Disclaimer: I do not own Newsies, or the song "Colder Weather" by the Zac Brown Band. I do, however own a copy of both the DVD and the CD :)
This is based on the song "Colder Weather" by the Zac Brown Band. I posted the link to the youtube video of the song at the end, so check it out after you read (and review)! Sorry if the line breaks are annoying/confusing, sometimes they indicate a different scene and sometimes they just indicate a different POV for the same scene.
My first story with Sarah in it! Modern day!
They were fighting. Again. Arguments were becoming a frequent occurrence in the small apartment Jack and Sarah shared. The majority of their recent arguments were about one thing and one thing alone. Santa Fe. Jack wanted to go; Sarah wanted him to stay here in New York, with her.
"I don't get how you're not seeing this!" Jack shouted. "I don't belong here. I never have, and I never will. The city has given me nothing but shit my whole life!"
"Then why didn't you just leave when you had the chance all that time ago, huh?" Sarah retorted. "You were back on our doorstep not fifteen minutes after you said goodbye! You could have just left then!"
"You know what? Maybe I should have," he said coldly.
"Just leave, Jack," she said, her voice hard as stone. She didn't yell, she simply commanded him. "We both know the second this fight is over, you'll be out the door. That's what always happens. Take your things this time. You obviously want to get out of this city, so just get out."
"Sounds like a good idea to me," he replied, his tone even colder than before.
Sarah simply stood in the kitchen as Jack packed his things in his suitcase in the bedroom. She fought back the tears in her eyes. He wanted to leave, and she would let him. She wouldn't hold him back anymore; she would let him go, let him be free. It's what he wanted to do.
She successfully held her tears in as she saw him walk out of their room, grab his wallet off the counter, and go to the door.
"Goodbye, Sarah," he said. He didn't even look back at her; he simply turned his head to the side. The poor lighting cast shadows on his face. He opened the door and walked out. She immediately chased after him, not wanting him to have the last words spoken between them.
"Fine! Go!" She yelled as she followed him down the stairs. He was a full flight ahead of her, but she soon caught up to him. "You know you were meant to, you were just too scared the time you had the chance!" She followed him outside and he began trying to hail a cab in the chilly New York night air. She shivered a bit as she descended the stairs to the sidewalk, but ignored it. "Leave! You know you've wanted to since the day you missed the opportunity."
A yellow cab pulled up to the curb. Jack opened the door and put his suitcase in. Sarah bit back a tear as she realized this was it. Jack was leaving her. For good. Their relationship of almost five years would be over in less than five minutes. She ran over to him.
"Jack, I'm sorry," her voice pleaded. "Please, don't go. Stay, please." She felt the tears fall from her eyes. "Please, Jack. Please," her voice was barely a whisper.
"I'm sorry, Sarah," he replied, his voice was calmer, yet still firm. "Take care of yourself."
She nodded, her eyes downcast. She couldn't bear to watch him get into the cab. She couldn't bear to hear him tell the cab driver where to go. She couldn't bear to see the door slam and see the man she loved not look back at her. She did, however, reluctantly raise her eyes to see the taillights disappear into the dark night. Sarah wrapped her arms around herself and went to sit on the steps leading up to the apartment building. She couldn't handle walking back up to the tiny place she and Jack had called a home for the past three years and have him not be there.
Later that night, the phone rang; Sarah knew who it was, even though the caller I.D. only revealed the caller was dialing from a payphone. She picked up the phone hesitantly.
"What do you want, Jack?" Her voice showed no emotion, no pain, nothing. He noticed this and stumbled over his thoughts before he spoke.
"You have to listen to me, Sarah," he said. "I know you think I'm stupid, and that I'm an idiot for wanting to go out west. But you have to understand; this is what I've always dreamed of doing. I still lo—"
"Don't you dare, Jack Kelly," she snapped angrily as she cut him off. He could hear the tears in her shaky voice. "Don't you dare say you still love me. You don't, otherwise you wouldn't be leaving. You always wanted to leave Jack, and now you finally are."
"I want to see you, Sarah, before I leave," Jack replied. His voice wasn't pleading, it was simply stating the fact. "I don't want to leave with you angry at me. I need you to forgive me."
"Oh, that ship sailed the second you got in the cab, Jack," she retorted, though she too wanted him to come see her. She wanted to forgive him, but she knew that it wouldn't make a difference down the line. "I will never forgive you. Don't waste your time begging. Just get the hell out of New York like you always wanted to do. So just get on a bus and go. Go, and never come back."
