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Chapter III

  • Letter 2
  • 888888
  • Your smile is one of your greatest features. You may not see it, but every time you beam at me it brings me to my knees. I know you don't trust me to stay with you-to love you with all your flaws and insecurities. You probably ask that question-how can I be sure that I'll stay with you forever? Well, I'm pretty sure.
  • Because every single time I think of how your eyes crinkle with joy, I know I will always come back to you again and again no matter what consequences the whole damn world will bring. Remember, you are the sun-and try not to ove- think it.
  • I love you.
  • 888888
  • February 15, 2016. 18-Years-Old.
  • I'll go tomorrow.
  • All I need was to finish at least three of these letters and go.
  • Kylie sat down at her desk and stared at the rumbling thunder. School was canceled because of the storm. The electricity was out, so it was just her, the night, her little flashlight, and the letters. The way she dressed, the way she smiled, he wrote all of it down-and all of them made her smile and laugh...because this was Sam, a guy she knew could make her laugh so much her stomach would continue to hurt till the next day, yet he was also the guy who could make her cry so hard, she'd look like a panda bear till sunset.
  • Yet he'd say sorry in the end or he'd be the one who'd try and comfort her.
  • Not anymore.
  • Kylie took a deep breath and snuggled back into her pillow, comforted by the brief light that coursed through the window and the great rumbles that rocked the house. Her mother was somewhere in Jamaica, trying to do one of those mid-forties soul searching things she always saw in shows, so her father was the only other person with her at home. Though even if her father was here, he was too busy with the business project that he'd been blabbing about for the past two weeks, he wouldn't even notice if she jumped off a building.
  • "Why did you have to send these letters, Sam?" She whispered, fingers clutching the covers as the darkness loomed around her like a soul-sucker waiting for its next target. "Why did you have to get into an accident?"
  • The silence was the only response she could bear.
  • August 8, 2004. Seven-Years-Old
  • "You'll do great sweetheart," her mother Kathy encouraged once they stepped out of the car. There were other parents too, parading around their children. Some were even crying, Kylie noticed. It was a good thing her mother didn't like to cry in public. Suddenly, her mother wrapped her arms around the young seven-year-old tightly, causing her to wince. "My daughter's a first grader, Landon! Isn't that exciting?"
  • Her father shook his head, laughing at the state of his daughter. "Kathy, you're hurting the poor child." He winked at Kylie causing the little girl to dimple back at him.
  • Kylie already had a green backpack strapped to her back and her blonde hair was in braids because her mother found it 'adorable' on her. "Don't be nervous, okay? You'll charm everybody with that cute little smile of yours!"
  • "And if anybody's being an ass, hit them," he added.
  • But before she could ask them what 'ass' meant, they were off...as if they magically disappeared as another throng of people waved pass her, pushing her directly in front of the school building. Kylie looked up, and a wave of nausea hit her like a train wreck.
  • I'll be fine.
  • Kylie followed the rest of the first graders as she headed to Class B, her assigned classroom.
  • Just eight hours and I will be done with school.
  • The classroom is pretty.
  • That was all Kylie thought when she entered the sunny room. It was a far cry from her preschool, which was sometimes icky and filled with little boogers from the boys. She shuddered at the thought before admiring the place before her.
  • The walls were decorated with stripes of different colors-red, blue, green, pink...they had it all. The sunlight that seeped into the blinds illuminated the room even more, highlighting the wide array of colorings and paintings probably made by the students the year above her. Fists clenched, Kylie sat down on the middle seat because that's where her dad said he sat when he was still in school.
  • She looked down, not even noticing a boy sitting next to her before he tapped her with a finger. "Hi! I'm Sam. Your smile is really pretty," Announced Sam. His grey eyes were large and watery. When he smiled, two front teeth were emphasized. He looked like Timmy Turner-a character from a cartoon she loved.
  • Kylie blushed, "I'm Kylie."
  • He grinned before asking bluntly. "Do you want to be my girlfriend?"
  • Her dad had also mentioned about girlfriends and boyfriends just a week ago... "Nope." She shook her head. "Daddy said I should not have one till I'm thirty."
  • There was a short pause.
  • "Would you be my best friend then?"
  • "Okay!" That's when a thought came to mind and Kylie chewed on her bottom lip. "Do you know what 'ass' means?"
