(This is super long! I warn you in advance!)
I gingerly made my way off the airplane. My head was still swimming with the memories of the events that had occured just hours earlier. They kept replaying themselves in over and over like a broken record player.
My thoughts were interrupted as I heard a familliar voice call my name.
I wheeled around and saw a face I hadn't seen since I left home.
"Zach! Oh my god!" I said happily as I ran over and gave him a leaping hug.
His arms felt so warm and familliar. It made me forget about everything, just for those few seconds.
"What are you doing in an airport?" I asked.
"I just got back from Vienna! There was a big writers convention!" he explained.
Ever since I could remember Zach had been a writer. He used to carry around a tattered notebook with him and write down everything he heard, read, or saw that he thought was worth remembering.
"What about you? What brings you here?" he asked as we walked over to the baggage carousel.
I paused. Why was I here? My problems weren't just going to go away while I was here. I chose my words carefully as I attempted to explain my thinking to the one person who would probably understand.
"My life just got too much for me to handle, so I decided to retrace my steps and sort of...start over."
"That's good. I could use that later." he said as he retrieved a notebook from one of his bags and quickly scribbled down what I had just said.
"You never change do you?" I smiled.
"Only for the better." he laughed.
"You need a lift? My car is just outside." he offered.
"Yea, thanks. You still live in the cove?" I asked as we made our way out to the parking lot and to his silver hybrid.
"Of course! How could I leave all the memories? Of course, things haven't been the same since you left." he sighed.
I grew up in the small town of Puffin Cove, Maine. My mother died when I was only two years old, so I have no memories of her other than the pictures my dad still keeps around. He always told me I looked just like her, from my long blonde hair to my long spindly piano player fingers.
Zach pulled into the driveway of the big red brick house I had lived in my entire life.
"Thanks. See you later?" I said.
"Of course! We have catching up to do! I thought we could have dinner tomorrow?" he said.
"I'll be there." I smiled as I got out of the car and made my way up the old cobblestone steps to the front door.
"Dad?" I yelled into the house. There was no answer.
"Must be out. Oh well." I said to myself as I took in all the familliar sights.
It still smelled like a mixture of coffee and pine needles. I felt a sharp pang of sadness as I picked up a nearby picture that had been sitting on the mantle piece. It was of my mother. I quickly put the picture down and glanced at the big black baby grand that sat in the corner. My sister had named it Georgia, because my dad always used to play "Georgia on My Mind" before we went to sleep each night.
I sat down on the creaky old bench and looked at the dusty keys in front of me. It looked like it hadn't been played since I had left. I stretched my fingers out on the keys and began to play "Candle in the Wind"
"It seems to me you lived your life, like a candle in the wind. Never knowing who to cling to, when the rain set in. I would have liked to have known you, but I was just a kid." I sang. The words rang clearly through the seeminly empty house.
"I always told you you were destined to be a singer." My father's voice said from behind me.
"Daddy!" I said as I ran over and gave him a hug, smushing the groceries he was holding. He smelled like salt water, the way I remembered it.
"Hey baby. What are you doing here?" he asked.
"I needed a break from living." I explained as I helped him put the groceries away.
"What happened? You usually call when your coming home." he said.
I sighed. Confession time.
"It all started when I met Sam." I began.
"You came home unannounced because of boy trouble?" my father laughed.
"No! Let me finish! I met Sam and I liked him. I liked him a lot. Things were going great, he was funny, he was sweet, he had it all going. The drummer in my band, her name is Kitty, she has some drug issues. So Sam and I decided that she needed an intervention. Well, she knew Sam when they were kids and she confessed her undying love for him while we were trying to get her back into rehab. She stormed out of the house, and she got hit by a car." I explained.
"Nic, baby I'm so sorry." he said, giving me a hug.
"The worst part is I blame myself partialy. I feel like I should have seen it coming." I said.
"I know babe. I felt the same way when you momma died. You feel like you could have done something to prevent it, but in reality there was nothing." He said stroking my hair.
"Daddy, she didn't die. I just...don't know. My life is just a mess." I whispered.
"Oh baby. Don't give up, you've got the world ahead of you." He comforted.
"Can I stay here a few days?" I asked.
"Of course Nic. As long as you need." he said.