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Santa Lucia

Summary

A boy, a girl, and a telephone. What could go wrong? 

There once was a girl

With a name like Lucia, one would think she would be a bright ray of sunshine. With a smile as big as hers, who wouldn't? If only the smile were genuine, maybe then she would agree with what the world has to say about her. Maybe then she could answer some of its questions.

     For some reason, she would always end up being the talk of the town. How she gets her caring attitude from her mother or how she could hold her head up high because of her father. The only reason she was able to keep perfectly clear olive skin or always have untangled hair because of her graceful sister who taught her her ways. That was all she had left of them. Their lessons, their memories. That was all the small town talk was about: how they left her. 
     
       They would never say that to her face. They would never say anything to her face anymore. She's gone, too; in her place is this new girl. One that no one's ever heard of. And in the midst of twin tragedy, said new girl was not fit to be the topic of the small town talk. At least not at the moment. She had on a façade of happiness that no one knew about but her. They all believed this new girl was coping and once again becoming happy. Perhaps when this all blows over they'd pay attention to her, but for now she was nothing, nobody, not deemed worthy of their time. 

      But there was that one person who deemed her worthy of her own talk. The one person who deemed her worthy of her insults and sneers. The one who just how to go the whole nine yards in making someone's life miserable as if it wasn't already. They're afraid, she would tell herself. They're afraid to get caught by me. I do have a certain height advantage over them. It makes me intimidating, she would think, but if there is so much fear in their lives, she would think, then from where would they get the courage to taunt her. There wasn't much she knew, but that on their bright days they would pay special attention to her.

         It was all because of this that there would always be floods, but the floods were secret. No one knew about them, but Lucia. It would always rain despite the blue skies, and the sun never came out even on the hottest of days. Yet, somehow, she had deceived everyone to think otherwise. She had never spoken to anyone of the real weather and all the secret floods that take place. She did not want to make anyone suffer. It always seemed that she would carry the burden herself.          

        However, through all the floods and all the bad weather, Lucia decided she would be strong. She was in a war. One that would never truly end and that many had endured. It would get so bad some would come out with battle scars. It was a stupid thing, Lucia would think. Why have battle scars if all they do was remind you of the bad times?

       There were many battles and she would try to fight, but she never had the courage. Instead, she let the battle go on. She let them release her wrath upon her and try to destroy her. She, however, would build herself up again only to have them bring her down with the names.

       It seemed as if there was never a word anyone could pin point to describe her. If chosen to describe anyone else, then a word would immediately pop into their head. Words like beautiful, smart, coward, and more would be used, but there was never one for Lucia. There is a word, everyone would think. It was always on the tip of their nose, but the best they could come up with was that Lucia was quite simply just Lucia.

That should be enough.

Why isn't that enough?

Her name was Lucia

Some people are just born to take all the hate in the world. That way those meant to live happy lives don't have to get the worse end of the world. They can go around being happy and thinking that the world is a good place when in reality there are those of us standing nearby shielding from the realities of this world and making sure that we suck the bad from their lives and transfer it to ours. 

There is nothing else that I've ever believed in. And although this situation is stupid and crabby, trying not to cuss here, it's what need to happen. And I'm okay with that. 

The thing is not the whole world knows about this fact only those who take in the bad like me. Honestly, I'm okay with the whole ordeal, I guess, but it would be nice to have at least one thing go my way. It doesn't have to be every once and a while and it doesn't have to be consistent it happen multiple times. I just want one thing, even if it's literally only one thing for the rest of my life, to go my way. One little drop of happiness. That's all I'm asking for, but if course as we established I'm Vadlucker, the person who takes in all the bad, not a Japygor, those who only see the happy and good. 

Those aren't the best names for the terms, but there all I could come up with. I'm not that creative. I'm not that much of anything. I've never been extremely gifted or talented at all. Some people can write, sing, act, dance, or paint. Others can produce these albums and movies and tv shows that everyone loved. Other people can debate and come up with new formulas and inventions or take an interest in studying the past and making something out of whatever it is they find. 

Me? Well as far as I'm concerned I can breath and I still have a hard time doing that at times, specifically when I run. 

I'm nothing. I was born nothing. I am nothing, and I'll die nothing. 

It's my destiny. It's written in the stars. I guess they must've crossed when I was born. 

What else can explain my life? What other reasons can people give for my whole family dying? All of them. Every. Single. One. And all on my sister's wedding day. She died too, along with her fiancé. And all because I wouldn't hurry up. 

If I would've been faster at getting ready, if I wasn't so obsessed with every little detail on my face, then maybe we would've left the house earlier. Maybe we would've zoomed right past the intersection on 12th and Gilstone steet. Maybe we could've avoided the car and no one would be dead. My parents would still be the amazing couple they a-- were. My sister would be married. Who knows? Maybe with a baby on the way. And I Joe would've been the best brother-in-law this world has known. 

