This is my last chapter! I put a lot of time and effort into this chapter, so I hope you enjoy it as much as I did writing it!

Tonight Will Be My Night

Chapter Six

"Brian?"

"Yeah?"

"Do you have money in your wallet for the pizza? I forgot to go to the bank today."

"Yeah…take some extra and buy that root beer they have, will you?"

"Sure."

Zoey Ashford walked into the dimly lit kitchen of their three bedroom house and took out a 20 from Brian's wallet. It was Friday night, pizza night, and she was just leaving the house to pick up their order.

"I'll be back!" she yelled as she left through the back door.

It's been thirteen years since Zoey and her friends graduated from PCA. Thirteen years since Chase got killed. Zoey still thinks about him everyday.

Zoey had grown into a wonderful woman. She was the editor of a national teen magazine and had a wonderful husband. She was happy, truly happy, with her life.

After Chase's death she had changed. For the first two years of college she struggled while trying to make friends and spent most of the time in her room. Zoey was afraid to let people, especially guys, into her life. She was afraid to love again. The friends that she did make worried about her. But they didn't know about her past, and she couldn't bring herself to tell them. All of them but one.

In an attempt to try and cheer her up they took her to a party. Zoey found it hard to be at the party. Too many alcohol induced memories flooded into her mid as they walked into the smoky house. She walked straight to the back and found herself opening a screen door onto the back porch. 'Fresh air,' she had told her roommate Paige, noticing her questioning look. As if by instinct she looked over to a group of boys who were sitting around a table, smoking and drinking beer. The memories rushed back into her mind hard and fast. Zoey couldn't take it anymore. Trying to keep the tears from falling, she ran back into the house past a confused Paige and straight into the kitchen. She quickly poured herself a cup of jungle juice and chugged it down, immediately refilling it again once she had finished and drinking her second cup at an abnormal speed. The people around her cheered.

Zoey didn't want to feel anything. She was tired of hurting all the time and drinking to escape from it seemed like the only possibility, the only thing she hadn't tried besides suicide, which she had thought about, but never seriously. She drank another cup.

An hour later she was in her building throwing up while Paige held back her hair and whipped the constant tears cascading down her face. Paige had helped a drunken Zoey across the railroad tracks and back onto campus and into the bathroom. Zoey wept like she had the morning after the accident a year and a half before. She cried Chase's name as she puked in the tiny stall. Paige wondered sympathetically who this boys was. She wondered if he had broken her heart.

Paige put Zoey into her bed positioning their garbage can next her bed, just in case. As she was putting her pajamas on she heard Zoey make a noise. She went to her side and brushed the hair from her face, asking her what was wrong.

"I'm sorry…I don't know why I did it. I just felt so crappy…" Zoey began to cry again. Paige sat her up and hugged her.

"You want to tell me what's wrong?" Zoey hadn't told anyone about Chase. But she trusted Paige. Zoey reached under her pillow and pulled out a purple envelope. Inside were pictures of her and Chase.

"That's Chase." It was the picture that she had kept on her nightstand, the one she saw before she went to sleep and the one she saw when she woke up.

"He was my best friend all through high school but he always liked me as more than a friend. And he was always really special to me, but I never realized that I…loved him until the last month of out senior year. And then one night we couldn't pretend we were just friends anymore. We were at a party and he kissed me. We spent every second of that weekend together. And then…he went out to return a movie or something and…"

Zoey found herself having trouble telling Paige. Sure, she had replayed the moment in her head thousands of time, but never had she talked about it out loud to anyone besides her friends from PCA.

"What? What happened?" Paige eyebrows furrowed with concern and she could almost feel her own eyes tearing up. She felt Zoey take in a deep breath.

"He was in a car accident, hit by a drunk driver. He died."

"Oh, Zoey…"

"It's been so hard without him," she cried, shamefully wiping the tears away, "But I've been doing okay. I haven't lost control, until tonight. Drinking tonight was really foolish of me. I told myself I would never do it again. Getting drunk can only hurt people."

