cold moonlight outside reflecting from the window. He smirks a little as I shake my head, and look back out the window.
"Sweeeeney," Olena's voice rings through the silent car air as she flirts for Sweeney's attention. He looks at her and smiles, but says nothing. She wants to hear him say her name. She'd told me so many times over and over that she loved it when he said her name. She was determined to win his heart this weekend. He raised an eyebrow when she said nothing, but stared at him.
"Yes?" He questioned, pulling an earphone out and leaning back a little onto me to see her properly. I shoved him off.
"Get off you loser." I smile so that he knows no harm was done, and just as quickly as his attention had been snapped to Olena, it snapped back to me, like I'd called his name out like a lighthouse on water.
"Sorry, Harley, I didn't see you there." He grabs my hands, which are still held defensively in front of my face. I often had small play fights with Sweeney, but some days he hurt me without meaning to, and so my defensive hands where a given for me.
He smirks, showing his teeth which he was self-conscious about, due to a small gap between his front teeth, but anyone who knew him would say it's a beautiful feature to his porcelain tan face. His hazel eyes bore down on me with thick black eyelashes to match his razor sharp bangs. He squeezed my hands tight, and I saw out of the corner of my eye, Olena roll her eyes, and look out her window. I pull my hands from a smiling Sweeney's and turn back to my window in silence.
I'm in a room; surrounded by people I've known my whole life. Olena, Vince, Jacob, an old friend back at home, Michaela. Even people I used to know like Stevie and Megan, James and Maxwell. Even Charlie, who was my closest friend in elementary school, was here. But he was older, bigger and stronger. Jessica, Rihanna and Nina run and scream like the girls they always were. There's Felix, and Liam and Alexander. Even people I'd never met before filled the room, talking in their own little groups, bustling around, giggling, screaming and talking. Sweeney stands before me, as he openly expresses his opinions on world hunger. I can barely hear him, there's so much noise filling the room. It's swarming my head and giving me a headache. I cover my ears, and clench my eyes drawn closed, tight. I sing.
"Now you say you're sorry, for being so untrue. Well, you can cry me a river. Cry me a river, cause I cried a river over you. You drove me, nearly out of my head, while you never shed a tear babe. Remember? I remember all that you said. You told me love was too plebeian. Told me we were through in the end and now you say you love me. Well, just to prove that you do, why don't you cry me a river? Oh, cry me a river, cause I cried a river over you."
I re-open my eyes when the whole room goes silent, save for one lonely voice hiding behind a black wall, who sings with me. I can hear the monotone in their voice, the beauty of it. I know without looking at them, that they sing with a smile on their face. I smile too, as I hear lyrics sang back to me.
"You drove me, nearly out of my head.."
The voice cut off, and I smiled, as Sweeney looked down at me, and I sang back to the mysterious voice that seemed to familiar yet so strange.
"While you never shed a tear babe!" I smile, singing it back to the male voice.
I turn back to Sweeney and his face portrays utter amazement at the convenience.
"Wow Harley, I never thought someone would have such crap taste in music as you."
I shake my head, but the voice is silent. There's no reply.
"Who was that?" Sweeney asks, leaning back slightly on his heels, like his feet are rooted to the ground.
Remembrance clicks into my head, and tears sting my eyes.
"It was Christian!" My mouth gapes, at the memories of my former lover and I singing that together. "It was Christian!" I shriek, running to the wall, and slapping my hands on the solid brick. "Christian?" I call, hitting it repeatedly.
There's no reply from the other side.
"Foolish, small, mortal Harley." I hear a tsk of a voice behind me. Sweeney holds in his hand, a small grey tape recorder, in which I can only guess he'd played to get me worked up.
"You." I whisper, tears on my eyes. I was mortified. I hadn't seen Christian in such a long time, and I missed him so desperately every day. I would've done anything to be with him.
