Author's Notes: I would have liked it if I could have had a fake internet address for Kerry's blog, but alas - the formatting rules won't allow it. The name of her blog is 'World of Heartbreak'. Thanks advance for anyone who leaves their thoughts. Thanks
Blog Entries of the Brokenhearted
World of Heartbreak
Summer vacation started yesterday. I hate school. I hate summer too, but at least this way there are no early mornings and two whole months without pep-rallies.
It's also time for summer solstice, so the sun doesn't dip behind the mountains until after ten. I went to the cemetery and looked at the graves. I'm getting more morbid every day. I picked out my burial plot. It's the most pathetic patch of grass within the fence. It doesn't overlook anything but the highway out of town. That's the way all the graves point. It's such a small cemetery, so my plot will probably be gone if I don't buy it. Pity, I have no money.
Kerry turned over in her bed. It was eleven forty eight a.m. She should get out of bed, but she refused to stir as she glared at her alarm clock. It wasn't past noon yet, so she couldn't get up.
She could hear Aaron in the living room. Her younger brother was watching Saturday morning wrestling. He didn't even like wrestling. He just couldn't think of anything else to do besides watch T.V.
Kerry wasn't like that. She hated T.V. She hated sports. She hated cooking.
Her only interest was delving deeper into the dark waters of her own consciousness. She spent hours reading the poetry of Edgar Allan Poe and Emily Dickenson. She liked to examine art that made her feel like the person who painted it felt one tenth of the depth of emotion that she did. Who knew if anyone had ever felt exactly the way she did?
She didn't know how to describe it. Life was a wasteland. Grade nine was wretched. Grade ten couldn't be any better. Her schoolmates were always the same. She'd been with the same fifty kids since grade two and she didn't know that even one of them was anything akin to her. It wasn't that they were unkind to her. It was like she was a ghost who moved through their halls. They all knew she was there, but they would rather pretend that she wasn't.
Now summer had begun and she knew how it would go. Her mother was an LPN in the city and she worked long hours during the school year. Summer effected no change in her schedule. Kerry's father was an on-again-off-again figure. Sometimes he was around. Sometimes he wasn't. So, Kerry would cook for her helpless brother and overworked mother. The meals she scrounged up were less than pretty, but at least they would eat. Not that Kerry cared whether the lot of them starved.
That was her life.
She rolled over and pushed herself out of bed. Now it was twelve-o-one, so she could get up. She had some idea of going back to the cemetery that day after she finished her chores.
Besides cooking, Kerry only had one chore. It was her job to go out and pick the litter off their front yard. They lived two doors down from the only convenience store in town, so there were always candy wrappers and empty slushie cups stuck in the grass. If someone didn't pick it up regularly, it would get to be a mess, like their next door neighbor's, and regardless of their continual troubles, Kerry's mother couldn't stand the trash.
The sun was bright as Kerry picked up the garbage. She worked all the way to the property line. Even with the gigantic 'No Trespassing' sign out front, the house besides theirs was turning into a trash heap. Kerry didn't know much about the old lady who lived there – only that she was a famous crab. As she stood there, there was a nagging in her heart that she ought to help out and tidy up the lady's lawn, too, but she wasn't sure if she would get yelled at for crossing the property line. In the end, Kerry turned away and went back into the house.
By two o'clock, she was ready to head down to the cemetery, but as soon as she'd walked a block, she saw that it wasn't a good day to go. There was a hearse in the church parking lot.
Two things stopped Kerry from going to the funeral. The first one was that funerals were social occasions in her small town. If she went, she would undoubtedly be spoken to by at least half a dozen people and she didn't want to talk to anyone. The second reason was that she didn't know who had died. Likewise, in a small town, she should have heard.
Turning around, she headed back towards home.
World of Heartbreak
Yesterday someone was buried in my burial plot. I'm in shock. The person who died was a seventeen year old boy. His name was Tenant Miller and he died a week and a half ago.
The curious thing about it is that he's not from around here. I didn't realize that the burial place I picked out for myself was actually part of his family's plot. All to the right of him are Millers. His grandparents lived here twenty years ago and no one has seen anything of Tenant's parents in decades. It's so strange. He wasn't from here. He didn't belong here and now he's going to be here for eternity.
