I know this feeling was going to end. I know that even though he is dead, I know that inside he really did care. I know that I will some day stop crying. I know that after the funeral his parents will no longer look at me the same way. I know that when I look in the mirror I will feel guilt and hate myself for it. I know that I will live without him. I know that as I get older that my memory will get weaker.
I know I cant forget.
I will never forget.
The clouds covered the sun as we stood underneath the awning. The Rabbi spoke kind words over his grave and I could feel eyes staring at me from the crowd behind us. I stood next to his parents and his little sister Judith, Judy for short, watching his casket be lowered slowly into his grave.
His mother, Charlotte, cried into her husbands shoulder and he hugged her close while closing his eyes in sadness. My throat felt dry and I griped Judys hand to stop myself from launching onto the casket as it descended downward. She sniffled softly Ethan is gone she whispered and grabbing onto my arm, cradling our hands into her own chest.
The crowd started to disperse, people coming up to his parents to say their condolences. My own mother walked up to me and gave me a big hug. My dad followed softly behind wrapping his arms around my shoulder before giving my forehead a soft kiss.
Rain drops drizzled down on the awning and I let go of Judy and extracted myself from my parents. I felt my moms eyes on me as I walked forward to his tombstone ruining my white shoes in the wet grass. I heard a gasp behind me from the people back under the awning. I could feel their judgment riding the air.
Charlotte looked at me and smiled but her smile was broken and hollow. I tried to smile back in return though it probably came out only as grimace. I didnt really feel the cold of the rain and I didnt know how long it had been raining. Though at the sight of his tombstone I felt an icicle pierce my heart.
My knees gave way and I crashed to earth. I collapsed on the ground only a few feet away from his grave. Tears well up in my eyes and poured out down my face. The rain became harder; drowning out my sorrow felt screams. I promised myself I wouldnt let these people see me break down. That promise died when I saw his tombstone saying Loved Son, Loved Brother, and Loved Fiancé.
I gripped my sides, tightening into a ball to protect my heart from falling out of my chest. I was cold. He was gone. I was alone. I opened my eyes and saw my parents, as well as Ethans parents standing over me looking down with sad expressions on their face. I only felt that I left the cold ground when my dad buckled my seat belt.
I glanced up and noticed we were in the car on way to Ethans house for the mourning ceremony. My mom had my right hand in hers but it was my left hand I couldnt keep my eyes off. There on my ring finger was the ring that he gave me. It was delicate with one small emerald. On the inside it was engraved with Forever Together.
I heard a harsh sound and I couldnt figure out where it was coming from until I felt a warm hand covering my mouth. The sound was coming from me and tears continued to pour down my face as my hands shook. Honey you are okay, my mom said reassuringly from the passenger but all I could do was whimper in reply.
My dad drove up the crowded street parking in front of Ethans house, the pale blue of his house did not bring the comfort it use to. People milled around outside talking in whispers as my mom guided me up along the driveway and through the front door. Charlotte embraced me as I entered the house and hugged me tight.
She began to cry and I kept on crying even after we separated. Person after person approached me, kissing me on the cheek or giving me a big hug. Lucy Trudgen, who went to my high school, came up and said I am sorry Ethan died. I shivered after she said his name; I turned around and headed into the kitchen.
Trisha, my best friend since I could remember, walked up to me with a plate full of cookies. She offered one to me but I shook my head no. I doubt I would ever eat again. Or feel like eating again. My stomach turned when I look around the kitchen full of his favorite foods like meatloaf and mashed potatoes.
He loved you, Sam.
I know, Trish.
He wouldnt want you to cry.
I cant help it
My voice cracked and I had to clear my throat before whispering He is never coming back
Tyler, Ethans best friend, walked into the kitchen and his eyes widened when he saw my tears. His face was sad and he walked over and kissed my cheek before giving me a big hug. Stepping back he smiled at me briefly before turning around and walking out of the kitchen.
The back door flew open and the strong scent of the salty sea breezed in. My chest ached from the scent but then Josh, the boy who lives next door, slammed the door shut just as Ethans father Jonah walked in the room. Jonah walked past me and swiftly locked the door with a brass key from his pocket.
I had a headache, and I brushed past Trisha and pushed my way through the people to the back hallway, turning right and walked into Ethans bedroom. The bed was left the way it was the morning he woke up and departed this world.
His sheets were rumpled with books piled up on top of his pillow. The walls were a dark green with a white trim and without any posters. Dirty clothes piled up on his floor along with empty bags of his favorite BBQ chips. Besides the mess and his bed there was basically nothing in his room aside from a set of large sliding glass doors. The walls had no pictures and no longer represented the boy that occupied this space. After I entered I shut the door behind me and resting behind the door was a surfboard.
When my eyes rested on the surfboard, my entire frame began to vibrate. I fell to the floor and the tears began to poor out once more. I bit my palm to hold back a dry sob and held my head in my hands. This is the one thing of this world that he spent his last moment with. My left hand shook as I reached out and touched the board. I ran my fingers along the sides of it; just like I did before, when he was always inches away.
Now more than distance separated us and I felt internal despair but it seemed my body clung onto the hope that when he kissed me goodbye that morning, that there would be plenty of kisses to follow. He brushed his finger across my lips before he walked out the backdoor to the beach behind his house. I swear that I can still feel the light touch of his simple caress.
I wiped the tears off my face and raised my left hand to my face, kissing the ring tenderly. It has been three days since his death but I can still feel his warmth as I press myself against the board, hugging it close to me. I will see you tonight baby, he murmured before shutting the doors behind me, taking my breath with him.
We graduated high school and we were in our sophomore year of college. The ring hung heavy on my finger when I thought of how close the wedding date was. Only four more months
We were going to marry in November, the 15th. The leaves would be turning a nice red color and I would wear my grandmothers wedding dress. He would wear his fathers tuxedo. The Rabbi would wed us and we would be forever happy.
My legs began to fall asleep from sitting on them and I stood up taking the board with me. I turned around and snuck out the sliding glass doors. I walked slowly down the trail that led to the rocky shore. Ethans surfboard appeared on the beach before he did and I felt the ominous power of the oceans surf as it slammed the rocks lining the shoreline.
The sky was overcast and a dark shade of gray. Seagulls squawked overhead as I stepped over the rocks and into the shallow water. The wind picked up and wrapped my damp hair around my neck. The ocean seemed to roar at my approach and tried to drag me further into the dark water. My head felt clear even though my entire body was shaking.
Not from the weather but something else.
I looked up at the sky and brought my eyes back to the horizon line as the sun began to set. Ethan, I whimpered his name but it was stolen away by the wind. Glancing down at my left hand, I slipped the ring off my finger and held it in my palm. I raised it to my wet lips and wiped my face with my arm. I kissed the cold metal once more and placed it on the flat surfboard in front of me.
Bending over I laid the board on the water and watched it drift away from me, the current taking it away the same way it took away Ethan. I walked out into the water a bit more, the current pulling at my clothes. I sighed, watching it float away until I could no longer see it, swallowed by the ever present waves.
I wiped away a few more tears, smiling for the first time in what felt like years. I whispered I love you. I turned back around, stepping over the sharp rocks and continued to walk back up the trail. I noticed that I left the sliding doors open. I closed the doors behind me and lay down on his bed. Knocking books over I hugged his pillow that still smelt like him to my chest.
Lying on my side I noticed a small carving in the wall. It was a simple heart with Forever Together written underneath with our names beneath that. I traced the heart and the words that were truer than I ever thought. My eye lids felt heavy and I fell into a deep slumber, having a dream that I would never wish to wake from.