Why? Why am I not with them? Why them? Why all of them? Not one, not two, not three, but all four of them taken away from me. The only family I've ever known and probably the only family I will ever have. 

I take back what I said earlier. I hate this. I hate this whole situation. What did I do to deserve all of this? Honestly, what kind of a force would leave a 14 year old girl with no family left all alone? What kind of idiot is drunk at 3 in the afternoon? What kind of a 14 year old girl I was to be so obsessed with my looks that I make my sister late for her own wedding--- permanently? 

Because it all comes down to that doesn't it? If I wasn't so worried about my hair or my dress, if I wasn't so busy making sure that every single spot on me was as beautiful as I hoped it'd be, if I wasn't such a self-obsessed freak, then none of this would've happened. 

Now that I'm thinking about it, what the heck am I even doing here? I should've died with them, but I didn't. I should be with them. I should be with them. They're the only people I had left and now that they're gone, there's nothing left for me here in this cruel world. I should just leave. 

Leave.

Leave.

Leave. 

It's perfect. I can leave. I will leave. I'll be back with them. Back with the people who made life worth living. Back with the people who deserve world wide recognition for everything. 

World wide recognition. They don't have that. The only people who know them--- and I mean really know them-- and their story and accomplishments is me. If I'm gone, then their memeory would go with me. I can't leave. 

But I can't stay. I can't stand it. It's bad enough that their gone, but does everyone have to pretend like I'm gone too. Do they all have to act like they've never seen me in their life when I've gone to school with them since Pre-K? Do they all have to ignore me in the halls when I try to say hi? Did they really forget my name? 

And my foster "mother". I cant stand her. All she does is make sure the house is nice and check to make sure that I'm still alive whenever social workers come for inspection. Then, when she gets her money, she takes all of it and leaves. I'm pretty sure she's doing drugs and that what she's spends all the money on. That and beer, but nothing else. Not even food for the house. So most days, I don't eat anything because there's never anything in the fridge. I can never deal witout food for more than two hours so I became a thief. If you can even call a person who only steals food, a thief. I've been caught a couple times and she's had to bail me out, which is probably why recently she's been a little more violent than usual, but I have to Up up with it. 

At least, I've gotten pretty good at applying make up. You know what they say: Throiggh abuse you get to learn how to use makeup. Maybe I can be a make up artist if I make it out. 

Don't really want to make it out, though. I'd rather be with them. All of them. At least then I'd be in peace, right? 

Right. 

Here goes... 

And she was going to commit suicide


Dear life, 

I regret to inform you that I cannot put up with my vadlucker status. I admire that you chose me, not really, for such a difficult task, for reasons unbeknownst to me, but I wish to resign. If you thought that for some bizarre reason that I'd be able to handle all you throw at me, you're wrong. I am not strong. I'm weak. I don't know how to move on or move forward. My heart has forgotten how love even is due to the hate being more dominant in me. It's simply a four letter word now. And as for hope? All hope when down the drain when the clouds covered the sun once we finally left the house that faithful day. 

I'm flattered that you thought that I could handle all the bad, but clearly I cannot. We always knew that between the deaths of my family, the abuse of the foster "parent", and the spotless reputation that is now tarnished because of he number of laws I had to break to make sure that I got to eat, I'd crack sooner or later. It just happened to be sooner. 

I know that once you make up your mind about the status of a person, you don't change your mind. One simply cannot wish to change their status. They have to put up with what you've given them and if they earned it, they can switch to japygor. But in order for that to happen one must be patient. One must react with wisdom and not let the smallest of things get to them. They must look ahead farther than the dark because at some point, the light will present itself. 

I, however, can do none of these things so I can't just wait until you decide to change things. I have to take the I initiative. I have to take control of my life and that's just what I'm going to do. 

So, I have decided to quit. It's the only solution that I can think of that will give me peace permanently. 

There are, however, conditions that must be met before I leave. 

They're--- 

They're---

They're not important actually. I don't know why I thought they were.

If no one remembers us, then its bittersweet. I'd be the only one with all of our memories. 

But if no one remembers us, then the memories will die with me. Or if they do remember us, they'll only remember the gray, dull colors that occupied the entire town when everything went down, they won't remember any of the good. They'll only focus on the bad. 

I don't want it to be like that. 

I don't know. I just have to think. 

Well, this is it. Thank you life for the past 14 years. Those were amazing. 

I hope you rot for the past one though. 

On the day of, she dialed a random number


Not a limb in Lucia's body moved. She was perfectly still, almost death like. The water around Lucia consumed her as she went deeper in. The rising in her chest stopping as the airways are all blocked from breathing in oxygen. 

