Ache for You (Trapped in Three Hill Book 1) (4 page)

  
Fuck You Fl
o-
Mal

 

              I get up and kick some of the soft grass around. My body has made an indentation in the ground; I am my own angel.

              I turn my back on your headstone. 

              I hate this god damn peace garden more that you will ever know. Why couldn’t they just bury you in a normal graveyard? Huh?

              Too boring for you Flo?

              Ha, sorry girl. You know how much I like to bug you. If you can hear me right now, why not shoot me a sign? Fill up my gas tank or make my doors unlock all on their own. Do something useful.

              Come on my Pretty Girl. Let me know that I still have you. I can’t live without you.

              I have my hands in my pockets and my head angled down when I hear a voice breaking into my world of dark and depressing shadows.

              “Hey, Mal!” Some egghead shouts. I look up more out of boredom that anything else. Another dude is waving me down.

              One earbud is hanging out.

              Why can’t people just leave me alone?

              I didn’t realize that people still used these running trails—the park yes, but the trails? Hell no, at least that’s what I would have assumed (the girls in yoga pants don’t count) but when I finally pull my head out of my ass long enough to look around. I notice that I was never really alone.

              Not even a little bit.

              Not even at all.

              God, you should see River what’s-his-nuts right now. Dude totally blew his hair out. It’s fluffy and gold. He’s tall but hardly built. Blindingly pale arms stick out under a blue t-shirt emblazoned with some sort of hipster band logo.

              Normally I would laugh and tease you, Flo. I’d suggest that perhaps he got prettied up just for you. Guys always tried to go out with you, but I put a quick notice on every dick in town. Touching of my best friend Flo was simply not allowed. Did you know? God I so badly want to tease you. See the anger in your eyes. They lit up every time I bugged you.

              I can’t do that now. Fuck you.

              “Hey, Mal. How are you?”

              “I’m great. How are you?”

              “Good. Look man,” River continued, “I’m sorry about Flo. I know that sounds lame as all hell right now, but I just wanted to check in on you. I went to your mom’s house. You weren’t home, and she said she hadn't seen you in a while, like since the funeral? Asked me if you were cool.”

              River means well. I know. He has pretty blue eyes, the kind that you were always crazy about. I hated that about you, your tendency to fall for morons who would only hurt you.

              You called River a douche canoe right before you left town. We were talking about something random, something completely unrelated to the dude that I am currently talking to. We were eating Chinese take-out and God I hated that smell. We were sitting in your car: The Old beater. The front seats were stained with I don’t even want to know, but everything smelled just like you, your vanilla body oil, your discount perfume and that colour-preserving shampoo you stocked up on your bathroom shelf. It smelled like mangoes. Suffice to say, you had an odd smell.

              We were parked in front of the mall. Listening to the radio, you knew all the words to every song on the top 40 countdown. I was amused by you. This memory means nothing to me without you here to feel it as well.  It just spoils my mood.

              I haven’t smiled since you. Why start now?

              “Mal?” River looks at me with a puppy dog eyes and sad, thin mouth. He’s making the oddest expression right now, trying to draw me back into the real world.

              I resist the urge to laugh out loud. The only person who could draw me back was you. This dude doesn’t have a hope in hell.

              “Yeah, sorry dude,” I say, but I’m not sorry at all.  “Yeah, I’m totally cool. Just you know, chilling out.” I’m trying not to blame myself for my best friend in the entire world thinking that she needed to take the easy way out.  “I’ve just been busy a lot, you know with school and what have you.” I haven’t been busy with school at all. I have all but dropped out.

              The only reason I haven’t made it official is because I need my student-housing-only townhouse.

              It’s small, but I paid the rent off with what was left of my student loan. I have nowhere else to go. I refuse to go home, no way in hell.

              River believes my words at face value. As do most people.

              “If you’re not busy tonight a few of us guys are going out. We might hit up that new strippers they just opened downtown. I guess the whole inside is totally tricked out.” River seems hopeful.

              He’s trying to make things between us cool by including me in his Tuesday night ritual of throwing change around. In all honesty, I wouldn’t even include myself. I’m fucking miserable to be around. I open my mouth to offer a refusal, but nothing falls out.

              I’m too exhausted to even groan or grumble.

              I haven’t slept since God knows when. It’s not like I can’t sleep without you; it’s just every time I close my eyes I see your face in my mind. I’m far past that point of grieving every memory. I just see random memories and for a moment they make me happy. Silent moments of your time when for a good five minutes you were mine. Totally mine. Happiness flickers in my mind.

