So a couple months ago, I read a story by Jessicuhxoo, "A Day Without You", which is an Oldrivalship that just about broke my heart. So, already sufficiently angsty from a long week at work, I wrote this out as a kind of self-therapy. Then I sort of forgot about it, until tonight when I was browsing through my file of unpublished stories. Sorry if it's a little sad.
May was sitting on the edge of her bed, staring blankly at the pale yellow wall in front of her. Her bedroom in Petalburg had changed little over the years. The flowers she had pressed as a child were still hanging near the window, the glow-in-the-dark stars still stuck to the ceiling. Lacy white curtains hung at the windows, while the dark wood of her armoire and desk gleamed in the bright sunlight.
But for the first time, the beauty of her quaint little room failed to reach May. Her fingers were closed loosely around the stem of a single red rose, the thorns making tiny indentations in the skin.
Downstairs, May could hear her family moving around quietly, trying so hard not to disturb her. Swallowing hard, she forced herself to stand and walk to the window. The world was alive with spring, but to May, the cheerfully colored flowers and soft blue sky seemed to be mocking her.
May braced herself against the window sill, hunching over as a fresh wave of sobs wracked her body. She had thought she'd cried herself out, but apparently there were still unshed tears somewhere in her body. Tears that tapped out a mournful staccato as they fell from her face to the sill.
"Come on, May," said Drew, rolling his eyes. "Just make a choice."
"Just make a choice?" she said incredulously. "Are you serious?"
"It's only ice cream."
May put a hand to heart and gasped dramatically. "You did not just say that."
Drew grinned at her, flicking his green hair out of his equally green eyes. "And what if I did?" he said, raising an eyebrow at her. "What are you going to do to me?"
Sniffing daintily, May said, "It's not what I'm going to do to you," she said, pausing to finally make her order. "It's what I'm not going to do you."
"What's that supposed to mean?" asked Drew warily.
May just grinned, cat-like, as she took the cones from the worker. Handing Drew his, she said, "It doesn't matter. I'm not that good a kisser anyway. You'll barely miss it."
Laughing, she ran out of the shop. She didn't get far before Drew caught her around the waist with his free arm, pulling her close.
"What are you going to do now?" he asked huskily, his lips right next to her ear. May swallowed hard, a chill spreading up her spine.
"Nothing," she gasped, feigning nonchalance as she took a lick of her ice cream cone.
Drew growled and turned her so she was facing him. "Well, if you're not going to kiss me . . ." he said, lowering his head. It took all of May's willpower not to melt into his embrace as his lips met hers.
A contented sigh escaped her against her will, and Drew grinned triumphantly. Admitting defeat, May wound her free arm around his neck, returning the kiss. People walking by laughed at the odd couple kissing while holding ice cream cones at awkward angles, but neither one of them cared. In that moment, the world had shrunk considerably. To May, there was nothing beside the feel of Drew's hair under her fingers, and the warmth of his mouth against hers. There was nothing else but him.
"I'm worried about her."
May sighed quietly to herself from inside her blanket cocoon. Her mother liked to think she was quiet, but had no idea how far her voice really carried.
"She'll be fine," May heard her father say. "Eventually, she'll get over him and move on with her life."
"But Norman," said May's mother, "she hasn't left her room in days. She's barely eaten anything. What if—"
"Caroline," said her father firmly. "Leave May alone. When she's ready, you'll know."
There was probably more, but May turned over and pulled the pillow over her head. Get over Drew? Move on? Part of her wanted to leap to her feet, smash every vase and plate and glass in the house, scream until the widows shattered and the curtains tore. But mostly she just wanted to go to sleep and forget.
"Are you sure?" asked May, looking at Flygon doubtfully.
"Of course I am," said Drew haughtily. "When am I ever not sure?"
May rolled her eyes. "Not often enough," she replied, climbing on and wrapping her arms around Drew's waist. He clicked his tongue and they rose into the air, Petalburg falling away as they shot through the sky.
May screamed, half in terror and half in exhilaration, tightening her hold on Drew. He just laughed and urged Flygon into a steeper ascent. Wind rushed in her ears as they flew west, moving out over the ocean. Flygon leveled out, slowing to a gentle glide as they soared over the glittering waves.
"It's beautiful," whispered May. She rested her head on Drew's shoulder, inhaling his familiar scent. Oranges, mostly, but sometimes there was the faint hint of mint as well. When May had told him that for the first time, Drew hadn't laughed at her like she'd expected. Instead, he'd seemed relieved. Apparently, Drew had thought he was going crazy, because whenever he was around her, all he smelled was roses and strawberries.
"I love you."
