The day everything went wrong.
The day that the walls went up and locked me in this room.
The day that made the rest of my life collapsed.
Everything was perfect before that.
I had an amazing family. I had friends who I trusted and understood me. I was in love. I had a whole future ahead of me that was bright and full of hope.
It all fell apart when Abagail died.
She was walking home after a party with me and some of our friends. Snow was falling hard, and the roads where already slick with ice. She was slightly drunk, enough that she couldn’t drive, but was still able to stand up straight and walk back to her apartment. Then a car came out of no where, unable to see because of the snow and slipping on the wet slush. Before the driver or her could do anything, it hit her.
The police and paramedics say she died instantly, probably only feeling pian for a fraction of a second, but they didn’t say anything about the pain it would cause me.
I got the call while I was still at the party. It was one of those moments that seemed to last forever. I was stuck in time, unable to move, think, or feel. I barely heard what the person had said, but I knew something was wrong. I rushed to the scene of the accident and they told me the whole story.
They tried to reassure me that it was instant and mostly painless for Abagail, like it some how made a difference. Like it made up for the fact that the person who I cared about most in the world had died. Like it all meant that it wasn’t my fault that she died because I had let her walk home instead of driving her.
The walls went up with each passing minute with out her. With every mistake I could think of that lead her to leave the earth. By the time I had finally gotten home, the roof had already been formed and I couldn’t see any doors anywhere.
I’ve been stuck ever since.
On January 7th Molly stop by for the first time since the funeral. Molly was one of my best friends, though we weren’t as close as me and Abagail. She had short, copper coloured hair that she always wore with a black headband and was wearing a sparkly sweater with jeans.
“Hey, Oliva. How’s a going? I brought cookies.” Molly smiled while holding up the bag.
I looked up from my seat on the couch. I hadn’t left the house or seen many people since that day, except for a few short walks to the grocery store. Every time I left, I could feel everyone watching me, whispering about how I was the girl whose friend died in a car accident, like they knew how I felt.
Molly took off her scarf and sat down next me. We sat in silence, neither of us knowing how to fill the gap that Abagail always took care of with her loud, bubbly voice.
“Ummm . . . You want a cookie?” Molly eventually asked.
“Sure.” I took a peppermint cookie out of the bag. Abagail’s favourite. We ate in silence and I knew I should have tried to make conversation, but I was still stuck in the room that kept me from trying or doing anything.
Molly finally set down her cookie and said “Olivia, we need to talk. Everyone is really worried about you. We haven’t heard or seen from you in months and from what Jackson tells us you’re not doing so great.” She looked at me, as if trying to figure out what was wrong from the outside. “So, I came over, in case you needed to talk. Like Abagail would’ve done.” She gentle put her hand on top of mine.
I stared blankly at our hands, unable to make sense of all the thoughts and noises that were filling the room, making it smaller and smaller.
Like Abagail would’ve done.
She said it so calmly, like those words didn’t contain the worst pain or hurt. I know Abagail would’ve wanted me and Molly to grow close, to move forward together, and get over her death, but I couldn’t. No matter how nice or amazing Molly was, she could never replace Abagail. I wouldn’t let her.
Molly look taken aback. “What?”
Molly’s smile was sad as she said, “I know it’s hard, Olivia. Me and Abagail where good friends, too.” She gentle took my hand. “I know how you’re feeling.”
I studied her, trying to see if she meant what she was saying. Her face showed remorse, but her eyes looked like someone who’s moved on, like Abagail’s death was a fact of life from the pass. How could she know how I felt? How could she know what it was like being trapped in that room? She couldn’t have any idea how it feels like to lose the one person who understood you and got who you are on the inside.
“No, you don’t.” I pulled my hand a way and stood up.
“Why are you pushing me away? We should be helping each other move on. Abagail would’ve wanted it.”
“How could you know what Abagail would want? You seem to have already moved on like nothing ever happened.” I snapped.