              My chest is filled with a longing that won’t fade. It aches and missing you comes in bone crushing waves. I spiral into misery and my next words come out acidic and burning.

              “Why in the hell would I want to go to the strippers with a bunch of dudes? Most of whom I don’t know,” I smirk. Speaking super smooth. Cocky as all hell. You always liked that about me, Flo. I totally knew.

              Don’t go getting embarrassed now Pretty Girl.

              River’s face shrinks down a good size or two as he, like, totally cowers in on himself. Did he think that I was cool? Like cool with being spoken to and tracked down? Especially now? How is that even possible?

              “I’m sorry bro-”

              “No. I’m not your bro. No fucking way in hell. I’m an asshole you only spoke to because I was friends with a girl everyone knew. If anything I’m saying is wrong, go ahead, stop me now.”

              I dare River to back completely down.

              He gulps.

              I have an arm resting on the windshield of my sky blue Camaro™
.
I look around the park. The quiet sanctuary you now call your home. There are lots more women walking and jogging around that I didn’t really see until just now, adding to the few I noticed when I first parked my car and got out. I wipe leftover tears away from my nose. Snot has dripped onto my lips, and I wipe at my mouth with the back of my knuckles.

              I didn’t even realize that I could still cry over you.

              I’m surprised that the tears would even come out. I thought I had rung all the emotion out of my eyeballs by now. Oh well.

              “You trusted me because of Flo. You stopped being afraid of me because of Flo, as did everyone else in this God forsaken town. Well guess what? She’s gone now.” I let the poor bastard know. I don’t even have to try to insert death into my tone. It is all that I’m made of now.

              I’m cold. I miss you.

              Flo?

              River backs up with his hands out.

              I smirk.

              He looks down.

              “Like I said, dude, I’m sorry about what happened to Flo but I didn’t stop being afraid of you just because you guys got close. I stopped being afraid of you because you stopped threatening to break my nose.” This is true. “Anyhow, your mom was just worried about you.”

              Was she now? Couldn’t take the time to call me herself?

              River looks down at the ground, seeming to swallow something he doesn’t want to be let out. He holds his arms out like a sparrow.

              “See you around Mal,” says the douche. I swallow the bitterness down. “Yeah, you too.”  I hop into my 1968 Camaro™. A Chevy™ that is super tricked out. The roof is down and I’m cold as hell but I don’t care to pull it up right now. Fuck I wish that the passenger seat still smelled like you Pretty Girl, and I know how creepy that sounds, but you know leather.

              Everything just washes out.

  
It’s Not His Fault - Flo

 

              Okay, no I do not know anything about leather you douche canoe.

              Have you seen my car, Mal? That thing wouldn’t know real leather if it chewed on the bumper while saying hello.

              Yeah, I know that doesn’t make any sense. Move right along will you? By the way, I’m in the backseat in case you didn’t know. I chuckle and snort laughter, but of course you don’t know. I’m fucking invisible. You can’t feel me at all.  I sat in the middle where there isn’t a seat belt. Leaning forward so that I can watch your anger boil. I watch your knuckles turn white as you clench the steering wheel. The stereo is so loud.

              Music always was your way of maintaining control.

              “It’s not his fault you know?” I watched River slowly turning around, watching you with more kindness than pity. He felt bad leaving you upset but I could tell that he had no idea of what else to do.

              “He was just trying to help.”

              As are most people.

              “He’s a good guy, shy and a little odd every once in a while but still kind when it counts. I also never thought he was into me just so you know. That’s not the kind of guy I attracted when I had a pulse, but still. It’s not his fault.  It’s not anyone’s fault aside from my own. I’m not going to blame you. I won’t. That’s not even in the realm of being possible.”

              No way in hell. I look out the back window when Mal turns around to reverse because I can’t stand the thought of him looking right through me like I am not even here at all, which I’m not, but being reminded about it constantly still hurts like a bitch. I swallow. Mal parked his car between the lines for the first time since forever. He usually parks crooked. Like an asshole. God forbid anyone ding his vagina bait on wheels.

              The minivan next to him is loaded with little girls in tutus. They all jump out without a care in the world.  I could have sworn that one of the little girls made actual eye contact with me but my imagination always did have a tendency to run wild. Oh, well.

              “We should stop for food, I’m actually starving. That’s the funny thing about being dead. You stop feeling human and start feeling like some sort of alien but your stomach doesn’t quite get it.”

              I rest my arms across my abdomen, sitting back. Mal pulls up to the exit of the parking lot and signals left, eyeing the right-hand side of the exit for any oncoming traffic. My stomach feels flat, as if nothing works inside of it. My organs have failed me by now I know.

