‘TIL THE END
February 14th, 2014
As I filled my last luggage, I looked around my, now empty, room. My last hour here, in New York. I guess it didn’t matter anymore, since all my friends had left me; they all turned their backs on me when I needed them the most. On the bright side, my departure would be less painful, since there was no one to be missed. It was a bright sunny day of August and I was moving; to start a new life in California.
We had been driving for four straight hours now, and there was no turning back. I was sitting in the passenger seat alongside my mother, who was driving silently. The last few months had been very dark, filled with sadness. Ever since the incident, we had barely said a word to each other, for the time had been too painful to even think.
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“This is it,” she smiled. “Our new home. The moving trucks will arrive soon, so go ahead, go take a look at your new room. I got the whole house painted a while ago, your room is a light cream color, just as you love.”
“Thank you.” I gently hugged her, and entered the house to find my beloved room.
Even if the house was a lot smaller than my older one, this room was bigger. Indeed, the color she chose was gorgeous.
“This is the start of something new,” I thought. “Meet new people, make new memories, and forget the old ones that haunt me.”
My thoughts disconnected when the doorbell rang.
“Probably the moving trucks,” I thought, going downstairs to open the door. To my surprise, there stood a boy, probably my age, smiling.
“Hey, I’m Scott, and I’m your new neighbour,” he smiled, warmly.
“I’m Paige, nice to meet you,” I smiled back.
He had crystal clear, blue eyes, lightly ruffled brown hair, and an irresistible smile. He was a little taller than me, which made me look up every time he spoke.
“Do you want me to show you around?” He asked, politely.
“Sure she can!” My mother cut me off. “Paige, just be home by supper.” And out I was, with a guy I barely knew, wondering around the streets of a town I barely knew.
“This is the park I often go to with my friends,” he pointed out to a cute little playground, with a vast area of grass.
“Do you have a lot of friends?”
“I have a few,” he laughed. “Oh, and, this is the school I go to, probably the one you’ll be attending, too, since it’s the only one around.” I looked up at him, and smiled. Why couldn’t we have more guys as sweet as him in my old town? Most of them were jerks.
“By the way, how old are you?” He asked.
“I’m fifteen, but I’ll be sixteen in a few days, but, you know, whatever,” I laughed. “You?”
“I’m sixteen. I actually turned that age a few days ago!”
“That’s great! Happy late birthday, I guess,” I giggled.
As we walked back home, I couldn’t have felt happier. I just hoped my mother wouldn’t ask too many questions.
“Your mom told you to be home by supper, so here you are. See you around then?” He smiled.
“See you around,” I smiled back.
Luckily, my mother didn’t ask too many questions. The rest of the week went by very quickly, and I didn’t even get to see Scott again. The next thing I knew, it was my first day at a new school. As I stepped outside, I noticed him sitting on my porch.
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“You didn’t really think I was going to let you go to school alone on your first day?” He got up.
“Actually, I did. But I’d definitely love to walk to school with you,” I smiled.
During the whole walk, he spent most of the time asking me about my home town, but never asked about my friends.
“So, what do your friends think about this whole moving thing?” The only question I didn’t want to answer. Crap.
“Well, um, you see… I don’t really have any friends. They all left me after, um, something happened.”
“What happened?” He looked confused.
“It’s a long story.” I barely knew him. Could I trust him? Yet, he was my only friend.
He stopped. “We have time,” he smiled. “Classes don’t start until an hour from now. I checked my schedule, and we’re in most of the same classes, by the way,” He smiled.
“Well, um… Basically, my father left town for a week, for a business trip. Three days after his departure, someone he worked with called us, and told us that he, um… He died. A heart attack.” Oh god, my eyes were already teary.
Surprisingly, he wrapped me in his arms. “You’ve never told anyone before me, huh? It shows… Your emotions. Don’t worry, I’ll never leave your side.” He squeezed me tighter.
I felt secure in his arms. After wiping away my tears, and fixing my mascara using my phone as a mirror, we continued our walk to school.
