Hey Spence, It’s Me Again
She had frozen mid-walk—turning towards the loud beep and the bright headlights that had seemed both tantalizing and hypnotic at the time. In the short moment she had, as the shouts of bystanders faded to the background, she’d actually managed to come to terms with it. She’d welcome death like an old friend, she’d set her mind on her final breath, and she whispered an apology to the man she loved, hoping the wind would be kind enough to carry it to him.
Of course she wished that things could have been different. She forced her eyes shut, wanting to shove away the fear as tears began to gather and pour down her cheeks. Her legs wouldn’t listen, there was a sob clogging her throat, and no matter how hard she wanted to be strong, the way her knees shook betrayed her.
She wondered if the wind could grant her final wish.
Everything began to speed up. There was a loud screech, there was a horrific scream, and there was the loud echo of impact as metal hit bone and tissue. She opened her eyes, shocked that there had been no pain, only to be greeted by the sight of red on the pavement. The second ear-piercing scream had been her own.
He was sputtering, barely conscious, as he fell to his knees and dropped to the ground. Pain did come, deep in her chest, and yet her body moved on its own. Her knees hit the road, dirtying her party dress, and her arms reached out to turn Spencer’s body around. He was smiling—he was bleeding so much, there could have been a bone sticking out of his leg—but he was smiling as if he was the happiest man in the world.
Why? She found herself asking. I was ready.
“We need an ambulance!” She heard someone faintly shout. Maybe it was someone form the sidewalk—maybe it was the driver. She wasn’t sure. Her eyes wouldn’t leave Spencer’s paling face, his slowly dimming eyes. The tears came back with a vengeance and poured like waterfalls as cotton balls began to stick themselves to the sides of her throat.
He was in her arms as he tried to speak. She wanted to tell him to shut up. To stop saying whatever non-sense he had planned to spout. He could be saved—he would be saved, but he couldn’t give up. He had to stay with her. She didn’t want him to give up, she didn’t like that helpless look in his face. She didn’t like how lifelessness was slowly beginning to replace the love that had always reflected in his cobalt orbs.
“Don’t you dare.” She practically threatened him. She choked on her sobs, tightening her hold on his limping body. She refused to accept it. “I’ll hate you forever!”
His smile got wider. His eyes, unapologetically, met hers. They were saying goodbye.
“You always knew—ugh, that I was al—always willing to…to die for you.” He tried to laugh at his joke. She didn’t even giggle. She wanted to rip him a new one—wanted to tell him that he should have let the car hit her. She would have preferred it that way!
People were beginning to gather around them. Hushed whispers and freaked words, all white noise to her ears as she watched him fade. Hands were placed on her shoulders, but she shrugged them away. Shouting “NO!” when someone else tried to pull her from him. He tried to talk again, but she shushed him.
His eyes said enough.
“I’m sorry.” He’d say. “I couldn’t let you die.”
Maybe her eyes fired back too. His smile never left his face. In her head, she was calling him an idiot—telling him that she’d never forgive him for this. It irritated her when he laughed, quickly fizzing out when he coughed up more violent crimson onto the pavement.
“I promised I’d protect you, right?”
She didn’t care. She didn’t want his protection if this is what it got her. She wanted him to be by her side—to continue living and breathing and experiencing along with her. She wanted to start a family, and she could tell that he knew too. The smile was getting smaller and smaller and she could tell that he wanted to same.
It just wasn’t meant to be.
“I love you.”
She refused to answer, knowing the moment she did, he’d let go of her. He’d welcome death instead of her, and that was one thing that she could not allow. She shook her head, his smile faltering further, telling her that he wanted her to say it one last time just for him. A final request to let him go in peace. She wasn’t willing to grant it just yet.
“I can’t…” She whispered. She was begging he’d understand. But his eyes were begging—pleading—to her too, “I—I don’t want to…”
“Please, Jodi. I love you.”
He was hanging by a thread, forcing life to stay just to hear her say it. Was it right for her to deny him this one thing, even if it was her only hope of him staying with her? She could hear the mockery of others towards the driver, but their eyes stayed locked on each other. Tears quickened, she sobbed, and Jodi leaned down to touch his forehead with her own.
“I love you too.”
His smile was so-so bright. He leaned up one last time—a slight brush of the lips as a fond farewell. It was gone the moment it came. He was gone along with it. Jodi didn’t care anymore.
You Promised Me Forever, Remember?
Heavy breathing, running water, the rustling of the leaves as the wind passed by—those were the noises that surrounded them both. They were near a river, far away from the place they considered home, and were enjoying what time they had before college pulled them away from each other again. The laughter and glee that once always fluttered about them was replaced by uncertainty and feat.
“I don’t want things to change.” Jodi would whisper, head on Spencer’s chest as he brushed and combed his fingers through her dark locks.
“I’m scared.” She’d admit, hugging him tighter as she tried to keep the tears at bay. He had told her many times that he hated seeing her cry—that she was most beautiful when she smiled, the radiance in her sparkling eyes were addictive. “I don’t want to lose us.”
His fingers didn’t stop. Who was he gonna fool? He was afraid for the exact same reasons. They’ve heard enough about long-distance-relationships—enough to know just exactly how hard it would be for both of them. Spencer wasn’t going to logic ruin this for him though. Especially when Jodi was already terrified enough for the both of them.
“I’ll be right here,” He continued. He ignored the wetness soaking through his shirt. “Annoying you and making you smile, just like always.”