After that night Zoey started to open herself up to other people. She was herself again. Five years later Zoey, Paige, and Nicole were roommates living in an apartment in San Francisco. Dana and Logan had married living comfortably in the suburbs of San the city and were expecting their first child. Michael worked at a high paying recording company and Quinn worked at the State hospital; she had dedicated her life to saving others. They were all out at a bar for the night when she met Brian, a tall business man with messy hair. Zoey and Brian talked for hours. She was surprised by the ease of their conversation and the way she didn't have to fake her laughter. She agreed to a date that weekend. She spent the remainder of the week thinking constantly about Brian. But as she stood in from of her mirror Saturday night dressed in an elegant short blue dress, memories of Chase suddenly interrupted her thoughts. It had been seven years. She sat softly on her bed and placed her hand on her heart, taking a deep breath and closing her eyes. She would never forget Chase, he was her first love. But how long could she go on living without someone to love? That night Zoey opened her heart.

As they sat together at the restaurant, Zoey noticed just how similar Brian was to Chase. He didn't look anything like him, however. He had blonde hair and green eyes and had played soccer his entire life. They were similar because of the way he made her feel, like she was the reason his life was wonderful. She felt herself falling for Brian.

Zoey wondered if she was only trying to replace Chase with the next best thing. Maybe that was true. Maybe no one would ever compare to Chase, but she refused to spend the rest of her life alone. She didn't want to watch all her friends get married and get stuck as always being a bride's maid. Brian's similarities to Chase made Zoey comfortable. She knew he was worth holding onto.

Four years later in mid May Zoey stood in front of another mirror, this time in a flowing white dress. Her hair was pinned up in all the right places and her make-up was just right. Dana, Nicole, Quinn, and Paige all stood around her in their matching light green dresses holding white flowers wrapped in pale yellow ribbon in their hands. Zoey looked at herself in awe. She had imagined herself like this so many time, but it was never like the real thing. She pressed her lips tightly together and stared at herself, thinking. Her mind was filled with only one thing. One person.

"Chase would be happy for you, Zo." said Nicole, reading Zoey's blank stare.

"I know." She whispered. The four girls shared a hug before Zoey's dad walk in, offering her his arm.

Zoey and Brian have been happily married for two years now. They both work during the day, but they find time during the evening to just be together and not worry about the stress that their jobs can pile on. Recently, they've been talking about having children, something they both want very much. They've been true to their vows, and haven't kept a secret from one another. Except for one.

Zoey has never and doesn't plan on telling Brian about Chase. It's been hard keeping that decision and she often feels guilty, but the reason she hides Chase is because she still thinks about him everyday. She wonders what her life would be like if he hadn't died, if she was married him instead. It was a thought that had popped into her mind hundreds of times before, but know, as the thirteenth anniversary of his death nears, she finds herself thinking of the "what ifs" more frequently.

Some days, mainly on dreary mornings when she wakes up before the alarm and the air in their room is abnormally cold, she sneaks downstairs to the study. It's in the study where she keeps her secrets. The study is her at home office that Brian only enters when giving her a cup of coffee to help with the late nights. Pulling the blanket from the couch and wrapping it around her body, she sits at the desk and opens the second drawer on the left. Underneath all the papers and folders, inside an old pencil box, were the pictures of Chase, still in the purple envelope. Zoey would pull them out and look longingly at them, running her fingers over his face. Along with the pictures was a letter to Brian. She would joke with Nicole, the only person who knew about it, that it was her "wannabe suicide note". It was her confession letter, and she often wondered if he would actually get to read someday. In the dimly lit room she would let her mind wander. She wondered what Chase would look like now, and how much his personality would have changed. She wondered what he would have done with his life and if he would be happy. But more than anything she wondered how their relationship would have been like.

And in those mornings when her mind was still clear, fresh and open, she saw it. She saw them married (that "would have been" was always painfully obvious to her after his death.) She saw herself waking up to a groggy Chase in the mornings and being forced to make him coffee to bribe him out of bed. She saw them spending their weekends hiking through the hills of California and waking up early to watch the sunrise. They would be adventurous and outgoing. Somehow, she believed she would be happier. And that's why she hid Chase from Brian. She was ashamed.