"Surprised?" Sweeney rolled the recorder into his palm. "Must say, I'm surprised at how gullible you are, Harley. I thought better of you. I thought you didn't love that foul, disgusting monster anymore, after everything he did to you!" Sweeney through the recorder to the floor, and it broke into pieces. I stared down at the last recorded remains of Christian's singing. Sweeney knew how much power and force he possessed in his hands, how strong and intimidating he was. And despite him being my closest and oldest friend, I was scared.
"Sweeney, please." I mutter, backing away hands raised. "Don't. Hurt. Me."
"BUT MY DREEEEAMS THEY AREN'T AS EMPTY. AS MY CONCSIOUS SEEMS TO BE. I HAVE HOURS, ONLY LONELY! MY LOVE IS VENGENCE THAT'S NEVER FREE!"
I'm suddenly jerked awake by Vince's hard core singing from the front seat, as he taps along on the steering wheel to a song on the radio, which he seemed to love. I rub my eyes and peer over at my friends. Olena is snoring silently on Sweeney's shoulder, and he too sleeps restlessly. Jacob takes a swig from a V can and hands it back to me.
"You want?" He asks, shaking the almost empty can. I take a gulping mouthful, trying to wash away the taste of sleep and nightmares.
"How was your micro nap?" He asks, stretching his seat belt to see me in the face. Vince continues to sing horribly, not even making the other two stir. I shrug.
"Don't know, I was sleeping." Jacob rolls his eyes at me and blows a raspberry at me, but smiles and turns back in his seat.
The past year for me was not something I wanted to repeat. It'd been horrible enough without the death of my father, false charges against my family and constant bullying in my last year of school, but I'd also lost my first and only love, Christian. He'd been my best friend, boyfriend and he meant everything to me. But then after a break up, he ignored me for months. He hated me, and did nothing to even respect me as a person. He expressed his hate for me openly and was one of the many lowlifes who had bullied, abused and used me during my time of need, while my father was suffering with cancer, and yet, I couldn't stop loving him. Maybe if we hadn't broken up, life wouldn't have turned tables for us. Maybe if we never dated, he wouldn't have hated me or Sweeney. Maybe if I could erase every memory of him, even meeting him, life would be so much better. But I couldn't do that, and I would never be able to go back, no matter what I did, no matter how much I regret it, and no matter how much I needed him back in my life.
I was staring blankly out the window, lost in my own thoughts, when I heard Vince's high pitch yelp, and the sound of the V can rolling around on the car. The car veered slightly, throwing Sweeney's limp, sleepy head onto my shoulder, and making Olena slide further down Sweeney's back. I gripped onto the door handle tight.
"What the hell!" I yelp too, though I was in a dreamy state before, I was fully awake now.
My knuckles were white, and my heart speeding as the car came to a screeching halt just off the highway.
"Jeez Jacob, what the fuck?" The car idles slowly, and there's nothing but empty silence. I stare wide eyed at Vince, and glance between the two boys who are having their own little staring match, watching each other so intently, you thought they were reading each other's minds. But soon Vince's imposing glare became too much, and Jacob turned around, and yanked his door open. Vince rubbed his forehead, stressed and stared out the windshield blankly.
"What happened?" I whispered. The radio still blared a song, a very old one from my childhood. Something about video killing the radio star. I unclick my own seat belt, and lean forward.
"I don't know. He just freaked." He mutters, not bothering to give me more detail. I stare at the back of Vince's neck, before opening my own door frustrated, and making a very heaving sleeping Sweeney fall onto the seat.
Despite it being summer, the night is cold. Jacob stands off in the distance, in a black parker with a light at his mouth. I hedge over to him, hands in my jeans.
"Jake?" I ask, looking up into his eyes. He blew smoke into the air, but it came back at me anyway. My face hurt in the cold. He ignored me. "Jake, don't ignore me." I whispered stepping closer, clearly in his view range.
"Do you think I'm crazy, Harley?" He asks, staring at the night sky, shrouded by clouds.