It was huge. The walls were tall and full of colourful designs; my old school was nothing compared to this.
“What do you think?” he asked.
“I think... I think it’s amazing! I hope the people here are just as great,” I joked.
“Um... Depends who,” he laughed. I guessed that was reassuring.
He showed me around, and then led me to my locker. It wasn’t far from his, so I at least knew someone nearby. During the two first periods, we didn’t do much in class. The teacher introduced me to everyone, and made me talk a bit about where I came from. A few people came to talk to me, which was really sweet. One girl, Angel, helped me to organize my locker according to my schedule, and helped me around when Scott wasn’t there. Scott. He was probably with his friends, which I haven’t met yet. They must be cool.
“Paige, do you want to have lunch with me, today? Well, me and my friends,” Angel asked.
“Um, sure! I’ll just go tell Scott to not look for me.”
“Scott, huh? Yeah, he’s a really nice guy.” She smiled.
“Indeed, he is,” I smiled back. Then I left to go find him.
He was at his locker, and to my surprise, he was alone.
“Scott! Hey!” I approached his locker.
“Oh, hey. How were your first classes?” He asked.
“They were cool. I met a girl, Angel... Well, I’m actually going to have lunch with her!”
“Oh, um, really?” He looked at me. “I... I thought... Um, anyway, just... Her friends... Be careful. She’s sweet, but the others...” He stopped.
“What about the others?”
“I don’t like to judge. Have a nice lunch, though, see you soon.”
Then, he left. What was wrong with him? Anyway, I left to go find Angel, who was sitting with four other girls.
“Hey, Paige! Over here!” Angel shouted. I smiled, and walked to her table. As I sat next to her, one of her friends whispered to another.
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“That’s the new girl, right?”
“Yeah... I didn’t think Angel would actually go talk to her... Urgh, that girl is too sweet... And that wasn’t a compliment.”
“Why is the new girl even eating with us?”
“Well, I’m pretty sure she doesn’t have any friends here... She probably won’t make any, either.” Then they laughed. They thought I couldn’t hear them, but I could. And it felt like my old high school all over again.
“Paige... Are you alright?” Angel looked at me. I couldn’t hold back the tears anymore, this was too much.
“I... I’m sorry, I have to go.” And with that, I left the cafeteria, my face dripping with soaked mascara, trying to find a place to hide.
“Paige... Paige...! PAIGE, SLOW DOWN!” I heard someone scream. Then, someone grabbed my arm, and turned me around; It was Scott.
“Don’t... Scott...” My breathing was uneven.
“What happened? Wait... Don’t answer that... The girls, huh?”
I was incapable of saying a single word. I just looked up at him, trying to wipe away the tears. “That’s what happens when you don’t listen to my warning...” He giggled, and wrapped me in his arms. We stayed like that, until someone came.
“Oh god, Paige! I’m so sorry about my friends... They always do that to the new kids... I should’ve just spent my lunch time with you, alone! I... Wait, am I interrupting something?” She smirked.
“No, oh, no, haha! It’s fine, I don’t blame you,” I smiled.
She gave me a gentle squeeze. “Tomorrow. Just the three of us,” she winked, and then left.
The rest of the day went perfectly fine, with my new friends. Actually, the six months that followed were probably the best six months I’ve ever lived. Scott and I become extremely close, to the point where I started to feel something for him. That feeling made me a little uncomfortable, since we were only friends. Yet, he didn’t seem to be himself, lately, either….
Today, a Saturday, we were going to spend the day together, Scott and I. He said he had something important to tell me…. I wonder what… Just then, someone knocked on the door.
“Hey!” He chirped.
“Hey,” I smiled. I told my mother that I was leaving, then left with Scott to a park nearby.
We sat on the bench, and stayed there, in an awkward silence, for about five minutes.
“Scott, what was that important thing you needed to tell me?” I asked.
“Um, well, um… Listen… I… I just… Would you… I mean…” What? At that moment, I felt his hands turn my face against his, and gently pressing his lips against mine. It felt like an explosion of paradise… And questioning.
