Sara Merwick

Three Years

The days turn into weeks and the weeks slowly fade into months. And before I realize that time has been passing, it's been a year, than two, and slowly three. Three whole years of heart ache and sorrow. Three whole years without him by my side. I can't believe it's been that long. It seems like just yesterday that it all took place. Three years alone. It just doesn't seem to make any sense.

It was a warm August day when I first entered that high school. I was honestly excited, yet extremely nervous. I had never attended a public school, and I had never gone to a school where I knew next to no one. The only person I knew was my now ex-boyfriend, who had dumped me the night before. I had no idea what I was supposed to do or anything. I was basically scared shitless. But I figured it was going to turn out okay. It had to. It just did.

I entered the building and all the freshman were separated into groups and than ushered into the auditorium. We than had to go around the school and turn in papers and that sort of thing. Next came a lunch break and than we ran a mini schedule so that we could manage to not get lost on the first day of school. It was during this mini schedule run that I first met him.

I walked into the ceramics class room and chose the first seat that I came to and just sat down. It took me a minute to realize that there was someone else at the table with me. He was cute, but not really my type and besides that I had just been dumped and was suppose to have a broken heart.

Anyways, he and I made eye contact a couple times, and I was trying to get up the nerve to talk to him, simply to make a new friend. Just as I was about to, he look at me and smiled. "Hey. I'm Mark. Who are you?"

"I'm Jac." I was trying to think of something to add, but being who I am my mind became a complete blank. I could never come up with anything interesting to say when I met new people. It was something I always hated about myself, but something that I had learned to deal with. That class went by way to quickly. And I couldn't help but look forward to the next class period. It wasn't like I automatically had romantic feelings for him, but there seemed to be some form of instant connection between us, and it confused yet intrigued me.

The next couple weeks flew by. I got use to the new school and started to make friends. And every other day I saw Mark and him and I became really tight friends. It was amazing. I was happier than I had been in a long time.

The first time that I saw Mark outside of class was at the first school dance of the year. I had decided to go even though I didn't know anyone who would be there; I figured it was my first high school dance, so I should go. When I got there I was nervous and just standing around, trying to find someone to talk to or dance with. Than, I spotted Mark, and he was walking towards me. I got butterflies in my stomach, and really excited. "Hey Jac! Wanna dance?" he asked. I couldn't respond. So I just nodded my head and the next thing I knew we were dancing. And by the end of the night he had kissed me.

He slowly became my best friend. We hung out almost all the time. It was amazing. That first semester seemed to fly by. I ended up dating someone else, and so did he. Yet we still were close. We told each other everything, all the good and all the bad. We talked about things that happened before we met each other. He helped me through my wanna-be Goth phase and taught me how to trust someone again. I couldn't have asked for a better person to be my best friend.

Soon enough it was winter break and him and I had plans to hang out. As it turned out I ended up having to spend the entire break in Arizona with my grandparents, so we weren't able to see each other at all. It was hard for me, but break wasn't that long and finally we were back at school for a second semester.

That first day back was amazing. Mark and I had so many stories to tell each other and we spent every second between classes talking and catching up. I had been afraid that we would grow apart over the break, but as it turned out we were closer than we had ever been. I couldn't believe that I had been lucky enough to meet someone like him, and to have him be my best friend.

Over the first week or two back we both became single and slowly started to flirt with each other. I came to realize that I was falling fast and hard for the guy I considered my best friend. I didn't want to, yet at the same time it's all that I wanted. Something in me wanted to be with him, and it was a feeling that I couldn't ignore. He was so sweet and kind and fun. We got along perfectly and it just seemed to make sense that him and I would end up being together. I could just tell that he had the same feelings for me that I had for him.

It was just so obvious. All of our friends kept teasing us and telling us that we were meant to be together. Each time we would laugh and blow it off. But deep down I knew that they all had a point. I had managed to fall madly, head over heels in love with Mark and there was no turning back now. I had decided that I needed to tell him, it only seemed right.

So, one Friday night he and I were on the phone, having one of our usual ridiculously long, pointless conversations, when Mark whispered "Jac, we need to talk. There's something that I need to tell you, and I've been avoiding it, but I think its time I said it."

I swallowed and replied, "Okay, tell me. I can handle anything that you have to say to me. I'm ready."

I heard him breathe in deeply and sigh, "Jac, you're my best friend, you know that. You have been for awhile now. And I never ever want to lose you. You wear my necklace everyday, and you know how much that means to me. That chain was important to me and now it's yours. And I want to be yours as well. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm in love with you, and I was wondering, would you please be mine?"

I couldn't help but smile, "YES YES YES!" I basically yelled into the phone. I was so excited. There was no way that he had just said the words that I had so desperately wanted to hear. I couldn't believe it. It was like everything had finally fallen into place for me.

"Are you sure? Because I don't want you to think that you have to or anything, I just thought that I should…."

Cutting him off, "Of course I'm sure. I've been in love with you for so long and I was so afraid to say anything."

I could hear him exhale loudly, "Good, than its settled. You are mine." After that we talked for awhile longer and made plans to hang out that Sunday.

Sunday came, and we ended up not being able to see each other due to my having to spend it with my younger sister, but it was okay because we would see each other before school on Monday.

Monday morning came after what had seemed like decades. I couldn't wait to see Mark and tell everyone that he and I were finally together. I was waiting outside of the health class room, which was the normal place for our group to meet. He was running late, which was weird. He was always early. I was starting to get this horrible feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach. Something wasn't right, I could just tell. That's when my friend Dani turned to me and asked me Mark's last name. "Smith." I mumbled, barely paying any attention. She turned back to her other friend, who nodded. Dani got this sad look on her face and turned to me.

"Jac, um…I need to tell you something. Um…I don't think Mark is going to be here today."

"What are you talking about? Of course he is. He promised me he'd be here. Of course he's going to show up. Why wouldn't he?" I looked at her confused.

She handed me a newspaper, and whispered, "I'm sorry. There was an accident. Jac, Mark's not coming back." She hugged me and I just stared at the paper not being able to comprehend what it said.

I went to class, still not believing anything that the paper or Dani had said to me. It didn't make sense and it had to be a lie. Than, the principle made an announcement. Explaining what had happened and saying when the funeral was and that's when I started to cry. I didn't even notice that I was. Someone helped walk me up to the auditorium. I ended up leaving school, just went home and slept.

I spent the next week in bed. I couldn't get up. I couldn't move. A part of me had died, and I just wanted the rest of me to join that part. I went to the viewing. I went to the funeral. And I slept. I couldn't think, I couldn't do much of anything. I was a mess, and I was broken. Eventually I was forced to return to school, where I saw him around every corner, where I saw him everyday. I found myself waiting each night for the phone to ring and him to tell me it was all some huge joke.

The days slowly became weeks. And those weeks finally faded into months. The months became a year. And slowly that year became two, and than three. The time went by slowly at first, than quicker as time went by. I went back to being able to live each day. Yet, there still isn't a day that I don't think about him. He still sits in my head, and he still gives me a reason to live.

Three years later and I'm still in love with my best friend. I lost a love, a friend. He became my guardian angel, watching over my each day, giving me a reason to move forward. The season come and go, winter to spring. And each day is a challenge, each day a reason to be grateful. Maybe someday the days will pass without pain and heart ache. Maybe someday I will be alive, but for now I'm perfectly imperfect. For now, I'm broken and shattered, looking towards the sky. Someday, I will be okay, but until than these blue eyes cry tears of sorrow, alone.