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The Eclectic Pen - Don't Stop Believing

By: Sky S. (Misa-Misa)   + 20 more  
Date Submitted: 8/25/2009
Last Updated: 8/26/2009
Genre: Literature & Fiction » General
Words: 2,691

  Yes, I know. It's Journey's song that I am using to write this story from. But you know what? I thought it made a great storyline in my head so here goes. The first part of the story.

One thing that you should always remember about life is that it comes in unexpected turns. I never thought about that before all of the things that have happened were finished, but now I see the truth of that. When I first thought that I would be going away I had no idea what to expect or anything, but now I know to always expect the unexpected and to work on making the best of things because life will throw shit at you that you can't block.
The whole journey started when Mike died. My first boyfriend and one of about five years died in a car crash. I had nothing left for me in the small town in Rhode Island any more so I packed up. I never knew what was coming next, all I knew was that I had to get out of the confining town that had stolen away the better years of my life. At least that was what I thought. I guess I couldn't truly say that after I left, but at the time it seemed that way and I always said that the best years were the ones you would never forget. I couldn't ever see myself forgetting Mike, but things have happened since then and Mike is naught but memories.
As from one tree to another, from sigh to sigh, I moved on from that which I swore never to forget. Life is short, it's harsh and you have to make the best of it not dwell on the would haves, could haves, or should haves. You don't stop to think that maybe wasting your life away pining for the past could throw off you whole perception of how life truly is. Life is a gift, short and powerful and each and every one of us will always find something in it for us, our little niche in this large world. We won't all keep it, but you can't ever know what will happen, all you gotta do is try.
Life will come through in the end, and whatever happens was meant to to push you forward and on to better things. Even if it is the death sentence or whatever, you will always be moved on to better things because that is how life works.
And the rule that should always be followed is this:
Don't stop believing.


Just a small town girl,
Livin' in a lonely world.
She took the midnight train going anywhere
-Journey, 1981