Kerry woke up. The moon was a white disc of light and it was aligned perfectly so it could shine through the vertical gap between her window frame and the Venetian blinds. She got up and looked out the window. The night was beautiful.
Then slowly, she heard something. It took her a minute before she realized that someone was in the living room watching T.V. Kerry tiptoed out and found her brother watching a late night dating show.
"What are you watching?" she asked as a scantily clad woman explained how her boyfriend didn't satisfy her in bed.
"Nothing," Aaron answered flicking to another channel that was showing a black and white film. Then he flipped again to a Star Trek episode and then again to late night news.
She knew better than to imagine that he was really interested in the dating show. Anything he hadn't seen before was a welcome change.
"Hey," he suddenly said. "Do you want to watch something with me? I rented some movies tonight."
"Didn't you already watch them?" she asked, picking them up and examining the titles.
"Yeah, but I could watch them again."
Kerry hadn't heard of any of the movies he rented and from their titles, she didn't want to watch them.
"Shouldn't you go to bed?" she asked.
"What for? I don't sleep anyway." He flipped again to the dating show.
Kerry sat on the couch in the glow of the T.V. screen. His online gaming had been better than this. At least that way he got into parties and talked to the people he played with. It was because their computer was broken that things had degenerated this far. Even she had to use the library computer to write on her blog, but she didn't mind because she was going there anyway to pick up her books.
"Aaron," she said, standing up. "Watch one of these movies instead of this dumb show. This can only rot your brain."
"And what you do is so much better?" he snapped.
Kerry didn't know how to answer that. She got up and went back to bed, but instead of sleeping, she wrote in her journal. It was like her blog. No one ever read either of them.
World of Heartbreak
They put up Tenant's tombstone yesterday. I started by taking a rubbing of it. Then I decided to draw it. After that, I drew a picture of what I thought Tenant himself could look like. I drew six. They're at the bottom. I like the third one best. I think he was blond with dark tragic eyes.
I think I could be satisfied with the plot next to his. Do you think his family has already bought it? I want to go to the town offices and check, but do you think they'll take me seriously? I think they'll tell me to go home and then spread the news around town that I asked. Maybe I can put it in my will.
Kerry's interest in Tenant grew and as it grew it became increasingly unhealthy. She wanted to die. She wanted to lie beside him and forget about her whole life. And when she sat next to his tombstone or leaned against the back of it, she felt her loneliness slip away.
She told him how she failed gym class and how she'd been held back a grade in grade two. She would have been in the grade beneath his if she hadn't flunked.
She read him her favourite poetry and even read him her favourite book cover to cover.
Yet, even though she shared all this with him, she didn't know anything about him. She didn't know how he died. After considering all the possibilities, she decided that he had been killed in a car accident. She didn't know what he looked like, so she picked his looks. Soon she had his personality all mapped out in her head and when she talked to him, she knew what he would say in return.
What if his ghost were with her? She was a ghost anyway. They were the perfect couple. She wanted to fall asleep next to him and dream the dreams of the dead – his dreams. What did he dream of?
And she wasted the hours of her life leaning against the monument of Tenant's wishing she was dead too.
World of Heartbreak
Date with the Dead
This Wednesday there is going to be a full moon and I've planned a date for Tenant and me. Do you think he'll go with me?
I'm going to pick him up at the cemetery at nine o'clock and take him down the coulee to this tiny stream I know. He's not from around here, so he won't have seen it before. Then we're going to have a little picnic. He won't be interested in the food. He'll just have to devour me with his eyes. I'll have grape juice and sandwiches, but only because of my medical condition. It's called Being Alive. I'll have to remedy that some day.
We'll lie on a blanket and talk about our dreams and I'll tell him one of my favourite fairytales. Then I'll take him home and maybe … if I'm lucky … he'll kiss me.
Kerry was careful when she got ready that night. She had a shower and curled her hair. Then she put on a short jean skirt with black leggings and knee-high boots. Then she put on a white T-shirt, a red knit cardigan and went out into the kitchen to pack her supper.
"Where are you going dressed like that?" Aaron said, actually peeling himself off the couch to have a look at her getup.
She looked down at herself. Yeah, she might have overdone it. In a small town, she looked ridiculous. Well, it didn't matter. It wasn't like she was going to meet anyone other than Tenant. So, she turned her nose upwards, packed her juice box along with a crystal goblet and grabbed a blanket from the supply cupboard.
