Chapter 1 : And I'll Never See Him Again
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I take a deep, shuddering breath and stand up. My green eyes sting from the salty tears I've been crying. Standing in front of the mirror, I try to find the woman I once was. She's hiding, though. She's hiding in a far off place with the man she loved. She went with Fred and left me here, decaying from the inside out. I blink in a vain attempt to make sure that I'm not dreaming a horrid dream. But when I open my eyes, the ghost I have become is staring my back, my limp blonde hair as lifeless as my eyes.
No longer can I look at my reflection and I sit on the stool in front of the antique vanity and face the wrong way. The wall covered in pictures of family and friends is of no solace. If anything, it makes the salty sobs come harder and faster. I grasp the bottom of my nightshirt as though it will help me calm down. It is of no avail and I put my elbow on my thigh and rest my head in my hands.
My heart wrenches, grasping for its missing piece. Of course, I know that my heart will never find that piece that it yearns so badly for. There's no way that I can fix this large hole in my heart. When I wake up in the morning and have to go to work, it'll simply gape larger. When I look at Fred's twin, George, when I get to work, the hole will become bigger yet.
I take yet another deep breath, yearning for some solace in my mind. I know that none will come until I die, but I also know that I can keep trying. Clenching my jaw, I look at my lonely bed. No one will ever understand how difficult it is for me to lie down at night, knowing that I'll never share that bed with Fred Weasley again. It's not the same sleeping there alone and not having the weekend to look forward to.
His voice echoes in my ears mercilessly as I sit, sorting through my thoughts and emotions.
“I love you, Verity. Just stay here,” he ordered the night he died. I stayed, just as he had asked. The guilt sinks into the pit of my stomach like bricks. If I had put up a fight, he might still be here. If I had said no, I'm going with you, I may be dead with him and no longer lonely. The possibilities seem endless. More than anything, I want to be with Fred right now. He would know how to cheer me up in ways no one else does. But he'll never crack a joke or make me smile again. All I can see when I think of him anymore is that face, so happy yet so incredibly ghastly.
“Fred,” I say to myself. Saying his name makes me cry even more. It has been nearly two weeks since I have said his name aloud and saying it now feels like knives upon my tongue. I keep putting myself through the pain of memories and now I'm putting myself through the pain of words. The words on my tongue are worse than the images in my head. His name burns like a wildfire whenever I say it but the images merely make me sob.
Turning around, I look at myself in the mirror again. My usually joyful eyes are puffy, swollen and melancholy from tears. I close my eyes and take a deep breath, trying to conjure his voice in my mind.
“Cheer up, love,” he says. And I know I'm not imagining it.