  • "No. You could ask the teacher later?" He suggested as if it was the most brilliant idea in the planet.
  • "Oooh! Here she comes. Stay here." Kylie said excitedly, almost jumping out of her seat. She walked to sickly thin teacher, glancing at the age spots that decorated her face. "Hi Miss!"
  • "Hello...Kylie, is that right?" the elderly teacher knelt down and pinched Kylie's cheeks. The seven-year-old backed up a little bit till the woman got the hint and drew her hand back. "Ah! It's such a delight to teach young students. You're so adorable."
  • "I have a question." Kylie looked down and started to count the cracks on the tiles.
  • "Okay." She nodded encouragingly. "No need to be embarrassed, sweetheart. What's the question?"
  • "What's the meaning of 'ass'?" She asked so innocently, watching as the teacher's face went through twelve shades of red.
  • Kylie got detention a few minutes later and a sentence to the principal's office.
  • The good thing was that she got a new best friend.
  • The bad thing was Kylie never knew what 'ass' meant till she decided to search it in a dictionary a year later since everyone was refusing to answer her.
  • March 2, 2014. 16-Years-Old
  • After a few chick flicks, Kylie was feeling more and more philosophical by the minute. She glanced at the leaves slamming the window beside her as the lamp illuminated the shadows of her face and forearms. And as time went by, she finally realized something.
  • There was an irony to when it reached dusk.
  • It was the only time when the clouds and the sky were at their brightest-just when the sun was about to set. Just when the sun gave its last final rays, the sky would turn into a kaleidoscope-from blue to purple to orange, even to yellow.
  • It was weird how, before the brightest thing left their sight, it was the time when they shone their brightness.
  • Somehow, it worked for people too.
  • As a person leaves friends, or foes, behind, he could only grow brighter and brighter...whether it be with age or experience, and he'd be happy and he would learn from all the people who left him. So how come Kylie had only grown sadder from the people she had left behind and they were happier as she left them...was it because she was the sun?
  • Am I the sun?
  • As life moved on, Kylie had grown dimmer and dimmer through the ages as if all the people she had met sucked out her energy bit by bit. I wouldn't be surprised if I saw absolutely no one in the mirror. She sighed, her toes brushing the edge of her carpet. The covers of her bed ruffled when Kylie lay down once again, a sound escaping her mouth in what would be a wretched noise. "Damn it," the sixteen-year-old muttered under her breath, eyes closing.
  • The sound of wild music and screams came from their neighboring house. Can't they shut up? Kylie groaned, pushing the pillows over her ears, hoping that it would block the incessant banging and cracking of dishes. Having thin walls on both sides of her house was horrible. Why couldn't any of her best friends just buy the house and actually be her neighbor, rather than a college freshman who threw parties during the break like there was no tomorrow.
  • Her friends were all enjoying the short one-week break by traveling the globe. She twiddled with the covers of her bed, grabbing a hold of one of the white pillows that scattered on her bed.
  • Well, at least there's the TV.
  • The TV was honestly all that she needed to block it out-block everything out.
  • Kylie plugged in her earphones and put her laptop to full volume. The noise from the other house soon subsided and it was replaced by the television series she was about to play.
  • Good-bye dinner.
  • And with that, she snuggled into the covers, a smile drawn on her lips as her eyes widened-a series reflecting from her eyes.
  • º º º º º
  • Ring.
  • Damn it.
  • Ring.
  • Damn that guy to hell.
  • Ring.
  • Could he just die?
  • Ring.
  • Just fifteen minutes. Couldn't he wait?
  • Ring.
  • Fuck.
  • Kylie grabbed her phone, wrenching the earphone from her right ear with furrowed eyebrows and a wrinkled nose. "This better be important or else I'm going to have to figure out how I'm going to get away with murder," she snapped, glaring at the ceiling. "I'm serious Sam, I'm going to kill you."
  • "Hi?"
  • "Screw you-"
  • "Okay, wait! I need help with schoolwork, Math."
  • She blinked. "Math."
  • "Yep. Math."