I didn't know what to say, so I shook my head. I didn't think he was crazy. In fact, I knew he wasn't crazy. Mum went crazy when Dad died. This? This was not crazy.
"Cute little Harley. Innocent, yet not so. How? Well, only some of us will ever find out. The rest are left speechless. Am I right?" He looks down at me again and blows smoke out of the corner of his mouth.
"I suppose that could be true," I purr, putting my hands into the back of my jeans pockets.
Jacob smiles. "Are you going to tell me what happened, Jacob?" I ask, taking his free hand in mine. "You can trust me."
Jacob stared at me long and hard, like he was debating telling me the truth.
"I-" He hesitated. "I thought I saw something in the ravine, but I'm sure it was nothing."
I smiled. Darkness, it sometimes eluded us into thinking things were there when they weren't.
"Like what, Jake?" I ask, squeezing his hand. Part of me wanted to know, but part of me was a little scared. What had freaked Jacob so much?
Jacob took a long drag of his cigarette, "A car." He muttered, flicking glowing ash to the pavement.
"A… Car?" I ask eyes wide. No way. If there was any sort of car, it would've been reported, right?
Jacob nods. I drop his hand, and walk back toward our own car, as Jacob goes back to staring at the sky.
"Hey," I lean into the passenger window and look at Vince who still hadn't recovered from his strong ver. "Are you OK?" I open the door, and sit on the edge of the seat. V is spread into the carpet of Vince's car, but he hasn't noticed yet. Not like he wouldn't be able to get the mess out with detergent. He looks up at me.
"Harley. Yeah, I'm OK. What's wrong with him?" He points to a faint orange glow in the distance. I shrug like I don't know.
"Who knows? But hey, did you see anything in the ravine back there?" I point back the way we came with a sharp long nail.
I shrug too.
"Just curious is all." I say, silently taking a flashlight from under the seat.
My breath fogs around my face. The weather is getting even colder out here, and clouds shroud overhead. The car is a far distance behind me now and cars still zip past me occasionally on the mostly silent highway. So far, but light had seen nothing but muddy water and foliage. Nothing interesting at all, except for the rare unrecognizable road kill. Nothing. Just as I'm about to give up and head back to my friends, I see a faint red glow back in the ravine. I inch toward it slowly.
"Hello?" I ask, inching slowly toward the single light. "Is anyone there?" I move slowly, wary in the dark. Maybe I should go back and ask Jacob to come with me. After all, he was the reason I was out here, right?
No. I was out here because I chose to come here. It was my decision to follow Jacob's theories. Now I had no one but myself to blame if I did something stupid. Like fell into a bear trap.
Out here? Really Harley? Calm down and breathe.
As I approached closer, I noticed, it was indeed a car, only one taillight had died. The nose of the car dipped into the swampy mud. I couldn't look away, and my hand covered my mouth. I pulled my phone out, shaky handed as rain began to fall.
"Jacob? You better get out here, now."
"Fuck. Did I do that?" Vince rubbed his head, stressed. The car parked behind us, Olena and Sweeney now awake, leaning against the car. Sweeney prayed, and Olena held onto his arm.
"No," I reassured Vince, who was now smoking himself. "You couldn't have helped this accident, at all." I didn't know that, but it felt better to reassure him, than myself.
"Is it occupied?" Olena's quiet voice broke the silence. We all turned to look at her, like none of us had considered it, though I'm sure we all had, we were just too scared to check.
We all looked around at each other, waiting for the other to step forward and volunteer first.
"I'll do it." I whispered, sliding down on my knees, into the deep mud. The front passenger door was caved in, but that seat was empty, with glass shards covering the seat.
"Harley?" Sweeney now leans over the ravine, looking down at me. I look up. "Be careful."
I nod, and swallow, scared. I pull my jumper over my hands as a safety reason. Just to be sure I didn't cut myself. The driver, whoever she was, was long dead. With blank staring eyes and a shocked gaze still silent on her face.
