Yesterday, I spent my lunch hour reading – out loud – from my co-worker’s NSync fan fiction short story, When the Last Tear Falls. She wrote the story when she was 10 years old, and I’d have to say, it was rather impressive. It was so entertaining that I managed to ignore the glaring use of “your” instead of “you’re” and the inappropriate use of commas for dramatic pauses. I’m going to try and get it published so I’m not going to ruin it for you (even though some of you may have been present at my live reading). However, there will be another live reading during my lunch hour on Monday. There may or may not be props.
I have such an admiration for fiction writers. I’m not much for writing fiction. I tried to write short stories when I was obsessed with teen fiction novels, but I only got as far as the first chapter before I realized that I was basically (and accidentally, of course) plagiarizing Sweet Valley High. I’ve never really had much of an imagination for making up stories in my head. I’ve always been perfectly happy to be on the receiving end of some other writer’s creativity, burning through Harry Potter like Cookie Monster through a cookie jar. But I can only imagine how it must feel to create the story, have it unfold in your own mind, playing out so vividly you have to write it down on coffee house napkins or else they evaporate into thin air. What a rush that must be. How real that must be. I enjoy these storylines from the page of a book; fiction writers enjoy them from their own minds. What could be more real, more tangible, more non-fiction than that?
In honor of my friend, who so bravely entrusted me with reading her NSync Fan fiction out loud in the company lunch room (yes, I’m one of those people) , here is my humble attempt at a sequel to When the Last Tear Falls. Enjoy (or maybe endure – I’m not making any promises).
I’d been kneeling by his grave for what feels like mere moments, but the sun has started to set and I realized I should get going. A whole year has gone by after Justin’s funeral. For the first few months, I endured a barrage of phone calls and visits from concerned family and friends. After a while, I went from enduring them to ignoring them. And then, the phone stopped ringing. My house is back to being empty. I’ve come full circle while the rest of the world around me has moved on, but it doesn’t matter…because my heart is still the same way it was a year ago. In pieces.
“See you later,” I whispered to the ground where his body lay. I was slowly getting up when I caught a glimpse of something out of the corner of my eye. A flash of red, and then the glint of black steel in the light of dusk. I looked up, and there it was, rolling slowly out of view. Any other person would have dismissed it; after all, it’s not unlikely that you would see a black sedan in a cemetery. But I’ve seen this car before, for a split second from a lifetime away, a lifetime when Justin was still alive. It was the one split second that I’ll always hope to forget, but I know I never will.
It was the split second that Justin was hit.
And that car was the very same car that hit him.
If I thought my heart was in pieces before, is it possible for it to stop beating altogether?