Chapter One : Denial
Darcy sat in the middle of the crowded classroom, ears buzzing from the gossip. She could only imagine how many of the conversations centered around her. These days it could be all of them, or they could be done with her. It depended on what rumor had started in the locker room this morning.
She looked up in disgust to realize that yet again, her trig teacher was staring at her. she had half of the mind and all of the initiative to stare back, but she realized, it probably would do no good. He'd keep staring at her. Shameless men rarely had cause to find respect. she rolled her eyes to keep them from filling with tears, and slid them back to her paper. When it was clear she could no longer attempt the proof on her paper, she pulled out a red leather bound journal from her bag, not caring if the teacher with the roaming eyes had something to say about it.
she scribbled, at the top of the fresh page .
I miss you. I know this was supposed to be a gift for me to write for myself, but every time I put pen to paper, I see you. I can see your eyes in the drying ink, and your smile in the way that I sometimes forget to dot my eyes. I can see your hands sliding across my first drafts, dotting all the eyes and drawing hearts in the margins. I can't get through these days anymore. I know you would tell me to be strong, but it's killing me, even breathing hurts without you. It's sick the way everyone thinks they MISS you. A girl nearly collapsed at your funeral, and half of the highschool sat in the back and wept. I didn't go. I don't think you would have minded. Everyone else talked about it. They think i'm crazy. I don't understand that. Crazy means you don't make sense. Crazy means you've lost your ability to rationalize. but the only thing that makes rational sense to me right now is this. is quiet. is being left alone, because nothing makes sense when you don't exist. Nothing is rational about falling into a world that goes on as if you never did. "
The bell rang then, breaking her concentration. as the teacher cleared his gelatinous over indulgent throat, she scrawled a "Go fuck yourself" across an unfinished angle and hurried out after handing it in, avoiding his eyes.. Shed done a lot of that lately, avoiding eye contact. It was getting easier to refrain from looking at anyone. She quickly made her way down the hall and slid into the last seat in her Psychology class, as the bell rang. before the teacher could begin the lesson, she had the journal out on her desk once more .
" It isn't fair, that everyone acts as though I'm losing it. I hear that so much lately. "Losing it" -what does that even mean? I've already "lost it" in most senses of the word. Nobody even looks at me anymore. theonly one who's tried to make eye contact with me since the accident is Shepherd, and as I've always told you, he's a little of kilter. It's funny how everyone can stare at you until you stare back. Nobody wants to observe the specimen anymore once it's started blinking back at them from inside the jar. People develop shyness and discretion in attempts to cover their audacity.
You'd hate me if you saw me now. I can hear you sometimes, telling me this isn't healthy. I can feel you rubbing my shoulders and telling me to ease up, take a break, pull my head out of the book. But this is different. This isn't a class. There's no final exam, and no geeky boy I can meet in the library who can tutor me on getting over you. No practice tests or retakes. I don't even realize it sometimes. Maybe that's why they think I'm crazy, because I forget, unless I hear it out loud, that you're gone. I write to you and think of you, and I swear to god sometimes I see you. It's only in the pauses when I stop to breathe and you don't answer, that I realize. What would you have thought of all of this? And what would you think of me now ? I don't know if you took half of me with you, or if the whole of me is dying. I don't know which is worse. Dying all at once or being bereft of half of my being, but either way, it's the most pain I've ever had to endure. "
Another bell rang. Signifying the end of the day. She hadn't realized any time had passed since starting class. It didn't matter to her anymore, time. It came, it happened, it passed. Just like everything else. In the end, she'd have nothing but wasted time and smeared ink.
Trudging across the parking lot, she tried to keep her head down, "get to the car" reverberating through her mind as she took each step. She wasn't looking and nearly screamed when a car skidded to hault merely inches from her.
"JESUS DARCY" Someone screamed.
"GET THE HELL OUT OF THE WAY."
She looked up.
It was Cara, her would be best friend.
She deserved it, and she knew it. Even before the accident, she hadn't spoken to Cara about anything. Cara felt betrayed. If Darcy had been a "good friend" she would have told her.
It didn't matter.
Climbing into her car, she braced her forehead against the steering wheel, clutching to her sides, trying desperately to hold herself together. She started the car and cranked the radio. The only music she would let herself play was filled with songs that would draw out her pain. In her own way, she was punishing herself. She let every line hit her heart like a knife. "Its not so bad, you're only the best I ever had."
Taking out her journal she wrote quickly
" I don't know anyone anymore. I took myself away from them for you, and then you took yourself away."
before scratching it out.
" I miss you. It's so hard not to hate myself"
was written beneath.
She slammed the front door, keeping her bag high on her shoulder, hoping she could make it up the stairs for another "quiet" evening, left completely alone by her mother.
"Darcy, could you come in here please?"
Sighing, she made her way into the kitchen.
"sit down Darcy"
She sat. She stared up at her mother, who, at present, was standing at the Kitchen counter, arms spread, shoulder length apart, supporting her as she gazed into the granite. She could tell that her mother was chosing her words wisely. Finally, she heaved a sigh and began.
" I can't keep living like this Darcy. You have to stop it. It's been nearly a month since whatever happened Happened. You have got to pull yourself together. You won't tell me a damn thing, and you expect me to be understanding when you hide away in your room. I don't get it. I can't get it. I have very little sympathy for you when I don't know what that HELL Is going on. whatever it was, it's over."
Darcy stared down at her sneakers, she felt the tears pricking the corners of her eyes, but she wasn't going to show them, not here, most definitely not now.
" Answer me Darcy Elizabeth."
The words hit her between the eyes.
" Darcy Elizabeth"
she wasn't there anymore. Her mind was gone, lost in flashing memories, when he'd kissed her, when he'd held her, when he'd made love to her, all along, as he'd pressed his lips to her jawline he'd whispered
"I Love you Darcy Elizabeth."
she shook his memory from her head, and pushed her chair back from the table.
"I'm tired of this Darcy!"
Her mother called, as she ran up the stairs. She burst through her bedroom door, slamming it behind her. Deep, wracking sobs were building in the center of her chest. She was praying this would be the end. She was begging the god she'd stopped believing in, to end it now. To kill her now. There was no point in this anymore.
And then she could hear him in her head. Telling her how selfish that sounded. Telling her not to let losing him take away her will to live.
His voice, the sweet reprieve from asphyxiation, was quickly knocked down by her Mother at the door.
"DARCY. I'm DONE playing this game. If we don't have a decent conversation by this weekend, I'm calling your father. Maybe HE can talk some sense into you."
Nearly dragging herself onto the bed, she pulled out her journal yet again.
" She doesn't understand. She can't possibly know what it means to lose you. She cant' possibly feel this pain. I'm not ready. I'm not ready to lose you. I must be losing my mind. I must be going crazy. that's the only explanation for this. You've got to still be here. without you, I'm not sure of who I am."
She curled up on her bed. There was no answer to give her mother. She couldnt explain the tears, the silence.
She knew it wasn't fair that the only sounds she'd made in weeks were the sobs through her door at night, and the blood curdling scream she'd let out when she found her sheets, freshly washed and folded on top of the dryer.
She couldn't even hold Mom accountable. Darcy had no way to articulate what she'd taken away when she , unknowingly, had washed away the last traces of his cologne.