It hasn't been easy for me; losing him so suddenly. Since his death, it really didn't sink in until a few days after. The whole situation was fucked up anyways. Brandon wanting to kill him was something I didn't expect, and never fully understood. It's been 5 years since I lost my beloved Beau, and today is the 5 year anniversary of his death, so I'm heading up to the cemetery to see him. As I pull up to the familiar site, and see that black granite headstone, that feeling in the pit of my stomach returns. I stop the car, and head over to him. "hey Beau." I said sitting next to the gravestone. "I finally got back home from North Korea last month; the war is finally over!" I said with a smile. But that smile quickly faded away. "You know, These last five years have been so hard without you, Beau, and I know you're here with me, but oh what I wouldn't give for just 1 more day with you..." I said as tears formed in my eyes. "I haven't been back to my parents house either since then. Is that bad? Should I go back to that house? I just... I just don't know anymore... I've lost you, and my own brother, and I don't know how I've managed to keep a level head after all that." I said leaning my head on the stone. "You know, people always tell me to move on from you, but I can't.... They don't know how much you still mean to me, and until something like this happens to them, they'll never know how empty you feel after losing a loved one... But, I didn't come here to bitch and complain about how much I hate my life or whatever, I just really wanted to talk to you, baby." I said standing up. "But, I gotta run now... I'll be back next Tuesday. Just like always." I said smiling. "I love you!" I got back in my car, and headed back home.

----------------------

"Cameron man, you gotta get out and meet someone new. You can't just mope around anymore!" My buddy Carlos said from across the table. Carlos and I have been really close since we both were in the battle of Pyongyang. That was a major disaster for US and EU forces. North Korea got backing from China during the war, and we were lucky that it didn't go nuclear. "I know man, but I'm just not ready..." I said sipping on my drink. "Dude, it's been 5 years. What would he want you to do?" He said. He was right, Beau would make me move on with my life, but I can't... I don't know where to start. "You made your point. Thanks for the drink, Carlos." I said getting up, and leaving the bar. How on earth am I supposed to do that? How am I supposed to move on just like that? I can't... It hurts too much. Once I got back to my apartment, all I could think about was sleeping, so after I took a shower and age something, I soon found myself in a deep slumber.

*who is that? Why does this look familiar? It's Beau and I at his 19th birthday! What does this mean? "Beau! BEAU!!!" I scream; trying to get his attention. I watched him turn his head, and smile at the boy he's sitting with. I watched as he kissed the boy with a smile from ear to ear. "BEAU! ITS ME!!!! ITS CAM!!" I scream in a frenzy. Why won't he answer me?! Soon, I'm surrounded by a vortex of colors, and lights, and then I'm in a black room with a lamp and a table set for two. I stroll over to the table, and sit at it. Someone sits across from me, and it's Beau! "Hey Cameron, I know that right now is really hard for you, but you gotta let go of me." He said looking into my eyes. "H-how do I do that, baby? I-I don't know what to do...." I said as tears welled in my eyes once again. "Just follow what your heart desires. If it's another guy, I won't be mad. I want you to be happy, Cameron, and you're not happy living this way. It's killing me watching you be unhappy, so please, for me, move on. Be happy...."*

I woke up with a gasp, and my body covered in sweat. Maybe that was Beau trying to tell me something. Maybe he's right, maybe I should let him go. I slide over to the end of the bed, and put my head I my hands; silently crying.

------------------

A few hours later, my phone rang. I check the caller ID, and see it's my mom.

"Hello?"

"Hi, Cameron. It's mom." She said sounding a little upset.

"Hey, what's up? Everything ok?" I ask sitting down on my sofa, and turning on the news. "Yeah. Everything is just fine sweetie. Um, I was calling to see if you have any plans for dinner tonight. Won't you come over and see us? It's been years since I saw my baby boy." She asked.

"Um... I can try to make it over there. If anything changes, I'll call you, ok?" I said partially listening to the news. "Great. Dinner is at 7!" She said a little happier. "Ok mom, I love you." I said as I hung up the phone.

What am I going to do?! I'm not ready to go back there yet! What do I tell mom?

