Aly's Song22 Nov, 2011 10:12 AM
This story isn't solely about love. The following story is not about loss. It's not a tragedy or a romance. Rather, it's all of the above. I had done something terrible one day that had forced me to move out of my home. I moved in with my grandparents who had agreed to take me in. I didn't know the neighborhood, the school district, or anyone within twenty miles of me. I had never felt more alone in my life.
I started going to Grissom Middle School that August. My reputation as a fighter and a hothead had followed me up from my old school. My peers tantalized and antagonized me to the point where I would've given my legs to have a fully loaded gun. One day, while I was home, I decided to go for a walk. All of the hostility I faced at school didn't exist in my neighborhood, just at school. I was walking along the sidewalk, enjoying the beautiful late summer afternoon. I seen a Toyota coming down the road.
And a girl my age was standing in the road, oblivious to the impending fate.
Deciding that the girl didn't deserve to become an asphalt pancake, I grabbed her and pulled her off the road. She opened her mouth to protest, but she clamped it shut when the car sped past four seconds later. The girl looked at me, terrified. "I- I didn't see it..." She trailed off and looked down at the ground. "Thank you," she said in a small voice.
"No problem. I couldn't just stand there and watch you get splattered all over the road." At that she smiled. She then asked what my name was. I told her that I was Zechariah. "That's a biblical name," she pointed out, which surprised me; no one had noticed before. I smiled, then looked up as an airplane flew overhead.
"I'm Alexandria, in case you're wondering." Her words shot through my temporary bliss. "I love that name!" I exclaimed. "So, where do you live?" She pointed up at a block of apartments uphill in the complex. "Why, do you wanna walk me up there?" The question surprised me, and I nodded. She smiled, then we started walking and talking. I told her about how I had done something really bad and now I was in a school where I was being bullied around. "Don't take that! Go down to the office and let them know what's going on!" I nodded, although truthfully I never reported the bullies. I asked her about herself. Alexandria told me to please call her Aly, and then she told me. She was born in Wisconsin and had lived there for twelve years with her parents and her sister. Her parents had just both passed away though. Her sister, Renae, had decided to take care of herself and move to Minnesota. Aly's uncle Jonathan had decided to take her in. He stayed in South Bend when he took her and Allen in. He also found another orphaned girl by the name of Danielle. Together, they lived in an apartment.
As I was listening to her speak, I couldn't help but notice the fragility of her voice, as if her words were thin glass that might break if they were handled wrong. I studied her dark, satiny hair and her dark green eyes.She was beautiful, I realized with a shock, more beautiful than any other girl I had seen. Of course, I didn't tell her that.
When she was done, though, I didn't feel elated. I felt sad; this beautiful, fragile girl didn't deserve that much suffering. "That's terrible. I'm so sorry," I said. Aly looked over at me and said, "Don't be. You had nothing to do with it." "I was just-" "Zechariah, there's no need to say or be sorry if you're not guilty. It's pointless." I opened my mouth to argue, but dammit, she was right. We arrived at her house. I offered her to come over to my house any time, expecting her to say no. Instead, she lit up and squealed out the word "Yes!"
She came over a few times at first, showing up occasionally to watch music videos or play the odd game. Then, she came over about twice every day. I learned her likes, which consisted of the colors black and purple, rock and metal, and any food that could be microwaved or cooked in the oven pre-made. As time went by, any day that she wasn't around felt extremely unnatural. I longed for her company, I felt like I couldn't live without having her there with me. Her being home-schooled made it all worse.
I had met the people she lived with, and each of them was different. Her cousin Allen was a stereotypical jock type. He was a blonde haired, blue eyed, arrogant son of a b***h. Somehow, we got along. Danielle had light brown hair and deep blue eyes that looked as if they were contacts. She was flirtatious and she tended to be open about anything on her mind. Aly's uncle looked like no one else, with black hair and the same blue eyes as Danielle. And I had just been invited over for Thanksgiving dinner, which was odd, since I was sure none of them could cook.I went over, and we had massive conversations as Danielle and Jonathan cooked dinner. I learned a lot that night about politics, classic rock, and Leonardo Da Vinci, three topics which were highly unrelated. I spent a majority of the time talking to Aly. She was so kind, generous, and gorgeous. I didn't know what I'd ever do without her.
Dinner was served. I sat next to Aly (like I needed to tell you that). My senses were growing crazy. I knew what I wanted, and that was nothing more than to look into those beautiful eyes and tell her that I loved her. I figured if I told her, though, she'd be disgusted and push me away. We got our plates, and we said Grace. Then, we ate like a bunch of starved cows. When I sat upright and slowed my eating, I felt something slide into my hand. I thought I knew what it was, and when I looked down, I realized I was right. Aly had slipped her hand into mine. I was holding her hand. I was holding the hand of my love.
