"Are you serious?" Nevie stared at the woman in front of her, disbelief flowing through her. "Where were you when I actually needed you? You think you can come back now and act like everything’s alright? Everything is not alright."
Colby shuffled awkwardly, shifting his weight from one foot to the other. "Uhm, I should probably get going." Nevie turned to him and nodded. "I’ll see you later." He muttered, waving slightly at Nevie’s mom, before turning and hurrying out the front door.
Nevie faced her mom with a frown. "Happy? You’ve probably scared off one of my only friends I’ve made."
"Sweetie, you don’t understand-"
"Don’t, ‘sweetie’ me, mom. I understand perfectly. You and dad ran off to avoid dealing with the aftermath of Jonah’s suicide. What I don’t understand is how you could leave me behind, all alone, in this house. I don’t understand how you both expected me to be okay."
Katherine sat down on one of the kitchen stools by the bar counter and sighed. "We didn’t mean to hurt you, Nevie. I wasn’t thinking clearly."
"Do you realize how horrible that was for me? Do you know how many nights I cried myself to sleep because of the guilt I felt? Do you really think you and dad can come back and start acting like parents again, and that I’ll just run into your arms so you can pretend everything’s going to be okay? Because that is not going to happen. Where is dad anyway?"
Katherine stared at her daughter for a moment before answering. "Nevie, your father and I are getting a divorce. It’s nearly finalized."
Nevie met her mother’s unwavering gaze with emotionless eyes. "Why does that not surprise me? Is he coming back at all or is it just going to be you and I here alone now? Are you even going to stay or did you just come to break the news to me before leaving again, because you could have done that over the phone!"
"Nevie, you need to give me a chance to talk, to explain."
"Fine. You want to talk, go ahead. Talk. Tell me all about how sorry you are for leaving me alone, how you wish you’d thought it through more, how you were selfish and only thinking of yourself when you left. Tell me that you’re going to actually be here for me now. Maybe I’ll actually believe it. Until you leave me again once this gets too difficult for you."
"It’s not going to be like that this time."
"So you say. How am I supposed to believe you? That’s all you’ve ever done. For as long as I can remember. Once this gets too hard for you, you leave. That’s just what do you do."
"Nevaeh, I know I haven’t ever been the mother that I should be, and I’m sorry. You’re right. I was selfish. I wasn’t thinking about you when Jonah died. I left because I couldn’t handle it."
"That’s just it mom. That’s what’s wrong. You weren’t supposed to leave. You were supposed to handle it. You were supposed to comfort me, make me feel like everything would be okay. You’re my mom. You’re supposed to handle things for me! But you didn’t. You left me."
Katherine took a small step towards her daughter. "Darling, please try to understand. I know I was wrong before, but I’m going to be better, I’m going to stay here with you, to help you, to be everything I never was."
Nevie scoffed and turned away, facing the kitchen wall. "It’s a little too late for that, mom." She sneered the last word. "You’d have better luck running off with some new man and starting a new family. It’s obviously too late for ours."
The words were out before she knew it and she could see the effect they had on her mother. Katherine hunched forward and brought her hand up to her face, and her shoulders shook a bit as she began to cry. Nevie stared at her for barely a minute before shaking her head and leaving the room. She shoved her hands into her pockets with her mind whirling over the conversation she’d just had.
How could Katherine just show up like that, out of the blue, with no real explanation? Nevie held back her angry tears as she stomped up the stairs. This wasn’t supposed to happen. None of it was supposed to happen. Her thoughts whirled to just a few hours before, when she’d been spilling everything to Colby. Her heart ached as the familiar vulnerable feeling washed over her and when she thought of the kiss, her stomach swirled anxiously. Was that kiss supposed to mean something? Or was it just out of the vulnerability of the situation. They’d both been so open, maybe it was just in the moment.
