I think you can do much better than me

After all the lies that I made you believe

I'm an idiot. I am a fucking idiot. How the hell could I do that? How could I sit there, keep my calm and lie to her? It made sense at the time – God, it made so much damn sense at the time, but now I can't remember the logic that I used. I can't remember why it made sense to lie to her, my beautiful Sam. If only I had told her the truth, the pure and simple truth from the very beginning, I could have avoided all of this.

If I had told her the truth, she would still be here next to me. I know she would have accepted the weird that was my life because she was that forgiving, that understanding. Now she's gone – she just left and I couldn't do anything to stop her. She left my life, she left the state, and now I had no way to find her. I wasn't going to get another chance to hold her in my arms, or tell her that I loved her.

I had fucked up far too much for that.

Guilt kicks in and I start to see

The edge of the bed

Where your nightgown used to be

I close my eyes and recreate her bedroom in my mind. I think of how she burrowed beneath her dark sheets, seeking out warmth even while curled against my chilled body. I think of her breath, slow against my neck as she slept. I think of all the little details of her – all of the things that made Sam. Sam; all of the things I now had to learn to live without. I could lay in my own bed and think of how she would sigh in the deepest parts of her sleep, and how she always rolled into me, seeking me out even in her dreams. I could see myself gently clearing the hair away from her face, even as she slept, so I could see her more clearly.

When I thought of Sam like this – sweet and completely unaware – there comes this harsh feeling under my rib cage, something I would call regret or guilt. Perhaps it's both. But it's the thought of her lying asleep in my arms, completely trusting, that feels as though it's going to break me. She trusted me and I was so willing to destroy her.

I knew it would destroy her too. That's why I was so hesitant to reveal myself, especially after so much time had passed. I knew that I would, eventually, break her heart. I think that's why I held off so long in revealing myself, but I won't lie, it was out of pure selfishness too. I wanted to keep my two lives separate; I'm a teenage boy, it's tempting to be able to turn off the boyfriend switch casually. I should have realized that none of the perks that came along with two identities were worth losing her over.

I should have been honest with her from the start but I wasn't. And that's something I'm going to have to live with for a very long time.

I told myself I won't miss you

But I remember

What it feels like beside you

I really miss your hair in my face

A person can lie about a lot of things. A person can lie to a lot of people. A person can try to lie to themselves, but that one never works out.

I can tell myself that, soon, I'll forget Sam. I can say that she'll fade away; she'll cease to matter so much. I can tell myself that my heart isn't beating for her and that she isn't constantly weighing on my mind. That, however, doesn't make any of it true. In fact, it only makes me think about her more. It doesn't matter what I'm doing or how I'm going about my day, her memory is right there.

It's almost as though I'm being haunted – a ridiculous notion considering all that I know about the supernatural and the afterlife, but that is exactly what this is like. I am being haunted by the memory of Sam; I am being haunted by my love for her and all that I left in ruins. If I'm fighting a ghost, it's the purple of her eyes that I see in the energy blasts. If I'm at home and Jazz walks by, it's not the swing of her hair I'm seeing, but hair of a much darker shade, seen in a much different light.

I tell myself that soon Sam won't mean anything. This is the second biggest lie I've ever told.

The truth is that Sam will always mean something. There will never come a day when I won't be in love with that girl; when she doesn't mean the world to me. There will never be a point in my life when I won't wake up, remembering how to greet the morning next to her or how she looked in the light of dawn, delicately clearing the sleep from her eyes. The day will never come when I don't remember the nuances of her voice or her laugh.

She is a part of me, always and forever. This I cannot lie about.

And the way your innocence tastes

And I think you should know this

You deserve much better than me

Honestly, I ruined her. I took something from her – something that should have been holy and beautiful – and I ran over it with a truck. I took her first love from her and I made it something awful. From my perspective (which doesn't matter much) it was my first love too, but I knew exactly what I was getting into; I knew exactly what was happening because I knew exactly who I was. Sam didn't know any of that. I can't imagine what it was like for her to struggle with loving a ghost – to fall in love and know it wouldn't last.

And then I dropped the bomb and made everything worse.

I wish I could give her first love back to her. I wish I could take back the lies and the months between us and restore it. I wish she had never been attacked that first day and that I had never met her. Not that I regretted meeting her, far from it. I know she must regret meeting me and I want to spare her that pain. I don't want the chance to do it all over again because I know that I would only mess up for the second time; I would only hurt her.

