“Ryu… wait up…slow down!!” A familiar voice cried out.
As Ryu turned around he saw Elizabeth, a brunette from his Honors Psychology class. Immediately Elizabeth’s gaze dropped and she started mumbling,”uhmmm…would you uhh…”
Then Ryu interrupted, “Don’t even ask I have my mind on someone else.”
Elizabeth stunned and hurt at his harsh rejection ran away silently sobbing. All of these events reminded Ryu of his adopted sister Holly. And that dreaded day that had left him permanently torn and un-whole. It was the coldest winter on record for northern Italy. Holly stood trembling by one of the French doors in the parlor, and she was holding her arm as if she were hiding something. In her hand was a bottle of unlabeled pills. Ryu stormed over grabbed her arm and snatched the bottle from her.
He screamed, “You’re on these pills again?! Do you realize that these could kill you?!” Holly jerked her arm out of his grasp and showed her bleeding arm.
Then she screamed, “Did you ever think that maybe that’s what I am trying to do Ryu?! You don’t understand anything!”
She stormed out of the room, her shoulders heaving with her silent sobs. It was true the only one who truly understood her was Dominic. Dominic had originally been one of Ryu’s ‘Partners In Crime’, but ever since Ryu’s parents adopted Holly they grew farther and farther apart until Ryu realized that he hardly knew him anymore. It was a fact that Ryu now knew Amelia better then Dominic. Dominic and Holly that past year and a half had been unable to separate. Holly before meeting Dominic was a huge drug addict and suffered much for it now. But once they started going together Holly quit the drugs and hadn’t touched them until now.
Ryu stood in the parlor staring at the bottle of pills he had taken from Holly. They had to be disposed of immediately before their parents got home. Ryu ran out onto the balcony and threw them out the windows and past many buildings. He then sat down thinking over the way Holly had acted. It reminded of the first day she was at his house. She was scarred up and trembling. She would always take the blame for everything whether she had done it or not. She was returning to that state again. Ryu didn’t want that to happen so he sat and thought about the old Holly.
Amelia was jogging down a sidewalk on her school campus. Then her phone rang and the
screen read as Ryu. She picked it up and immediately she was drawn back into a flashback…
Amelia ran down Sunset Lane in Northern Italy on that same excruciating cold day. Suddenly her cell phone rang, she looked at the screen and it was Ryu.
Confused she answered, “What can I do for you Ryu?”
Ryu answered uneasily, “Its Holly she is in “trouble” again. I found her red handed this time.” He also implied her attempt at suicide. “What should I do Mel? You’re a girl can you talk to her?”
Amelia made a sour face. It was never a fun job talking to Holly when she was upset or just not being Holly. “I guess if I absolutely had to.” Amelia regretted saying.
Immediately Ryu sounded relieved, “Thanks Mel this means a lot to me and to Holly she really hasn’t been acting herself recently. Bye Amelia.”
Then the connection was cut. Amelia stopped and stared dumbfounded at her phone. ‘What did I just agree to?’ She thought to herself.
She continued jogging down Sunset Lane then turned onto Eastern Way and headed toward Ryu’s and Holly’s house. She had hoped for an undisturbed jog but that’s what she gets from being the neutral one out of the four of them and also bringing her cell phone to begin with. She arrived at Ryu’s house in record breaking time. She stood on the porch wondering what Holly got herself into this time. Ryu answered the door and ushered her into their parlor. He explained that he didn’t know what the pills were but he knew they were drugs. Ryu mentioned that Holly was in her room upstairs, so Amelia hurtled upstairs leaving Ryu in mid sentence. She stopped dead in her tracks once she opened Holly’s bedroom door. Holly was bent over her bed sobbing and shaking.
“Knock…Knock, hey Halls can I come in?” Amelia stuttered.
Holly looked up at Amelia and nodded. Amelia then knelt down to hug Holly and she then notices that she is extremely skinny. “Holly what have you gotten yourself into? What have you done to yourself?” Amelia worried.
“I’ve been trying to end my life! That is what I have been trying to do!! You have any problem with that?!?!” Holly snapped.
“Yes actually I do have a problem with that you have a whole life ahead with Dominic why would you want to give that up?” Amelia inquired.
“Because I am over Amelia!!” Holly screamed. As Holly met Amelia’s gaze Amelia realized that Holly’s beautiful clear blue eyes, were grayed over and distracted.
Dominic jumped out of his Cadillac and strutted up to his front door. He had just gotten off work and was going to pick up Holly for their date. But once he entered his front door he stopped dead in his tracks. Right on the floor was a letter from Holly. He picked it up and hurriedly opened it. He stared dumbfounded at the objects residing in the envelope. Inside the envelope, staring dead at him was his class ring and also a letter from Holly.
The letter read, ‘Dear Dominic, I know what you’ve been doing behind my back. You didn’t even have the guts to tell me in person for fear of “hurting” me. But to tell you the truth the only person you’re hurting with not telling me is yourself. So here is your class ring and a letter of goodbyes and its over. Sincerely Holly Bennett.’