Molly stood up. “Olivia, I tried to help you. I can see that you’re dwelling and not moving forward like you should be. I know how much Abagail meant to you, but you need to start moving on. Call me when you’re ready to talk.” She grabbed her scarf and walked out the door, leaving the cookies on the coffee table.
I wish I could walk out as easily as she could.
Jackson, my boyfriend, the love of my life only second to Abagail, and the person I thought was the one, tried to be there for me while I was going through this, but he couldn’t stop the pain and break into the room. He tried to understand, tried to be patient, but like Molly, he couldn’t take it anymore.
It was April 26th when Jackson realised, he couldn’t do anything and had to cut his losses. I still remember the moment he was about to leave saying, “Olivia, I can’t keep doing this. You need to start moving on. I know its hard, but Abagail’s gone. You can’t change that. Until you see that, I can’t stay. Goodbye.” And they way he looked back at me one last time.
I wanted to scream that I would try if he only stayed, but the walls blocked the sounds, leaving me alone, my yells echoing around the room.
I know he’s moved on from his Facebook page. A smiling, dark haired girl is always with him in selfies, kissing him on his cheek. I bet she isn’t broken like I am. I bet she hasn’t felt like her world was destroyed before. I bet she isn’t stuck in a room in her head, with no doors or windows, where nobody can hear her cries for help.
I spent the rest of spring and most of summer staying in that room, trying to break out, but failing over and over again. I lost touch with my friends and Molly didn’t stop by again. I wanted to call her, tell her that I was sorry and talk to her about good times with Abagail. Like when we went camping or on her nineteenth birthday how we all went drinking to celebrate and how she ended up making out with the bartender. But I couldn’t. The walls were too thick, too hard to break through, now that Jackson had left.
My family, my wonderful, amazing family, were the only ones who still called me or tried to make sure I was ok. My mom called everyday to see how I was doing. I admit it was nice to hear her voice, something different than my own thoughts.
“Hi, honey, how are you doing?” she would ask. I knew she tried not to sound worried when she talked to me, but I could still hear it in her tone.
I wasn’t sure, but I couldn’t tell her that.
“Yes, Mom. I’m sure. You don’t have to worry about me so much.”
“I’m your mother, it’s my job to worry.”
I tried to smile, but I couldn’t bring myself to. I hadn’t smiled since the party in November.
My mom paused before saying, “You know, me and your father where talking and we think, after everything that’s happened lately, that you should fly out here for the last bit of summer. Take a break from all the city life and let me take care of you.” She tried to sound happy, but I could still hear the worry plea of her words. “We would fly out there, but you know I have that ear thing and your father won’t leave me alone with in case I fall or something.”
“No, it’s fine, Mom. I can’t leave anyway because of work. We’ve been really busy lately and I need to make sure everything is going smoothly.” That was a lie. I hadn’t gone to work in months and had been ignoring all their calls and emails. I’m pretty sure I got fired in March.
I didn’t know what to say now.
“Sorry, Mom, I have to go now. I love you.”
“I love you, too. Bye, bye.”
“Bye.” I hung up and set the phone down on the table. I hated lying to my mom, but she shouldn’t have to worry about me. I also couldn’t stand being around my happy family when I was stuck in that room, that dark depressing room.
After that call I stopped picking up the phone. If my mom called I would just text her a quick, “I’m fine. Can’t talk now. Busy with work” to make sure she didn’t worry to much. If any other friend, family member, or work-related person called, I would just turn my phone on silent mode.
The days all morphed together as summer turned to autumn and I was still trapped into that room. The walls seemed to grow thicker and push in, making the room smaller, shrinking my mind with it. I began to have horrible head aches and would just stay in bed for hours. Everyday was a battle, one that I came closer to losing every time the sun rose.
It’s been a year now.
A year since November 15th.
A year since that day that forced me into this room in my mind.
A year since the person who cared and understood me the most died.
A year since every mistake I made had started to destroy my once happy world.
I couldn’t take it anymore. I looked at the gun on my coffee table. I needed to get out of there. I needed to see Abagail again. I needed to talk to her and feel loved once more.
I grabbed the gun and held it up.
Time to break free.