On her way to the cemetery she saw a total of three people. Two were teenage girls in the grade below her. They were walking towards her house after going to the store. Each one was carrying an ice cream cone. Kerry couldn't help but notice it when they dropped a wet napkin on her next-door-neighbor's lawn. She turned her head and pretended not to notice what they did, but instead of becoming less involved, she became more involved. She saw a curtain flicker. The old lady had definitely seen them.
Kerry hurried on. She didn't want to have anything to do with the garbage trail. It was summer, so her yard had been unusually free of trash. She had only had to clean up once that week, but the neighbor's looked like school was still in session and everyone was dropping their lunch trash in the same yard.
The last person she saw was the driver of a pickup truck. He was pulling out of the cemetery as she was walking in, but he was too far away, so she didn't register anything except that someone was coming out as she was going in. It could have been anyone.
She walked to the far end of the cemetery and stood in front of Tenant's grave.
"Hello darling," she said out loud. "Are you ready?"
Then she walked to the coulee just like she planned.
The coulees in that area were amazing. The prairie stretched out long and hard and then abruptly dipped in. In the coulee, the grass grew in lush green heaps. There were mosquitoes because of the stream, but it didn't stop the wildflowers from spreading like a brush fire.
Kerry was happy as she sat by herself and pretended she was on a date. She had never been on one before. She thought the boys in her high school had nothing to offer her if they had liked her, which they didn't. She was on her own there … just like now.
Later, she sat on the gate of some farmer's land and watched the sun set. When twilight fell, she started walking back to the graveyard. Once she got there, there was no one to kiss goodnight to. There was no one to smile at or thank for a good time. There was nothing.
There had to be something.
She lied down on the grass beside Tenant's grave and put her arm over where his body should be under the grass. The night was warm and more than anything, Kerry did not want to go home. She wanted to die and sleep there next to someone who had never neglected her, who had never shut her down, and who had never told her she was too different for them to be together.
Eventually, she fell asleep. She didn't dream at all. She was merely conscious one moment and deeply asleep the next.
She was bitterly cold. It was summer, but she was frozen to the bone. The sun was rising, but she felt frost-bitten. And she still had to walk home.
Rising, she wondered what time it was.
"Hey! What are you doing here?" someone shouted from down the gravel road of the cemetery.
Kerry fell backward at the sound of his voice. That was what had woken her. It was the sound of his truck. Glancing at the gates, it was the same truck she had seen leaving the cemetery when she came the night before.
Standing in front of her was John Tracton. He lived on the other side of town and he was in the grade above her, so she knew his name. He was wearing beaten up running shoes, torn jeans, an ancient paint shirt, a mucky baseball cap and work gloves.
Kerry stood up, immediately heated by the embarrassment of being caught in her guilty pleasure.
"Um, I was just leaving," she muttered as she gathered up her stuff and tried to pass him.
His face was extremely distressed as he looked at the tombstone and her clothes, which he undoubtedly recognized from the night before. Dressing up cute in a small farming town didn't go unnoticed.
"Wait. Was he a friend of yours?" John asked concernedly pointing to Tenant's monument.
"No," she felt bound to admit. "I didn't know him." She started down the gravel road towards the gates.
"If you didn't know him, then why did you spend the night here? That's downright creepy." He paused then shouted, "Hang on. Did something worse happen to you than just you sleeping here? Why didn't you go home?"
Mercy! He thought she'd come here in desperation after someone abused her the night before! "No. Nothing weird happened. I'm fine. Leave me alone," she snapped. Kerry was panting now in her hurry to get away from him. Didn't he realize that he should just forget what he saw?
"Wait," he said, running up beside her and speaking quieter. "Let me take you home. If someone sees you walking home, looking like that at this hour you're going to look like …" he hesitated uncomfortably before he finished saying, "a girl walking home in the morning."
She paused. He was right. She didn't want anyone to see her. Gossip knew no bounds in a town like this. She looked around helplessly and saw his truck. He had a lawnmower in the back. "But aren't you supposed to be cutting the grass for the town? Won't your boss be mad if you take off?"
