I Lost CountMature

A short story of love and loss.

There was a woman who had all the advantages, who was beautiful, yet she had no luck. She was sweet. She was kind. She was caring. She was talented. But nobody liked her.

It wasn’t always this way. When she was 12, for instance, she had too many friends to count. But when she screwed up, nobody was there. Nobody but me.

I, Craig Thurston, was in love with Melanie Byrd.

And we lived happily ever after… if only it was that simple. Melanie didn’t know I existed. To her, I was just another face in the hallway. Another face, she assumed, that hated her.

Okay, so that’s not the whole truth. She knew who I was; we just didn’t talk. We were best friends ever since we were babies. Then we hit middle school, and Melanie became popular while I hung out with the writers.

Sure, I had my fair share of girlfriends, but none of them were the girl I fell in love with at 7 and still love at 17. But I felt like I was the only one.

Every time I would see her in school, my heart would melt and my face would go soft. My friend Marshall always laughed at me and told me I was ridiculous, and that I had no chance with her, even after she screwed up. I didn’t care, though. To me, Melanie was perfect, and even though Marshall was probably right, that wasn’t going to stop me from daydreaming. If I could sing, I would perform a whole concert of songs just for her.

After she screwed up, nobody spoke to her. But she went to school every day, head held high, grinning and bearing it through the hate, not shedding one tear.

Until last week, something inside her snapped.

Monday, February 2nd will stay in my mind forever. I came to school, and for once, Melanie was all I heard.

She had killed herself the night before.

Now, I stand before her coffin, forgetting what it feels like to have dry eyes. I hold a note that I’ve written a thousand times over and over again. I leave it in the bouquet of flowers.

Dear Melanie,

I know we haven’t spoken in these past few years, but I miss you. To me, you are perfect. I know you’re going to laugh, so I’ll make it nice and simple: I love you. When I was younger, I had a journal that I wrote in every day. And every day, without fail, I wrote at the top of every page three things: the date, the time, and how many days I’ve loved you. I wrote this whether the entry had anything to do with you or not. Now you’re gone, and I’ll never have the chance to tell you how much and how long I’ve loved you.

So, since there’s nothing else to say:
Goodbye, Melanie Byrd.

Craig Thurston
Date: February 8th
Time: 4:47 PM
Days I’ve loved Melanie Byrd: I lost count.

The End

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