I want her to have the chance to never know me at all.

While looking through your old box of notes

I found those pictures I took

That you were looking for

If there's one memory I don't want to lose

That time at the mall

You and me in the dressing room

I think back over all my memories of Sam and I realize something – there's not nearly enough. Half of the memories I have of her involve me being Fenton and being an ass hat to her. I didn't have nearly the time with her that I could have, if I had just been honest and trustworthy from the beginning. I wish I could have had more with her – I wish I had pictures of us together to look at (proof that we were once something), or there were solid places I could go and visit – places that still echoed how we were once there and once happy together.

There was nothing like that. She and I couldn't exactly go anywhere – I was too conspicuous for that. All that I had left was her lonely bedroom, a disastrous party at Paullina's, and a rapidly melting ice sculpture.

I tried to visit her bedroom once – to see if I could still feel her presence there. Maybe it was a dumb thing to do, but I missed her so much. I wanted to see if her bedroom remembered the way we had loved between its walls; to see if the curtains still remembered the scent of her perfume. But I couldn't do it; I couldn't walk inside. I hovered outside of her balcony, seeing only dark windows where there should have been light. She should have been in there, curled over a book, and be delighted at the sight of me.

It was hard to accept that she would never smile at seeing me again. She would always look at me and scowl – look at me with pain. There was nothing I could do to change her feelings, her expressions. I couldn't change any of the stupid decisions I had made –I couldn't change what I had done. It was something that I would always want to do but I couldn't just snap my fingers and fix everything.

Life doesn't work like that.

Life just sucks.

I told myself I won't miss you

But I remember

What it feels like beside you

I really miss your hair in my face

And the way your innocence tastes

And I think you should know this

You deserve much better than me

"Danny, you've got to stop moping around."

I glanced up at Jazz, who had her hands planted firmly on her hips and was staring at me.

"I'm not moping."

"You are so moping."

"What if I am?" I challenged. "What else am I supposed to do?"

"I don't know," Jazz rolled her eyes. "Something other than lying in bed feeling sorry for yourself."

"I fight ghosts in between bouts of self-pity," I informed her.

"Because that's definitely a healthy way to get over a break-up."

"It wasn't a break-up. It was a fall-apart. It was an 'I-ruined-everything-and-lost-her-forever'. I broke-up with Paullina. I killed everything I had with Sam."

"Paullina never mattered," Jazz sighed. "And Sam, well, Danny I hate to sound crude, but Sam is just a girl."

"You don't understand," I argued. "Sam is not just any girl! I loved her. I love her. I am going to love her for the rest of my life and there's nothing I can do to have her ever love me again."

"Most people feel that way about their first loves," Jazz reasoned. "But that's not an excuse to think that you'll never move on; that's not an excuse to give up and freeze yourself in time."

I wanted to scream at her in frustration. Sam wasn't first love – Sam was the love. I had known that for a terrifyingly long time now. I had just turned eighteen. I wasn't supposed to have any idea what 'love' felt like, let alone what 'the one' felt like. I did know what it felt like, though. It felt like Sam's head on my chest; it felt like feeling her ribs vibrate under my hands as she laughed; it felt like having her look at me like I was her entire universe.

"I want her back." I said, trying to explain myself to Jazz. My sister was the only one that I had left – Tucker was gone, Sam was gone, and I had burned every other bridge before I'd had the chance to build them. "But I know that I can't do that."

"What's meant to be will be," Jazz said the most cliché quote that could possibly be said in this moment.

"It could have been, if I had only done things right."

"You can't beat yourself up over past decisions. Especially since you thought it was the right thing to do at the time."

"I should have been smarter. I should have taken a step back, looked at myself and knew I was being a bastard. Tucker tried to tell me but I wouldn't listen to him. I was just too caught up in myself to realize what I was doing to everyone else."

"You can't blame yourself for everything."

"But I can! I ruined everything, don't you understand? And even if she ever forgave me, I know that I couldn't go back to her!"

"Why couldn't you?" Jazz asked softly, voice patient like it always was when she was dealing with me.

"Because I'm not good enough for her; I never was and I never will be."

The bed I'm lying in is getting colder

Wish I never would've said it's over

And I can't pretend... I won't think about you when I'm older

Cause we never really had our closure

This can't be the end

It's getting harder to pretend that this separation will end. I used to try and trick my mind into saying that Sam was just on vacation; that she would return soon, I would turn into Phantom, and everything would be as it was. I had to keep drilling it into my head that there was never going to be a way back.

