I Do

Lucas Scott grumbled as he looked in the mirror, trying to fix a piece of hair that refused to work with him. The twenty-three was overall displeased with his appearance, his hair in total was a mess and longer than usual from failing to get a haircut. The dark circles under his eyes seemed to be growing darker by the minute, sticking out greatly against his pale skin. He hated how he looked, and decided to make himself at least a bit more presentable for what he was going to do later. He knew the person he was going to see wouldn't care what he looked like, even if he looked like he had been hit by a truck.

After about fifteen minutes of fixing himself up to make himself look perfect, Lucas was finally satisfied and made sure he had everything he needed with him. Cell phone, keys, money, and... OH! One more very important thing…

Lucas quickly ran to his dresser and dug around for the small box. He smiled in triumph when he found it and mentally berated himself for almost forgetting something so important. He'd been saving up for almost 8 months to buy this.

He ran to his car and glanced quickly at his watch. It was almost 7:00 and the sun would be setting soon—he wanted to get there to see her right when the sun was about to set. It was the perfect moment to do something like this. He got into his car and drove to the grocery store to pick up a single rose before driving almost past the speed limit to get to his destination. He cursed as he saw the sun was almost down and almost missed his turn into the parking lot of the place. He parked the car and checked himself one more time, making sure his dress shirt was straight and his hair was nice before getting out of the car and walking to the meeting place. The setting sun cast a soft glow over the near deserted area and every step that Lucas took, the dead leaves of the closing autumn crunched under his feet.

Lucas's heart was pounding as he tightly gripped the rose and the small box in his hand. He never felt as nervous as he did now, and felt stupid. He knew he shouldn't feel nervous or scared about what he was going to do, because he knew what the others reaction would be. He knew what heranswer would be to the question Lucas was about to ask her. But still, he couldn't help but feel his palms sweat and his stomach twist. He felt his eyes prickle but he painfully swallowed them along with the growing lump in his throat.

He paused when he finally arrived at the right tombstone and looked down at the simple stone.

Michelle Collins
1988 - 2012

Gently, he ran his fingertips over the name of his best friend and crouched down in front of it. He tried to say something but for a few moments couldn't even find his voice. When he finally did, the words came out in a hoarse croak.

"It's been a while since I saw you." Blushing in embarrassment at his voice crack, Lucas cleared his throat before speaking again.

"Sorry about that, I haven't talked in a while really; I almost forgot what my voice sounded like." Lucas laughed bitterly to himself. He wasn't used to hearing only his laughter, usually there was another one accompanying him. These days, the sound of laughter was a foreign sound and Lucas couldn't remember the last time he had done so.

"Sorry I don't look like my usual self," he continued, twirling the rose stem in his hand. "It's been hard to sleep; the house is too quiet with you not there. And sorry I haven't been able to come in a long time—thing have been kind of rough lately. Besides, I think the workers here were starting to get annoyed by me." Lucas remembered being woken up by one of the graveyard keepers after he fell asleep sitting next to the tombstone. Michelle probably would have laughed at him if she could and Lucas took a moment to close his eyes and imagine his beloved's laugh ringing through his ears.

"So...how is it up there?" he asked after a moment, glancing up at the darkening sky. Did you manage to find a cute boy up there? You never could get one down here." Lucas almost started crying when he remembered the times he would tease the other about her inability to keep a steady relationship and how she would have that cute blush on her face as she tried to think of something witty to say in retort. Lucas tried to laugh it off, but even that couldn't keep the tears from forming in his eyes.

"You know...I bet all the angels up there are jealous of your eyes..." Lucas felt tears slide down his cheeks as he remembered those deep blue eyes looking at him, laughing with him, crying with him, begging him to realize how he felt about the other before it was too late. But it was too late before Lucas realized about how Michelle really felt about him. Far, far too late.

"Everyone was crying when they found out, they wanted to believe it was just some cruel joke. Hell, I wanted to believe it was some cruel joke." Lucas wiped some of the tears from his face and looked to see the sun almost down.

"I already told you all of this stuff before, though. I guess why you're wondering why I'm here now though, and why I'm dressed like those Banana Republic models you used to make fun of." Lucas stood up and gripped the rose and box in his hand, inhaling in the crisp air and slowly exhaling.

"Be grateful, alright, 'cause it took me a while to make myself presentable. God knows I looked like the walking dead before this." He smiled weakly, trying to sound happy and strong.

"Do you remember what today is?" Lucas paused, though he knew no one would answer, "Today was the day we met all those years ago in elementary school." Lucas remembered the day all too clearly. "You were the girl who never shut up about flowers and every day you would tell me about a different one. I didn't even like flowers, but I listened anyways." A small laugh escaped his lips and he glanced down at the rose in his hands, one of his tears landing and sliding off of one of the rich, red petals.

"Sometimes I wish we never met that day… That way, I would probably have never gotten close to you, and I wouldn't feel like my heart was gone from my chest ever since you left..." Lucas's voice began to quiver and his lower lip trembled as he spoke his next words.

"Why didn't you ever tell me? Why didn't you ever say anything? Were you planning to just keep it to yourself until you died? Isn't that a bit selfish!" Tears were falling freely now as he remembered the day after the funeral. He remembered looking through Michelle's things and finding her journal, finding all her private love letters to Lucas, letters she never intended for him to see.

"I'm sorry, it's just..." Lucas looked down at the tombstone, then at the sunset.

"It's beautiful isn't it?" Lucas remembered how he used to watch sunsets with Michelle after a long day and staying late at the beach to watch the sun disappear behind the blue sea. He then remembered why he was here again and cleared his throat.

"Look, I know you hated it when I used to waste money on gifts. B-but, what I have here isn't just a normal present." Lucas's hand shook as he opened the box and took out a small ring.

"I know you would kill me if you found out I spent so much money on such a small thing but, call me old fashioned, I've always wanted to this—to you."

Lucas got down on one knee and looked at the tomb stone with his best friend's name on it.

"The way we were before, we were practically married but, at least this way, I can make it official." Lucas took a deep breath.

"Michelle Collins, will you marry me?" Lucas put the ring and rose down on top of the grave.

"I know you can't answer me anymore, and I know you can't really wear your ring, but at least this way..."

At least this way, I can pretend that you're wearing it. I can pretend you said yes. I can pretend that that you're excited to marry me. And most of all...

"I can pretend I wasn't stupid enough to not realize soon enough, and that we were actually going to be together like this..."

Lucas dropped down and sobbed to himself and before he realized it, the sun had set, and the sky was dark. He felt a raindrop fall on his head and cursed as a sudden wave of rain fall over him. He stood up before running to his car. He looked behind him at the grave one more time before turning away.

It was already too dark to see anything clearly, and the rain made things worse, so Lucas wasn't able to see a small piece of paper that fell down from the sky and on top of the ring on the grave.

"I do."