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.
"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.