She closed her eyes and let herself drift. All thoughts escaped her completely. Out the brain and leaped out of the tub into the vast land. Into the world of unknown they went, but Lucia could care less. She forced the resistant thoughts out of her mind and let it go blank. 

A little ping in her chest had begun. It was like a small pinch. Nothing too bad. She stayed down and didn't come up. 

The water surrounded her from all sides, trapping her. Her shoulder length hair floated gracefully. Her arms and hands floated upwards. As did her legs and feet. She let herself be controlled by the water, letting it guide her and aid her in her troubles. She let it do what it wanted with her. 

The ping grew. It became more than it was as it spread throughout her chest. Still, she stayed under. 

The water was the only thing she trusted. The only place she went to when the throbbing in her head wouldn't stop. When the waterworks show refused to be cancelled, she hid in the water where everything became invisible. She gave to the water every uneasy feeling that had ever been bestowed upon her. It took care of her problems. It helped her find a way out. It was the only thing that was actually there through the deaths of the only family she had. 

The water is sacred. She was going to miss it. 

A burning sensation in her chest and her lungs attempting to grasp any bits pf air it can find underwater, which is basically nothing, Lucia finally sits up.

She sucks in all of the air around her, trying to get as much as she can inside of her. The long, fast breaths she takes gradually make the burn go away, and her lungs are now safely acting involuntarily. 

Lucia sits there for a while, listening to her breaths. She lays her head against the tile of the wall behind her and closes her eyes once more. She listens. She focuses on her lungs and marvels at how her body is programmed to breathe without any voluntary action or thoughts from herself. How is it that her lungs can take in air for her without her needing to tell them to?

How is it can her eyes see all these colors? Like, look at them all. The bloody red, the bold orange, the golden yellow, and her favorite: the green in the trees. Not the green of the trees, bushes, and grass of the city. It was more like the green of the mystical forest, a place far, far away from all the lights and buildings. It was real. And when she looked into the sun, because she did dare to look into the sun although she never did it again because it hurt her eyes even if she did only look at it for a second, she sees this amazing brightness that is perceived as yellow from down here. Then she looks at photographs that show the dark depths of red, yellow, and orange. It's just beautiful. All the colors. A clean, white sheet of snow. The graceful black of the night sky. Even the dangerous dark grey of severe thunderstorms is a beautiful color. 

All this color makes the world so much more fun. It reminds her that life certainly isn't always dull. It can be bold and bright and colorful when it wants to. 

She loved the colors. They were little friendly reminders everywhere so she could never run out of them or escape them.

She'll miss the colors.  

As Lucia sits in the tub, her mid begins to wander again. How can she feel emotions? If she's guilty or worried, her stomach twists and turns and becomes the battlefield for World War III. If she's at the top of the world, at her zenith, she's suddenly sporting the widest, toothiest smile on her face with no though at all. Her cheeks turn to a rosy red and she can't help but stay like that. Even if the smile doesn't go away for hours, it brings no harm to her. Her muscles never get tired and it's the best feeling in the world, being genuinely, truly happy. 

And then she feels it. The widest, toothiest grin, even though her mouth is closed, she could ever wear. It just happened on its own. The muscles in her cheeks had just started to pull up and then bada bing bada boom, a smile on her face. She didn't have to open up her eyes to sneak a peek at the mirror to the know that the smile came along with the blush, too. They were a package deal. It really was the best feeling in the world. She could care less if must-not-be-named foster "mother" came home to see her like this. She could care less if she saw her and accused her of being high, doing drugs, or getting drunk. It was probably her way of putting her guilt of doing the things she's not supposed to do onto Lucia so she could get it off herself. She could honestly care less that if push came to shove must-not-be-named started hitting her again. It'd all be worth it. 

This smile, these few seconds of actual, genuine happiness, would be worth it. 

With the smile still locked on her face, Lucia let her mind drift once more into the abyss of endless questions. 

Why is the grass so green? Why is the sky so blue? How many fishes are in the sea? And why does a cow say moo? 

And why am I singing Barney, Lucia asked herself. She chuckled. She chuckled because it was probably Barney who made her develop the question habit. If she couldn't get a toy, why? Why couldn't she have a boyfriend when her sister had one? Even if she was 7, she still thinks she could've at least had a boy friend. You know, the one with the space in between signaling the friend zone. And then they could date when they were older because obviously they would fall in love. 

What is love? How do l know you are in love? Why do you get butterflies in your stomach? Why not moths? Or dragons? Do you realize how cool it would be to have dragons flying around in your stomach?

Why is there so much bad in the world? Is there any good? Where is the good? Why is my name Santa Lucia? Why isn't it Micheal? How co me I was born a girl? Would I be any different if my name was Michael? Or if I was born a guy? 

Why are we here? Why is their life on earth? How is it that our planet is in the exactly perfect conditions for life to form? Why haven't we found any other forms of life on other planets? Is there a god? Or was it all a big bang? Is it faith? Science? Or both? 