Dominic balled the letter up and threw it against the wall. He screamed and tore up the stairs, slammed the door and cried out cursed oaths of torture and despair. Terrified his mother consistently tried to calm him down and to no prevail.
Dominic was unreachable and it scared his mother into complete madness.
Everyday Holly slowly killed herself and much, much more of the others faith in her. She would practically run from everyone and then wouldn’t be found again until dinner came around. At school she avoided everyone and she started being picked on and such. People started to say so many things about her that it hit Amelia with a passion and even she, being the level-headed one, even threw a few punches. Ryu just goes berserk every time someone even speaks about Holly in anyway like that. Dominic seemed to have completely changed and even he dodges his fan club. He constantly hides in the guy’s bathroom or he will stay so long after his classes that he sprints to his next class and sprints home as well.
Then one day Amelia just got fed up with it. Ryu used to be protective but never like this. Holly was a big girl now. Not the little eleven year old he adopted about five to six years ago. She had already guessed that Ryu had feelings for Holly ever since he had landed the massive friendship ending punch on Dominic when he found out about them. But she had never expected this in itself. Amelia had liked Ryu since they had met. But then once they started hanging out with Dominic everything had changed. Then they all became the ‘Popular People’. After that they all were crowded everywhere they went by fan clubs. Then Holly came around…this was something Amelia was not ready for… competition. Holly had taken Ryu’s heart right out of Amelia’s grasp. The one thing Amelia wanted Amelia couldn’t get because of Holly. When she got together with Dominic Amelia thought it was for the best…Amelia could finally get Ryu’s attention. But no it just made it worse…he ended the life-long friendship that we’d had with Dominic and was still after Holly.
Which Amelia didn’t get. Holly’s only outstanding feature was her shockingly clear blue eyes, everything else was average. Her hair was a constant mess, she had more of a bed-ragged style, she was shy, also she was constantly sitting around and moping.
Amelia on the other hand was athletic, smart, beautiful, popular, black haired with dark blue streaks. Also Amelia was a much better choice for him because they both had met years before Holly was even brought into the Bennett’s mind.
Amelia was walking home from her part-time job at the city’s stables when her phone vibrated. She brought it up and it was Ryu. She answered, “What’s up buttercup?”
Ryu started ranting off and all Amelia heard was, “Holly…is headed…to the … hospital … heart stopped …come help!”
“I am on my way Ryu!” Amelia exclaimed then she hightailed it over to the stables. Instantly regretting not having her ‘67 Chevy Impala. She frantically ran up to Crystal the barn keeper and she helped Amelia set Owen up for a quick gallop. She quickly hugged Crystal and then swung onto Owen and was off.
She reached the hospital at the same time Ryu and Holly did. She saw Ryu haul Holly out and run her into the ER entrance. She hitched Owen up to the bike post and ran into the hospital. By the time she had gotten into the waiting room Ryu was wrestling someone on the ground. Amelia ran over to get Ryu off the man and stood there shocked that the one that was being pulverized by Ryu was Dominic. Amelia started to hear a high pitched scream coming from somewhere. Ryu and Dominic looked up at her and immediately parted to comfort her. Then she realized that the screaming was coming from her.
A few hours past that felt like an eternity. Then a solemn looking doctor came out and told the trio that Holly was gone. She had no will to live in as such she had no will to fight to live. Ryu’s face lost all color, Dominic’s eyes dulled and glazed over, and Amelia just hid her face in her hands and cried her eyes out. Next thing Amelia knew she was at Ryu’s house curled in a ball with a soaking wet pillow and sheets. At the foot of the bed was Ryu sleeping sitting up. Amelia rubbed the tears from her eyes, and then she got Ryu up eager to find out that all that had happened was just a bad dream. That she was just spending the night like she did every so often. But then she saw that Ryu’s eyes were bloodshot from tears and his face tear stained as well. Then Ryu saw Amelia and looked away quickly to hide his tears.
He whispered, “She’s dead Amelia she’s dead.”
Amelia sat next to him and hugged him to comfort and shelter him from harm where ever it may be.
————————-Flashback before Holly’s Death——————————-
Ryu had found out that Holly was addicted to drugs once again and he had hidden it and then he decided that maybe if he confided in Holly with his feelings for her that maybe it’ll save her. Sadly it pushed her farther towards her suicide.
After school on a Wednesday Ryu slumped down on a bench in the park. He continuously was beating himself up about how things could’ve gone better with Holly. Also the fact that Holly had him take some secret letter to his former best friend Dominic and she hadn’t acted the same since. Amelia, sweet level-headed Amelia, came up in her riding clothes and slumped down on the bench beside Ryu.
She had hitched Owen at the hitching post at the lake edge. “Remember the times where Dominic, you, and I would go out in the middle of the lake and try to catch the fish? Each time I tried I ended bumping you in or dragging you down with me. Dominic was the only one who ever actually caught anything.” Amelia surprised Ryu by saying.
After a little silence Amelia announced, “Ok, why so glum sugar plum?”
Ryu just stared at her evergreen eyes and cracked a smile, “That’s lame you know…wait did you just call me sugar plum?”
