Eli trudged through the well worn, dew ridden grass. He knew this place well for it was a place he had been many times. The smooth marble surrounding him dauntingly stared Eli down as he passed silently through their ranks, not paying any of them a second glance. A cool drizzle oozed from the morose sky, sending shivers through his arms but his destination was much more important than any petty troubles. Eli wove his way through the almost maze like rows until a familiar white marble tombstone came into sight. A sad smile spread over his pale face, it was a depressing thought that this was the closest he was to Julia nowadays.
"Hey Jules," Eli murmured, sitting Indian style in front of her grave. "I'm sorry I couldn't come last weekend, I've ... I've been pretty busy," He admitted with a bashful smile, looking down before back up at her engraved name. His fingers knotted in the sodden grass, tugging them at the roots almost therapeutically. "You're not going to believe this, but.. I cleaned my room." Eli chuckled. "You would like it, Adam decorated it and now it looks all moody," He laughed, trying to maintain his optimistic exterior. "But don't worry, I didn't throw away any of your things or your picture," He assured her, his voice strained with the effort of forced positivity. "It was hard to go through your things. It makes me feel like you're further away, if that makes sense, but- at the same time," Eli paused, struggling to vocalize his muddled thoughts, "It's like you were closer than ever Julia," He finally admitted, the words pouring out of him and sucking the weight off of his constricted chest. "I swear it was like you never left." He reached out tentatively, stroking his black polished fingers down the weather worn tombstone, tracing the letters J, U, L, I and A with his fore finger.
"Eli?" a quiet voice interrupted him and he turned abruptly. Clare stood, huddled underneath an umbrella with Adam right by her side, solemn looks on both their faces. "How did you guys...?"
"Cece," Adam cut Eli off with a small half grin, he looked almost nervous. "Are you okay?" He added, his eyes flickering to the tombstone.
"I'm fine," Eli answered quietly, and for once it wasn't a lie. Eli didn't know, nor did he care, if the tranquility seeping through him was normal, like he was supposed to feel this way or maybe he had finally just gone crazy, but either way Eli was - to put it in the simplest of terms - happy. It took about 30 trash bags and two dedicated friends to realize that happiness was simple and easy. It was no struggle if you willed it into your life.
Clare stepped forward, followed closely by Adam, and sat next to me in the grass, lacing her fingers through Eli's. "Julia, I'm Clare. It's really nice to meet you, I've heard a lot about you," She giggled, smiling fondly at the tombstone. Adam sat next to her, and almost hesitantly reached out and touched the front of the tombstone. "And I'm Adam and I'm sure you've heard a lot about me. Between you and me, Eli's kind of crazy about me," He whispered sarcastically before winking at Eli.
In any normal occasion, that would have constituted a light smack on the back of the head and maybe some tussling but this felt different. Ever since Julia died, Eli had been so afraid to be alone but he craved it. Life had thrown it's worst at him and all he wanted was just to live in the past, and find his own twisted version of contorted happiness. But in that moment, with everyone he truly loved around me, it was true happiness, healthy, pure, innocent.
Happiness, he had learned, was not tangible. It did not exist in objects, or money, or stacks of trash in a messy room. It existed in memories, and people, and feelings.
For the first time in over a year, Eli felt innocent again, like nothing had ever marred his life as he sat, watching Adam and Clare casually converse with Julia's tombstone, Eli finally felt innocent.
I really wanted this to be a good chapter, considering this will be the last :/ but I've been SO busy I'm afraid it's not as good as it has been. I wanted this chapter to be in third person, I dunno why. But yeah so this is it! We've come a long way, you guys :) You all are great though. This story feels like my baby and it's like grown up x) Not to sound like a weirdo xD But I love all the support you've given me. You guys are amazing :)