"Oh God," I supress the urge to throw up.
"Harley?" Sweeney's voice raises an octave.
"Dead." I whisper, squeezing my eyes shut tight. "Definitely dead."
He gulps and I hear Olena's voice squeak.
"Check the back." Vince's gruff voice snapped, uncaring.
I slid along the car, reaching for the handle, as the window is broken, but I still can't see in. The door open easily, with a creak and I feel the whole car sway under the pressure. A body slumped across the back seat, belt still latched in place.
I was light weight, and I trusted the car wouldn't tilt more if I moved in. I slowly slid in on the floor, glass jabbing into the knees of my jeans and palms of my jumper. A mess of brown hair rest on the seat, across from me. I moved closer, expecting a gruesome death or expression. This body looked approximately my age, and it churned my stomach to see someone so young die. I hope he was still alive. Long skinny jeans saved his legs from severe cuts, and a hoodie was sprayed with shattered glass. But most blood was on his un-covered skin. He seemed mostly OK.
"Can you hear me?" I try saying, but I barely whisper. I clear my throat. "Hello?" I say a little louder. I shake the boy, and the car sways slightly, creaking on a ledge. I sit still for moments, and suddenly it's like I can't hear anything but my own breathing, the creak of the car on the ledge, and something else.. Something.. BREATHING! I lean down to the boy's lips, and hear a faint breath on his throat. I smile. "HE'S ALIVE!" I yell, to my friends. I hear whoops, hollers and cheers from the bank. Though a life was lost tonight, it just wasn't his. I lift the limp body off of the chair, and the car moves worse than before, swaying further down.
"Harley Taylor, you be careful!" I hear Sweeney call from the bank. The car keeps swaying. I close my eyes shut tight.
"Shit." I whisper, knowing if I'm not careful, I could die here too tonight. "Careful Harleen. Be careful or three lives could be lost tonight."
I slowly inch out of the car. It's as though every second drags by like nails on a chalk board. Slow and steady wins the race, and this boy's life.
"Got him!" Sweeney turns to Jacob, and Jacob climbs down, and takes the boy from my shoulder.
The car plunges down into the dark forest. "Call the police, for the one in there." Sweeney points to the faint red glow in the forest. "And an ambulance for you two."
"Is he OK?" I ask, as Olena covers me in a blanket.
"The guy?" She asks, looking at the car, in where we'd laid the fainted boy on the backseat. Of course the guy. Who else?
"MM-HMM." She mutters, looking away.
"What?" I lean over, trying to see her eyes. "Are you lying to me?" I peer at her, but she shakes her head.
"No, I'm not lying. He really is OK." She smiles and nods, and I know it's the truth.
"OK then." I mutter, hugging the blanket closer.
She still looks away from me.
"Here it is." I say, smirking, waiting.
"You can't see him."
My jaw drops.
"I can't, what? I just saved that guys life!" I'm almost yelling. "I deserve some credit."
"Oh yeah, of course you do! It's just the guys all agreed that you shouldn't see him."
I nod, like I understand, when I don't.
"Can you send Sweeney to me?" I ask, blinking innocently.
She nods, places a hand on my shoulder, and walks away.
"You wanted me?" Sweeney stands a fair distance away from me, wary.
"Sweeney, come and sit with me!" I pat the ground beside me, but his arms stay folded, his stance stern.
"Harley, you can't see him." He looks down, at the ground.
I gulp. And lie.
"Oh, I don't care. Just come talk with me." I blink innocently, and he caves.
"OK, only a moment. The guys really need me." He sits down beside me and lets his toes absently play with mine.
We talked for a little over an hour.
"Sweeney.." I mutter, staring into his eyes.