He smirked and opened the vehicle door for her. "You've got to be kidding. Taking you home won't take me five minutes. He won't notice. Get in."
Kerry got in the truck and looked straight in front of her while he revved the engine.
She wished she knew more about John. She didn't know if he was the type of person who would keep this a secret. Truly, of all the guys in the grade above hers, he was the one she knew the least about.
"Hey," Kerry said when they started driving. "Do you think you could keep this a secret?"
"Why?" he asked. His voice was mildly uncomfortable.
"People already think I'm a weirdo. Can we not make it worse?"
"I never thought you were a weirdo."
She groaned. Well, if he didn't before, he definitely did now.
"So, why did you go there?" he asked, turning his brown eyes on her.
She put her head in her hands and put her face between her knees. "I hate it here. I hate being alone. I wish I was dead."
He didn't answer.
When she lifted her head, she couldn't bear to look at him. Her face was tear-streaked and she was mortified that she had broken down and told him something like that. It was like a desperate call for help, but at the same time she didn't want to seem like she was trying to get attention.
"If you hate being alone, why don't you make some friends?" he asked.
She snorted and when she spoke, her tone was sarcastic. "Yeah. I wonder why I didn't think of that. Exactly who am I supposed to make friends with? I live in probably the second most crumbled down house in town. Socialites beware. And who isn't a socialite in this town? Kids from school obviously don't respect anything about me. They are always throwing their litter in my yard and guess who gets to pick it up sometimes every damn day?"
Then he pulled up in front of her house. There was trash on her lawn. Kerry got out of the truck and on her way up the front walk she kicked an empty pop bottle out of her way.
He didn't understand.
When she came in the house, she went straight for the bathroom. When she looked in the mirror she saw that her face was a mess. There were mosquito bites from the middle of her forehead to her temple and three under her right eye. She had been sleeping on her left side, so that side had been open. Besides that, she saw that John was right. She looked like the survivor of a one-night-stand.
World of Heartbreak
My date with Tenant was a disaster. The only upswing was that even though I arrived home six hours late, no one at my house noticed I was missing. My mother didn't get home from work until two a.m. and she was so tired she forgot to check on me. Aaron should have noticed, but he fell asleep on the couch. He didn't say anything to me this morning.
So no one in my family would notice if I disappeared. That's my upswing.
It was a whole week before Kerry felt comfortable enough to go back to the cemetery. When she finally got there, she simply sat in front of Tenant's grave and bawled.
She didn't know why she existed anymore when no one cared about her one way or the other.
Sitting in the well-cut grass, she wasn't sure if she was happy that there was no way John would come looking for her, or miserable that there was no way he would come looking for her.
After sitting in the wind and sun for over an hour she decided to go home. She was getting sunburned and there was still supper to make. So, she stumbled towards the gates and mapped the route home that provided the most shade.
She wasn't expecting it, or maybe she was, but she turned her head and pretended not to see him when John pulled up in his truck.
He called to her. "Kerry."
Stopping, she turned to look at him. He left his motor running and got out of his truck. He had clearly been working all that day and was a sweaty red mess with grass sticking out of his clothes. But his brown eyes looked soft.
"Hi. How are you?" he asked.
"Fine," she mumbled, looking at the sidewalk and wondering if he really hadn't told anyone where he'd found her.
"Say, do you have plans tonight?" he asked pleasantly, like he didn't know that she was just coming out of the cemetery.
She didn't want to say, "Yeah, I'm cooking a huge pot of spaghetti that will end up tasting about as yummy as stewed hay," so she didn't answer.
"The reason I'm asking is that I got paid today and I wanted to go see a movie in town. Do you want to come with me? My treat."
Her upper lip curled scornfully. "Are you pitying me?"
"No," he said quickly. "You're not the only person I asked. I'm taking a group – very casual."
Kerry waited for an explanation of why he was asking, and when it didn't come she got antsy. "Look, I know I broke down and told you those awful things about myself, but my problems aren't yours. If possible I'd like you to forget what I said. I was just feeling especially blue that night and broke down a little. I'm better now, so you don't have to worry about me."
He hesitated before he said, "Then why is your face blotchy? You look like you've been crying."
Kerry stepped back. She had been trying to hide her face by looking the other way, but he saw through it.
"You're not better," he said before she could answer.
She started walking away from him.