So many questions to answer and so little time. She was so curious. She wanted to answer the mysteries of the world. She wanted to experience life and get to see all the sights in the world. The Statue of Liberty, the Taj Mahal, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. She wanted to trek through the Amazons, paddle through the Nile River, and hear the crashing waves of Niagara Falls. All of the things in life she wanted to experience, all of the places she wanted to discover, all the questions she was going to answer will be left untouched. 

No questions. No answers. No places. No nothing. 

Life had thrown her a curve ball. Now, there was nothing to live for. And although maybe there was a slight chance her need to explore and gallivant throughout the world could've give her a reason to live for, she decided that life had simply become too hard. She gave in to the thought that she would never amount to anything, and because of that she would never accomplish anything. 

She was nothing. And her nothingness would only bring nothing into her life. Or if there is something new, it was bad. 

Anything new was bad. Curiosity was bad. Anything fun was bad. 

Just like the Croods. She had honestly considered looking for a cave to live in and only come out once a week to search for food. She'd rather live under a rock than have to face the mess that is her life, but, alas, modern architecture and technology has assured that there are no caves near her. And the greed of human kind has hindered her further from escaping far, far away to a cave or maybe just a homeless shelter. Prices for tickets to a place far enough away from the her 'home' are too costly. Not to mention money for water and food. 

This was her only option. It's the only way out of the hurt. 

But then the adventures, the places, and the questions. How can she leave it all behind? 

Or how can she not leave it all behind? Sacrifices must be made for the good of all, right? And she's certainly doing no good by just living an awful life. If anything, she makes it worse. She steals from places. She's a criminal. She ruined the foster 'mother's' life. She's heard it enough times from her to finally face the facts and accept the truth. And she's not doing anything she wants to do. She's not working towards making a difference. She's not helping people's lives become better. She's sitting around getting beat up by life. Every possible thing that can go wrong goes wrong as if she crossed paths with black cat, walked under a ladder, and broke a mirror all on the same day. 

This is the only way out. Her head is filled with too much worry and anxiety for whatever clouds are going to rain upon her now. Her body shaking with nerves at the thought of the new scars she'll surely get. Her feelings being stomped all over so many times like they're nothing that it's become easier not to feel at all. 

But the questions and the places. How can she leave that behind? What if life doesn't turn out so bad? What if there is a bright future ahead? One where she can do everything she wants. One where she can make a difference. There are so many people with difficult pasts but were still able to create a good future for themselves. Maybe these were just experiences that would make her stronger.

Experiences that would make her stronger. Experiences that would make her stronger. 

She had the sudden need to burst out laughing at the thought. Experiences that would make her stronger, really? Is this the new excuse she gave herself to justify all the ways her life is messed up. 

So, her losing all of her family on the same day is an experience that would make her stronger? Putting her in a foster home with a woman who couldn't give two cents if there was food in the house so long as she got money she could use to spend it on beer and drugs is an experience for her? Having that same woman beat her like there's no tomorrow as if she were her punching bag is supposed to make her stronger? All the countless nights crying was the only way she'd fall asleep, all the new bruises every day, all the times her arms and shoulders were treated as if they could put out a cigarette, all the times she had her mouth washed out with soap or bleach, those were all just experiences. They were supposed to make her stronger instead of make her feel weaker? 

Because of everything that happened in the past year, she is where she's at now, in the restroom with only a towel wrapped around her trying to relax before she takes all the pills and drinks that last glass of water that's waiting for her on the counter. 

She can't even believe she tried to convince herself that all of her suffering was for the greater good. Experiences that make her stronger? Please. That was just wishful thinking. The reality of everything is cold. The reality is that she was just chosen to lead a life of hurt, regret, and suffering. Every moment she thinks she could finally calm down and be happy, life punches her in the stomach. She tried to fight it. She, dare I say the word, tried to hope, but it never worked. Things only got worse. So she woke up and faced the truth: she would never lead a happy life. It would always be bad. After that, she didn't care to fight back, to try and lift her spirits. She just let herself be used as a punching bag by the witch and by life. 

At this point she was tired. Life was enervating and she couldn't take it anymore. She couldn't feel. She stopped a long time ago. 

With all of these thoughts swirling in her, she opened her eyes as quickly as she could. She got up and walked to the sink. The bathroom was pretty small. Five steps in all directions and she's got it pretty much covered. 

The splish splash of the rain hit the window that is to the right of the sink. She hadn't even realized it'd been raining, but now it seemed like it was stopping. 

Just in time for my final act, she thought. She was looking down at her feet. She didn't have the strength to pull her head up, so she kept looking at her feet. They weren't terrible feet. She's taken pretty good care of them. The only part untouched, she thought. Her feet. Out of every part of her body she imagined would be beautiful once more, she found the beauty she's been searching in her feet. Her legs weren't so bad either. 

