No matter where life takes us Lucy, you're stuck with me...
“You should have worn more layers, Hunter. You’re going to catch your death if you’re not careful.” Lucy’s words are elegiac as she sprints the tips of her fingers along the edges of the dew covered grass. Her eyes never look up at me. Instead they stay hidden, buried underneath her pastel skin and sandy flaxen hair.
I set my hands inside the front pockets of my hoddie. “I’m fine, Lucy.” I utter. A chilly gust of wind blows in-between us blowing a strand of her hair away from her face. For a brief moment I see a peak of her frosty lucid eyes. The same eyes that latched onto my heart two years earlier. “I won’t catch my death.” I continue.
A smile comes across her face. “Cross your heart and hope to die?”
“Yes, Lucy. I cross my heart and hope to die,” I draw a make-believe cross across my chest and blow a kiss to the grey clouds above for good measure.
“Good,” Lucy stands up her black curvy skirt falls into place. Carefully balancing herself, Lucy begins to saunter, placing one foot in front of the other and balances on an imaginary beam. “I don’t want anything to happen to you Hunter. I don’t think I’ll ever forgive myself if anything happens to you.” She continues to look down at her boots.
“You don’t have to worry, Lucy. Nothing will happen to me. I just promised you.”
“I know…but…you’ll never know.”
I take a step closer to her. My fingers tenderly cupping the tip of her chin. Her skin feels cold against my fingernails, as if I was placing my hand on the initial coating of Christmas snow. “Lucy, nothing will happen. You’re just going to have to face reality.”
“What reality is that?”
“The reality that you’re stuck with me.”
A tear forms out the corners of her eyes and her teeth latch onto her bottom lip. Fighting off any kind of whimper wanting to come out. “How could you do that?”
“Do what?” I ask somewhat perplexed.
“Look at me as if you haven’t looked at me the last year.” Her lips quiver with the words she verbalizes.
“I love you, Lucy.”
Lucy lets out an almost teenager like snicker along with a smirk one would get when their crush told them they had feelings for them. “Say it again,” she sings turning on the back of her heels and begins to prance up the football field length hill.
I follow close behind her. “I love you,” I murmur.
“I can’t hear you,” she calls out.
“I love you!” I say a little louder.
We reach the top of the hill and with all the power and energy I have shout so the entire town could hear my admittance of love to her. “Lucy Waters, I LOVE YOU!”
“And I love you, Hunter. Even if it means facing the reality where I’m stuck with you.” Lucy brushes her hair away from her face and leans to me. Our lips getting closer and closer. I can feel her breath perforate my skin like thousands of little spikes tearing away at my flesh.
“It’s a beautiful place is it?” Lucy turns her head and once again walks away from me. I gaze around at all the diverse cement gravestones in different shapes and sizes. Each one containing a forgotten soul only six feet below.
“If you say so, Lucy.”
“Oh, come on Hunter. You don’t find the cemetery somewhat romantic? Even on Halloween.” Lucy twirls a lock of her hair around her finger. She does have a point. There is something striking and magnificent about us being in the graveyard on Halloween. More of it being Lucy here with me.
“So is there a reason you wanted us to be here instead of Jordan’s Halloween party?”
Lucy shrugs her shoulders, “I thought we could spend sometime together…alone.” A devilish grin shapes on her face. “That’s if you don’t mind.”
“No!” I blurt out overzealous the same way a thirteen year old would when he’s about to snatch his first boob. “No. Jordon will always have her parties. This, this is nice.” I smile back at Lucy. “So what did you have in mind?”
“Oh, I don’t know…” she gets nearer to me. “We could hang out. Lie in the grass…hold each other.” Lucy holds herself up on her tippy-toes and changes her voice to a murmur. “Kiss me…”
“With pleasure.” Our heads slant as our lips finally meet. Her lips taste sugary like strawberries dipped in cool-whip. Lucy lets out a whimper as my tongue skids into her mouth. I can feel the chilly autumn afternoon breeze wrap us up in its own blanket. Falling leaves weave around us.
“Hunter,” Lucy breaths when our lips break apart, if only for a second. “I love you.”
My mind begins to gyrate and everything starts to get dim. “Lucy?”
“Lucy.” I call out once again.
Still no reply.
“Lucy!” I reach for her but only can get a hold of the cold hard ground below.
“Kid get up.”
My eyes open up and everything is a haze at first. After several seconds, everything is crystal clear and I see a grimy dirt covered man in his mid-forties standing over me holding a shovel. By the scower look on his face he’s not too please to see me.
“No, sleeping here, kid.” He says with a dismal tone.
“Where am I?” I gradually start to sit up. I dust the leaves off my hoodie. More importantly, where was Lucy?
“Hilltop Cemetery.” The man, I’m presuming the Hilltop’s gravedigger, grabs the handle of the shovel, getting ready to use it if necessary.
“Lucy. My girlfriend.” I stammer. Taking an unfathomable breath to collect myself, I illustrate what she looks like to the gravedigger. Tell him what she was wearing, how her hair flowed with the wind, and I’ll tell him how enthralling her eyes are.
The gravedigger just stands there shaking his head no. “Sorry son. Haven’t seen anybody like that around here. I would know, I’ve been here all day. Plus, to be completely honest with you, you’re the only person I’ve seen.”
“And you didn’t see me with anybody else?” I can feel my heart slash apart piece by piece.
The gravedigger persists, “I was keeping an eye on you. No completely watching you. Just keeping an eye on you.”
“What did you see?” I couldn’t keep my eyes on him.
“Well son, you didn’t look so hot. When you got here you were paler then one of these here bodies,” he lots out a light chuckle. “Anyway, you were talking to yourself the entire time then you collapse, and looked like you hit your head on one of these here tombstones. You ok?”
“Mind if I ask you some questions. See if you’re head is ok.” I nod my head. “What’s your name?”
“Hunter,” I murmur.
“What’s today’s date?”
“And the year?”
The last question hits me tough. Harder than I could imagine. I squeeze my eyes shut and force out my answer. “2011.”
“It’s 2012.” He corrects me.
“That’s what I meant. Sorry.” I clear my throat. “Listen, sir, I’m fine. If you have any other business to attend to, I’ll be out of here soon.”
The gravedigger nods his head and goes on his way leaving me along. Leaving me alone to face the facts. Facts for the last year I’ve been begging to God for it not to be true. Slowly, I turn around. With each motion my heart beat becomes faster and stronger. The tombstone still looks as good as new. No sign of ware or tear, or any layers of dirt and cobwebs.
I scamper my fingers along the font, tracing the letters. Taking in the ache each letter symbolizes until finally it all comes into focus.
IN LOVING MEMORY OF
JULY 4, 1989-OCTOBER 31, 2011
The memory of last year’s Halloween flashes in front of me. Visions of Lucy dressed like a sexy princess; her expression is one of pure ecstasy. One of having the time of her life skipping down the rain soaked street. She should have that look. I just told her that no matter where life takes us, I’ll be with her.
Stuck with me.
It all still feels like its happening. Lucy in front of me, the car coming out of nowhere, and the driver that was too fucking selfish and decided to drive that night after wasting his night downing whatever drink he could get his hand on,
He took everything from me that night.
I drop to my knees in front of her final resting place as the first few drops of rain begin to fall. It tastes sweet like Lucy’s lips. My hands reach into the back of my jeans and wrap around the handle pulling it out. I have to admit, even though I’m content with my choice, I am surprised that my hand doesn’t shake a bit.
“I love you, Lucy.” I cry bringing the pistol to my temple. My finger wrapping around the trigger. “Like we promised. You’re stuck with me Lucy. You’re stu---“