"Look, I'll call you again tomorrow or something, when your head is clearer," he said, hearing her hurt tone. "I'm sorry, I know you're upset and—"
"Damn right I'm upset!" she raised her voice and pitch as she cut him off again. "You left me, Jack. You threw away the past five years of our lives for what? A postcard you got from your friend when you were fourteen. But it's too late now Jack. Don't come back. Don't ever come back. Go find that perfect sunset you rambled on and on about all those times. The sun here wasn't enough to make you stay, and I wasn't enough to make you stay either. So save your breath and don't ask me to forgive you. Because I won't.
"You aren't ever going to change until you get your Santa Fe sunset, Jack. I know that for a fact, and so do you. Please don't make me hate you even more, Jack. Please, just leave me alone." Her last sentenced was a struggle to get out, but she managed to say it without faltering.
"Goodbye, Jack," she said, tears falling freely down her face as she hung up the phone on the man who still had her heart.
Jack sat at the bus station diner in a middle of nowhere town in Missouri. He was halfway there. Halfway between the woman he left behind, and the reason why he left her. He looked into the half empty coffee cup he had in front of him. Its contents were cold, cold like his heart had been just a few days ago when he last saw Sarah, and cold like the night air outside.
"Can I get you anything else?" Jack heard a female voice say. He looked up, about to kindly refuse the offer, but stopped. The waitress had Sarah's eyes. Not the eyes that he remembers from when he left, but eyes from a happier time, when they were young and stupid.
And in love.
"Uh," Jack cleared his throat as the word came out roughly. "No thanks. I'm good." He successfully sounded sincere. He wanted those eyes to leave him alone. He hadn't seen them for nearly a week, and he didn't want to ever again. It hurt too much to remember what he threw away. He slammed his fist on the table.
He shouldn't have left. Sarah was the best thing that had ever happened to him, and he left her. He left her in the cold after five years.
And now he was miserable without her.
Jack dug into his pocket and pulled out two quarters. He stood up and walked over to the payphone in the corner of the diner. He dialed the familiar number and waited for the woman whose heart he tore in two to answer.
The phone rang. Sarah let it. It rang 5 more times before it went to the machine.
Hello, you've reached Jack and Sarah. You know what to do.
They had spoken in unison, but each had said the other person's name unaccompanied. She hadn't changed the message, like any other heartbroken ex-girlfriend would have done by now. She didn't want to lose his voice saying her name; it was all she had left of him.
"Hey, it's me," she heard him and she immediately sat up straight. "So, I guess I missed you, you're probably out or something. I guess it'll make it easier to say this. I was stupid, Sarah. I was stupid to leave. I want to come back. I'm sorry. I guess I'll try to call again tomorrow. B-" She raced to pick up the phone before he hung up.
"What do you want, Jack?" she asked blankly again, just as she had before.
"I want to come home. I'm sorry I left you. It's this stupid Santa Fe dream of mine. I know now that I don't want it. All I want now is you. I love you. I want to come home," he replied.
"No Jack," she said coldly. "We both know you don't think Santa Fe is stupid. It's all you could think about when we first met. You yourself said you weren't meant for the city. So you can't come home."
"But why?" he asked, confused by her unusual tone. Just five days ago she had been begging him to stay.
"Because you're eventually going to leave again," Sarah replied. "You've always wanted to go to Santa Fe. You need to go. You hate New York; you were never one for boundaries, Jack. You're confused if you think coming back now is going to change anything. Nothing about you is going to change if you come back now. We'll just be fighting against next week."
"Sarah, please," he begged for forgiveness through the receiver.
"I'm sorry, Jack," she whispered. "I'm so sorry." She hung up the phone, tears beginning to fall from the corners of her eyes. She didn't want him to be sorry. That meant there was hope for them. She knew that hope would be taken away the second something here reminded him of Santa Fe. Another fight would start and she would have to lose him all over again.
She didn't want that. She knew what he had to do. He had to go to Santa Fe and leave her behind. It broke her heart, but it's what he had to do to be happy. Even if he was starting to have doubts about his decision, he had to go.
Jack Kelly wasn't going to change. He wanted what he wanted. He wanted Santa Fe first, so Santa Fe would always win.
Jack couldn't believe what he had just heard. Sarah didn't want him anymore. Less than one week ago she had been begging him to stay with her, and now she didn't want him. But she was right. If he went back, the cycle would just repeat itself all over again. He would leave her again and break her heart into a million pieces a second time.