She let out a small laugh. Her mind was a weird one, wasn't it? Ah, but it was her mind and she wouldn't change it for the world. She'd miss that. 

Her legs were pretty strong. Every time she was down they'd help her get back up. Just like that as if nothing had ever put her down in the first place. On various occasions they helped her run just to get away. Oh, how she loved running. How she could just go on running forever. She could be gone just like that if only she ran forever. When she ran, it was never to get away, but rather to get there as quick as she could. There's a better place, she used to think, one where I can thrive. A place where I'm strong. So she would run far in any and every direction, turning only when she thought it would take her closer to the place.

She never knew where she was going, and at times, she didn't care where she was going. She was in for the journey. 

How she missed running. Sure, it was still tiring, but it was a distraction, and a distraction was all she needed. 

She got the sudden urge to run, to go on one final run. Or maybe the first run of the last hundred runs. Well, to go on a hundred runs she needed to stay alive, right? She can't run a hundred runs if she's dead. Can she? No, she can't. Maybe she should go on the last one hundred runs and then come back. This can wait later. She wants to experience at least some of the good in life before it all goes down. She doesn't want the last days to be so dull. So, she shouldn't do it today. And there's no way she'll do it tomorrow. In fact, one hundred runs can take a long time, and who knows after that she might want to do a thousand runs, so maybe she shouldn't do it. 

Like ever. 

She won't do it. She can't do it. Because if she does it, then she can't run. If she does it, then no more calm water, and if she remembered correctly, she swore to herself at age 7 that she would break the world record for holding your breath underwater. 

If she does it, then that means no more weird brain with weird thoughts and connections. And she couldn't just let her brain die, too. It amused her.

If she does it, it's no future where maybe she can travel. One where maybe she can help change the world for the better. She can become a superhero and help save other kids like her. Now, all she had to do was come up with a name. Bummer, she sucked with names. She once named her cat cat because that was the best she could think of. 

Lucia laughed at herself. It was a great laugh. It felt good. It felt light. 

Lucia was about to walk out of the restroom when a thin piece of paper slid out of her pocket and slowly floated to the floor. 

It was her list. The list of reasons for them to find once they see her so they can know why she did what she did. 

She was going to ignore it, throw it away, and go start on her hundred runs. However, she stopped for a moment, right in front of the open door ahead of her, to read the list. She knew all of the reasons, of course, but she just wanted to read them. 

And she read them and re-read them and re-read them over and over again. 

She was sprawled out on the floor now, list in hand, as she remembered each terrible memory of the past year of her life. She had always known the reasons why, but it was as if on paper it made it more official. It was like if it was in her mind, she could just forget it during these last moments and maybe die happy. She could push it away and not let it come up, but now it was written down. It was there. She couldn't ignore it. It all happened. It all really happened.  

And once she understood that, a deluge of memories came, making her forget the few things that made her happy if only for a couple seconds. And before you know it, there she was on the floor crying. She couldn't help it. The past few moments had made her feel a little bit better. It reminded her of all the things she would miss, and for a moment, just a moment, she thought maybe she could just move past this. Maybe she could learn to see the bright side of things and move on, but then that note. 

It reminded her of all the bad, and the little light that she had ferreted through her dark, black heart to get to was gone in an instant. And there was no way she was getting it back. 

All the nightmares people say are memories clouded the skies, turning the once light, innocent bright clouds to dark. There was no golden light from above. No birds chirping, but at the same time no destruction. 

And that's when she woke up and saw the destruction. The storm had passed. Everything was in ruins, but the blue skies, the sun, and the birds wouldn't come back. They'd refuse to. 

Everything was destroyed. And there's no way she can fix it. 

She raises her head a little, her eyes puffy and red from the waterworks, and looked around. In front of her was open door to her room filled with light, the stupid light that seems to be everywhere yet nowhere at the same time. And behind her was the counter inside the dark restroom, where there sat a bottle of pills and a glass of water. 

She got up and went towards the logical answer: the bottle of pills and a glass of water. 
But as she got ready to chug it all down, her eyes caught sight of a certain rose gold rectangular prism thing laying on her bed. Her phone. 

Before she finally did this, she needed to do something else. Just for her guilty conscience. She doesn't want people to see the bad, too. They were a wonderful family and deserve only happy memories. 

She quickly walked to the phone as if her life depended on it. 

She was going to tell everything, so that she can die with a light chest and so that the memory lives in a positive light. 

She picked up the phone and dialed a random number.

And his name was Zach

Ring, ring, ring went the phone and Zach hated it. His eyelids slowly peeled open against his will and he found himself unable to go back into the passed out state. As terrible as it sounds, he loved it, being passed out and all. He didn't think about anything. He was just asleep and relaxing. Saying he loved sleep in general would be true, but in his sleep he can have dreams. Dreams of Ursa and her Lancelot, although he wasn't best friends with him. 