She left for pizza that night, still thinking about Chase. She wished everyday that he was still alive, yet Brian was the most extraordinary person in her life. She had no idea what she would do without him. He had mended her heart, so that when she thought of Chase, the tears were few. And she loved him. She truly did. But there were times of weakness, like a former smoker who's surrounded by cigarette clouds in a bar. She would always need Chase.

Zoey reversed out her driveway. She turned on her radio on and heard the soft strumming of an acoustic guitar.

Power of love is a curious thing
Makes a one man weep, and another man sing
Change a heart to a little white dove
More than a feeling, it's the power of love

It's tougher than diamonds, and it whips like cream
Stronger and harder than a bad girl's dream
Make a bad one good, make a wrong one right
Power of love will keeps you home at night

The light ahead turned from red to green, and Zoey pushed the gas with a little more force.

Don't need money, don't take fame
Don't need no credit card to ride this train
It's strong and it's sudden and it's cruel sometimes
But it might just save your life
It's the power of love
It's the power of love

First time you feel it - it might make you sad
Next time you feel it - it might make you mad
But you'll be glad when you've found
The power that makes the world go round

Without taking her eyes off the road she drove through the light, seeing the blinding white lights as they neared her window when it was too late. She didn't feel anything as the car got pushed into the barrier, crushing her up against the wall of rock, stealing her last breath.

Don't need money, don't take fame
Don't need no credit card to ride this train
It's strong and it's sudden and it's cruel sometimes
But it might just save your life

They say that all in love is fair
Yeah but you don't care
But you know what to do
When it gets hold of you
And with a little help from above
You feel the power of love
The power of love

Zoey's life didn't flash before her eyes. Instead, she only saw Chase. She could feel him.

Don't need money, don't take fame
Don't need no credit card to ride this train
It's tougher than diamonds and it's stronger than steel
You won't feel nothing until you feel...
You feel the power of love

She suddenly felt as alive as the night Chase made love to her. She wasn't afraid. Tonight was the night that she would finally see him again.

Brian had gotten the call almost an hour after Zoey had left. He had been worrying the entire time, but he never thought that something bad had actually happened to her. Not Zoey. He had convinced himself that she had run into a friend at the restaurant. He almost didn't pick up the phone when it rang. He held the receiver in trembling hands. A deep voice spoke on the other end.

"Mr. Ashford? Your wife Zoey was hit by a drunk driver on Park Lane and Greenwood Avenue. She died on impact. I'm sorry."

Brian left the phone dangling off the side of the kitchen counter.

The funeral was beautiful. The sun shone so brightly and the smell of the ocean was wafted to the cemetery with the cool breeze of spring. It was the same place that so many of the same people had gathered thirteen years ago. Brian noticed the gravestone near where Zoey was being buried. Chase Matthews, March 19th 1991- June 7th 2009. 'What a shame,' thought Brian, 'to die at such a young age.'

Brian stood with Paige and all of Zoey's high school friends at their cars after the funeral. They talked a lot about Zoey, how she still had so much of her life ahead of her, and how horrible that she would never live it.

"There was a kid buried near her who was only 18 when he died. Can you imagine dying at such a young age?" said Brian, "That must be a terrible thing…It makes me grateful for the time I had with Zoey."

Brian mistook their silence for reflection instead of pain and guilt. He was one of the few people at the funeral who didn't know who Chase was.

As they said their good byes Nicole whispered to Brian, "You should go through some of Zoey's things. I'm sure she…left something for you." She left, leaving him confused.

That night Brian was sitting at the desk in Zoey's study. He knew that if she had put anything important for him it would be in here. For a while he didn't touch anything, but he kept thinking about what Nicole had said. He didn't understand and greatly wanted an answer. He let out a sigh an opened the first drawer. Pens, pencils, staples. Post-it's that hadn't been used. He was already becoming frustrated. How was he going to find something if he didn't even know what it was? How would he know?

He opened the next drawer. Papers and folders. Doubtfully he rummaged his hand through all the documents. He didn't expect to find anything, but underneath all the paper was a box. He lifted it out slowly. It was just a plain pencil box, but as Brian held it in his hands, a weird feeling ran through his body. This was it.

