The lights suddenly went out and in the midst of darkness, I felt so alone. The room was pitch black and quiet. In the dead of the night, the thunder’s ferocious roar pierced my ears. I cried in fear and screamed till my lungs were about to burst. There were two things I was always afraid of: being alone and being trapped in absolute darkness. Ironically, I was experiencing both now. How I wished Jay’s arms were circled around my shoulders at this very moment of sheer terror. He would have known how to calm me and lull me with his familiar hums so that I could sleep till the sky’s wrath subsides.
I shook the beautiful memory away from my mind. Overwhelmed by intense emotions of my past history with Jay, I walked slowly to the edge of the window and gazed the breathtaking sky, hoping desperately to clear the aching knot in my chest. It was painfully useless though, because Jay’s images lingered in my mind like how a moth is drawn to light. Nevertheless, I realized that there was a myriad of twinkling stars which oddly seemed to fit the somber sky and silvery wolf moon was beaming at me. As I continued marveling the beauty of it, I was dragged inescapably to the past when I still had Jay by my side.
Jay and I were childhood chums. The first time we met was when he was caught stealing my ‘Cinderella’ book, although he persistently insisted that he was merely ‘borrowing without prior notice’, Gullible and innocent to the core when I was a kid, I bought his explanation and even offered my hand as a sign of possible friendship dawning between us. Abashed, he accepted with his chubby cheeks evidently flushed in scarlet and ever since then, we were inseparable.
By some coincidences or others may claimed as fate, we were assigned as reading partners besides being impish playmates during our earlier years in the same kindergarten and were also enrolled in the same class at high school. Not only that, we shared a similar interest that was we were avid, voracious readers of the fantasy genre. After every book we read, we would exchange our views and even debate on our favourite fictional character which possesses the most desirable power or unique physical feature of all!
My life was never empty with Jay around till that black Thursday arrived. I could still remember vividly on how the sky was as sapphire blue as Jay’s eyes. Jay and I were having an evening stroll on the beach. The seaside scene was like an art forte’s painting. The mighty Sun was seen floating brilliantly above the emerald sea with its golden hue radiating all over its nature friends. Gentle wind caressed my face and ruffled my loose strands of hair. Meanwhile, Jay’s face was serene but his eyes, were indecipherable and as mysterious as ever. Lost in the moment of splendor, I felt peace within. Everything felt perfect for Jay and me.
Little did I know that our little forever could be severed by the short knife of a short life till a fight broke between us. I refused to recall the reason behind the excruciating fight. All I could remember was Jay’s insensitive words and callous act as he snatched my ‘Twilight’ novel fiercely from my hands and tore pages of it in fury.
“If I were given a chance to relive a day in the past, it’ll be the day I stole your precious ‘Cinderella’ book. I wish that I could just alter the past so that we weren’t friends, to have you erased from my whole sole existence,” he had snarled. His livid countenance was frightening. I remembered being petrified and rooted to the ground, only coming to my senses when a silhouette figure of him diminished into shadows. I ran after him as fast as my legs could support me while calling his name out loud.
Suddenly, a sharp yelp was heard from afar. My heart skipped a beat as I recognized the familiar’s voice. Jay’s voice. Apprehension attacked my mind as I raced to the direction of Jay’s voice. Adrenaline pulsed through my veins accompanied by the constant trembling of my body. But when I reached him, it was too late. My heart shattered into pieces as I saw him lying motionlessly opposite a wrecked car on the road side. His body was covered ghastly in pools of blood. Desperate and bereft due to the encounter, I collapsed next to him. I shook his body helplessly in hopes of bringing Jay back to life. But he could no longer be. He was dead.
If I had tolerated with him that day, that incident would not have occurred and marked a scar which burnt whenever I thought about him. The word ‘if’ was such a despicable monosyllable word because it signified one’s deep regret. When my mind drifted back to reality, I realized that my eyes were streaming with tears of anguish. Dark clouds of grotesque shapes began racing across the sky. They shielded all the glittering stars from view, except for the pair of luminous blue stars in the woods. Jay’s sapphire blue eyes……
“Jay!” I exclaimed and before I knew it, I was already running towards his figure in the woods. He was waving at me. Consumed by indescribable joy, I wrapped my arms around his neck. To feel his warmth even if this was all an illusion.
“Joanne, forgive me,” he whispered softly into my left ear. Then, rain came- first in big drops that were as sharp as splinters of ice, then, in pouring sheets. Jay was gone, but was he even there before?