My love. I repeated the words in my head, over and over again. They implanted themselves in there. I had finally realized that I was in love with this girl. I looked over at her and mouthed the words to her; I didn't care what happened. To my astonishment, she mouthed four words back that I didn't expect.
"I love you too."
When dinner and dessert were finished, I asked Aly to come with me into the next room. She followed me with a grin on her face. Not because of us going into the next room, it was because of the joke Allen made; Aly was the only person who got it. We went into the next room, she stood there, and I looked into her gorgeous eyes as I told her what I had wanted to say for a month. (Yes, I talked with more articulation than most people my age)
"Alexandria Longley, when I met you, I thought you were very sincere and the most beautiful girl I have ever set my eyes on. Then, we became friends, I got to know you better, and that initial belief was proven true. Now, after more months, I decided that you are more. You're like an angel; I can find no fault with you as a person. And when you make a mistake, I remind myself that you're only human, no matter how perfect you usually are. I love you, Aly. I love you, forever and always."
She stood there in a frozen state, her expression blank. I knew she wasn't mad, but her reaction was rather freaky. I almost fell backwards when she broke herself free, lunging toward me and putting her arms around me.
Most guys think that the ultimate thrill with a girl is sex. They think that sex is so grand and amazing. For me, the ultimate thrill was that Thanksgiving evening, 2007, when I learned that love was possible. All she could say was that she loved me. I assured her that I loved her back. We could've been like that for seconds, minutes, hours, days, or millenia. I lost track of time;; it was a perfect moment that could last eternity without ever growing old.
We broke away eventually, then the next eternal moment continued. I had never kissed a girl before in my life, but that didn't matter to me. I put my arms back around her and kissed her full on her lips. She returned the kiss quickly; Aly had been expecting it, I realized with a little bit of embarrassment. When we broke apart from each other, all hell broke loose in my heart, like a fireworks display put on by a crazy person. We left the room together. Five minutes later, I was out the door.
The next month and a half was the greatest time of my life. Whether it was hand holding, kissing, hugging, or her just leaning on my shoulder, every second I spent with her was better than heaven. We would sometimes just lie their in silence, simply enjoying each other's presence on a given day. Time went past, and despite how young we both were, we felt like nothing else in the world mattered. We were no longer Zechariah and Aly, just one entity.
Aly came and knocked on my door on a rather cold day in late December. I hadn't expected her to walk in the conditions outside. Some snowflakes had clung to her black hair, making it sparkle like it was enchanted. Aly's beauty had captivated me enough times that I could pull off not being mesmerized. She looked sad, though, which was not normal; I had only ever seen her happy. I knew from her expression that something was catastrophically wrong.
"Zech." Her voice came in almost a whisper, which was different than her usual fragile glass voice. The way she said it instantly told me that a good bye was coming. I waited patiently for her to continue. "Uncle John is moving back up to Wisconsin, and after that, he's going on a road trip for an indefinite amount of time. I..." She looked like she was about to fall into pieces. "I came here to give you the Christmas present for next year and your birthday present for your 14th birthday." She gave a sad smile, and I saw instantly what I should have guessed; the only reason I had never seen her in a sad mood was because of me. I erased all of that pain that she felt, and now it was all going to show through. She burst into tears as she collapsed into my arms, where I had been waiting for this to happen. I told her it was going to be all right, despite the fact that I knew it was all over. She got over it after 45 minutes, wiped away her tears, and handed me a neatly wrapped package. I opened it, and what was inside astonished me. I had expected her to give me many things, but I had never expected to receive this particular item.
She had given me her diary and her journal, as well as her songbook. Her diary was a simple, black bound book; it essentially looked like a Bible cover without any lettering. It was her personal thoughts and feelings. Her journal was a composite notebook with sketches of whatever she wanted to draw. Aly's songbook was another composite notebook that contained lyrics for songs she loved to sing, such as Evanescence's My Immortal and Flyleaf's Cassie. Most of the notebook was taken up by songs and poems she had wrote, though.
I was wondering why I was receiving these books. She smiled again and said, "Well, they're filled; no more blank pages." I nodded, tears coming to my eyes. I fought them off and smiled. "So, you said something about a birthday present?" Aly smiled devilishly; she had only done that when she had something bad planned. She came over to me, stood face-to-face with me, and I kissed her. She returned it with all of the ferocity of a hurricane. When we finally departed, she smiled again, and stepped toward the bedroom. I won't even describe what went on in there except that it was my birthday present.
