Authors: Regina Bartley
Cover Art and Design
Copyright © 2013 Regina Bartley
All rights reserved.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any similarity between actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Any use of locales, or events are used fictitiously.
For my Mother
The strongest woman I know.
She taught me the meaning of strength and showed me that life goes on!
I love you Momma!
“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.” -Unknown
Dear Mom and Dad,
I can’t go on living this way with all of these lies. It’s time for me to say goodbye to this life. No one will understand why I have to do this. For me there is no way out of this darkness, except death. I’m so sorry. I know that an apology is not what you want to hear and you will never understand what has caused me this grief. But please know that it had nothing in the world to do with you. Sometimes when something bad happens we just can’t escape it, and sometimes people are strong enough to go on. I’m not, and I know that now.
I wanted so badly to be the daughter I used to be. I hate what my pain has caused you. I know that when I am gone you will be less miserable. Everyone will be able to go on without the worry they have been carrying for me. I never meant to hurt you or disappoint you, but there is no other way to take away this pain I feel inside my heart. I am just not strong enough. I am suffocating and I can’t breathe. Please forgive me. I love you both and I will see you again someday.
All my love,
I hope one day you will understand why I’m doing this. I have been a shitty friend for quite some time now and nothing that I can say will change that. I love you beyond words. You will always be my best friend, my very best friend in the whole world. I just can’t go on living this way. I’m sorry it has to end like this, and I am sorry that I have blocked you from my life these past few months. Something tragic happened in my life and I didn’t have the strength to overcome it. I used to picture my life and every moment with you in it. I’m so sorry, Moon. There’s no other way. I want you to know that nothing was your fault. My death will be solely on my shoulders alone. It’s because I am weak and can’t take the pressure. It’s because all of this pain has filled up my chest so tight that I can’t breathe for another minute.
I know that you will feel responsible and blame yourself, but I don’t want you to do that. It was me that pushed you away. Me!! Please forgive me, and live the life that you were meant to live. Love the one that you were meant to love. You will be much better off without me in it. Goodbye my moon!
All my love,
April 21, 2011
This is the day my life changed. I lost my best friend, my innocence, and my mind. My name is Shine Craven, and I am from Davis County, Arkansas and this is my story…
“Shine, would you get your ass in gear and come on? You’re gonna make us late for school again!” Ryker yelled from the bottom of the stairs.
“I’m coming. Don’t get your panties in a wad. Geez,” I pulled my skinny jeans up onto my hips, and put on a navy blue tank top that was a little too tight, but oh well. I slipped my cowboy boots over my jeans and bounced down the stairs to meet him.
“Took you long enough, Shorty,” he pulled on my braid. I swatted his hand.
“Aren’t you sweet,” I pinched his cheeks tightly.
“What about breakfast?”
“Covered,” he pulled an un-open pack of strawberry Pop Tarts from his loosely fitted jeans.
“Thanks Moon.” I slugged his arm. “Bye Mom,” I yelled as we hurried through the kitchen and out the back door.
“Bye kids. Drive safely with my baby, Moon.”
The drive to school was just like every other day. Moon drove, I nagged, and we fought over the stereo, but I always won. Or maybe he just agreed with me to shut me up. As long as I didn’t make him listen to girly pop songs, I could usually persuade him.
Ryker Morgan is my very best friend in the world. He has lived next door to me since 4
grade. He moved there with his mom and dad. I still remember that first day they moved into the house across the street. My parents had invited the Morgan’s over for a barbeque to welcome them to the neighborhood. He was an only child like me, and they wanted us to be friends. At the time, awkward would be the best word to describe him. He spent the whole barbeque staring at me. I kept asking my mom if he was a freak, but she said that boys his age did that, and that he must have thought I was pretty. I pointed my finger to the back of my throat and made a gagging sound. Later that night we sat side by side on the swing set, of course it was not by my choice. He followed me everywhere I went. I remember he got up and stood in front of me, blocking me from swinging. He said, “I know why your name is Shine. It’s because your eyes shine as bright as the stars.” Then he kissed my cheek.
I pushed him as hard as I could and he fell into the grass. “Well your head is as big as the moon, Freako,” I yelled right before I kicked him in the shin and ran into the house crying. It took me weeks to forgive the little knobby knee boy, but I did. He has been Moon -my best friend, ever since.
Moon and I ride to school together every day. I have a license, but he has a Mustang, so it’s a no brainer.
“I know you have cheerleading practice, but I have to work. Papaw wants me to work every night this week at the farm. I won’t be able to pick you up from practice.” He sighed. “I’m sorry.”
