Hey guys 3
Major Spoilers for Awakened and Destined. If you haven't read those books, don't read this. I'm warning you now.
Takes place after Destined and before Hidden. I haven't read Hidden yet, so...can't write about it, can I? Well, I guess I could, but it wouldn't really work out very well and the critics would come rollin', so…
Disclaimer – I own none of the House of Night books. Those belong to the geniuses that are PC and Kristen Cast. If I did, Jack wouldn't have died, and then there'd be no need for this to exist. But just because I'm a writer I'd probably have written it anyway.
I was miserable.
I couldn't handle Jack being gone. He was my everything. I loved him. Heck, he was me. Without him...I was nothing. I ceased to exist. The central part, the part that felt joy, compassion, and feeling had been ripped out and replaced with an empty hole.
I sat on the bed that used to be ours. Now it was mine. It was too lonely at night. I couldn't sleep without him there, without feeling his warmth.
I was staring at an old photograph. It wasn't much – it showed me, Zoey, Stevie Rae, Shaunee, Erin, and Jack. The group, our group. If you can call it a group. Jack was a central part of that group. He is...he was our happiness, our optimist.
It's strange. Changing "is" to "was." It's unnatural. It's eerie. Those are the times when vocabulary freaks me out.
I stared at the photograph. We're all making silly faces. It was a joyous time, before Neferet came and ruined it. Before Heath died. Before...before Jack died.
Before I died along with him.
Of course, I told everybody that I was fine. That's what they'd expect of me. To be fine. With everything that was going on...I felt like I was doing an injustice to his memory by grieving and weeping. But I also felt like I was ignoring him by not.
I really did understand Zoey's soul shattering. When Heath died, she must have felt like this. Broken. But she didn't understand now. She was under so much pressure already...I couldn't dump my load onto her shoulders.
I ripped the photograph. I ripped it right in half. I ripped a piece off the top until all it showed was me and Jack. Me and my love, being happy, being silly, being us. Together. For what I thought was forever.
I looked at it for one more second. I wanted to cry. I always wanted to cry. But I felt like I'd used up all my tears. I had none left.
I put the photo into my pocket. That would be where it would stay now. I'd never take it out. I'd never put anything else in there. Just that. My piece of him.
I fingered the necklace around my neck. I never wore it out. Just now. Jack had given it to me – the last gift before he died. It was simple, but he said it was our thing. He had one just like it. It burned up with him.
Zoey. "Hi," I said. "Everything okay?"
"Yeah. There's something weird about Aurox. I don't know what, but he was following me for some reason - " she stopped talking once she took a good look at me.
"Honey, are you okay?" she said. She sat down next to me. I hung my head.
"Fine," was all I could manage.
We hugged for a long time. She didn't have to say anything. Maybe she did understand what I was going through. Somehow, she might.
"Do you think he's happy?" I asked.
"Of course he is," Zoey said. "He's with our Goddess."
"Right, Nyx. She'll take good care of him, right?"
"Of course she will. He'll be happy forever."
"And he'll wait for me?"
"He'll wait until you join him in the Otherworld."
"What if he gets lonely?"
"Heath is up there, isn't he?"
"Yeah...I guess you're right. I just want him to be okay."
She gave me another long hug, and then said, "Don't worry. He's fine. He'll wait for you forever and always. And then, one day, you'll be reunited."
I hoped she was right.