This wasn't her first time knocking on the door with cracked and peeling paint while watching the sun rest on the white roses. The clouds danced on the sky, unable to stay in one place. Oh, how far they were.

She quietly observed the tulips whose petals dictated love when she was naïve. They swayed with the wind: back and forth, back and forth. One tulip had been plucked and was light enough for the wind to carry it. It soared majestically, as if looking down on its former soil in contempt, but the wind has only so much power. The tulip landed on the middle of the driveway, immobile.

"Aspen?" At the sound of genuine concern, she turned to the door, which had opened without her awareness. Standing there was her dream, her fear, her excuse. His gray eyes took her insides and mixed them up, placing her heart on her sleeve, like they always did whenever she lost herself in them.

Aspen failed to say anything and wondered why. She could've sworn the words were in her grasp.

"Come on in." His voice was so soft and unfamiliar that it could've broken her, but she entered regardless.

The house looked completely different from when she had last visited. Perhaps it wasn't the actual house that had changed, but the contents. Aspen recognized the comfort of his scent, but her eyes still needed to adjust to seeing the walls with pictures that weren't of her.

She wondered what happened to those pictures. Were they in photo albums that they could flip through whenever they felt the need to reminisce? Were they stored in a box in the garage, along with all his other phases in life? Or perhaps they were lying in a trash can somewhere, for they're useless and don't fix anything.

The silence was beginning to consume her. "So Locke, how's Paisley?" It was a question she didn't need nor want an answer to, and Aspen wasn't completely sure why she bothered to ask. She guessed that she thought she might hear the mystic air that had fleeted from his voice so long ago.

A smile fought its way onto Locke's face, obviously against his wishes. 'He never did have control over his actions,' Aspen thought. "Good. We're going out again tomorrow."

Aspen almost asked where they were going, but managed to keep her mouth shut. It was something she definitely didn't want to know. She was afraid of where it could've been. Aspen didn't know how she would react if it was the lake. It held too many memories of the stars that shone solely for them and the trees with promises hastily carved into them. Even trees die, their branches reaching upward, begging for just one more chance.

She noticed how Locke avoided her gaze by staring out the window, seemingly fascinated with the sky. She watched him: the slight curls of his hair, the absence of joy in his smiles that were almost always forced, the unease in his blank stare. Forever wasn't supposed to turn out this way.

Without a word Aspen took off the gold chain of his that she still wore and placed it on his shelf. He was still watching the air in front of him, but he knew. Aspen slipped out the door and back to her dying dreams, while the chain remained on his shelf, collecting dust like everything else.