 

So sleep was out of the picture. It was only when he was black-out drunk and passed out that he could be asleep with no dreams. Of course, time would pass by in seconds, but any second where he wasn't thinking about her proved useful for him trying to get over her. 

 

His attempts, though, are very stupid. The only thing that comes out of drinking your sorrows away is becoming a drunk, but Zach didn't care as long as he never thought about Ursa. 

 

The ringing had persisted all throughout his thoughts. It kept getting louder and louder or was that all in his head, seeing as he was drunk earlier. Well, serves him right. 

 

The ringing, getting louder and louder, showed no signs of stopping, possibly ever. Maybe it was a wake up call. A call for him to get his life back together. A call to get back on track and start looking for colleges. He wouldn't stay nineteen forever, and the break had just started, time flies by, especially when you're drunk. The break between high school and college would be over this time next year, so by this time next year, he needs to be in college. Maybe this phone call was the wake up call he needed. 

 

Or maybe, that call was just someone calling. It's just a thought. 

 

Either way, wake up call or not, he'd rather not answer and go forwards with his plans in drowning in alcohol. It might sound sad and desperate, but 

 

There's actually no buts. It is sad and desperate and so is he. 

 

So, with that in mind, he'll just block out the noise and go back to sleeping since there's no more tequila left. Hopefully, he doesn't dream anything, but if he does, he's praying that it's Ursa and the paramour's head on a platter, or stick, or mounted on a wall. Basically, as long as its not on their bodies and their dead. 

 

Now, that's a dream. 

 

He plopped back down onto the bed, pulled the covers over his head, and started to snore. he doesn't snore, but he figured that if he pretends to be asleep and snores, he'll fall asleep faster. 

 

Idiot. 

 

The ringing, however, still didn't stop. It kept on going and going and going, until finally Zach just sat up in bed and reached for his phone with one hand while rubbing his face with the other, causing him to wake up.

 

With a snarky attitude he answered and snarled into the phone, "Hello."

 

It was safe to say that he was not happy. 

 

"Um, h-h-hi," Lucia managed to get out after a minute. Her hands were shaking as she was seated on her bed. She was about to hang up, thinking it was a sign to get on with her business, whenever whoever was on the other side of the call answered. 

 

"Yeah, hi, Zach said whilst showing off a sarcastic smile before remembering that the encounter was over the phone. "Who the heck are you?" he demanded to know. 

 

"I, um... I'm... I'm uh I'm no one important," she said. 

 

"Great, then I can hang up. Goodbye," he spat out. As he was making a move to end the call, a loud "WAIT" stopped him  in his tracks. 

 

"Just wait," she breathed out. Her breaths short and quick, pulse beating faster and faster, every part of her in shaking fear. Her mind scolded her for doing this and shut off, basically cutting her off from any rationality whatsoever. So, what came out of Lucia's mouth next was, to say the least, interesting. 

 

"You...," she started. She took a deep breath before continuing, "You are the chosen one." Well, that's a nice way of putting it. 

 

"What?" asked a discombobulated Zach as his eyebrows furrowed together and his face crunched up. 

 

"I um... I uh...," was all Lucia was able to spit out. Her chest had this sudden weight crushing down on her. It felt like the world. The tears in her eyes already forming when she was trying to take long, soothing breaths to calm her down; instead, they came out as long, shaky breaths. In between her spitting out non-sense and her trying to calm herself down, it dawned on her that this was it. This conversation would probably be her last and that scared her, but it shouldn't should it? I mean, her finally having some form of peace in death should reassure her that this is the right decision, right?

 

She doesn't even know. 

 

"You see," Lucia started with tears in her eyes. "I'm... I'm not going," big breaths. Big, deep breaths. She continued, "To be here anymore," she struggled to get out. Her heart fell as she managed to get those words out; the pain in her chest grew. 

 

"What do you mean?" asked Zach. Not going to be here anymore? As in the town? Is she leaving? Or is she leaving leaving? For good? He didn't even know her yet his yen to know why grew more about the second because if she's insinuating what he thinks she's insinuating then he's not just going to lollygag and do nothing. It was already bad enough that he hadn't helped his ex-girlfriend. He can't let someone else ruin their life too. 

 

"I mean that after the phone hangs up, I'll be gone. Forever. And no one will ever have to deal with me again. But before I leave, I need to tell you some things. I need you to know that we were, despite popular belief, once happy. 