Amelia simply laughed which always seem to light up her eyes, “Of course, now I am going to ask you a question. I just want you to answer it, no beating around the bush. Got it?” Without waiting for any response she continued, “Why are you so sad all of a sudden?”
Ryu hesitated, taken back by the straight forwardness of the question, and Amelia raised an eyebrow at him waiting for him to answer. As if to say, you promised. Even though Ryu never promised anything, he sighed and uttered, “Because of Holly and Dominic.”
“Uh-uh. You have to be way more specific,” Amelia corrected.
“Ok, fine. Because Dominic is a jerk and Holly is infatuated with that.” Ryu snarled.
Amelia chuckled and wrapped an arm around her friend comfortingly. “You know, Holly’s a really nice girl. I can sorta kinda see why you like her.”
Ryu jumped once again taken back by the straightforward remark. Then he remembered this was Amelia, she always spoke what was on her mind. Then he yelped, “What?”
“Don’t deny it. I can tell by the way you always look at her. It’s actually really cute sorta in a weird way.” Amelia smiled her twinkling, and warm smile. Then Ryu’s heart skipped a beat.
Ryu blushed furiously. His heart had skipped a beat for Amelia? What the heck was going on here?
“Why don’t we go and work this out with Dominic,” Amelia suggested suddenly. “I mean, that seems to be the only way to fix this complication, right?” And she grabbed Ryu’s arm and lead him over to Owen.
Ryu’s heart was racing at Amelia’s touch. He’d never felt this way for her before, so why was this happening now? He’d known Amelia forever and never felt this way before… ever. It took all of his will power not to yank his arm away and flee towards home. And then came the second round of motivation.
“Dominic, leave me alone!” It was Holly’s voice screeching.
Ryu tore away from Amelia and bolted towards Dominic’s house. Amelia hopped onto Owen and galloped after Ryu. Ryu heard Amelia coming up behind him and flung himself onto Owen like in those Country-Western movies.
‘What was Dominic doing to Holly?!’ Ryu thought panic-stricken.
Amelia steered Owen with ease and he seemed to understand her completely. She’d barely budge the reins and he’d bolt in that direction. Within no time Dominic’s house was in view.
“You wouldn’t understand, Dominic…nobody would!” those were the last words Ryu heard before Holly broke in a sprint for home.
Ryu jumped off Owen at top speed. He regained his balanced and charged at Dominic.
A few well-placed punches later Ryu screamed, “What did you do to her?!”
Dominic growled, “I didn’t do anything to her. She is the one who sent me that letter–!”
Ryu again punched Dominic managing to knock the wind out of him. This was no blind attack this time. He could hear Amelia scream behind him.
“She didn’t do anything to you! She loved you worthless use of skin! What did you do?!”
Dominic couldn’t answer; still shocked at the impact that Ryu had given him. Amelia ran over to Ryu’s side and shook Ryu, “Ryu how could you?” She whispered. “What if he really didn’t do anything?”
“And what if he did? What if Holly is trying to kill herself, because of him? What if Holly goes home right now and…” Ryu stopped dead. “Holly!” Ryu screamed as he sprinted toward his house. Leaving Dominic on the ground, Amelia gasping and her jaw dropped, and Owen trying to follow Ryu.
That was where Ryu had found her, gasping on the parlor floor with a newly-empty pill bottle. It was weakly grasped in Holly’s dying grasp. “Holly! Why Holly Why did you do this? I don’t care that you like Dominic…just come back please come back to me Holly!”
Ryu cradled her head and she whispered, “Thank you Ryu, and goodbye. Tell everyone Thank you and that I am sorry for everything.”
Ryu shook his head swinging tears everywhere, “No Holly you have nothing to be sorry for just don’t leave me…don’t leave me alone…please don’t go!” Holly whispered so softly Ryu almost didn’t catch it, “You’re never alone Ryu…you have Amelia, and Dominic.”
Then she was silent. Ryu screamed, “Dominic is to blame for this Holly! He is the cause of this…I HATE HIM…please don’t leave me!” But there was no response. Holly was barely breathing and she was going limper by the second. Ryu grabbed Holly and carried her into his car and dialed Amelia’s number…and that is all that he remembers until now.
“Ryu it has been about three or four months since Hol…” Amelia caught herself, “since you-know-who died and you are still worrying me. I am still thinking that you’re going to do the same.” Ryu since the funeral had become somewhat of a turtle afraid of every little thing that might bring him or his friends harm.
He constantly let Amelia guide him from every place he went. From class to class or from home to school and back again. Dominic would sprint from class to class or hide out somewhere and sprint home and back. Holly had changed them all and it had caused restlessness on her part.
Amelia, sweet level-headed, kindly guiding, always there Amelia. She would constantly try to bring back the Ryu she’d always known but to no prevail. She would be over at Ryu’s house, in his room telling him the old tales of his childhood. Ryu would suddenly start bawling and Amelia would be left trying to comfort him, without knowing why. Even if it were a hilarious story he would result to tears.
A story that will never be finished because of the loss will to write…every author’s tragedy.