I returned to West Egg the September of the next year. The truth is, the idea of returning to West Egg was tempting, and had been on my mind for a while. Gatsby was my best friend, but I have not spoken to him since that summer. I had two reasons to go back to West Egg. One, I wanted to know how he was doing and if everything that has happened to him had changed him at all. Did he still dream about Daisy in his arms? Did he still live in that mansion of his or is he traveling the world and living up to all the rumors that once circulated? Perhaps all these questions made me accept this journey. My father never approved of me living in West Egg. He said “West Egg was a place for rich snobs throwing away their fortune for an image”. To me, West Egg was a start of new beginnings. New York was the center of the world and I was young and stupid; I wanted to be a part of it. I soon realized stocks were not my specialty. I left West Egg and all of my dreams there, but soon after returning to my father, he too saw the magic in West Egg, so he sent me back to open a convenience store.
Although it was reaching the end of summer, it was hot. I ran to catch the train as the beads of sweat on my forehead collected. Once I took my seat I thought about the time I was on the train with Tom heading to New York. I had not spoken to Tom nor Daisy since Myrtle Wilson’s death and their failure to take responsibility. It made me sick to my stomach. How could one be so careless? Daisy and Tom had given themselves terrible reputations and I don’t plan on meeting them for dinner under any circumstance. I could not forgive them nor would I try to. Daisy used Gatsby for her need of lust and adventure just like Tom used Myrtle for the feeling of superiority. Once they had what they wanted, they chewed people up and spit them out. They smashed things up and then withdrew into their money to cover it up without a minuscule sense of guilt.
I picked up the newspaper next to me in means of fanning myself with it, but something caught my eye. The headline read “Man Commits Suicide by Grief”. I picked it up quickly and saw a familiar name. It was George Wilson! He was found dead on Gatsby’s lawn with a gun in his hand. The police did not have a clue why Wilson went to the Buchanan house, which was deserted, and then found in Gatsby’s. I fell sick to my stomach again because I knew. The truth couldn’t escape me. Wilson knew of Tom’s relationship with Myrtle, and the fact that it was Daisy who ran his beloved Myrtle over; however, when he saw that the Buchanan’s were nowhere to be found, he went to Gatsby’s for he was with Daisy in that car that took Myrtle’s wife. It killed me that this secret would never come out. It killed me that these two cruel, cold people- Tom and Daisy- would never have to suffer for the grief they caused. What made them so much different from everyone else? They bleed just like we do, but in their minds they are so much higher than those of regular human beings. Money and greed is an evil thing.
I arrived to West Egg on Saturday. It was much gloomier than I had expected it to be. It has just rained, but everything seemed so dead. I was expecting to see change, but nothing was what it seemed to have been once. Although the houses were all beautiful and new, everything was dead. That same day I walked over to Gatsby’s.
As I approached his lawn, I shuttered at the sight of it. There was nothing particularly frightening about it, but it was change that took me by surprise. I noticed that no parties had been hosted in a while for there were no empty bottles laying around and no confetti in the pool. The grass was overgrown and the flowers dead. I used to know a Gatsby that would be in distress at the sight of this. Everything in his house and lawn was in tight shape at all times. I wondered if Gatsby was even in the dark house I was climbing the stairs to. I knocked at the large door, the one shouting of money. I waited for someone to open it and just as I was starting to turn away, I heard someone behind the door, only it was not Gatsby.
“Who’s there?” questioned a familiar but empty voice.
“Oh hi, I was worried no one was going to answer. Nick, Nick Carraway. Is Gatsby there?”
“Nick? Nick!” barked the voice.
The heavy door opened with much resistance. I expected to see one of Gatsby’s servants, but instead I saw a young man with an old personality. His hair color was faded, in fact everything looked faded. I could tell he was once full of life and happiness, but he fell in love with the wrong woman and that made all the difference. He looked at me and I was able to recognize him when he smiled. That rare smile that you come across maybe once or twice in your life if you’re lucky. But it wasn’t nearly as true as two summers ago.
“Gatsby?” I asked. “Is that you?”
He looked at himself, up and down. “Yes, old sport. It is. I’m sorry about my appearance; I wasn’t expecting any visitors.” He tried to fix himself up, gave up, and let me in.
