The Saddest Song - By Susie Kaye Lopez

Chapter 1


I killed my boyfriend. He shouldn’t have died, but he was one of four that did. It may have been their time, but I know it wasn’t his. He died because of me, because I was angry, and that drove him crazy. He hated it when I was upset with him. He also hated being so far away. So he grabbed a ride with some guys who were heading back home. He wanted to see me, cajole me out of being angry, smile his sweetest smile, the one he knew I could never resist, and put a Band-Aid on us, one more time.

The truth of the matter was that we shouldn’t have been. That old saying “opposites attract” was certainly true in our case. He was a classic extrovert, outgoing and friendly, the life of every party. He was the guy other guys wanted to be friends with, be seen with, just be. Full of life would describe him best, even now that he wasn’t. No life remained. Just like that, in a blink of an eye, he ceased to be. I missed him desperately, as did everyone else who cried through his standing- room only funeral. At one point the sobs drowned out the priest. I hope I never hear anything that heart breaking again. I hope I’m never again the loudest one in the group.

I was wadding my black dress into a ball to fit into my trash can when my mom’s voice interrupted my thoughts.

“Rainey, Caitlynn’s here!”

I tossed it in the can and stared at it as I shouted, or tried to, my voice sounding raspy and hoarse from crying.

“Okay, send her up!” The dress was covered in my tears, and the tears of hundreds of people who gave me their condolences. I couldn’t keep it, no way could I ever wear it again.

“Hey Rainey,” Caitlynn stood in my doorway, her blue eyes swollen. She was still wearing her funeral attire, a short black Marc Jacobs dress that she had bought at Bloomingdales for half off. I remember how excited she was at the time, and how she begged her mom to buy it for her, promising she would save it for something special. I wanted to tell her it was a shame she now needed to throw it away, but I didn’t. I didn’t have the voice, and I didn’t have the energy.

“I brought you cupcakes,” she stated quietly. Cupcakes were our secret weapon, they could make our worst day better or our best day complete. We had shared countless cupcakes, in a rainbow of frostings and flavors during our lifelong friendship. We tried every new bakery that opened, and even had an official rating system for them. The box she held now was serious. The cupcakes were from our number-one ranked shop, the one that was the furthest from our neighborhood and by far the most expensive. I flashed to a memory of my boyfriend holding a box exactly like that two months ago on our three and a half year anniversary. Coconut for me. Chocolate Peanut Butter for him. He had stood there smiling like he was holding a treasure. I looked down now at the tiny diamond promise ring on my left hand and remember how it had sparkled from atop the fluffy mound of coconut frosting. Fresh tears filled my eyes as Caitlynn stood there looking stricken. Poor Caitlynn, she was not good with emotional distress. I was the one who usually handled that.

Silently, I took the box from her hands and laid it on the dresser. Those cupcakes could work miracles, but raising the dead wasn’t one of them. And at the moment, that was all I needed help with. Caitlynn crossed my room and plopped onto my purple satin bedspread and held her arms out. I sat beside her and returned her hug, squeezing her petite frame and longing for his broad shoulders. I had cried on those shoulders so many times. I had never cried on hers.

“This sucks so bad Rainey. I feel like we’re lost in a nightmare,” she whispered. I nodded my head against her shoulder. “I’m never going to wake up, am I?” My voice sounded hopeless as I disengaged from Caitlynn and fell back against my pillow, staring at the glow in the dark stars that had been on my ceiling since I was twelve.

“Well, Garrett is never coming back, but the pain will get better. Remember when Gypsy died?”

“You’re comparing losing Garrett with losing