 

I need you to know that Papa was a good man. No, not good. Great. Amazing. Spectacular. To be honest, none of those words do him justice, but there isn't a word in any language that can accurately describe him. He was wise, realistic, smart. He knew a lot about business that was passed down to him. Although he didn't really want to go into business, he wanted to be a musician. Now, if you went up to him and confronted him about his love for the manipulation of sounds, he would just glare at you until you either dropped it or ran away. He was intimidating like that," she laughed. A small smile formed on her face. 

 

 "He would say, 'Yes, I am a business and a musician. Is there a problem "man" voice. "He always had this smirk when he said it. Made people pee their pants on the spot. Like I said, intimidating.

 

"Dad was never embarrassed by his love for music. It was the opposite. He embraced it. He didn't care what people though. He would always say that it was enough if we knew who he was. That the rest of the world could look at him through the lens of a cold, cruel business man and it wouldn't matter. As long as his family knew who he really was, he didn't care. He could lose the business, become bankrupt, and have his reputation go to shambles, and he still wouldn't care. There was nothing he couldn't overcome as long as he had us."

 

"Your dad sounds like a good man," Zach said. He didn't get the whole point of this conversation, but it sounded like she needed someone to listen, so, even if he was a stranger, he would be that someone. 

 

"He was. He was desperately in love with my mom, and for good reason, too. My mom, well, my mom was quite a character," she laughed. "She had a weird personality and she loved it. She was awkward at times, but somehow still graceful; if she messed up, she'd just laugh. She had this confidence that just radiated off of her, like, just by being near her, you came to love yourself and accept the person you are. I loved it. Anytime I was feeling low, time with my mom just made everything better. It made all the difference in the world. 

 

Mom was very hopeful, too. While my dad was wise in a realistic way, mom was wise in a hopeful kind of way, if that makes sense. She never failed to tell me to reach up. She never said to the stars or the sky because to her, there was even more out there in the universe, and she wouldn't limit herself to our sky or the stars in them. Just reach and reach until you get to where you at, and even then reach because there is always room for growth. 

 

Mom was just an amazing person, which is why I still can't believe that she had issues when she was younger. My mom had a low confidence when she was younger. It didn't help when dad cheated on her when they were dating. It's really long and complicated, but to make it short: dad cheated, they broke up, realized how messed up he was without mom, wiggled his way back into her life as a friend only because in his mind there was no way he could ever get back together with mom but he didn't care as long as she was in his life somehow, little by little gained mom's trust, fell in love again, and the rest is history. Strangely enough this is their favorite story about their relationship. 

 

My parents loved each other so much. It's hard to think even such a story took place even if they're different. Papa was more of a feet planted on the ground kind of guy while mom flew through the stars. Maybe it's not the best combination of people to be together, but they made it work. Together my parents were one person whose feet stayed firm on the ground, but someone who was still able to stretch high to infinity and beyond. My parents were a lot more together than they ever were apart. To me, they were love."

 

"Well, your parents are sure are--- they sound lovely." Lovely? Really? That's the best he could come up with? 

 

"Yeah they were, but like I said about my dad there's just no word---"

 

"That's been invented yet to describe them. Yeah, I figured. I probably couldn't come up with one if I tried, and I don't even know them." 

 

"Yeah," she said chuckling. 

 

"Then there's Ol," she continued. 

 

"Ol?" Zack asked intrigued. 

 

"My older sister," Lucía clarified. 

 

"And your parents made your sister suffer with such a name. What's yours Ul?" 

 

"No, it's Sl."

 

"Sl?"

 

"Sl."

 

"You're kidding right? Please tell me that's not your name."

 

"Well they're the initials of my name, but that's beside the point. I was talking about Ol." 

 

"Ok. Ok. Go on."

 

"Ol was a great sister. We bumped heads a lot, obviously since we're sisters, but despite that she showed me the ins and outs and do's and dont's of the world. What to do if mom is in a bad mood. What to do if dad's in a bad mood. What to do if they're both in a bad moor or mad at each other. She even showed me how to do all the girly things, too. Well, some of them. The rest I'm going have to figure out on my own. 

 

My favorite thing about my sister was that she was girly. She had an intense love for make-up and clothes. Her favorite color was pink, and if I had a penny, that's right a penny, for every time she swooned over a boy, celebrity or not, I'd have enough money to last me until I turn two-hundred. However, contrary to popular belief, she was not some fragile piece of china. She strong, independent, and had a back bone. She didn't care what people thought about her. She learned that the hard way. 

 

Ol had a rough four years in high school. Some people made fun of her for having a "poor" sense of style in make-up and clothes. Others seemed to look down in her because she was a girly girl and kind of fit in with that girly stereotype. It hurt her a lot. People tried to break her down and it almost worked until came the Joes. Josephine and Joe were the brother and sister tag team of the school. They helped my sister pick up the pieces everyone else had shattered. 

