Everyone has to say goodbye eventually. Some say farewell sooner than later. It's crazy when you think about time. How eighteen years seems like forever at the beginning and then in an instant you're out of time.


Everything seemed okay. His heart was beating, he was breathing on his own. They said he'd make a full recovery. They didn't know... No one knew that his heart would just stop... Completely flatline.


Have you ever been so cold... You shake and you shake, your body fighting to get warm. But the coldness is too much and your body keeps shaking. Then all at once you stop. Nothing shivers and you no longer feel cold. All that remains is a numb void where the chill once was. I am numb. I feel nothing now. There's no pain, no tears, the shaking has vanished and I'm left here a shell of what once was a girl. A girl who smiled and laughed and thought about one day growing up


1. Good Luck Charm

“No you’re doing it wrong,” He chuckled, walking over to me to explain.


He took the small penny from my hand and held it up between his thumb and index finger. He held it up in the light so I could see it clearly and then flattened it onto his thumb in one swift movement. “Alright, so you take it between your two fingers. So place it on the side of your index finger and place the tip of your thumb under the coin. Then close your eyes and flick your thumb,” He stated simply as the penny flew from his finger into the water.


When he opened his eyes he stared at me a moment, as if trying to figure something out and then looked away. He shook his head twice and then dug into his pocket for another coin. When he found one, he smiled proudly and retrieved it. He walked over to me and placed the small coin in the center of my palm gently. “Your turn,” He said with a smile.


I tried my best to mimic the position that the coin sat and then closed my eyes. I thought for a moment what my wish would be but I came up empty. I opened my eyes and sighed, dropping my hand to my side. “What’s wrong Maddie?” He asked me.


“I don’t know what to wish for. I have everything I need,” I stated.


He rolled his eyes jokingly at that and smiled. “Come on, theres gotta be something that you want,” He said putting emphasis on his words.


I sighed and closed my eyes once more. Then slowly I flicked the penny into the air. I didn’t wish for something massive, I didn’t ask for money, love, clothes, or shoes. I simply asked that things would stay the way they were forever. But that was even too much to ask for.


At the time, I reopened my eyes, smiled and took his hand, to go off on our next adventure. Now, standing here at the edge of the water I realized how false that hope was. So why did I find myself pulling a penny from my pocket? Call it wishful thinking but, once I had that penny, I closed my eyes and made the most selfish wish I could think of. When I opened my eyes, he wasn’t there and unlike the last time I already knew that wishes didn’t come true.


I rubbed at my puffy eyes, searching for tears that had long run out. I took one last glance at the fountain before turning and walking in the opposite direction. As I'd walk, certain things would catch my eye. Sometimes it would be a small trinket in a window, the scent from a nearby flower, or even the way someone dressed. It only took one tiny detail to bring memories of him crashing in like waves slamming into jagged rocks at the shore's edge. I couldn't control it, didn't understand it and certainly didn't want it. With every memory came a new wave of agony, a new emptiness, and a new sorrow. I ended up spending most of the day wandering the plaza exploring little shops, numbly moving through each place. It wasn't until I heard someone shout my name that I snapped out of it. "Maddie!" A voice called.


I jumped at the sound and turned on the sidewalk to look at the street. A dark car sat idling, my mother leaning from the driver's side onto the passenger's side. "Goodness Maddie, I called you over four times and you didn't answer me. Honey get in the car I'm taking you home," She said.


I looked around quickly and noticed how late it had become. The sun was starting to set and heavy clouds moved in, signaling the oncoming of rain. I got in the car and glanced at the clock. I had managed to spend over five hours at the plaza just wandering. "Well?" My mom said pulling me from my thoughts.


"Huh?" I replied confused.


She shook her head in disappointment and sighed. "That's it I'm taking you to see Dr. Steele," She announced as she made a right at a red light.


"What? No! I don't want to see him!" I protested, turning to look at her in the car.


She sighed heavily and pulled the car over to the shoulder. She gripped the wheel tightly and turned to look at me. When her eyes met mine I sucked in my breath. She looked so much older than I had realized. She was only in her early forties but if you didn't know, you'd say she was going on fifty-six. "Maddie," she began. "I'm running out of options here. I know you cared about him deeply, but ever since his death it feels as if you've died too," she said through choked sobs.


I looked at her numbly and blinked back tears of my own. "You don't get it!" I said feeling my voice rise with anger, "Sending me to see that crack job psychologist isn't going to change that Jake is dead! Jake is dead mom... It's not like my hamster died. He was my best friend... He was my.." I started to sob heavily.


"Honey, I have no choice, I don't know what to do anymore," She shouted, clearly exasperated, "I'm taking you to visit him tomorrow morning and I don't want to hear anything about it."


I slumped in the car seat, knowing already that there was no point in fighting her. Silence filled the space, save for the noise of passing cars and the left blinker signaling that we were pulling back onto the road.


The ride home was about a half hour drive and I found myself drifting off. My eyes felt heavy, they were too hard to keep open. Slowly but surely my eyes began to sag closed and I drifted off into sleep. What came after was something I hadn’t expected.


It started off as humming, like a static that filled the silence. Everything was white and soon I found I was standing in the emptiness. It was a void, a nothingness that stretched on forever. It wasn't until a moment later that color began to soak the stark whiteness. A grey color formed under my feet and soon I felt the all too familiar carpet. A beeping sounded from the corner of the room. A clock slowly materialized and sounded, informing the residence that an hour had passed. I turned to my right and watched as a huge French window formed before my eyes. The scene was becoming all too familiar and I found myself searching the forming space. I continued to turn, watching objects materialize. To my left, a large white couch formed and two kids appeared on the floor. There were coloring books spread out all over the place and crayons scattered around the children’s bodies. Both the boy and girl laid on their stomachs, crayon in hand coloring. The boy leaned on his elbows coloring, a huge dimpled smile on his face. He brushed his then curly blonde hair out of his face every so often. His hair in the future would be kept short and neat because of this reason. The girl across from him, wore overalls and had her long black hair in pigtails. She was busying herself with a drawing of a dragon, not much changed about her over the years. The two of them were laughing, showing off their art skills to the other, when a loud cry boomed through the hallway, followed by my mother’s voice. Jake and I froze, our crayons dropping from our hands. I watched my younger self and Jake look up at the large archway that separates the living room from the hall, and saw my mom with her arms wrapped tightly around Mrs. McCallister, dragging her to the bedroom. I stood frozen, catching the look on his mother’s face. It was the look of utter pain and devastation. His mother just received the news that her husband was dead. The cries continued for a moment as my mom took Mrs. McCallister down the hall and then abruptly stopped when the bedroom door shut. I turned my attention back to my younger self and Jake lying on the floor. My younger self looked up at his terrified face then and reached her hand over, placing it comfortingly over his coloring hand. He turned and looked at me then and gave me a small smile. Everything in that room remained the same except for three things. Our ages had changed, Jake’s father no longer lived, and Jake’s heart stopped beating.


I stood in Jake’s living room, just watching the younger versions of Jake and I talking. Watching the scene play out before me, I tried to focus on the words we were sharing, but our whispers were too low and our voices too childish to make sense of anything. Suddenly I felt my body moving, like I was being shook by an invisible force. Beeping echoed all around me and then all at once I watched the scene rip away and I was back in the white nothingness. It lasted all about five seconds and then I jolted awake in the car, my mother peering at me from the driver’s side, her seatbelt removed and the airbag system beeping rapidly. “Maddie, honey, we’re home,”

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