Three Couples, Six People, Many Songs(#20)
Song #20 - Time of Your Life, by Green Day
He walked over to her and hugged her tightly. For a while, Misty found herself unsure of what exactly to do, but then slowly, she relaxed. She wrapped her arms around him, and resting her head on his chest, she wondered how they could have made it without each other... when they broke the hug, an awkward silence filled the tree house. An awkward silence that turned into one of friendship and understanding as they sat at the entrance to the tree house, their legs dangling over the edge, and their eyes watching the lake, ever so often stealing a glance at the other.
Forgotten were Misty's thoughts of trying to either get rid of her crush or turn it into a relationship. This felt right, and while she still felt a need deep down to do something about it, she was fine just waiting. Just hanging by a moment.
"Misty, please don't leave me..." Brock sat by her side, one of his hands holding hers, and the other gently stroking her cheek.
"I can't do anything about it," She smiled. It was the eerily calm smile of someone who had finally accepted their coming death.
"Shhh." She squeezed his hand. It was a pitiful squeeze, for during her illness she had slowly withered down into the weak body that lay before Brock. But she still had presence. You could feel her the moment you walked into the room.
Misty scooted closer to Brock and laid her head on his shoulder. "So do I need to ask if you love me back?"
"No, but I'll answer anyway. I love you, Misty."
She smiled, and then closed her eyes as Brock wrapped one arm around her waist. She opened her eyes and looked at him again, noting the content smile on his face. She looked at the lake once more, fixing the image of this scene in her mind, burning it over the image of the prom night. Then she closed her eyes again, reveling in the warmth of Brock's body, in the scent of his cologne and after-shave, in the moment. She didn't have to dream about being with him anymore, she had the real him. Now she could dream [b]with[/b] him.
Misty sighed. A part of her still wanted to fight death, wanted to hold on as long as possible. For Brock. For Ash. For her sisters. For everyone... But she knew she could only hold on for so long. She was going to have to let go eventually.
"It's not the end, Brock," She said, looking up at his brown eyes. "We'll meet again. I'll be waiting for you."
The lost and helpless look on Brock's face made her want to hold on to live even more. What would he do without her...? He needed her. She reached up with her free, thin arm, and placed her hand on his cheek. "I love you, and I always will. Thank you for loving me, Brock."
Brock picked up Misty and spun her around, and then, dizzy, he both collapsed onto the ground with her in his arms.
"Brock! What on earth are you doing?" She giggled as he tickled her lightly.
"Just being high on life and love!" He looked around. "The room's spinning..." He blinked.
Misty laughed, then hugged him tightly. "I love you."
He kissed her softly. "I love you too." He stood up quickly, still holding her in his arms. "Close your eyes."
"Oh, alright." She wrapped her arms around his neck and closer her eyes.
Grinning, he carried her up the stairs to the room that they had never really used. It was the second bedroom, but they rarely had guests and it had become a sort of storage room. "Open them."
She did, and a look of pure joy crossed her face. "My paintings! And...you made a collage of pictures of us?"
He nodded, setting her down. "I thought, well... I had some free time when you were off getting treated, so I worked on this."
She walked around, amazed that Brock had manage to put together something that beautiful. He had never been the best of artists... But this, this was amazing. Her paintings were framed, and hung far enough apart to make room for pictures. Hundreds of pictures... It was a memory room. She walked up to Brock and hugged him tightly.
Brock leaned in and kissed Misty gently. She wiped away his tears, and then lightly ruffled his hair. "We made a great team, didn't we?"
He nodded, afraid to speak for he knew his voice would break.
"I wrote you a letter, it's on the table." Her smile had not faded yet. "We had fun together, right? I hoped we would."
"I love you," Brock finally said, his voice hoarse from his crying.
"I love you too. Always remember. We had the time of our lives."
"Yes, we did." He kissed her on her forehead, and brushed her hair out of her face. Miraculously, her smile brightened, and somehow, he managed to find it in him to truly smile back.
"Goodbye," she closed her eyes, and an hour later, with Brock still sitting by her, she died in her sleep.
"She had always wanted to die in her sleep..." Was all Brock said when the nurses came in again.
Ash's hair was neatly combed and slicked back for once, and he wore a nice black suit that he obviously had not picked out on his own. A blood red handkerchief stuck out of his pocket, and he was hoping that he would not need it. Maybe this time around, he would not cry as he read his speech.
Nervously, Ash stepped up to where the priest had been, right in front of the coffin. He looked around at everyone, at the somber faces, then decided that maybe if he focused on the paper his speech was written on, he would be less tempted to shed tears. "Misty was a burst of light in all our lives," he started off, glancing at Brock, at Lily, Violet and Daisy. "Just like a fire, she provided us with warmth, her love. And just like a fire, she burnt us every now and then."
He paused, taking a moment to calm his nerves. "I'm not good at speeches, so this will be short. I'm only speaking because even though she was dying, Misty never lost her spirit, and she could still invoke the fear of her wrath in you if she wanted you to do something. She told that... She didn't want her funeral to be sad. She wanted us not to mourn her, but to remember her."
He stopped again, biting his lower lip. "There was this one time, when we were still in high school, that she painted this picture of a phoenix. She said... She said that when she wanted to be a phoenix. Maybe not be re-born, but when she died, she wanted to live on in the minds of all those that had met her. And then she kicked me, and said that if I ever forgot her, she would come back from the grave and make my life a living hell." A ghost of a smile crept onto his mouth at that memory. "She was a hell of a friend, and I'm going to miss her." There was more to the speech, but Ash just didn't feel like he could go on. So he looked at everyone once again, then at her casket, and returned to where he had been standing.
Brock took Ash's place, and tears were visible in his eyes. "Before we lower the casket, Misty... Misty wanted me to say this." He pulled a piece of paper out from his pocket, but he didn't have to look at it to remember the words. "Sometimes the best reason to get out of bed in the morning is knowing that someday you will not have to get out of bed in the morning."
The rest of the funeral was a blur for Brock. Between barely being able to see because of the tears in his eyes, and wanting to break down and cry, he was unable to fully catalog the events in his mind as a memory. He didn't know if he wanted to anyway...
----------------------- Two Months Later -----------------------
Brock looked at the letter that Misty had written him. Although he knew she had wanted him to read it, he had never gotten around to it. He always found himself crying when he picked it up.
But this time, he was smiling. It was a sad smile, but a smile nonetheless.
Dear Brock, Fess up. How long has it been since I gave you this? A few days? A few weeks? A few months? A few years? Ah well, at least you're reading it.
I really don't have much to say that I probably haven't said already, except, live for me. I can wait for a hundred years if that's how long you live, so long as you're having a good time. You're a wonderful man, Brock. And I couldn't have asked for a better friend, and a better husband.
Look after Ash for me. But firstly, look after yourself.
She never had been one for writing long, sappy letters.
Brock folded the piece of paper and placed it back in its envelope. For a moment, he felt like he was going to cry again, but no. That wasn't what Misty wanted him to do.
He stood up, and set the letter down on the bed. He found his jean jacket then put it on, and then hunted for his shoes. Dressed and ready to go, he made his way down the stairs and out of the house.
Hands in his pockets, he walked along the sidewalk, letting his feet take him wherever. He didn't really care so long as he ended up somewhere. Instead of feeling jealous of the couples and families that he saw along the way, he decided that he should feel happy that they too were having the time of their lives. He certainly had while he could.
Back to the library