              I actually miss getting my period. How sad is that? I miss cramps. I miss the having a reason or an excuse for being a sudden and or constant pain in the ass.

              “I doubt that you miss my PMS,” I laugh, looking towards the back of Mal’s head.

              I want to reach out and touch him, but I resist. If he pulled away from my hand I wouldn’t be able to stand it if he sank back into it I would be beyond ecstatic—if that level of emotion even exists once you’re dead. I kind of doubt it.  “Close the window man, you’re going to get sick,” I nag him.

              His arms are full of delicious definition. His muscles twist and bend with the fury that rages inside of him. I’ve only ever once had the gift of seeing him shirtless. I try to bring up the image, but the memory is faded. I want it back again. I have always been jealous of his natural tan. His green eyes vibrant against his darker, golden flesh. Even when he’s sad, he stops my dead heart in its tracks.

              Mal is gorgeous. He always has been. It seems effortless for him.

              He’s so tense. I ache with how much I miss him. It makes me ashamed, makes me feel like an idiot. I hate being pathetic. I wish that I had super powers right now, something besides the ability to watch over you. I want to protect you. I want to pull my knees up against my nose and draw on one of the back windows.

              I try to make a sound.

              I want to yell.

              I feel smothered right now. I look down at my black skinny jeans and pick at the ragged holes, revealing flesh bruised over bone.

              “I wanted to tell you…” it feels horrible to say the words out loud, “I wanted to call you, and I wanted you to call me first without me having to ask you or lure you with my super unattractive and clingy pull. I just wanted you Mal, and I don’t know what to do. I woke up all alone on the filthy blood covered ground and I don’t know what to do know.” This is the honest truth.

              I touched you once. It feels like a hundred years ago now. I kissed you in super slow-mo. It was so good I never wanted to let go. You need to let go now. I don’t want to let you.

              This is horrible.

              “Come on Mal, close the God damn window. This car is going to be full of mosquitoes and I may be dead and cold, but I’m still full of delicious blood cells. Those little vampires will love it. And turn the heat on. Like now, please and thank you. I don’t want to be a vampire meal. Ha, wouldn’t it be awesome if that song came on the radio right now?”

              I wrinkle my nose.  Quoting the the song to my favourite show, the one about teenaged vampires in high school. I always loved that show. Admit it Mal, you did too.

              We binge watched that show.

              “Come on Mr. Radio. Listen to me and make all of my dreams come true, play
Vampire Meal
and freak Mal out! Come on, do it now!”

              I get super close, totally in his personal bubble. He’s still driving, unamused and glaring out the windshield.

              Ha. It totally worked. Oh, you're an oblivious boy. At least I amuse myself.  Mal parks in front of his townhouse, right in front of a bench dedicated to some dead rich dude. Large trees line the parking lot and the sidewalk in front of it. A weeping willow cries gold.

              Every student housing townhouse is identical from the inside out. I know because I looked at a brochure once upon a time, a long time ago. They’re small. The outside is painted a boringly dark tan shade that spreads like creme beneath beautiful white trimmed windows.             

              Mal starts to get out.

              Watching him slam his door just for show makes me smile. Always a bad boy I tell yeah. I stay in the back of the
Chevy™
.

              “You were built for this car you know?” The soft grey leather interior and a killer stereo that I helped him install.

              “You haven’t cut your hair since the funeral. Since
my
funeral. Thinking about it that way kills you know?” It makes this all the more real and surreal.

              Ha. How is that even possible? I’m dead! A nineteen-year-old ghost with dark green hair and whisky coloured eyeballs.

              I dyed my dark hair green on a joke. You thought I’d never go through with it, and I couldn’t forgo myself the chance to wipe that smirk off of your handsome face. I wanted to make your eyes roll. I wanted to rock your world. I failed.

              I was happy to come with you and leave behind the garden of peace and new souls. No joke, that’s what it’s called.

              My parents thought that losing their teenage daughter to suicide was so bad that they had to hide my death as if it was not a fact. As if they could change my soul’s direction.

              I might not burn in hell for this but being stuck following Mal around sure is giving my ovaries a good work out.

              God, I would climb that boy like a tree if Mother Nature or heaven would allow me to do so.  What? I’m dead. I can think whatever I want now. Go screw yourself. Just don’t screw Mal. I am the only one allowed to fantasize about that boy. No one else. Is that clear with you all? Good. Let’s continue.

              I climb out of vagina bait on wheels.

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