“No problem.” I shut the car door behind me. “I’ll text mom. She’ll come and get me.”
“Okay,” he answered.
The entire cheer squad hangs out by the side of the school every morning. I knew exactly where I’d find them, doing what they do best, nothing. I know I am one of them, you know, part of the team, but there was no doubt that I carried the brains of this operation. Ten girls whose I.Q. combined didn’t equal mine, yet they were still my friends, at least most of them.
“I’ll see you in 2
period Moon,” I called over my shoulder as I headed to my girls.
The girls always have something to say about Moon and me. Usually it is just a load of crap, so I try not to pay much attention to them. They swear he is in love with me, but I know better. He’s my best friend, and nothing else. I guess the thought of being with him romantically doesn’t bother me, per say. Who am I kidding? I’ve had a crush on that boy for as long as I can remember. I would never tell him that. I know he doesn’t think of me that way. We have been friends far too long, and if he loved me like that he would tell me.
“Ryker sure looks good today. It’s a real shame that he only has eyes for Shine,” Melody glared at me over the top of her designer sunglasses. Just because I love Moon doesn’t mean that anyone else needs to know that. It’s my secret and I wouldn’t share it with these loud mouth girls. Not in a New York minute.
“Whatever. You are so wrong. Ask him out. I am sure he’ll take you.” Not that I want him too. She is not his type. He is a 6’3” farmer tanned, brown hair, blue eyed, country boy. I am talking Red Wing work boots and all. She is a 5’5” fake tan, fake blonde hair, boobs are questionable, and never worked a day in her life, city girl.
“I’d love to take his fine ass out.”
“Go ahead and ask him. It won’t bother me, if that’s what you’re worried about.”
“Okay, I will.” She flipped her hair over her shoulder and followed the rest of the girls inside.
The thought of her and Moon being together for any reason makes me sick, but I wouldn’t give her the satisfaction of knowing. I have seen him date girls before, just a few and nothing real serious. He isn’t a virgin anymore either. It bothered me a lot at first, but now we can laugh about it. He was only fifteen. He didn’t love Beth, but after three weeks of dating they were quick to jump in the sack. They were together for two months before they broke up. He said that she was clingy and that she was jealous of our friendship. Beth didn’t bother me, not like Melody does. I know that it’s because Melody is superficial and only wants him for a piece of ass. And maybe I am jealous because Melody is so pretty despite her fakeness. She is everything I am not. I am only 5’3”, brown hair, and blue eyes, and I am definitely no beauty queen. I can’t compete with her and I will be late for class if I keep thinking about it.
The first half of the day went by quickly. I warned Moon that Melody was going to ask him out. He said she was too easy for him, and that was all the reassuring I needed. I couldn’t wait for her to ask him now. This shit was going to be funny.
At lunch she decided to attack. I saw it in her eyes. She was a lion ready to pounce, and I couldn’t wait to see the look on her face when she got rejected.
“E-Z Melody is making her way to you, Stud Muffin.” I wagged my eyebrows, and shook my ass as I walked away to our table. When I looked back over my shoulder his eyes were still glued to my ass, and he didn’t care a bit that I caught him. My face heated up and so did my southern regions. If that boy only knew what he could do to me, just with his eyes?
Melody stomped off in the direction of the doors, and I loved every minute of it. I sang “We are the Champions” in my head, and wanted so badly to get up and do a victory dance. If I couldn’t have him, I certainly didn’t want her to either.
He rolled his big blue eyes when he sat down next to me, swallowing the seat up. He was a big guy. Not fat, but built, and a farmer tan that I would like to lick right off him. “Did you see her? She looked like a damn raccoon with all that black crap around her eyes.” He shook the loose strands of his dark hair out of his face.
“She thinks that makes her look pretty.” I batted my lashes at him. He just laughed.
“Well, it looked ridiculous.”
“Did you let her down gently?”
“I tried, but she wasn’t taking no for an answer. So, I had to be not so gentle and flat-ass tell her no, and you saw what happened. Chicks,” he huffed shaking his head. “Then she said I told her no, because I was in love with you.”
I nearly choked on my water. I wasn’t expecting those words. This was territory we never crossed. Don’t get me wrong, there were times when I could jump on top of him and take serious advantage, but I didn’t for fear that he wouldn’t love me back. He has no clue that this is the way I feel about him, and I am too chicken to tell.
“What did you say to that?” I asked never taking my eyes off my tray of food.