Jana Kramer/Freyja Elledge
July 14th, 2016
She’s a gift sent down to me by God.
I never once imagine that out of everyone in this stupid, ill world that Sara would be the one who pulls me out of the darkness. She was patient and never gave up. She held my hand when I couldn't stand up and stayed by my side through the hard. She had a cicada in her hair and was humming like a bee.
A collection of stories we could break into bits. Sara saw through my pain and was the only one who could truly understand it. It’s the pain that kept her interested, like gravity. I couldn’t put the blame if I wanted in the end. I didn’t know if she was a friend or an enemy but it was the love that connected all these threads. At first, I thought it was just admiration but the ghost of Elizabeth made me see otherwise.
I’m the sinner of sins. A disgrace in the eyes of my parents and God. I fought hard to fight the emotions but there was no getting around the simple fact that I was in love with Elizabeth. She was my first friend, my best friend. She was ripped away from me and I never got to say goodbye.
The last time I saw her she came into my parent’s church. It’s what people do when all else is lost and nowhere to turn to. Elizabeth was distressed, Cody and her had just broken up and in result, Elizabeth did something bad to a girl we knew. Elizabeth was tripping with guilt but I could tell that wasn’t the only thing that was on her mind. Her voice shakes like she did something even worse that she couldn’t talk about. I walked her home and that was the last time I saw her.
It destroyed me and nobody seemed to care. They let me wallow in my pit of depression and no one ever even tried to reach their hand inside to pull me out. At least, that's what I thought. I was so bitter back then that I refused to see how many people were trying to help. I tunneled so hard on what was in front of me that I failed to see the people around me. And I thank God I waited until Sara to finally try and be happy for once.
We spoke once over summer but that never led anywhere. It wasn’t time, although I wish I would have listened then so I could have spent more time with her.
No, it wasn’t until the New Year where she tried again. This time she didn’t give up and she opened my eyes. I started to fall and it was steep, it was violent and painful. It was wrong to be gay but I still mustered the courage to tell my parents. Then my father got cancer and he blamed it on me. I was forced to break Sara after everything she went through.
But we weren’t done. It wasn’t our destiny to be finished. Dad grew to understand and I was able to save whatever Sara and I had left and start to grow it once again. See, God doesn’t have to deal with absolutes, that wouldn’t be righteous. My homosexuality was designed by God so Sara and I could be together.
Together we explored and reached the highest peaks of adventure. Sara discovered what she was passionate about and I discovered who I am. Sara wants to explore human emotion through film and music. We created a Youtube channel for the songs she makes. It’s through this is where I saw who I am meant to be. I’m a child of God who will help her friends accomplish their dreams. I’m a person who needs to help those in need just as God intended me to be. This is who I am.
Sara is kind, too kind for her own good. I saw her once as someone controlled by the devil but she was saved how she saved me. It’s this kindness that gets her hurt when the world decides to be cruel. Time moves on and all girls can’t stay. Sara left Darkwood to study film in Los Angeles and I left for Boulder, Colorado. We promised to remain friends but life likes to get in the way and that friendship starts to fade.
It wasn’t painful or dramatic but it just fizzled out like it never happened, but it did happen. Now that school is over once again and I find myself home. I find myself outside the dinner looking in where Sara and I used to spend most of our days. She’s laughing, talking to her sister, Grace. I want to get the courage to walk in and rekindle that long lost love that we use to share a short year ago.
A short year ago we were walking down sunset beach in Issaquah. Her hands were warm and soft like new silk that has been untouched. She had this smile that could quite literally light up and room devoid of light. Every time she would close her eyes I would focus mine on her little mole on her left eyelid. She caught me that day and asked, “What are you doing?”
I giggled and said, “Nothing, you’re just really pretty.”
It’s the sweetness of her blush from her lips that I take in sip by sip that keeps me in love. Sara pulls back and said, “You say that every time,” She laughs. “Come up with something more original.”
“Then I’ll have to come up with something new every time.”
Sara and I laugh together as we sit down on the sand of sunset beach a few feet away from the water. I always thought people would be disgusted or say something to us but I guess I lived in a deluded where I thought people cared. They don’t and it took a long time for me to realize that.
I watch some little kids run in front of us headfirst into the water. “
The beach lived up to its reputation. There was a cocktail of dark blue, pink and finally a beautiful dark red as the night slowly crept in closer. The skies we mostly clear for once which allowed the warmth of the setting sun to embrace us for a few minutes longer.
“You really like my mole huh?” Sara giggled.
“Hmm, just a bit.”
“Well I really like that little birthmark on your hip,” Sara said laughing. I pushed her out of embarrassment and she fell to the sand continuing to laugh. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry. It’s just you look at it too much.”