But he ran after her and said, "You know, that's okay. We all have problems. Yours aren't that weird. I have problems myself. I understand."
She turned on him. "You understand?" she growled. "How dare you? What honestly makes you think you get how I feel?"
He didn't back down and met her eyes sternly. "Do you really think you're the first person who has ever felt loneliness?"
"N-No," she stuttered.
"Good, because that would be ridiculous. We all feel like that sometimes – even to the point of wanting to die. Sometimes the feeling lasts minutes, sometimes weeks – possibly years. I just want to give you a boost, not because I feel sorry for you, but because that's what you do when you find out that someone is suffering like you are."
Kerry was stunned. She had never heard anyone talk like this before. People in this town were frank like this? Whenever she had flaked out before, everyone always turned the other way. It seemed to her like they liked to pretend that nothing was wrong.
She bit her lip and as she tried to keep her tears strangled, she asked, "So after you take me to the movies tonight, you'll forget all about me and think you've done me an amazing favour?"
"No." He took a step towards her so he was in her face. "Do you think I'm naïve enough to think that your problem can be fixed with one gesture of kindness?"
"And you think you can fix me?" she snarled.
"Of course I can't. I'm only offering you a boost. A smile, a joke, a movie, an email – that's the sort of thing I can offer. That's all." He stepped back and put his hands in his back pockets. "So, do you want to come to the movies or not?"
"Who's going?" she asked speculatively, a little happy to have him out of her space.
"My sister Trista, my friend Ryan and his girlfriend Julie, me and you. That's all that will fit in my parents' car. So, do you want to go?"
"Okay," she said reluctantly.
World of Heartbreak
Movies with John
Yesterday John asked me to go to the movies with him. It has been a long time since I saw a movie. If I lived in a city I could take the bus, but since I live in the middle of nowhere, a driver's license and a vehicle are required. I don't have either.
I didn't expect it to be very much fun. I thought they'd pick a horrible movie and actually, I didn't want to see the one they chose, but miraculously, it turned out to be acceptable entertainment. I was also surprised at how nice John and his sister were. She didn't seem to have any concept that anything was wrong with me and she didn't look at me like I was a ghost either. I didn't expect to fit in with them as well as I did.
A couple days later, Kerry was in her front yard picking up trash. She had barely got started when a truck drove by her place. John was driving and when he saw her, he waved. She expected him to just keep on driving. After all, all he had promised was a boost and he had a lot of work to do since he was working for the town that summer. But he didn't. He swung a U-turn in the middle of the road and pulled up in front of her house.
"Hi," he said as he got up. As he walked towards her, he started picking up dirt encrusted napkins and paper plates.
"Thanks, but you don't have to do this. It's not your fault."
"I know, but still it's not your fault you either. Living here shouldn't be a crime."
He finished helping her tidy her lawn and when they finished, he looked at her neighbour's, whoselawn was five times messier than hers. "Let's clean up this yard, too."
"We can't," Kerry said quietly.
"There's a no trespassing sign."
"So, what's the owner going to do? We're helping. They're not going to come out with a shotgun." He stepped over the property line and when she hesitated, he came back to get her. Grabbing her hand, he took her across the line. "Come on. We can help."
Kerry bent over and started picking up candy wrappers. After she had picked up half a dozen things, she saw the curtains move. Her heart quickened. She didn't want to meet the old lady who lived here. They would certainly get yelled at. It was only a matter of time.
The door opened and the lady came out. She was wearing a shapeless cotton dress of ancient pattern and her hair was tied in a low ponytail.
"What are you doing?" she asked sharply.
John answered, "We're tidying up. We're almost done, so we'll be out of here in a second."
"Don't you work for the town?" she asked fretfully. "Did the town send you to clean this up because it's too much of a mess? Because if they did—"
"No. No," he interrupted. "I'm just helping Kerry." He pointed to her.
"The girl next door," the woman acknowledged.
"So you won't be coming back," the old lady said slowly. It seemed like she was losing strength just standing there.
"Excuse me?" John asked. "Do you need someone to help you with this on a regular basis?"
The woman's whole face scrunched up distastefully. "I don't want to bother anybody."
"Kerry, do you think you could help?" John asked, looking at her.
