I was fortunate to have a friend once, one of those bare-your-naked-soul kind of friends that rip each other's hearts out while screaming I love you at the same time. The kind of friendship that is beautiful and tragic and wonderful all at the same time because you know it's the sort of thing you only get to have once, like your virginity but less bloody.

And when that sort of thing gets taken away from you involuntarily, it hurts you in a way that's so fundamental I don't know if it's possible to really recover.

When Jones left, he was here one day and gone the next. It was like he died, but nobody ever held a funeral. Nobody ever even noticed, honestly. Nobody except for me.

How can someone just leave like that? No goodbyes, no sorries, no emails or texts or postcards. The only reason I know he's not in a ditch somewhere is because Jonah told Sam and Sam told Kennedy, and Kennedy told me because Kennedy tells me everything because that girl loves to gossip.

Anyway, he told Sam that he was leaving, and Sam told his brother Bobby, who gets a note now and then, with no return address. The bar has them on display behind the counter, but I've never read them.

But I was his best friend, and he never even told me he was going.

The thing you have to understand about Jones is that he's always had a habit of running from his problems if he can't beat the shit out of them instead. And he'd never been one to hit me, though he claimed he had no problems hitting a girl. I doubt that, though. As angry as Jones got, if he thought it was okay to smack me, he would've.

But the closest he ever got to physical violence was the first time he ever kissed me. And I think he only did that because he was so mad his thoughts were a little behind his actions and his body was saying it was either that or put another hole in his living room wall.

Sometimes I wonder if he wished he'd just chosen the wall.

My name is Cassidy Carter, and the way I've always worked is pretty simple. I wake up every day and I laugh and I glare and I scream and I cry and when that's done, I go to sleep. Rinse, repeat. Be kind, rewind.

I'm not a terribly complicated person. I guess I'm one of those people that just doesn't give a shit about, like, ninety five percent of any given topic. Except for myself. I kind of dig talking about how awesome I am, but let's be honest, that's most people.

Jones has always been my exception. He was the person that made me care. And I didn't mind that he was a trainwreck. So was I. Maybe that was the first sign. Two trains, one track. It could only end badly.

But then, I guess it's easy to say that in retrospect, when you've got a one way mirror into the past. At the time, the only moments I ever felt awake were when Jones was around. I didn't give two tits about the consequences. For me, for him, for our relationships with other people.

All I knew was that when it was good, it was very good.