Sarah couldn't take it anymore. She loved Jack, but she had told him to go. She had been so stupid. He was ready to come home. He had apologized sincerely and she turned him away. He wanted to come home, but she said no. She just knew he would end up leaving again, she just knew it. Santa Fe was his first love, and Sarah would always be second to her.
Sarah slowly walked into the bathroom. She went to the medicine cabinet and took out a bottle. She went to the kitchen and got herself a glass of water. She went back to their- her room and laid down on the bed. A tear ran down her cheek as she swallowed the first pill.
"I love you, Jack," she whispered through her tears before she repeated the action 14 more times until the bottle was empty.
He had just crossed the New Mexico border on the bus. The old Jack would be fidgeting in his seat with excitement of finally being here. But the new Jack was the exact opposite. The new Jack was solemn, lonely. Sarah didn't want him. Rather she didn't want him to come back and leave her again.
She still loved him, that much he was sure of, he heard it in her voice through the phone. But she hated him at the same time. She hated that he couldn't just stay and be happy with her. He could have, easily. Or he could have offered to take her with him. But he didn't. Jack knew that was his stupid mistake. But he also knew she wouldn't leave New York. Her family, friends, and whole life was there.
Jack had never liked staying settled for too long, that's why things started going downhill when he and Sarah got the apartment together. It was a commitment. A commitment he was uneasy about at the time, but he didn't let it show. He just wanted her to be happy.
As the bus passed the Welcome to Santa Fe, New Mexico! sign, Jack couldn't help but let a single tear escape his eye. He had screwed up, made the worst mistake of his life. As much as he wanted to go to Santa Fe, he needed Sarah. He loved her. He had loved her since the moment he saw her.
He knew now that he had to go back.
The second he got off the bus at the station in Santa Fe he was in search of a pay phone. Once again, he put the quarters into the coin slot, determined to get Sarah to listen to him this time. But once again, he got the machine.
You've reached Sarah Jacobs. Leave a message and I'll get back to you.
She had changed the message. Her voice was glum and monotone. Jack was slightly disheartened but stayed hopeful as he spoke.
"Sarah, it's me, again. Look, I was an idiot for leaving. I realize that now. Now that I'm all the way across the country, I realize you're all I need to be happy. But you were right. You were right about everything. I was confused, but I'm not anymore. I love you, Sarah. Please forgive me and let me come back. I need to see your face and hear your voice. I've missed you. Please let me come back, Sarah. I promise I won't ever lea-" The receiver clicked, indicating someone had answered the phone. "Sarah! Please you have to let me come home."
"Jack?" He heard Les say. Jack hadn't seen Les in almost a year. The teenager sounded like he had been crying.
"Les? Wait, where's Sarah? I really need to talk to her. Is she there?" Jack said quickly.
"Sarah's dead," Les replied.
Jack's heart stopped for a few seconds. She couldn't be dead. He could feel the hot tears burning behind his eyes.
"Wh-, how?" Jack managed to get out before the tears began to make their escape. He sat down, sliding against the wall; thankfully the cord was long enough to allow him to do so without hanging up.
"It was two nights ago," Les began, struggling to sound coherent as he retold the story of his sister's death. "She was supposed to come over for dinner. But she never showed up. David came over here to check if she had forgot or something. That's when he found her..." His voice trailed off, but he was determined to finish the story. He coughed before continuing. "He-he found her on the bed. There was an empty bottle of sleeping pills next to her." Jack could hear Les sob through the phone.
"I'll be there as soon as I can, Les," Jack said into the phone before letting go of it and allowing it to hang beside him.
Sarah was dead. Sarah, the one he loved and left, was dead. Because of him. That had to be the reason she did it. Jack hated himself for causing her to end her own life.
He continued to sob profusely among the other travelers, not even bothering to move from his spot on the floor or hide his face from them.
Sarah, his Sarah, was gone. She could never come back. He would never see her face, hear her voice, or feel her touch ever again.
And he was the reason why.
It took all he had to pick himself up off the floor and find the arrival/departure screens to find the first bus back to New York.
Jack made it back to New York three days later. Tearstains were very apparent on his cheeks as he prepared to face the family of the woman he loved and lost. He let himself into the Jacobs apartment with a downcast face.