I seen her one last time, about a week later; she had come to say her last goodbye. She practically collapsed into my arms, tears in her eyes. We stood there, silently; there was no need for words, we knew what was about to transpire. When she slowly backed away, she smiled sadly and told me that she loved me no matter what. As she started to walk away, I made a decision. I had been wearing a silver cross with a single set diamond in it. In fact, I hadn't taken it off since I had moved with my grandparents. For the first time, I took it off, caught up with her, and tapped her on the shoulder. She turned around, obviously wondering what I was doing. Her uncle was calling her from the Nissan. I held it out in my hand and said softly, "Take this. It'll remind you that no matter where you are, a piece of me is always with you." Aly smiled, said nothing, and turned back around to get in the car. Tears welled up in my eyes; I couldn't hold it back. I stood there, on that snowy January day, tears streaming down my face. I fell to my knees in the snow, wishing it was all a dream.
Four months later, I was in a residential facility, trying to get the psychological help I needed. I lied on my questionnaire and said I had never had a girlfriend; to bring up Aly would've hurt far too much. I spent about six months in there. I was slowly changing in my personality; the hostility that I had purged from myself in South Bend had returned. I wanted to be left alone; I was broken, and I didn't want anyone telling me that I'm okay when I wasn't.
We got a mail call one day. I occasionally got mail from my grandma, but this time, it was different. I was told I had mail. I had been told that my probation officer wanted to write me to check up on me. I went over and picked up the envelope. I didn't check the address; I just opened the envelope, shook it out, and shook the letter before I went to my room to read it.
The handwriting was familiar. I recognized it immediately. I trembled, and tears of joy began to fill my eyes.
God, it's great to write you! I asked your grandpa where you were, and he said it was some place in central Indiana. I googled residential facilities in Indiana, and the one that stood out was the one I decided to write to. I don't know if you're reading this or not, but if you are, then here's what I want to say.
When we moved, I wasn't sure whether I would ever be able to hear from you again. I literally ate nothing for a week. Then my uncle told me I'd find another guy and I'd forget about you. I never could forget you. Never. I tried my hardest to find out where you were at, and now I've found you.
I want to keep this short, since right now I'm supposed to be cleaning the windows anyways. You're in my thoughts, my prayers, and I love you, forever and always.
Always Faithfully Yours,
We spent time writing back and forth after that. My houseparent made me throw away the collection of letters, though. She said that I didn't need all of those papers lying around; she didn't know what they were. I was fine though; I still had her journal, diary, and songbook, and that was enough for me.
Eventually, I passed my treatment, and the residential services wanted to return me home. This caused a problem for me, because there was a danger that I'd never talk to Aly again. My last letter to her told her that I was going home with my parents. I also gave her my address. I never got a letter back. I started to fall apart on the inside.
After several months back at home, I found Allen, Aly's cousin, on Facebook, and I began talking to him occasionally. Eventually, I got a friend request. I checked it. The profile name caused my heart to stop.
Alexandria Michelle Longley.
I accepted immediately, and that started s talking again. It was almost as if nothing had changed; we were talking like two lovers, even when I was dating other girls. Aly and I loved each other; we accepted that as final. Her profile picture was her at the age of 15; she had done nothing but grow more beautiful. There we were, at the age of 17, talking like we were going to be together forever.
Then she disappeared.
She, her uncle, Allen, and Danielle were in New Mexico at the time. I was checking my Facebook early that morning, and I had a message from Allen. "Aly ran away early this morning. She left a note behind, saying that she loved us but she wanted to go and be with you. We're going to look for her now."
I let my friend Will know; he loved her too, in a different way, and had dated her once. We talked back and forth, discussing where she could possibly be. On April 30, 2011, Allen found her diamond cross necklace that I gave her; it was lying in the sand. My fears heightened to astronomical levels. I was afraid that I'd get worse news the next day.
And I did.
They had found her on the railroad tracks. Her leg was mangled up, and it seemed like that was what killed her at first. But only her leg showed any damage; it had been run over, and she had lost blood. She had lost blood trying to come back to me. She had a note on her.
"Any day could be my last
Any time could become the past
But through every high and low
I have to say, I love you so"
She had recently died. Her uncle John had buried her in the sands. There was no need to report it, since it would have looked suspicious. John then put the cross necklace around a cross marking her grave. She had died on May 1, 2011.
Since then, I have wanted nothing more than to join her in death. Maybe someday I will. I can't live a long life without her; she is my love, even after death, and I am forever hers.
I found a blank page in her songbook. This shocked me; I thought it was full. On this page, I wrote a poem, titled "Aly's Song"
"Two young kids with nothing else
One is left as his whole life melts
Into oblivion his soul has shattered
His own free will, on the ground, tattered
He gave her all he had and more
And he loved her down to his core
Over the years they became one
And now nothing's left, she is gone
He hears her voice every night he dreams
And when he's awake his agony teems
Two young people, both in love
Now one only resides above
And as the boy has broke to pieces
His own life, now it ceases
The pain too much to bear
Has now caused him not to care
And if I die before I wake
I promise Aly, all of me to take"