Friday, April 15, 2011

Where is he?

I would never be able to accept the fact that Jonathan was gone. He was my best friend, in every way that mattered. It made no sense that he would take his own life. Not the least bit of sense.

The phone rang that morning and I saw his number on my caller ID.

"Whattup, son?" I shouted over my blender's rumble. "You on your way?" Smoothies at eight. That's what we had said.

"Kayla, it's me," her voice came through, interspersed with the noises around me. This was wrong. Something was wrong. I couldn't answer her. I wouldn't. "Kayla? It's Margaret."

"Where is he?" The line went quiet. "I'm waiting for him." More silence. "What happened?" I asked, as I slid to the floor of my compact kitchen, banging my knee as I went down. "Sonofa-" I stopped. I never spoke that way in front of his mother.

"Kayla, honey. Kayla, he's gone."


"Yes. I'm sorry. I wanted to... someone should have come to tell you."

"Wh-what do you mean ... gone?"

"I found him this morning. He - he - uh - he hurt himself, honey." A guttural scream. Was that me? Heavy sobs raked my chest.

"no. no. No. NO." I dropped the phone as I pulled myself up to the sink. I made it just in time. I splashed water on my face, embarrassed that J's mom had heard me retching. Then I laughed. Fuck it. He's gone. What the hell, gone? Seriously? "Sorry, Mrs. H. I - uh - I think - I have to go now." I hung up without saying anything else. Without asking about the service, what actually happened. I shut the lights in the kitchen, poured the now open blender into the sink. Turned the faucet on to wash it down. I would never make a smoothie again.

I curled into bed and never wanted to leave.

The days blended together, I don't remember much. The service. I went,
I guess. My parents took me. My mother taking the time to comb my hair, like a child. She slipped my emerald green dress over my head. I couldn't wear black. I wouldn't. He hated black. He wouldn't want me to ... what the hell. He wasn't going to be there, why did it matter? But it did. It mattered. It mattered to me.

"Kayla, you really need to get a grip." I glared at my brother from the couch. "It's been a week," he stated, calmly.
It felt longer. I don't know why. I guess when you don't move things seem to be moving more rapidly around you.
"Fine, whatever. Stay here forever. Stay here every single day for the rest of your days. Do what you want. But take a shower, for godssake, would you? You reek." I tossed a pillow at him, knocking over a half-full bowl of old cereal in the process.

"Great." I stood up to clean things, to try to. I bent down and backed myself into something. "What the hell? What the hell is this?" I waved a batch of
papers at my brother.

"Here, add to the piles. I brought you your mail." He tossed the batch at me, smirking as it scattered everywhere.

"Get out."


"Out. Now." He muttered mean things, but he left. Slamming the door behind him. "Men." I griped, to no one in particular.

I started picking up the stuff he threw at me. I probably should sort through the mail. Who knew what was in there. Fuck. This sucked. I grabbed a garbage bag and put it next to me on the couch.

Bills. Bills. Junk mail. I thought we took ourselves off that mailing list thing. Letter from Suzy telling me how sorry she was. What's that? I pulled out a postcard with a picture of a cat on a beach towel wearing sunglasses. A slight gasp escaped my lips. What? I turned it over. The handwriting was too familiar. Too real. Could it be? I shook my head and leaned in closer. What the hell?

I'm not dead. Meet me tonight at Guido's. Tell no one.

I burst into tears.


  1. Oh! That's good!

    I actually had an experience a little like that. The Mother of my "Little Brother" from the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program committed suicide on Sept. 7th. I got a letter from her on Sept. 9th which I saved for my Lil' Bro carefully (he was 11 at the time) until he was an adult and could treasure it for himself. On Sept. 11, 2001 the only break I took from the newscoverage all day was to take him to say goodbye to his Mom- he wanted me to be the one to hold his hand. No 11 year old should have to do that. Worst day of my life, bar none.
    (and I know that sounds like a story too but it's the sad truth). Needless to say, I related to this story.

  2. Oh, sneaky... you built in both prompts. Nice work.

  3. well done, Andrea!!!! I love it!

  4. Yeah, I also thought you were writing to the phone call prompt. Deftly done, my friend, deftly done.

  5. very nice! both prompts worked in and an ending that makes us wonder, with good writing to boot. very real.

  6. This was really good!! I could "feel" this piece, like I was in the kitchen with her and spatting with her brother.

    The only thing I did not like was the "men" comment. I don't think it is needed...

    other than that, awesome!

  7. I love the line about never making a smoothie again.

    Not dead! Now there was a twist I didn't expect!

  8. Awesome story! Crafty for sure!!
    I might have left this line out:
    "Not the least bit of sense"
    but, well done for sure!!!

  9. You snuck in both prompts! I'm jealous :)

  10. Loved it! Your writing flowed easily & everything seemed like it was really happening as I read it. Awesome how it ended, as well. Great job!

  11. You made my eyes wet too. And I swallowed my heart. Her pain is so poignant, so descriptive that I felt every lash of it. I felt the unwelcomeness of her brother daring to intrude on her misery. I felt the shock of the postcard. There are so many good lines in your story, I just can't pick one.

    Great job with this prompt!

    --The Drama Mama

  12. I was just a little lost in the beginning and had to wonder if you were too...not sure where you were going with it. Once you got to know your character, you hit it and it was great. I think it was after the service....then you were there and had me there with you.

  13. Oh, wow! SO much drama and emotion.
    Stopping by TRDC!

  14. I was confused at first, the way the beginning was laid out. You went from the present to the past too fast for my brain, I guess.

    The only thing that I just really couldn't 'buy' was the idea that the mother would call her son's best friend and just blurt out that he'd killed himself. I just felt like that sort of news would be best delivered in person rather than on the phone. But that just might be my hang up. You did an excellent job of describing her grief--more picture than words, and therefore more effective.

    It was very creative to use the two prompts!

  15. Yes, I love the detail about the smoothie.

  16. Hey girl! I loved this!!

    And I couldn't help but smile at the ending! Awesome!


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