Les was sitting on the sofa, his entire face red from crying the past few days. Mayer sat next to him, his hand on the boy's shoulder as he held his own tears back. David stood by the window, staring out to the street below with a blank expression on his face. Esther was in the kitchen, frantically washing the dishes of the meals they had gotten from their neighbors.
They all looked up when Jack entered the room. They saw the pain and guilt in his eyes. Esther dried her hands on a dishrag and walked over to him.
"This isn't your fault," she said quietly, reaching up to put her hands on his shoulders. He began to cry and she hugged him tightly, tears falling from her eyes as well now. "You can't blame yourself. She just wasn't strong enough. It's not your fault."
Jack heard the woman's words, but he didn't believe them. Sarah had killed herself because he left her. There was no other reason than that. She was plenty strong. She had stuck with him through all of their fights. No, she was strong enough. He was the reason she was dead now.
They held the funeral five days after Jack returned. He stayed at the Jacobs' apartment; he couldn't go back to his and Sarah's. He couldn't sleep in the bed she took her life in.
He didn't hear the words said as they lowered the casket into the ground. He didn't hear the dozens of "I'm so sorry"s addressed to him and Sarah's family. He barely even heard Mayer telling him to go to sleep that night at three in the morning.
A month had passed. Jack still saw Sarah almost everywhere. He knew she wasn't really there; he knew he was either hallucinating or dreaming each time he felt her touch or smelled the sweet floral perfume she used to wear. But it was enough for him. He had to hold onto her somehow.
He went to visit her grave on the second Wednesday of January. It would have been her twenty-third birthday. Jack walked up through the old cemetery to her grave. He had been there numerous times, but this one seemed different for some reason. The air was crisp and cold. He carried a bouquet of white roses, her favorite flower. He walked up to her gravestone and read the words he had memorized.
Sarah Elizabeth Jacobs
January 12, 1987 - December 4, 2009
Dear Daughter & Sister
He placed the flowers down next to the ones that David and Les had brought this morning when they had visited her. He choked back a tear as he kneeled down in the snow before the gravestone.
"Happy birthday, Sarah," he began, the tear winning the battle. "I know I've told you this probably a hundred times already," he paused as if she were going to answer him. "But you need to hear it again. I love you, Sarah. I know I left, but I still love you. I was an idiot. If I hadn't left, you and me would probably—eh, who am I kidding?" Jack let out an aggravated sigh. "We'd still be miserable if I hadn't left, most likely. It was because I left that I remembered I really do love you. I was too dumb to see that before I hurt you, and I'm sorry, Sarah. I'm sorry I made you do this."
"Don't blame yourself, Jack," he heard her voice. He closed his eyes and saw her face, as he had done so many times before. "Remember what my mom said, this isn't your fault."
'But why, Sarah?' he thought to his memory of her. 'Why did you have to do it?'
"I was weak, Jack. Too weak to live without you," the ghost replied. The eyes he had missed so much grew watery in his vision of her.
'I miss you,' Jack thought, opening his eyes. She was still right there in front of him, standing on the other side of the tombstone.
"I know," Sarah replied. "I miss you too. So I need you to do something for me."
"Anything," he stuttered, his voice hoarse as he spoke out loud to the apparition.
"Go to Santa Fe," she told him. "You have to, Jack. Go, for me. You always wanted to see the sunset there, so you need to go Jack. Promise me you will."
"Ok," he said. "I promise." Sarah looked behind her and a pained expression came to her face.
"Thank you, Jack," she said, a tear escaping her eye. "I have to go now. Just know that I love you. I always will. And I'll be there. At the sunset in Santa Fe. I'll share it with you. I love you, Jack. I'll miss you." She began to fade and Jack cursed him subconscious for making her do so.
"Please," he reached out, but didn't dare touch her, that could make her disappear faster. "Don't leave me, Sarah."
"I have to, Jack," she replied, her voice as quiet as the wind, but he still heard it. "I'll see you in Santa Fe; I'll be waiting for you there, in the sunset. I love you. Goodbye." And with that she vanished completely.
"I love you too, Sarah," Jack said solemnly. He put his hand on the cold stone. "I'll see you soon, in Santa Fe."
So there you have it. I didn't mean to kill Sarah off, but it's in the song, or my interpretation of it at least. I'm not sure if the girl actually dies at the end of the song, but it's certainly one way of looking at it. You should really go listen to the song. It's beautiful. Plus, you'll see I practically wrote this verse by verse!
Link to the song: .com/watch?v=H2Q-6wQXV90 (on youtube)
Reviews are lovely.