With her emotions jumping around, she didn’t realize which door she opened until she was staring at his wall. He had a few movie posters taped up but for the most part it was bare. His bed was still unmade, an old faded quilt lay bunched up at the foot of the bed. A shelf unit was shoved up against the other wall, full of movies, books and other random stuff. On the bottom shelf sat his old small safe. The door on it was slightly open and Nevie sat down on the floor before cautiously opening the door fully. There wasn’t much in it, a small bag of weed, an envelope full of money and a piece of paper. She picked up the piece of paper, instantly recognizing his messy writing.
If you’re reading this then I jumped. I know you won’t have understood and I’m sorry. I don’t want to tell you why. Just know you couldn’t have stopped me. There was so much going on that I couldn’t tell you. I just couldn’t handle it. I know that makes me selfish and weak, and I’m so so sorry that I couldn’t stay here for you. I love you Nevie. You need to know that you are what kept me here so long. Without you I would’ve killed myself so much sooner. Don’t let me ending my life keep you from continuing yours. You deserve to be happy.
I don’t know what I believe about what happens after death, but maybe one day we’ll see each other again. I’ll be looking out for you, in my ghostlikeness. I love you so much, Nevaeh. Mom and dad definitely chose right in naming you. Nevaeh, heaven… You’re amazing Nevie. Don’t ever let anyone tell you anything different. And never feel guilty for living happily. I want you to laugh, to live. Again, I’m sorry. I love you little sis.
P.S: "I don’t know if you’ll want to, but I want you to have the money that I’ve left."
There were a few spots where the words were blurry and she realized that the page was tearstained. "He cried." She muttered, as her own tears splashed onto the page. "Jonah I miss you." She re-read the last sentence and then looked at the money in the safe. She shook her head and then shut the safe door and hearing it click shut, knowing it would never be re-opened, gave her a sense of closure. She stood up, cast one last glance around the room and then left, with the note in her hand, shutting the door quietly behind her.
Half an hour later, she found herself at the gate of the cemetery with a sealed envelope clutched in her hand. With one deep breath, she pushed herself forward, past the gate, past the rows of cold stones until she reached the row she knew his was in. She’d memorized his plot number, for the one day she’d be ready, and now, ready or not, she was there.
The headstone wasn’t anything spectacular, just a flat block of gray laying on the ground. ‘Jonah William Mills. Loved by all.’ She silently read the stone and frowned. "Really? That’s all they put?" As if on cue, it started to rain, soft little drops mingling with her tears.
She’d scribbled the letter quickly, a response to his own. It seemed wrong to say anything now, so she set the letter down beside a few withered flowers. Her hair was beginning to stick to her face as the rain got harder. She sat there silently, letting the last of her tears flow with the rain.
The rain started to let up a while later and she stood up. It was like a weight had been lifted off her chest. Somehow, she just felt better. Whether it was the crying, the note, or just visiting his grave, she wasn’t sure but she felt better and she liked it.
Honey - I know, it’s just the way the storyline had to go. Jonah didn’t have the courage to continue. Thanks, I hope you enjoyed the chapter.
Julie - Awh! Haha I cried while writing it. Thank you so much. I’m glad you finally got around to reading it, loser, lol just kidding. I only named her Julia because that name just seemed to fit perfectly. I don’t want you to burn. Thank you!!
Carly J - Awwh! Haha I cried while writing it, and I’m pretty sure my mom thinks I’m crazy too hahaha. Thank you so much!! Haha they finally figured out that they had feelings for each other. I hope you liked this chapter too. Thanks so much for commenting! It really makes my day when I get feedback from you!!
Cat - Awh! I’m sorry I made you cry, but I am happy that it was emotional enough! Thank you so much!! I love hearing from you guys!!
Anne - Thank you so much!!
So this chapter's a bit short, but I've been working like crazy. I just got a job as a hotel desk clerk/maid and I worked every single day this week, like 7 hours a day. I barely had time for anything, especially writing. So here's the chapter, I hope you guys enjoy it and please comment!! I'll try my hardest to post soon but with work the way it is, I don't know when that will be. I love you although!!
Painting My Heart - Chapter NineGuess who's back.
By Em Bishop