Laurel & David - Great story, I was a crybaby reading it :)
"It's all about Before and After."
"The rain was light and dainty, and I loved the feel...moreLaurel & David - Great story, I was a crybaby reading it :)
"It's all about Before and After."
"The rain was light and dainty, and I loved the feel of it on my skin as I headed toward home."
"And now, things just stopped, hard. Like the air; I couldn't feel it moving around me anymore. Or my ability to swallow; I was sure that if I tried, my throat would freeze up and get stuck like that forever. it was as if I was suddenly sealed up in a bubble where everything wa completely and totally wrong, wrong, wrong, and I had to get out."
"Those eyes landed on me, flickering with some kind of new energy and purpose. David raised his head a little more now, really registering me with an acknowledgment. I looked back, held his gaze for a few moments, but that was all. It felt like enough."
"But the thought of my classmates having a normal day without me just made me feel deeply, despairingly lonely."
"I was sure that once I started to cry, I would never stop. I mean, how could I ever stop?"
"I thought of Masher in the Kaufmans' house, not understanding why everyone was gone but sensing something big had happened. Whining at the windows. Scratching at the front door. Confused and devistated, sort of like me."
"He smelled musty and his coat was dusty, and he kept shaking it out like he was trying to brush off the lonely, dark, sad place his home had become, and I vowed to give him a bath in the morning."
"David fell to his knees to hug his dog, his face in the thisk ring of fur around his neck, and they stayed that way for what seemed like minutes."
"When he finally let go of Masher, he was fighting back tears."
"Something a bout David's face right then, so fragile and temporary, felt familiar. Had I seen it before on him? Or maybe, on myself? My guard fell, and a voice inside me nudged, David is not his father. You don't have to hate him too."
"'That's the whole thing about grieving,' Joe continued. 'It's part of the deal: You get to be alive and in love, but in exchange you also have to put in some serious hurt time.'"
"I thought of not having Masher around anymore, and it instantly made me ache. Another absence."
"Now I lay facedown on the bed, sobbing for the woman who once slept here not knowing that someday one of her worst fears would come true."
"I thought of the cat's expression, imagined her alone in the empty apartment she knew as her home, wondering what she'd done wrong."
"One week before my birthday and two weeks before Halloween, the leaves hit their peak. I could stand on our front lawn and look south to see the quilt of browns and reds and yellows stretched across the hills. It was hard for me to drive because I'd always be staring up at the trees, which bent forward over the road like they were showing off their last bling of the season before going bare for the winter."
"It was my birthday, and I wanted my Mom and Dad."
"It had never occurred to me that David was haunted by the wondering too. It was so simple, and so obvious. I cried hard but quietly with relief in the dark."
"His expression was so pained, and I suddenly got how David struggled, feeling protective of his father while also hating his guts."
"I realized the email was not asking for an answer. It was just there. A record of where he'd been, like dropped bread crumbs along a trail. So I just let it be, thinking that maybe there would come a time when I'd need to follow those bread crumbs to find him."
"I remembered that I did have somewhere to go, David had said. his voice and face, open and honest, and trusting. I cringed at the thought, and tried to be happy he'd come in the first place. It was like he'd opened a window. Maybe in his rush to leave he'd forgotten to shut it."
"He opened the door and saw my face, covered in tears and snot, and the set of his mouth changed. Without a word, he let the door close and slid onto the bench, circling his arms around me in such a smooth motin I didn't even see it happen. I just felt them, warm and sturdy and confident."
"He just tucked his chin over the top of myh head as I curled into him. I was crying softly now, but easily. It was like a language that only he understood, because we were the same species."
"David looked at me tenderly, protectively. An exprssion I'd never seen on him before."
"'Every inch of every road has some kind of memory for me.' He paused. 'Not all of them are good... Although it's the good ones that hurt the most now. you probably know that too.'"
"And before I knew it, I was crying again. within a few seconds I heard the short, sharp breaths coming from David that meant he was crying too. And then I felt his hands on my shoulders, and a shifting of weight on the bed, and now he had me in his arms. I wiped my face with the palm of my hand and raised it up, and kissed him. I don't think he was expecting it, because he jerked his face away for a half second. But then he kissed me back. Fast, with energy. He moved his hands to either side of my face and I felt like I was falling, not into a place or hole, but into colors. Red and orange and purple. Deep and rich. David took one hand off my face and pressed it against my chest, pushing me down into the bed. Then one of his legs was on one of mine and the feeling of weight there, of being covered, was suddenly the best thing in the world."
"It was about me. I was ready to admit that I wanted David near me. It was one thing I now knew I wanted for myself; maybe I should tell him that."
"That was it. That was Before. Now here we go into After."(less)