Kerry was horrified beyond belief that John was volunteering her for this, but at the same time, there was a part of her that had always felt that it would be better if she did help. She gave into the softer side of herself and said, "I can do it. It only takes a minute."
The lady looked surprised and a little skeptical. It was obvious that she didn't think Kerry would actually follow through. All the same, she smiled and mumbled a word of thanks before she went back into her house.
As Kerry and John walked back, he said, "Thanks for being so helpful when I put you on the spot. I appreciated your willingness. You have a good heart." He patted her on the head.
And she was speechless.
World of Heartbreak
I haven't been over to the cemetery for days. I've hardly been home. John had a few days off work and I've been over at his house almost every day. He and his sister are so fun. They're always thinking of fun things to do. One day it was hot and they put a sprinkler under their trampoline and we all got drenched, jumping fully dressed. Another day he took me out to his uncle's to groom his uncle's horses. Then we played every board game they owned. It took all day.
I wonder why I never have fun like that with my brother.
I'm so glad you had fun visiting. We had fun, too. You should come over this Saturday and hang out again.
John was working so Kerry was home. She was cleaning her room. She didn't realize it had gotten so gross and she didn't want Trista or John to see it like that.
She made several trips out to the kitchen as she worked – one for dirty dishes and another one for trash. Aaron was lying on the couch watching a game show. Was he sleeping? She snuck up behind him.
"What's up?" he asked lazily.
"I'm cleaning my room."
"Fascinating," he remarked, though he was totally bored.
Kerry was about to walk away from him when she remembered her blog entry. Why didn't she ever have fun with her brother? Was it because of her or because of him? She thought about the time that he asked her to watch a movie with him. He didn't care what he watched. He probably asked because he was lonely, too. It was strange, but that thought had never entered her head before.
She was still standing next to him chewing on that idea when he suddenly asked, "Do you want to sit down?"
"Do you want some cheesies?" he offered, passing her the bowl.
She took them and bit into one. She hadn't eaten these in years and was shocked by how good they tasted.
It wasn't her style, but she stretched out on the other couch and watched the game show. Towards the end she was even commenting on the contestants.
"I think that guy with the blond guy should have won," she said afterwards as she dropped the empty bowl in the kitchen sink.
"No. No. No," Aaron said, following her. "Jesse clearly deserved to win."
"But he was so arrogant."
"So? You have to be aggressive if you want to win that game."
Kerry shrugged her shoulders, and poured herself a glass of water when the thought occurred to her. Maybe she had been the one who didn't want to have fun all along.
World of Heartbreak
Date with the Living
John asked me to go on a big group date yesterday. We're going rock climbing out at one of his friend's farms. I said I'd go and I'm really excited even though I am terrified of heights.
Let's see if this date is more successful than the last one.
Don't worry. The ledge isn't that high. I've done it a million times. If the weather is good, we're planning on going cliff jumping afterwards, so don't forget to bring something you can get wet in.
On the day of their excursion, the weather wasn't good. John told her that the idea was to get out to the farm and do their climbing before it started to rain. The cliff jumping thing was most likely a no-go, but the weather could improve.
Kerry was the only one riding in John's truck that day. He came to pick her up and she deliberately brought him into the house to meet Aaron. She thought that John would just say 'hi' and then make them leave, but instead he invited Aaron to go with them.
Aaron was a little stunned by John's offer, but said he couldn't come. Their dad was coming over that day and Aaron didn't want to miss him, so he said good-bye to them and went back to the couch.
Julie had been right. The rock face they were planning on climbing wasn't too high at all. Not only that, but there were so many jutting surfaces that it was easy to climb. They didn't even need climbing gear.
When they were finished, they built a fire in their makeshift fire pit and roasted hotdogs and marshmallows.
Kerry looked out at the landscape. This area was a forty five minute drive from town and a fifteen five minute drive from the farm they were visiting. She'd never been out here before, but the land – the beautiful land – looked just the same as where she had taken Tenant for their date.
She sat there and thought about Tenant. A few weeks ago she had honestly wanted to die by his side and now that had all been flipped over. It wasn't that she had a crush on John exactly. She didn't … and she did. It was more that she didn't want to admit that she liked him. Doubtless if she told him about her feelings, he would explain to her that that wasn't why he was with her and she would be rejected. The feelings inside her were too fragile to be brought into the sun. She just enjoyed his friendship and hoped it would last into the school year.