  • "You do have Mona in your contacts, right? Or have you gone mentally insane? I flunked the last test, Sam." Kylie groaned, shaking her head. "I swear, Sam. I'm going to find you and I'm going to kill y-"
  • "Wait!" This time, his voice changed to something softer and frailer. And Kylie could faintly hear the crashes and bumps on the wall. She closed her laptop at the sound and stood up. "Please, I just need someone to talk to. You could continue to watch; I just need..."
  • "What happened, Sam?" She walked to her study table, frowning. The series was forgotten as she sat down and spun her chair around.
  • He gave a shaky sigh, "He's here. Carlos's here."
  • "I thought he went to Morocco-start a new life?"
  • "No. The guy couldn't do that even if his life depended on it. He got a girl pregnant there," he spat. "Ran away and ended up here, drunk as fuck. Should've stayed in the fucking rehab."
  • "Sam..."
  • Kylie had met Carlos before, back when they were young. He was ten years older than them. They thought he was cool-had everything, the looks, the girls, the popularity. They didn't know that next year, what would be left of him was a shell of a man they had known. After his girlfriend broke up with him, he turned to alcohol. The world was forgotten, and it was only alcohol that could calm him down from his fits.
  • "Tell me something-just talk to me," he said, and Kylie could tell that he was trying to stop himself from crying. "Help me keep my mind off him, Ky. Please."
  • "I love flowers-Daisies, just so you know," she started, the words slipping out of her mouth before she knew it. "I just don't like roses...and lilies at one point. But even if I love daisies, it doesn't mean that I grow them properly. I don't possess a green thumb or even a cooking pinkie."
  • He chuckled softly, and she could almost see him gritting his teeth when another crash ensued. "Go on."
  • "I'm scared that someday I'll be like a sun." Kylie slowly uttered.
  • "Let me guess, chick lit movies?"
  • "Yep."
  • There was a pause, and it was soon followed with screams from Carlos and his mother on the receiving end. Sam took a deep breath, "Why is that?"
  • "Because at dusk," she said softly. "The sky is at its brightest just when the sun's about to set. Do you think I'm the sun? That even if I'm getting sadder and sadder people are getting happier than they really are, Sam?"
  • "You're forgetting something, Ky."
  • "What?" Kylie hummed the tune of 'twinkle twinkle little star'; it had usually sent calmness to the both of them when they were still kids. She tapped a pen on the table before swinging the chair again, eyes trained at the window. Stars were starting to show, glittering like little diamonds pasted on the sky.
  • If God was real, He was an artist. Because He spun the world where nature's inspiration wasn't present. He carved the ground to His own liking and created breathtaking sceneries around the world. He was an artist who gave everyl artist inspiration, she thought.
  • There was a tap on the other line and a creak before Sam continued, interrupting her thoughts. "You're forgetting that skies are inconsistent. They brighten and they darken-not knowing what they're going to be or when they'll change. The sun, however, is-it never darkens. It's the only source of light that everyone has. If you compared yourself to the sun, don't be ashamed. Because you're forgetting that they're not happier because you're retreating, but they're happier because you came. Keep smiling, Ky," he breathed. "Because it's your smile that makes everyone happier, not your disappearance. If the sun didn't shine, darkness would overcome the world. You're correct when you said that you're like a sun, but it's not because when you disappear, everyone's happier. It's because, contrary to what you believe, you made them smile."
  • Silence.
  • It seemed that the party at the other house had somehow subsided and the crashes and screams that had continued in Sam's had turned quiet. Five minutes had pass, and Kylie sighed. For them, silence had never been awkward...but just comforting and safe.
  • Kylie smiled, a genuine one as she stared at the glistening moon. "You told me you like me," He exhaled, and she bit her lips. "How can you be sure that you'll stay with me?"
  • He laughed and four seemingly simple words were uttered. "Because you're my sun."
  • She quieted down, and a minute had passed before she spoke up again. "You know you could come here and sleep at the guest room. We could watch a series."
  • "What? And let you murder me in my sleep?" His voice said jokingly, the life in it was revived-even if it was only a little. Her smile widened. "No thanks. Give me a rain check."
  • "Look, Sam. Thank you. Really thank you, I'm sorry that I couldn't be much of a help there."
  • "Believe me, you've help me a whole lot more than you actually think. You need to eat, Ky. See you tomorrow."
  • "Tomorrow," she confirmed.
  • There was silence.
  • But before, silence had been peace.
  • Now? It was chaos.