Author's Note: I didn't really intend to write this, let alone put it up here, but somehow I ended up doing both.
"Goodbye, Felicity. I love you." The breathing on the other end of the phone slows, and the line goes dead. I close my eyes, unable to see my surroundings. I'm filled with emptiness. Everything hurts, even breathing. He can't be gone. It feels as if the whole world is crashing down, drowning me in despair. My ears register the music swelling in the next room, the mindless chatter of the people who go on living, as if the light hadn't gone out, leaving a cold nightmare behind. Without thinking, I snap my phone shut and walk numbly to the door. Without permission, my feet take off, racing away from everything. Memories swirl and pulse, catching me in a wave of pictures.
The sunlight is playing softly with the autumn leaves as they dance around me. One sticks in my hair, and I laugh as the breeze tries, unsuccessfully to tease it back into flight. Gentle fingers comb lightly through my hair and release the leaf. I watch as it flutters slowly to the ground. I smile and lean against him, knowing nothing but bliss.
"Goodbye, Felicity. I love you." Tears spring from my eyes, but me pace doesn't slow. He loves me. He loved me. One letter; unchangeable. Five minutes ago, I could say "He loves me." Now I can only say "He loved me." But who leaves the ones they love? With every step, I wish him back to life.
I enter class, a little stressed. I sit at our table in the back, noticing that he's late as usual. I can't wait to see his face, knowing everything will be better when I do. A smile rises to my lips as I catch sight of his tousled hair. After mumbling a quick apology to our teacher, he sits down next to me, not caring about the stares of our fellow classmates.
"Hey, Felicity." His grin lights up my day, and I can't help grinning back.
"You really need to learn time management," I comment, poking his arm with my pencil.
He rolls his eyes, "Do you want to go to the dance with me?"
"You mean homecoming? Sure." Subject changes are common when we bring up his bad habit of being late.
"Yeah, that one." Now I roll my eyes. Only he could ignore the fact that it's homecoming week.
I remember that dance. We were on our feet the whole night, doing crazy dances and laughing. "Goodbye, Felicity. I love you." I know my lungs are burning, but I feel detached from myself. I am no longer a person; I am a consciousness, nothing more. It's as if I can feel everything, yet nothing at all. I am each sigh on the wind, every leaf that flies past, every grain of dirt beneath my feet. I am every thought that drifts through my head, every word whispered through my mind. Yet, I am nothing. Merely an observer of the wreckage that is my body. I'm a transparent shell, completely numb to my surroundings.
The water is a dark shade of blue, with rivets of sunlight dancing off the ripples. I look up to see him looking at me thoughtfully, seeming to contemplate some unknown question.
"Well, what did you drag me all the way out here to tell me?" I ask, pretending to be annoyed for a moment.
"I was wondering if you," I hear the slight pause in his words, and it draws on my curiosity, "would… Well, Felicity, would you go out with me? Be my girlfriend?"
My smile felt like it was going to lift from my face. "And if I say no?"
"I'd have to change your mind." He grabs the sides of the canoe and smiles suspiciously. "Like this!" He shouts and tips the whole thing over, sending us under water. When I break the surface, I wrap my arms around him.
"After that event, I'm going to have to say…. Yes!" My breath catches as he leans closer and presses his lips to mine. After being friends for so long, we sink into the start of an amazing relationship.
Rain starts to pour from the sky, and I finally slow, turning back to see the house far in the distance. I force myself together, and begin to walk back in the direction I've come. It's time to stop running. My feet tread on instinctively as I try to organize my thoughts. He really is gone. And his last words were given to me. Words that we'd never spoken aloud.
I seem to reach the door much quicker than I had thought. It springs open, and Ally pulls me into her arms. My best friend. She surrounds me in love, saying nothing. Too exhausted to cry, I sink into her embrace. It will take months to heal, to even be able to feel alive again. I will have to learn how to breathe without knowing he's alive. How to walk without him beside me. All the pain comes rushing over me. "Goodbye, Felicity. I love you." I clutch onto Ally, and whisper the only thing I can say.
"Goodbye Jason. I love you, too."