It's like I'd never noticed it before, or was being revealed to the world for the first time ever. Sweeney was in love with me. He adored me more than anyone else. And maybe he was such a flirt to girls everywhere, but with me, it was like real love. No wonder I caught his attention so easily. I could now plainly see why Olena didn't stand a chance, and I used that for my advantage.
"Why can't I see him?" I lean into Sweeney, feeling sick to my stomach lying to him like this. In lying, but also not. I place my head on his shoulder and gaze up into those hazel eyes.
"Don't play me, Harley." He mutters, looking down at me, but taking my hand in his.
"I'm not!" I tease innocently. "I'm just curious."
Sweeney's eyes go blank.
"Harley, you still love Christian, don't you?"
Way to go kill my mood.
I moved off Sweeney's shoulder.
"What has this to do with anything?" I mutter, frowning. I didn't want him changing the subjects, and this was probably the worst subject of all. It was like rejection.
"Well, do you?" He asks, looking at me. He knew I did. Everyone did.
"Sweeney." I mutter.
"Harley, no." He says, looking at me.
I shake my head. "It doesn't matter."
"Yes, it does!" Sweeney sits up straight. "Just answer me."
I swallow, and stare at him scared again, like in the dream.
"I do." How cliché.
Sweeney nods. "You can't say a thing." He whispers, tears stinging his eyes.
I nod back, and for some reason, tears prick my own.
"You can't because.." His throat clenches up, and he looks away.
"Because?" I ask, worried.
"Because it'll hurt you too." He stands up.
"Me? What about me?" I ask, getting up as well.
Sweeney stares at me, a stern face on his own, usual, kind face. There was no singing, tapping of ankles or smiles. I stare back.
"No." I say, my voice barely audible. "I would've seen his face, or something!" I yell, into Sweeney's face.
"Apparently you didn't." He says, moving toward the car again.
My own throat clenches, as I watch Sweeney rub his eyes on the way back to the car.
I can't help it. I love Christian, and nothing would ever change that. I'd said there were a lot of things he'd done to make me loathe him, or at least I should've loathed him. But I just couldn't. Wouldn't and most certainly, didn't. Christian, despite my theories, lies and protests, was still my whole entire world. And nothing would ever change that.
"No!" I screamed, running toward the car. I got past an un-suspecting Sweeney, easily and fell onto the edge of the car seat and I saw his face. The beautiful face I loved so much. Those brown eyes, were closed, draped with the most beautiful, thick, glossy black lashes, the brown hair flopping onto his forehead, the bangs that hid his face from me so well, now lay at the edge of his face, limp. His pale skin seemed almost vampire like in the light. My little vampire, that's what I had always called him. Not a life sucking demon, but something everyone was obsessed with. Something that lured the girls in and broke their hearts, who had amazing features, vicious teeth, stayed throughout history and lived in the hearts of many girls everywhere. My little vampire, who had slept in his steel car coffin.
"Christian…" I whispered, tears running down my face.
"Dead." Vince said, not even seeing me.
"Are you sure?" Olena whispered.
It was like slow motion. I felt the strong hands bound around my mouth and small, fragile frame, as I fell into Sweeney's arms, a shaking, sobbing, screaming mess.
Lust dies, but first love is forever.
'Inspired-Fighter' or 'Harley', here. I just wanted to add this as an 'author's note' I'm sorry about the repetitive use of tragedy romances. This is what I like to read, and what I write. I don't write often, but when I do, it's based on past experiences myself, and odd trinkets here and there. Not all my boyfriends have been hit by a car or a bus, or died in some sort of accident. But a lot of me go into what I write, and it's what keeps me sane, most days. I'm in no way suicidal or homicidal; this is my way of writing, and the way I like to write. Reviews, opinions for future stories, criticism and compliments are welcome. Thank you, to my frequent readers and my good friends, Micheal, Schquiel, Mitch, Jake and Sarah, who inspire me every day to get out of bed, keep writing and be passionate. Many thank you. (Man, I sound so weird now, almost like a professional author. DERP.)