After the lunch, one of the boys suggested that they play a game of capture the flag between the rocks. They played until it started to rain. It was awhile before John and Kerry made it back to the truck – the only place that was dry. The other teenagers ran for their vehicles too and everyone started towards the farm. Their vehicles disappeared around the corner as John and Kerry wrapped up in blankets.
"Sorry, they smell a bit," John apologized. "But as long as we're dry."
Kerry put her nose to the flannel and inhaled. "They smell fine to me."
He looked doubtful.
"It's totally all right. These are emergency blankets that have been in here for two hundred years, right?"
"So don't worry about it. They're fine. It's nice to be dry."
John smiled and put his key in the ignition. Something grinded, but the car didn't start. He tried again and again. It didn't start.
"What's wrong with it?"
"I have no idea," he said, popping the hood and going out into the rain.
Kerry watched him nervously. Everyone else had already headed back, so there was no one nearby.
John looked for awhile before he came back.
"Did you figure out what's wrong?"
"No," he said, brushing the water from his hair. "It could be anything. Let me try it again."
"Did you bring a cell phone? Can we call one of your friends?"
"No. I let Trista take my phone today."
"What can we do?" Kerry asked.
"Wait for the rain to stop and try the engine again. It's a long walk back to the farm, but we could do it."
"Do you think your friends will come looking for us?"
He smiled. "It would sure be nice if they did."
So they waited. The rain pattered on the windows and the wind blew. Kerry was quite comfortable wrapped up in the blanket even if she was a little wet. She took off her socks and shoes, which helped.
She liked sitting next to John. He didn't talk much. Something was bothering him. It was obvious because she kept turning to her like he wanted to say something and then turning his head like he changed his mind. Kerry was fine to leave him like that. She was happy, even if they didn't talk.
Towards the end of the afternoon, she was starting to get a little drowsy and the rain still beat evenly on the truck.
Resting her head on the window, she let herself relax. Just like that other time, one moment she was awake and the next, she was asleep.
When she woke up, she was resting her head on John's shoulder. His arm was around her waist and she was warm. It was muggy in the cab and the windows were fogged. She was about to push the blanket off her when she realized that it was over both of them.
"I like you," John whispered.
Kerry hadn't moved since she woke up. Maybe he thought she was still asleep. She closed her eyes and waited to see if he would say anything more.
"Before this summer, I thought you were different. I thought you were proud and strong and totally untouchable. You walked like you didn't need anybody. You hurried like you had somewhere to go. I couldn't believe it when I found you in the graveyard and you said you were lonely. How could you have spent your hours that way? I thought you had a boyfriend from a different town or something and how was I supposed to find out about you? No one knew anything." He paused. "I don't know if my feelings are strong enough to last forever, but up to this moment, I have never liked a girl as much as I like you."
Kerry's eyes opened and she turned to look at him.
He regarded her seriously, without flinching or looking away.
"I like you, too. How did you know I was awake?"
He kissed her cheek and said, "The rain has stopped."
When they got out of the truck, there were two cars sitting outside.
"Are you two done making out now?" Ryan shouted at them.
John scratched his neck and shook his head. "How long have you guys been here?"
"Long enough. So, are you a couple now?"
John looked at Kerry and she nodded.
"Yes we are," he said.
World of Heartbreak
My Last Entry
Yesterday I went to the cemetery. I went to go tell Tenant that I was going out with John now. I wasn't going to go back there, but I had this needling feeling when I woke up this morning that I needed to go tell him what happened. So even though I didn't think it made sense, I went.
When I got there, there was a woman crying in front of his grave. I wanted to leave, but had this feeling that I shouldn't. So, I went up to her and asked her if she needed a tissue
"He was my son," she explained.
"What did he die of?" I asked. I was remarkably calm considering how much I had wanted to know everything about him.
"Heart disease," she said pensively. "He had it bad since he was born, but you know – he loved life more than anyone. Every moment was precious."
I stayed and talked to her for awhile, and I'll never forget what she said. I'll carry it for the rest of my life.
That was beautiful. I'll remember this story too, and I can't wait to read your new blog. I'll be a regular visitor. What were you going to call it? Love my life?