“I don’t know, I just really like it.”
“Hmm, thanks. It took a long time for me to like it.”
I grabbed hold of Sara’s hand and pull her up to sit back up. I didn’t let go and Sara adjusted it so we can properly wrap our fingers together. I can still remember the smile she gave me that day. It radiated like arrows of light, almost heavenly. That was the moment I decided God purposely made me gay. My entire life has led to these moments like I couldn’t do anything differently and change the outcome. Sara has always been my destiny.
“I love you,” I told her. I rarely tell these words to her. She knows how little I say them so when she heard them, she only laughed. She didn’t laugh out of pity or anything funny, but at how cute I said it.
Sara grinned showing me how alike she could be to her brother, they have the same smile. “I love you, Fey.”
I could try and remember more important events that we did together. I could talk about the concert we went to where we got matching necklaces or the moment I took her hand so she can be my friend. I can talk about our many firsts but there’s something so magical about that insignificant day where we just wanted to go to the nearest beach. It’s moments like these that make me realize that things are worth fighting for.
It’s just why I don’t know why I’m so afraid to enter the diner and say hi. We barely talk anymore only exchanging a few texts a couple of times a week. I don’t know how it happened. I guess life got really busy for both of us. I haven’t been to town since we last said our goodbyes. It’s that lack of contact that made this all fade away, video calls weren’t enough.
Sara laughs at something Grace said. Two girls enter the diner and greet Sara and Grace as they sit together. I feel like a stalker, I should have told Sara that I’m back in town.
As I turn around I hit a hard body, “Oh sorry,” I say without looking.
I look up and it’s Cody. “Don’t worry about it,” he says with a slight smile. “Not heading inside?”
“No,” I laugh nervously. “It’s been a while, Cody.”
“Yeah, it has, for too long. Want to head inside with me? It’ll make it less awkward for you,” he chuckles.
Cody always had a way of making you think he was inside your head. He’s a good guy who helped me sort out my issues out. I haven’t seen him for so long that those two years made him look older than he is. His face is more rugged and he’s growing a beard. It’s not long but it's far from just stubble. His shaggy brown hair is now an undercut that makes his head look slimmer than I remember. His eyes are still the same, coffee brown and seemingly aware of everything.
“Oh no, I’m not, I’m not ready.”
Cody tilts his head in amusement, or at least I think. “You’re scared to talk to her, huh?”
“It’s okay. She talks about you from time to time, she misses you. I’ll see you around, Freyja,” Cody says then reaches his hand to open the door to enter.
“Can you not tell her I’m here. I want to surprise her when I’m ready.”
Cody lowers his hand and turns back to me. “Come to my show. Sara’s my guitarist, she has gotten even better since you last seen her play.”
I giggle, “Dude I follow her youtube channel, she’s getting quite popular.”
“Come, I’ll put you on the guest list. You can talk to her then.”
“I don’t know, maybe.”
“I’ll put you on anyways. It’s this Friday,” Cody reaches for the door again then opens it. “You won’t get anywhere if you wait for things to happen. I’ll see you around,” Cody chuckles before heading inside.
I look through the window and Cody greets Sara, Grace and her friends. He sits down and looks for me a split second. I just turn around and walk away. I don’t think I’m ready. All I want is to be friends with Sara again. It’s just so awkward, like, what do you say? “I’m sorry we both been too busy to keep up with each other lives so let’s just carry on as nothing happened?”
It’s not that simple. I think.
I head over to the cemetery. I don’t like coming here often but I like talking to Elizabeth for guidance. She used to talk back but that was just my delusion to have her still be alive. Now I just come to feel her presence. Sometimes it does feel like she’s watching me. Dad says it’s her way of reassuring me that she’s in heaven and watching over me. I don’t know about that, she wasn’t a saint. Nobody in this town is.
Her gravestone has been forgotten by the slow sands of time. People move on and care a little bit less and less. Now there’s only a single rose placed the soft soil, withering away. I place my own and hope it reaches her.
She had so much guilt on her shoulders. I only wish she could have talked about it to me, maybe that outlet would have changed things.
“Wouldn’t it?” I say out loud. “You used told me that death meant nothing to you, it’s just an event that proves life.
I close my eyes and wait for a response. All I get is the soft wind carrying the heavy clouds that will engulf Darkwood for the next couple of days. But that’s just the thing, I moved on as well. I no longer can hear her because I accepted her death, there isn’t a thing I can change.
But I can still change what I want with my life. I can still rekindle the friendship I had with Sara. We’ve been through so much together to let it end like this. I open my eyes and see that there is a morning glory growing beside the gravestone.