Jessica closed the lid of her case, and zipped it up. Sitting down on her bed, she sighed and looked around the room to check that she had everything she needed to start over. When her eyes reached the picture frame on her dresser, they filled with tears. Though it was now an empty frame, she still saw the picture that had filled it for the last three and a half years. It was a picture of her boyfriend Mike, and herself smiling for the camera with a view of the Grand Canyon behind them.
They had planned the trip for a year, making sure everything fell in place for them. Leaving their small home town, the couple went on their own way, to go and see sights across their country. When that picture had been taken, Jessica had thought that Mike and herself would be together forever. They were so perfect for each other, that she couldn't fathom ever losing him. It had happened though.
One day Mike was there with her in his apartment, the next he was gone. Dead because someone hadn't looked as they drove down Main Street, and hit him, colliding with another car at the same time. Only the owner of the other car had survived, and no one could blame them, for they hadn't been in their car when the crash had happened. Mike was stuck between the two cars, and there was nothing that the paramedics could do to help him survive.
Wiping her eyes, Jessica stood up and grabbed her suitcase, and backpack. She knew that she couldn't stay in her house, her home town because memories would haunt her as long as she did. She had to get away from Mike's ghost and make something else out of her life.
At twenty-two, she couldn't waste her life away by pining for what could have been, though she would love to. The first boyfriend that she had ever had, had stuck with her until the day that he died five years later. Quietly she exited the house, so that she didn't wake her parents, and made her way down the street to the bus stop. Standing in line she decided that she would call the people that had raised her when she could, but she wouldn't disclose her location.
“Where are you headed, miss?”
“Anywhere. Just give me the cheapest ticket for now, and I'll get a new one when I get to the destination.”
The man handed her the ticket and asked her for thirty four dollars and seventy nine cents. Paying him, she said her thanks and sat down on the bench waiting for the bus to come. It wouldn't be there for another hour, so she had time to reminisce about things that had happened in this small town.
All through her life, she had been a sort of outcast because she was artistic. She loved colours and wore clashing clothes together to make more of a statement about her mood. Most of the time her teachers would punish her for 'not paying attention' in class and instead drawing elaborate and intricate designs all over her papers.
Her elementary and middle school years were spent alone with her paints, pencils, papers and books. When she reached high school she noticed that people spent their time whispering about her, but in an awed way unlike they used to when she was younger. In her second year, she had made a few friends that had agreed with her view on art. The more patterns and colours the better it was, though normal things could be just as beautiful if they were done properly.
She didn't give much thought to boys, and as a result they found her very attractive. Her thick brown hair fell in waves down her back, even when pulled back into a hair tie. Always covered in her paints, she walked around the school uncaring about her appearance. One boy in particular paid her very close attention, and made sure that she knew who he was. At his first chance, he joined the art class and club in hopes of seeing her.
Jessica smiled remembering how when he first joined he couldn't draw much of anything, much less paint, and she had wondered why had was in such a place as he obviously wasn't enjoying himself very well. One day, out of pure curiosity she had sat by him in the room after school and began giving him pointers on how to correct his work so that his product would come out looking better.
He had turned toward her and smiled a broad smile that encompassed his face fully and introduced himself.
“The name's Mike. And you are Jessica Sprightly. Thanks for the tips, I couldn't figure out how to get this part right before.”
Blushing, Jessica wondered how he had known her name, completely unaware that the majority of the school knew who she was. After that fist meeting Mike and Jessica became good friends and stuck together through almost anything. She discovered that, while he wasn't very good at making art, he could sing with a clear voice and loved her art. She went to his soccer games, cheering him on though she didn't understand the rules of the game.
Soon enough they were going out in her junior year, and everyone at the school thought that they were the ideal couple. When she graduated from high school, Jessica moved in to Mike's apartment and lived with him while he went to college and she painted for a gallery. Her time with Mike had been wonderful and Jessica just couldn't get enough of the songs that he had written for her.
They had so many great trips together, that they knew they would never be able to part from each other. Months before his death, Mike had proposed to Jessica, saying that they would have the wedding the summer after he graduated, and she had agreed to be his wife. They spent their free time planning the wedding out while at the same time Jessica still painted for their income, and Mike went to law school so that they would be able to buy their own house.
Then on August 15th, just before his last year at school, Mike Nelson Jr. was hit by a moving vehicle and crushed between two cars. No one knew if he had died instantly, or not because it had been over an hour when both his body and the drivers was found by the owner of the other car. Immediately dialling 911, the man reported the two people, who he had said were severely wounded. When the ambulance arrived on the scene, both Mike and the driver were deceased.
Jessica had cried and gone back to her parents house, staying in her room. She didn't eat or sleep for weeks on end, and when the funeral came, she looked the part of the mourning widow, though they hadn't been married yet. After his burial Jessica retreated back into her room and again didn't eat or sleep, but instead spent her time crying.
She realised in her free time, that because she and Mike had been inseparable, she had no friends again. The ones that had been there for her in her school years were now gone from the small town that she lived in. She was once again alone in the world. Loneliness drove her to the decision that led her to this very bus stop.
Knowing little in her life but loneliness, Jessica knew that she had to leave her home and make her way in the world so that she could leave the memories of Mike behind. Looking up at the sky, she let out a deep breath that she had been holding and rose from the bench. The bus was bound to be here any minute now, and she didn't want to miss it.
When it pulled up moments later, Jessica climbed on, and sat herself down in the seats. There were empty seats along the whole bus, but she decided it would be best if she went to the back so that she could watch the people that got on and off the bus. Pulling out charcoal and a sketchpad, Jessica began to draw the people who were already on the bus. Her sharp eyes picked up features on their faces, even from her distance, and so she drew them as profiles that were done as close ups.
Hours went by as she did this, with people getting on and off, until the bus pulled up and a stop close to a train station.
“Last stop for the day. All passengers left on the bus please grab your belongings and get off. I repeat, last stop of the day.”
Startled from her drawings, Jessica quickly shoved her sketchpad and charcoal into her back pack, and grabbed her suitcase from the seat next to her. Once she was safely off of the bus, she turned to face the train station. Drawing in a deep breath, she hurried over to it with her bags.
“Miss! Miss, you dropped this back there! Here!”
As the old woman reached her, Jessica turned to see a photograph being waved in the air in the arms of the woman. Shocked, she dropped her suitcase and scrabbled around in her coat pockets for the picture that she expected to be there. Once she discovered it was no longer with her belongings, the old woman had finally reached her.
“Miss you dropped this on the ground as soon as you stepped off of the bus. I thought that you would want it, seeing as it's such a nice picture of you and that young man. Is he your husband? Or just an old friend? Well either way, I hope that you find him wherever you are going. I assume that is what you are doing, finding him right?”
Speechless, Jessica could do nothing but nod. Let the old woman think what she would, she took the picture from outstretched hands and realised that she was indeed looking for Mike. Not in person, because he was dead. No, she was looking for something that called to her as Mike had, a place or thing for her to call home and to love with all of her heart.
Thanking the woman profusely, Jessica put the photo in her backpack and zipped it up, so that it would not be lost again. Then she picked up both of her bags, and headed into the station to buy herself another ticket to nowhere in particular. Looking up at the sign, she saw that there were tickets labelled as a ticket to anywhere, so long as you can pay after a certain date. The first train that left with these tickets was scheduled to leave in five minutes at midnight.
Rushing to the counter, Jessica pulled out her wallet and took the money out that she would need to buy one of these tickets on the first 'train to anywhere'. With the slip safe in her hand, she reached the platform, just as the conductor was yelling that all passengers should board if they were getting on. Pulling herself up and onto the train, Jessica walked into the first car to her left and sat in the first of the four clustered seats that was empty.
As the train pulled away from the platform, she wondered if she had made the right choice, leaving and going anywhere that she could. With things flying past her out the window in the darkness, Jessica knew that she could not have picked a better train or ticket to take her away from the dismal town that she would forever refer to as home.

The Eclectic Pen » All Stories by Sky S. (Misa-Misa)

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Comments 1 to 2 of 2
Amanda M. - 8/31/2009 8:00 PM ET
wow this story actually had me visualising the whole thing it made me think what i would do if my bf died it brought tears to my eyes ur a wonderful writer
fidget - - 9/3/2009 4:03 PM ET
I think it was clever to use the song as a story line....good luck with it!
Comments 1 to 2 of 2