We talked for hours and caught up about everything tat had happened in the last year. We talked about how much East Egg has changed and how it was not the same without the Buchanan’s. He said every week more people arrive in West Egg and more disappear from East Egg. I could see the pain and sorrow in his eyes when he looked away and I knew he was thinking about Daisy.
I asked him the question he had been trying to avoid the whole night.
“What have you been doing Gatsby? How are you?”
He didn’t answer. Instead he gave me a sheepish smile and shrugged. A few moments later he gave me his honest, heart filled answer.
“I tried old sport. I tried to forget her, but how can I? I had spent every second of every minute of my life trying to find my way back to her. Tom wasn’t right for her and he still isn’t. She’s innocent, just confused that’s all. I wish I could show her like I did before that I am right for her, but I am no fool. I know she no longer thinks of me. It’s over and I know that old sport. Oh but what a life we would’ve had. Enough about me. Why did you return Nick?”
I thought about it, for I myself did not know the answer to that. “I can’t tell you that”, I admitted. “I came back to open a convenience store with my father, but I suppose I really came back to see you.”
He was satisfied with that answer. “Well old sport, you seem to be the only one that cares. All those parties, yet no one ever knew me. I just hoped that one-day Daisy were to stumble in and I supposed my dream came true, but not completely. You see I did not care how others viewed me and all of the rumors that came about. I just needed her and now that that’s gone. What do I have to live for, old sport?” He looked at the broken clock right across resting on the gold drawer. He was solemn and hopeless, uncontrollably staring upon that clock; he wished he could turn back time with Daisy. He tried to repeat the past, but he broke just like the clock. He built his whole life from scratch, even his personality and his image and then threw it all a way for a girl. He made it in America; he had fame and money, so some would say he was living the American dream in which so many strived to do. All he was missing was love and to think he threw everything away for that. As for the green light, it would remain forever unreachable. It was illusive; the past remained in the past and Gatsby was stuck in it, his future unknown and foggy.
I walked away, towards my small and quite embarrassing cottage when compared to Gatsby’s, and realized I was at Gatsby’s dock. The dock where I first saw Gatsby. I reminisced, his hands were reaching out to the goal that he got so close to, but then recoiled from him. I looked across the water, and the blinking light was hard to see, but it was there. Gatsby’s dream was gone and already in the past, but the green light remained blinking. It resembled all of the people stuck in the past, and those who will never accomplish their desires. I realized I was reaching for that light. That beautiful, deceiving light that could end me.
The next morning, without hesitation, I walked over to Gatsby’s. I put on my best suit and thought maybe we could go into the city for a few hours. I walked up to his lawn and stopped. I couldn’t move or think. It was all right there in front of me, but I didn’t know what to do. Police cars, ambulances along with medics, and reporters all surrounded his house. I was too far to see the action. Suddenly, a stretcher was brought out from the doors of Gatsby’s mansion. There on the stretcher lay a person. I did not have to see the face to know who it was. Last night, Gatsby realized his dream was unreachable. Just like so many others, Gatsby worked hard and saw the light that was so bright and close, but it deceived and crushed him. He was a great man. He never had anything handed to him; he worked for every thing he had, yet he was neither appreciated or remembered by most.
Then I saw something remarkable; Gatsby arose from the stretcher like god.
“Did I scare you, old sport?”
“Gatsby. What- what was that? Did you? Did someone? Oh just tell me!” I shouted.
Just when Gatsby was about to answer me, I saw another stretcher. This stretcher was different. It had a white, pale sheet laying over the cold body. I saw him. Tom Buchanan, the strong and powerful man, dead. He could not live with the fact that his Daisy loved another man and had a sort of power over him. He thought he could solve this problem by ending Gatsby. Tom did not realize that this was the past and killing Gatsby wouldn’t change a thing. He wanted power over Daisy again and he so desperately tried. Luckily, the police (called by one of Gatsby’s servants) shot him before he pulled the trigger on Jay Gatsby.
As for Gatsby? I suppose his story lives on. I suppose he will continue to strive for Daisy, for the color in his face was brought back when Tom died. He instantly looked young again; all his troubles were afar. Gatsby still believed in bringing back the past and after all that’s happened, I could not tell him no again.
So the green light blinks on, forever having power over Gatsby and teasing him to the very end. That night, he took his yellow car and drove to Daisy; I do wish the best for him. As for me, I’m going to do what I do best. Write.