I soon regained composure, and got ready to go to the store. I made a small list of what I needed and headed down to the local supermarket.

I walk through the isles grabbing various things like organic milk, eggs and other stuff like that. Yeah, I know it's more expensive, but when I saw what they use in the foods to make them grow faster and shit like that, I knew that I was not going to put that inside my body, so I feel it's worth every penny buying organic. As I head to the checkout, I wasn't paying attention, and I walked right into somebody. "Oh, I'm so sorr...." My eyes grow wide as I finally see who I walked into. It's Harley Robinson, the kid that punched me out back in high school. My hand clenches into a fist. "Holy shit if it isn't Cameron Rimmer! How you been, you little fuck?! Living up to your last name, I hope?" He laughed. "Once a bully, always a bully...." I mutter. "Hey, I hope you don't hate me for what I did in high school. I'm sorry dude." He said sincerely. "You threw a book at my boyfriend, then punched me out cold. Piss off! I don't want your apology..." I said shoving past him. "Well good, because I didn't mean it anyways!" He hollered as I walked towards the check out, and payed for my groceries. As I load them into the trunk of my car, I hear Harley talking to me as he approached my car. "I wasn't done talking!" He said from a few feet away. "Good for you. You want a fucking medal?" I said pushing the cart to the cart collector. "You know, you're an asshole, Cameron! When someone apologizes to you, you should respect that!" He said as I walked back to my car. "Harley, you have no right to expect me to forgive you, ok? I don't know what twisted fantasy world you live in, but get real man. Would you forgive me if I did that shit to you?" I said getting into my car and driving away.

-------------------

It was just after 6:30 when I finally got to my parents house. It's still virtually unchanged. It has that faded sky blue paint, and the dark blue shutters on the windows. I got out of my car, walked up to the door, and took a long, deep breath before I finally knocked on the door. The door opens, and I see my mother standing there in the doorway with a teary-eyed smile on her face. "There's my baby boy! And he's so handsome!"

"Hi, mom." I said as she hugged me tightly. "Dinner will be ready in about 15 minutes. Your father is upstairs. Go up and say hi!" She said closing the door. I look up the stairs, and it seemed like they went on forever up into the abyss. I knew what was at the top of the stairs; my room, the place where I watched Beau die In my arms. I tentatively climbed the stairs; ever so slowly, and finally reached the top, and stared at the closed door that led to my room. Although I knew what lied beyond, I still was compelled to enter. I turned the knob, and the door swig open. I stepped inside, and all my old posters were still on the wall, my bed was still in the same place. The old carpets were taken out, and replaced with newer versions of the same carpet. It was like nothing happened in here. I look towards the bed, and flashing I my vision was my younger self clinging to Beau. Chills went up my spine as I sit I the very place where I held him. I can still feel him in my arms; I can still smell gunpowder in the air flashbacks shoot a cross my vision every second. Ambulance lights flashing in the windows, Beau choking in his own blood, Brandon lying in a slump on the floor, my mother crying...

"Cameron..? CAMERON!" Snap out of my gaze, and see my father standing in the doorway. "Still thinking about that night?" He asked as he sat down next to me. "It's hard to forget." I said looking at him. "Oh I almost forgot." He said getting back up, leaving the room and returning with a box. "We found this in your closet a couple years back. These aren't your clothes so we thought they could have been...."

I snatched the cardboard box from him and ripped it open to find Beau's favorite shirt. I held it up a little, and I brought it to my nose. It still smelled like him! Tears were flowing like a river at that point. I couldn't believe that my parents saved this for all these years. I put it back in the box, and stood up, clasping a bone crushing hug around my dad.

"C'mon, son. Dinner is getting cold." Dad said as I put the box onto my bed. I got up, and followed my dad downstairs; closing the door behind me; almost like closing a door in a part of my life. Dinner was delicious, though. Mom made a spinach lasagna and it was scrumptious; organic of course.

Once I was finished visiting my parents, I took the box my dad have me, and I headed back to my apartment. I immediately scuffed off my shoes as soon as I entered, and flopped down on the couch. Soon, I fell asleep right then and there.

 

Josh Volland

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