And they were both fools. Because who made promises they couldn’t guarantee? People that were probably more carefree than they were. They were smart—they knew, and Jodi wondered if it wasn’t the least been mean to make him promise something that he couldn’t keep for sure.
“I promise.” He’d be a fool for her. He’d be in denial for her. He’d be anything for her. She wanted to cry all over again. “Together forever, remember?”
But, You Still Left Anyway
Jodi hadn’t paid attention to the clean-up. She’d felt numb and empty, had probably ended up scratching the EMT that had arrived and tried to pry her away from Spencer’s body. She remembered her parents arriving—remembered his parents coming and telling her that they knew him enough to know that she wasn’t to blame. She remembered the hospital and getting treated for scrapes and bruises.
She remembered crying into his best friend’s embraced when he’d barged into her hospital room and demanded to know if she was okay.
Spencer and Jordan had known each other since they were in diapers. He’d become one of her closest friends when she and Spence had gotten together. There was a time when seeing him brought the cheeriest smile to her face—and she’d call him over and hug him to say hello. Now? Seeing him brought pain. He was a reminder of what she’d lost, bringing back memories that ate away at her still open wounds.
Jodi had sobbed so hard into his chest, trying to drown in the warmth of Jordan’s embrace. Jodi felt like she couldn’t breathe.
“He would have wanted you to stay strong.” He whispered into her ear, tears of his own flowing into her hear. “He wouldn’t have wanted you to be so sad.”
Pain—there was so much pain, and that was all she could understand. “He should have been here to tell me that himself.” And tears—so much tears.
I Just Wanted to Have Something to Remind Me of Us
Months passed, but Jodi refused to forget. She barely spoke to anyone, and only Jordan could ever actually get a word out of her. She locked herself in her room—a place filled with happier times and cherished memories—and refused to come out for even a meal.
She lied on the bed where they’d made love, stared at the table where he’d spent hours tutoring her, sat on the window-side-bench where they had talked about their hopes and dreams. Did everything to remind herself that he had existed.
“Jodi, you can’t lock yourself up here forever.” Jordan had scolded once. “He would have wanted you to be happy!”
He always spoke like he knew more than he’d ever let on. Always talked to her like he knew Spencer more than she did. Jodi would have been offended, but it was probably true. Jordan was Spencer’s closest friend—who else would he have entrusted her to? He always spoke of how how Spencer would have wished something, wanted something—what Spencer would have done or would have said. But what was the point of Jordan saying all that when Spencer wasn’t even alive anymore?
“I promised him I’d take care of you, and you’re not making it easy.”
And, by Some Miracle, My Wish Came True
Her mother had forced her to go see a doctor. Jodi had been vomiting non-stop, and she’d begun to look gangly and un well. She wasn’t eating much, but her stomach was bulging. Even Jordan had gotten concerned, dragging her to a doctor’s office the next day. He didn’t leave her when the physician entered.
She’d been asked to lie down. She was given all the necessary tests and the doctor had checked her vitals too. Jordan waited calmly and fiddled with his fingers when he began to get bored. Jodi didn’t care much for whatever they did, so long as everything got finished and she could return to her room afterwards. The doctor had left moments later to garner results, and Jordan, again, tried to talk her out of whatever stupor she’d trapped herself in.
“Jodi, it’s been months!” He shouted. “Don’t you care about what Spencer would have wanted? He wants you to be happy, Jodi! You can’t even give my dead best friend that, can you?”
“I loved him too, Jodi. He was—no, is my best friend! I’m in pain too, and I want to lock myself away and grieve, but I can’t! Because he wouldn’t have wanted that for me, and he sure as hell doesn’t want that for you!”
“He broke his promise.” She whispered.
“He said forever.” Jordan pulled her close.
“He’s dead!” She sobbed into his chest, clutching his shirt as she tried to calm herself but couldn’t manage. Jordan rubbed her back, cried by her side, and told her to let it all out. To let the pain go.
They stayed like that for a couple of minutes, and that was how the doctor found them when she’d returned. The smile she was wearing faltered, but Jordan had shaken his head and told her to proceed. The doctor looked confused, but nodded.
Jodi managed to calm herself down for appearances sake, ceasing her sobs to look at the doctor and listen to what she had to say. Jordan’s eye widened and Jodi had no idea what to do. His hand was clutching tightly onto hers as he asked if the doctor was sure.
Jodi managed her first smile.
I Guess, What I’m Trying to Say is
The past few months have been the happiest that Jodi had been in what felt like centuries. Her parents had even been supportive, saying that they were glad she was on her feet again. Jordan had probably been the most ecstatic about it all—pretty much dragging her off to go baby shopping any time they had.
“My godkid has to have the best of everything!” He’d shouted in Babies-R-Us. This made Jodi smile, considering that she wouldn’t have picked anyone else for the role he’d claimed for himself anyways.
Slowly, but surely, she began to smile again. She began to give people that bright grin that Spencer had loved to see. Jodi began to laugh the laughter that Spencer had said had caused him to fall in love with her in the first place. She’d even began speaking to her baby bump, telling her child about the father he or she would have had and promising to make sure that Spencer would be missed no matter what.
Jordan joined her too sometimes.
Of course there were worries as well. Jodi had panicked slightly when the baby never started kicking, but Jordan had made a joke about the ‘father’ and Jodi would actually find herself smiling. A nursery was made for the new infant as well, and her parents had actually paid for it themselves.
Life was finally beginning to look up, and she liked to think that Spencer couldn’t be happier as he watched them from wherever he was.
I’m Gonna be Okay.