Now He’s Gone

The world felt like it had stopped every time I’d look into his icy blue eyes, I’d look so deep that I wouldn’t even see eyes any more, but a calm, still, tropical ocean. Things were different now. Sebastian was gone.

I remember the day like it was yesterday, or maybe it was yesterday, I don’t keep track of time any more I don’t see the point.

We had just had the most beautiful day at the beach everything seemed so tranquil. That night when I got back to my room, my cheeks were aching from smiling, but I couldn’t seem to shift my smile. Until suddenly the call I never expected to have to answer came. It shattered my soul, I was pretty sure my heart had just imploded, I was paralysed with sadness. The muscles in my fingers shut down as the phone fell to the ground. He was dead.

Now I have no one. Sebastian was the only person I had ever opened up to, the only person I could speak to without being in fear of being judged. I loved him and now he is gone.

I knew I was going to be the topic of the whispers that travelled the school corridors on Monday. Anger boiled inside of me at the thought of it, how could people talk about me when there was a poor boy robbed of his life because of a selfish, drunken idiot. 

I was right, as I walked in on Monday the whispers spread like wildfire. The sense of fake sympathy made me want to gag. The people in this school had never cared about me before, why now.

As I walked home that night I couldn’t bear to go back to my over-sympathetic parents who were just waiting to ask me how I was, didn’t they realise, I didn’t want to talk. As I wondered the streets I saw a group of guys spray painting the memory wall with the words, ‘RIP Sebastian’. I couldn’t believe it, those guys had scarcely acknowledged Sebastian, never mind speak to him! The rage was burning through my soul, it started to take control of my body. Suddenly I was running, my heart was pumping so hard I could have sworn it was going to escape my body, but I didn’t stop. I grabbed the tallest of the guys by the arm and ripped the can out of his hand, ‘how dare you!’ I yelled ‘Sebastian hated graffiti and everything about this wall!’ I was now screaming so loud my throat hurt, ‘You didn’t even know him!’

My vision became foggy as my eyes filled with tears. I tried to fight them back, but it hurt so bad that I feared if I held it in any longer my body would shut down.

It was getting dark now and I didn’t know where to go, I needed a safe haven. Then I remembered the cove Sebastian had shown me last year.

I made my way there slowly, as my vision was still distorted from the tears that were still gushing out of my eyes. On arrival I perched myself on the flat rock I sat on during that long, hot day last July. Tonight was beautiful, Sebastian would have loved it. As I looked out at the full moon reflecting over the clear ocean waters I imagined him sitting beside me with his easel and paints. Painting the most beautiful moonlight landscape. Every time I complemented a piece of his art he always said, ‘I’m just the interpreter, God is the real artist.’

As I reminisced a sudden calmness ran through my body as I realised Sebastian was now with the ultimate artist in heaven. 

Life became easier after I discovered my safe haven, it was the only place I felt calm. Talking about Sebastian’s death was still non-existent and would be for a long, long time, or so I thought.

Usually the calmness of the ocean erased the busy thoughts from my mind, but somehow tonight was different. As I sat on the rock a sense of uneasiness washed over me, I could have sworn someone else was there. ‘Don’t be stupid Catherine’, I muttered to myself, ‘this is your place and only your place’. But I was wrong.

‘Who you talking to’, came a voice from behind, I couldn’t have been more startled. I don’t like people scaring me. I had no idea who he was but I didn’t want him in my place. ‘What are you doing here?’ I roared.

His face corresponded a person who had just seen a ghost. He stuttered and finally, remembering how to speak again, said, ‘I’m sorry, I didn’t realise this space was occupied, I’m just looking for some shelter.’

A wave of sympathy for the mysterious boy crashed over me. ‘I’m Catherine’, I said shyly, ‘sorry for my outburst, I was just startled.’ The boy laughed nervously and whispered, ‘I’m Noah, and I can find somewhere else to stay if you want’. ‘No’, I yelled a little too enthusiastically, ‘here sit beside me, I could use some company anyway.’

Noah and I spent most of the night laughing and crying. He explained that his recent homelessness was a result of a drunken dad and a dead mum. As we talked I realised that we had both gone through a lot of crap recently, but the one thing I had that Noah didn’t was family.

Days and months past, finally I could speak to someone about Sebastian without feeling judged. One night as Noah and I sat under the full moon he burst into tears. I recognised these tears, they were tears of guilt.

As Noah came round he explained through the occasional sniff that his Dad had gone for his usual visit to ‘The Guard’, but unusually didn’t return. The worst circumstance came straight to mind, ‘had he died?’ Noah continued explaining that the next morning they found him in the local police station charged with drunk driving. I thought by now Noah had pulled himself together, but unexpectedly he started to cry again, ‘his drunk driving…’ he sobbed, ‘lead to the death…. the death of a teenage boy.’

Suddenly my heart dropped, Noah’s dad had killed Sebastian. I didn’t know how I felt, I wasn’t angry at Noah, I wasn’t even annoyed at his dad who had killed my perfect boy. The sadness overwhelmed me, how could such a trusting, innocent boy be the son of a murderer, it didn’t make sense. Life no longer made sense.

I knew I still loved Noah, but I also still loved Sebastian. Would he understand? That I needed someone to love me and to be physically there to hold me in there arms. Right in this moment, with Noah’s arms around me I could have sworn we were infinite, nothing could stop us. I knew from then on Noah and I were going to leave are troubled pasts behind, but our loved ones would always be in our hearts.

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