Sam hated me. She had said she hated me and that was the most tragic thing I had ever heard from her. I knew she wouldn't have used that word if she hadn't meant it, so it continued to pain me, continued to echo in my thoughts every second of every day. She would always be in my thoughts and in my heart.

I wish we could have gotten a true goodbye. I wish that, if we had to end and I knew very well that we did because I couldn't expect her to want me after that, we could have had a decent goodbye. I wish our last words to one another weren't anger and frustration; I had tried to bring closure to us both. I had tried with that last contact – that last kiss to her pale forehead – to let her know that this didn't have to be pure hatred on both sides.

I could never hate her. She could have tried to murder me and I would still love her with every bit of my being.

I really miss your hair in my face

And the way your innocence tastes

And I think you should know this

You deserve much better than me

Sometimes I wonder if Sam thinks about me the way I think about her. Surely she doesn't. Surely, wherever she is, she's much happier than she ever was in her life here with me. Perhaps she's moved on – found a guy that will treat her how I should have. It's a terrible thought; that I no longer am the one that makes her happy, the one that she wakes up next to in the morning. I hate this thought; I hate the thought of her being someone else's girlfriend.

I'm not sure why I hate it so much. It could be that I still want her to be mine and I want to be hers; any other situation is unthinkable to me, though it could already be a reality on her end. The other possibility is that I hate it because I know that I didn't treat her right. I didn't do what I should have when it came to loving her. The thought that someone else can kiss her properly, can make her feel like she's a queen, and will never break her heart troubles me to no end.

Because that person out there – the one who can love her and hold her and who she will love and hold back – will no doubt find her. He will no doubt eclipse me and soon I won't even matter enough for her to hate me. I almost want her to continue hating me because that means I still matter to her; she still thinks about me. I don't want to be the source of her pain but I still want to be in her life, even if it is only as an emotion or a stray angry thought.

But I won't.

I would bet any money I had already ceased to matter to her.

I really miss your hair in my face

And the way your innocence tastes

And I think you should know this

You deserve much better than me

It was nearing the middle of summer. I had done nothing but, as Jazz said, 'lie in my bed and feel sorry for myself' with random bouts of ghost hunting in between. I had barely noticed the sluggish passing of July and I didn't expect August to get any better for me. I had nothing left: no Tucker, no family (Jazz had gone to do an August training program at some university; Mom and Dad had gone touring with the ghost hunting business) and no friends at all.

I would almost be relieved when the autumn came, when it would be time for me to go to college. I wasn't going to be doing much – the most basic of courses because my grades weren't good enough for me to do anything else. Still, I figured rudimentary training in tinkering with machines was better than not having any training in anything at all.

Mom and Dad expected me to go into ghost hunting like them, I think. It was almost laughable, considering how long I had been hunting ghosts, sometimes defeating them more thoroughly than my parents could have.

I flipped over in my bed. The noon sunshine was making me sleepy, though I could hardly remember when the last time I had left my bed was. Beside my head, my usually silent phone buzzed. I jumped at the unexpected ring and grabbed for it. It was probably just Mom trying to check in with me (or Jazz, who checked in more regularly than my mother did) but I craved any kind of human contact. Although I had learned to live in my bubble of loneliness, that didn't mean that I liked it.

I opened the text message, only to find that it was from Tucker. I drank in his words eagerly, as sparse as they were.

I want 2 try being friends again. Meet 2morrow at NB for lunch?

I quickly replied with a yes.

K. Also … I have bcome friends with Sam. I want u 2 know she is coming back. If u hurt her again, I will have 2 kill you.

The news hit me like a cannonball. I didn't care that they were friends – didn't want to know the how or the why or the when. I didn't care that Tucker had threatened me (he was only being a good friend to her, and I know she deserved that). All that mattered was that Sam was coming back to Amity. She was going to be in my town again, she was going to be in my reach again.

And goddamn, it might kill the both of us, but I had to try again.

And I think you should know this

You deserve much better than me

I don't own anything recognizable. The song is Better Than Me by Hinder. Thanks to my betas: foreversky. Don't forget to check out Wonderwall, Danny's companion to Reflections and the prequel to this one-shot, coming out on the 16th of May!