He opened the box to reveal a folded letter with his name written on the front in Zoey's handwriting, and a purple envelope. His heart beat quickly as he unfolded the letter.

'My dear Brian,

I'm writing this to you at a time in my life when there are big changes ahead. We just moved into our house, settling in for a long and happy life together. But if you're reading this, then I'm most likely dead, at least, that's what the plan is. I can't possibly know what you're feeling having just found this, but I know exactly how you're feeling about my death. To lose the one person in your life you feel like you can never live without is a hard road to travel. I know. I experienced it myself. Yet here I am, the night before the rest of my life with you, with strength in my heart that you gave me so that I can tell you something how I know that horrible feeling. But before I get into that I want you to know that I was completely lost when you found me, in so many different senses, and you helped me to love again. I am eternally grateful. I'm sure you're confused. Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself. So as you read this, I just want you to know that I love you.

What I was saying before about knowing what it's like to have to live your life without the one person who you love more than anything in the world is true. His name was Chase Matthews, my best friends in high school, and I loved him in a way that I was blinded by it. I didn't realize just how much I actually loved him until we were seniors. He had loved me from the first time we met, and I had known that he would be an important person in my life. And I was right. He was, and even sometimes still, is the greatest thing that ever happened to me.

As our days at PCA began to come to an end, I realized that I couldn't be just friends with him anymore. We acted affectionately towards each other in a way that may not have seemed friendly to outsiders, but to say that we were merely friends would be a lie. All those wonderful feelings I felt whenever I was with him, the way he made my day better by just being a part if it, it was more than friendship. Maybe it was and always had been love, real love. But I doubt it. Whichever it was, I had loved Chase for long before I realized it.

I should have known by the way my feelings towards him changed. He wasn't just my best friend anymore; he was the only person who always understood me, who was always there for me. So one night, it just happened. We fell in love, and I knew from the moment he kissed me that we would always be together. But I was wrong.

Chase was hit by a drunk driver on June 7th, 2009, the same weekend that we had finally confessed our true feelings, and died. I will never forget it. I fainted after Michael told me the horrifying news, and when I woke up the next morning I didn't even remember it right away. But when I did, what I felt was more painful than anything I could have imagined. I didn't think I'd ever survive without him. One night in college I drank too much because I thought it would make me feel better, to escape the incessant heartache. It didn't.

I never told you about Chase because I was ashamed. Not because of my irrational reactions afterwards, but because part of me still loves him, and I think it always will. I'm ashamed of that. I should be loving you and only you, but my heart will never let go of Chase.

In the purple envelope are pictures of me and Chase. I've kept them hidden from you even before we decided to get married, and still look at them often. I want you too look at them despite the fact that it may hurt. Chase was the only secret I ever kept and I want you to know about him.

I hope you understand me more now. I love you so much, Brian. That will never change.

Till death do us part,

Zoey'

Brian was crying for the first time since Zoey's death. He was crying for many reasons and could not put his finger on them all, but one reason stood out from all the rest. Zoey and Chase were both killed by drunk drivers. He found that sadly remarkable. He also realized that Chase was the boy buried near her at the cemetery that had caught his eyes more than any other tomb stone. He understood why her family had insisted on burying her there. He opened the purple envelope and gently took out the pictures. He looked at them for a long time. They were mostly pictures of them holding each other, even one if Zoey asleep in Chase's lap. Brian didn't really know what to feel. But then he flipped to the last picture. It both caused him pain and soothed him.

It was clearly a snap shot of their first kiss. Smoke was twisted gracefully out of their parted lips in a beautiful way that momentarily caused Brian to forget to breathe. But the most captivating part of the picture was the way they were holding onto one another. Their bodies were pressed tightly together as their arms grasped firmly around each other in a way seeming to signify that they would forever hold onto one another. And in a way, they had.

The End

Thank you to all who read my story and especially to those who reviewed. You are amazing! The song I used is by The Early November and is called "Power of Love", originally by Huey Lewis and the News. The title and all thechapter titles are from the song "Halcyon Daze" by HiddenIn Plan Veiw.Please review!

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