 

Ol says she learned a lot from them, especially Josephine. Josephine was an edgy girl with a message. She was a feminist, too, but in her eyes, feminism was about giving women more opportunities while celebrating the differences there are between us. A girl being girly didn't make her weaker than girls who were into sports or academics. It made her a girl, and it made her her. Ol's love for make-up and clothes didn't make her any less stronger than other girls who had bright futures ahead of them. It just opened doors of different opportunities for her. 

 

Thinking back, if Ol hadn't learned to just love herself for who she is, even though there were girls who told her that who she is is weak, she wouldn't have discovered her love her for fashion. She wouldn't have taught herself how to sew, knit, and crochet. She wouldn't have gone on to get a scholarship at a fashion school or graduated top of her class. 

 

Ol was going to start an internship at Louis Vitton after her honeymoon."

 

"Wow,"Zach breathed out. He ran his hand through his hair before he asked, "How old was she?"

 

"Twenty-four," responded Lucia. 

 

"And she was getting married from the looks of it."

 

Yes, oincidentally enough, Ol was going to marry Joe, Josephine's brother. He was a great guy. They had been close friends since high school, and kind of went through a whole friends with benefits thing. Ol says that during that time Joe made her feel beautiful, amazing, and, sexy. That every time they did it felt like the first and that there were fireworks. Every touch and every kiss sent shocks of electricity through her. She loved of course. I mean, it was a free sex in a horny generation. What's not to like? But like every friends with benefits thing, something happened and they stopped. Ol went through this whole 'finding herself' period where she claims she learned more about who she was and how to be on her own. Once she did that, she was happy. Well, for the most part."

 

"What do you mean?" Zach asked. 

 

"Well, she was happy. She had a better idea of who she was and what she wanted to do. Her confidence was still a little shaky, but she was working on it. Everything kind of seemed to be falling in place, except for one thing: Joe. So she tried to patch things up with Joe. There were some problems still along the way, but they were able to overcome them. 

 

Joe was a good guy, a great guy. I can't imagine any other guy more perfect for my sister. He's great. Funny, smart, weird. He had husband moments, but he was quick to ask, well more like plead, for forgiveness from my sister. He always said that she was the one thing he could never live without. 

 

Joe was one of those people who lived in the moment. He cherished the now, soaking in every ray of sunlight the world had to offer him, taking in every ounce happiness that he felt. He never lived in the past; as for looking in the future, he thought about it, but not too much to worry. And what he did think about was all optimistic things never negative. 

 

He was a big believer in the power of the mind. We have a powerful tool, he would say, so use it. If you thought something bad was going to happen, something bad would probably happen to you. If you thought good things, then good things are surely to come, even if it seems like a bad situation. It was always mind over matter. All good things. All good things. In a way, he was like Olaf. Warm, funny, positive, and willing to do anything for the people he cared about. 

 

Joe was always like an older brother to me. He was kind of protective of me, too. Alwyays said that if anyone ever hurt me to just say the word and he'll take care of it. He kind of spoiled me at times, bought me whatever I wanted if we were at the store. Of course, he wasn't always this nice. Just like any older brother he had me as his personal slave. I did chores for him all the time because I always made bets with him that I'd somehow always end up losing. Looking back, I'm orettt sure he cheated on all of them. 

 

We'd always play tricks on everyone else. One time we switched out Ol's shampoo with glue; however, she was able to notice the difference in the liquid when she was showering and didn't fall for the trick. So, then we mixed in glue with the shampoo. You know, to be more discreet. She fell for it and wouldn't talk to either of us at all. Mom scolded me, but you could tell she really wanted to laugh. By the time we were on speaking terms, Ol started laughing at how hilarious everything was and everyone followed laughing again. It was one of those stories that I thought we'd all look back on twenty years from now and laugh. I guess not."

 

"What happened?" Zach asked. It was really weird how he was interested all of the sudden. He had wanted to hang up, but then she started blabbering some nonsens. He had every intention of hanging up, but it was rude to just end the phone call when she's talking. Curse himself and his gentlemanly upbringing, he thought at first. As she went on talking, he decided he should listen; he's glad he did. This girl sounds like no one has really payed attention to her at all. 

 

"There was an accident, and poof, one happy day turned into the darkest of my life." 

 

"I'm sorry." Zach really did feel sorry. There he was moping about over his ex-girlfriend, who's still alive, when this girl lost her parents, her sister, and her sister's fiancé who was like an older brother to her. She lost all the people she cared about in one day. He couldn't help but wish he could reach into her phone and hug her. She sounded like she needed a hug. 

 

"Don't be. I'm going to fix everything soon anyways. I just called you so that at least another person knows how amazing they were." She said confidently. 

 

"Wait, how are you going to fix everything?" 

 

"I'm going to join them."

 

"Join them?" Join them? How was she going to join them? As far as he was concerned, they're all dead. She wasn't going to... was she? 

 

"I'm going to commit suicide."