The statement caught May off guard. "What?"
"I love you," Drew repeated, turning to stare at her intently. "Impossibly so." May just stared at him, her blue eyes wide and stunned. Drew coughed. "And it'd be nice if you loved me too, so I don't sound like a complete fool."
A grin that would give the sun a run for its money lit up May's face. "I love you too," she said, giggling. "Infinitely so."
Smiling wryly, Drew said, "Always have to one-up me, don't you?"
"Absolutely," replied May. "After all, we are still—"
Drew cut her off with a kiss, turning fully to pull her into an embrace. "Marry me?" he whispered, his sea green eyes as open and unguarded as she'd ever seen them.
"Of course." Her response was immediate. There was no hesitation, no question. May felt him slip a band onto her finger, but she didn't look just yet. "Promise me something?"
"Anything." Drew brushed a strand of hair away from her face, let his hand rest against her cheek.
"No matter what happens, we'll stay together."
Drew looked bemused. "That's rather the point of getting married, isn't it?"
"Just, promise me," she said.
"I promise," he said quietly. "But it doesn't matter. I'm not going to leave you."
"I know," May replied. "But a promise makes it real."
Tears streamed down her face as May ran her fingers across the polished stone of the gravestone. It was white granite, simple as far as tombstones went. Other than the name and date, the only other carving was that of a simple rose, chiseled into the top right corner.
"Drew," she whispered, her voice breaking. "I don't . . . I can't . . . Drew."
If May had thought she'd cried before, she was sorely mistaken. Wave after wave of sob seized her body, until at last she sank to the ground, feeling as though there was nothing left inside of her at all. What was the point of getting up, of doing anything at all? Drew was gone, she was alone, and even the act of breathing was like a thousand knives driving into her heart. Everyone kept saying that time healed all wounds. Well, it had been ten months, and it was all May could do to get out of bed in the morning.
"You promised," she whispered, resting her head against the cool white stone. "You promised, you promised, you promised." She kept repeating the word, pounding her fist against the side of the gravestone.
It didn't matter. Nothing mattered. Death thought nothing of promises, of whispered vows and rose colored dreams. Dreams. May felt her heart clench. The house in Lilycove was still waiting for them, empty and silent. It was supposed to have been their little house of dreams. Now it was a memorial to everything that could have been, might have been.
Never would be.
"I miss you so much," said May, her voice breaking again. "So very much."
No one responded. There was nothing but the sound of the wind as it moved through the grass, gliding deftly in between the tombstones. The late afternoon sun slowly faded into a purple dusk. May didn't notice, nor did she care. As the air slowly cooled around her, she wondered what would happen if she just stayed here forever. Curled up at the base of a dead man's gravestone and just went to sleep.
"We were supposed to be forever, you know," she whispered, tracing the carving of the rose. "I could see everything so clearly. There were going to be roses in the garden out back, and every morning, I was going to put a vase of fresh flowers in the kitchen. And when we had children, I'd put a few in the nursery too, because I wanted our babies to fall asleep and wake up to the smell of roses."
Her finger slowly stopped moving, sliding down the stone to come to a rest in her lap. Against her will, May drew herself to her feet and took one last look at the tombstone. "I still love you," she whispered, tears sliding down her face. "And I don't think I'll ever be able to stop."
Summer turned to autumn, and then to winter. Spring came and was replaced by summer again, but the graveyard didn't really change. A coating of fallen leaves was changed for one of snow, which then melted and watered the soft green grasses of spring and summer. Other than that, the sea of stones remained unchanged as time marched by.
The simple white marker with a rose in the corner stood silent and solitary throughout the long, empty years. People visiting other graves sometimes took notice of the simple elegance of it, women stopping to admire the rose carving, men appreciating the modest nature. But for the most part, the graveyard stood empty, untouched by time or man.
Until the summer when a new stone appeared, so quietly and unassumingly that no one ever noticed. Rose colored quartz, cut in the same simple design as the white granite one beside it. And in the top left corner, a rose had been chiseled into the stone, an exact match to the one on its neighboring stone. One could even say the roses were soulmates, they were so well matched.
You see what you do to me Jess? Nah, I'm just kidding. Mostly. Hehe, anyway, I wrote a sad contestshipping fic a couple months ago called Love Can Do All but Raise the Dead, but I kind of chickened out at the last minute and gave it a happy ending after all. This time I was determined to write a truly sad fic, even if it killed me. Thankfully, I'm still alive, although the same can't be said for Drew. Oops, sorry. Too soon? My point, however, is that I'd love feedback to see if I actually managed to write a sad fic, or if this just annoyed you.