“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have. You see, I…” He was extremely nervous, but it was cute.
“Yes, Scott, I’ll be your girlfriend,” I giggled. At that moment, his face lit up like I had never seen him before. “But, the thing is… We’ve known each other for six months, only… But I am willing to try, because I love you,” I smiled. I had never said these three last words to a guy in my life, and somehow it felt good.
“I’m glad. And, I love you, too,” he blushed, then gave me a quick kiss on the cheek. Honestly, I had no idea how these relationship things worked, but I guessed that I’d just have to follow his lead.
After a few weeks of being together, we finally went public. To my surprise, no one, or almost, judged us, not even Angel’s brat gang. Although, going public didn’t mean trying to make everyone jealous or uncomfortable. It meant not being shy or afraid to hold hands, or even kiss, around other people. When I talked about us to other people, it almost sounded like a perfect fairytale couple, even thought we weren’t. We fought a few times, nothing extravagant. I can’t imagine myself without him. Yet, another part of me knows we’re only sixteen, and I feel like that doesn’t really bother him…
“Hey, Paige,” said Scott, as he came over to me and kissed me.
“Hey,” I smiled.
“Listen, I have something to ask you, and I’ve been wanting to ask you for a very long time…”
“Yes?” What now?
“Will… Will you love me… Forever?” Oh, god, what kind of a question was that? I can’t possibly…
“Scott,” I chuckled. “We’re only sixteen, remember? I love you, a lot, but you know… Anything can change between now and later…” What else could I say?
“I know, but still… Please answer my question. Will you love me, forever?” Damn, he was determined.
“I… I don’t know, Scott. Please ask me some other time.” He looked down.
“Alright. Well, I have to get going, I have, um, stuff to do.” With that, he left me, standing on my porch, alone, wondering about what just happened.
Later that night, I tried to message him, but he never replied. Maybe he was really busy? I tried to concentrate on something else, to get my mind off things. As I took out a piece of blank paper and a pencil, I heard a loud gun shot, not far from where I was standing.
“Mom? What’s going on?” I asked, rushing downstairs.
“It’s nothing, honey. Probably just some loud thunder. Now, please, go back to your room.” I barely had the chance to speak, that I was already in my room.
As I laid in my bed, I wondered… What happened? Where did that gunshot come from? I hoped it didn’t come from Scott’s house… Then, I fell asleep.
I woke up the next morning with a disastrous call from Angel.
“PAIGE! IT’S IMPORTANT!” Angel yelled.
“What’s more important than my sleep?” I yawned.
“Scott.” She answered. No way. That gunshot, it couldn’t be…
“He… Last night, a robber barged in his house… Scott tried to defend himself, and get the guy out… And he was armed… He…” She cut her breathing. “He got shot, Paige. Scott got shot, and he’s in the hospital.”
“No, this can’t be possible! No, please, please tell me this is a lie!” I cried.
“I’m so sorry, Paige…” She sniffed.
“No. I have to go, sorry. I’ll talk to you later, okay?” I tried to keep myself from falling apart.
“It’s fine, take all the time you need, I’ll be here.”
“Thank you, I love you.” With that I hook up, and rushed out the house to the nearest bus that could take me to the General Hospital.
“Scott… Where is Scott Adams?” I shouted. There was no point in staying calm. I couldn’t.
“You must me Paige. He’s right here, follow me. Beware though, he just came out of surgery so he won’t be looking so good.” This couldn’t be happening. 8 months of happiness, and this how it all crashes down. I can’t lose another person.
As I walked into the room, I noticed his mother waiting outside the room, with a bunch of tissues filling her puffed face.
“Scott! Oh, Scott, please be alright,” I said, worriedly.
“Paige… I’m fine…” He tried to smile.
“Don’t… You’ll be out in a week, right? Back home, smiling, talking long walks in the streets, holding hands… All that fun stuff, in a week,” I tried to cheer him up. All he managed to do was smile. He was barely able to do anything. That gunshot hit him too hard, as hard I would want to hit the guy who did this.
