Author's Note: This is purely a oneshot. I wanted to try my hand at writing something Great Gatsby related but I haven't had time to develop anything longer with an actual plot. So this will have to suffice for now. Also, a disclaimer shouldn't be necessary but just in case: I do not claim any of the characters or work of F. Scott Fitzgerald as my own.
Sometimes, if the wind cooperates, I can hear the orchestra playing. If I close my eyes I can easily recall the expansive green lawn stretching out before the tremulous, drunken crowd. Ladies with laughing hearts whisper through a liquor haze and easily agitated minds. Men make jokes about this or that. The gaiety comes through my mind and imposes itself on the inside of my eyelids.
It's far too easy to allow this image to be the one I revitalize each time I think of that summer. I'm nearly positive it's what everyone else envisions; happy times with an absent host. Though, he never really was absent. Most simply didn't recognize him between their gossip and idle chatter.
By the time the parties reached their untimely conclusion, most of that crowd had already found a new place. Only a few dwelled unnecessarily. Sometimes, if one paid close enough attention, they could pick out these people passing his large house in West Egg. They'd pause as if highly confused to its pristine emptiness. If they were courageous, they would start up the drive a few steps. If they weren't, they'd puzzle themselves silly before turning and heading back into town.
I'm fairly sure most of the people who unknowingly attended his parties are not even aware of his demise to this day. Jay Gatsby had always been a rather singular man with one intention. He'd made himself well enough known but he made very few bonds. I'm left grateful that one of those bonds was with Nick Carraway. If these two unlikely neighbors hadn't discovered their odd connections, I suspect I would be one of those individuals wondering vaguely whatever had happened to that Mr. Gatsby and his wonderful parties.
I do rather regret having avoided his funeral. Nick had called me quite insistent that I show up. He admitted rather meekly that he suspected he would be the only person present otherwise. If I had thought him incorrect I would have found my way to Gatsby's grave. As it was, I agreed whole-heartedly and could hardly bare such a sight. I've always been rather selfish and so I avoided the crushing pain all together.
I ran into Nick a year ago. He'd returned to the Midwest and I'd been visiting a sick relation. We chatted amicably for a moment outside of a petite bakery. We exchanged pleasantries for a moment before we realized we were left with an incredibly obvious hole. We couldn't talk about his death-or rather we chose not to. The closest we got to alluding to his murder was a brief mention of the Buchanans- both of which we had run into after the events had fully unfolded.
I do wonder about that couple on occasion though I hardly know why. I despise them thoroughly for their selfishness. More so Daisy than anyone else on earth. Of course, myself being rather selfish, I confess to being purely hypocritical. However, had I found myself in her shoes, I'd have left that great bulking brute of a husband in an instant. Or perhaps I wouldn't. I can't say for sure as I'm not Daisy Buchanan.
Perhaps this is why I can make a villain of her so very easily. I can lament the heartless woman who left Jay Gatsby despondent and stuck in a mess created by her unfair indulgences of the past. Often I wonder if Nick feels the same way. Or if he thinks me as similar to the beautiful Daisy?
When Nick and I parted ways, it was with great assurances to keep in touch. We both knew this was an erratic promise uttered to keep the precarious peace between us until distance severed our connection. I'd have rather liked to keep in contact with him, but I fear he regards the whole mess of that summer as something worth forgetting until it is forced upon him once more.
As for me, I can never forget it. My brief time with Gatsby was worthwhile. I admit to being infatuated with the man who seemed rather mysterious. Even now, after all of his mysteries have been unraveled, I find a great pull in the mention of his name. Thankfully, I am spared this uncomfortable desire to see him again, to hear his voice. Nobody speaks of Jay Gatsby any longer. Nobody remembers.