For the rest of the week, I visited him, everyday after school, until very late at night. I couldn’t stand seeing him like this, yet I didn’t want to leave his side, in case they were my last moments with him. Angel has been helping me a lot, trying to get my spirit back up, but it was useless. Everyday, I brought him a red flower, reminding him that my love stands by his side. He was strong, and I was sure he would be able to face this.
On Friday, after school, I went to see him, like I did every other day. As I was about to enter the room, the nurse stopped me.
“Miss Brooks, I just wanted to tell you that Scott will be fine, he’s weak, but he’s getting better,” she smiled.
“Thank you, this makes me feel a lot less stressed,” I grinned. She smiled, and left.
“Did you hear that, Scott? You’ll be alright! You’re getting better, and soon you’ll be out of here,” I said, cheerfully.
“Paige, I… No, I won’t make it…” His voice was fading.
“What? No, you’ll be fine, please stay with me, okay? It’s going to be fine.” I took his hand, and gently squeezed it.
“I love you, Paige…” His eyes were slowly shutting.
“No, shut up, don’t say that, please. Don’t think like that, you’ll be fine, I… The nurse said…” I was extremely worried.
“The nurse came while I was sleeping, she couldn’t tell…” His eyes slowly shut, and his hand started to cool.
“No, no, don’t… Please, Scott,” I couldn’t take this.
“I’m sorry…” He whispered.
“Yes,” I slowly approached his ear. “Yes, I will love you forever.”
He smiled slowly, as his heart rate slowed, too. At that moment, his chest stopped moving, his eyes shut, along with the rest of him.
This couldn’t be. He couldn’t be gone.
“Scott! Scott, please wake up! Someone, help, he just… He just… He’s dead,” I cried, loudly. Tears poured down my face, as I couldn’t control my emotions. The doctors came rushing in, checking his pulse, trying to get him going again, but it was no use. The doctor turned to me, shaking his head, as a sign he was gone, forever. The doctors took him away, and I was too shocked to even breathe. I couldn’t hear anything, except for my heart beating faster than ever.
“Paige… Paige! Paige, we have to go,” Angel shook me. “I came here as soon as I got the news. It’s very tragic, but you can’t stay here forever.”
“No!” I protested. “I don’t want to leave! This is a dream, he’s not dead! He’s not! I’ll wake up tomorrow morning with a cute text from him telling me how much he loves me, and I’ll smile, just like every time he texts me. This is just a dream. Angel, please tell me that this is just a dream,” I sobbed.
“It’s… It’s not, Paige. I’m sorry,” she hugged me. I cried even louder. It’s over. He’s gone. I’ve lost two of the most important people in my life during the past year, and I just couldn’t bear it. Angel walked me to her car, and drove us to her house.
Four days later, it was time for the funeral. I had to do a speech, and I wasn’t sure if I could make it. As they called my name, Angel gave me a quick hug, and helped me get up and go to the microphone.
“Um… Scott Adams was probably the best thing that has ever happened to me. He was the first person I met when I arrived here. He was also my only friend, at first. His smile was contagious, and he could make anyone smile, even during their darkest days. He was a special guy, someone I’ll never forget, someone I’ll never replace. At first, seeing him disappear in front of me was probably the worst thing ever. Yet, I now know that I was with him during his last moments, and that I loved him, very much. Someday, we’ll meet again, in another world. We had know each other for eight months, and been together for two. I will never forget the best times we had. To all of you who were also very close with Scott, I’m sure his spirit is with us, right now, smiling to the fact that we’re all here, for him. Scott was different, and I think we all know that. He will be missed, but someday, many years from now when we’ll also fade away, we’ll all meet again, we’ll all be happy again. Scott isn’t in any pain, he left us peacefully, and I am grateful to have known him. Thank you very much.”
I exited the stage, seeing everyone crying and clapping for my speech. Before going back to my seat, I approached the coffin where he laid, peacefully, saying my last words to him, “Forever and ever.”