memoriesofbetrayal: (Default)
memoriesofbetrayal ([personal profile] memoriesofbetrayal) wrote2013-10-05 01:25 pm
Entry tags:

Dragonfly

Title: Dragonfly
Author: memoriesofbetrayal
Summary: David is dead. John is trying to deal with it. He's reading through all their old letters and notes when Eve comes by with the last words from David, in the form of his final letter to John.
Notes: Originally written for an assignment. This is the edited and extended version of that assignment.

Dragonfly

~

John: Bored. LA just gets worse each time I come here.

David: It can’t be that bad. Suck it up.

John:
It’s worse. You’re not here. Come save me!

David:
You’re an adult, you can handle it… Or not. Maybe you should just come home, I wouldn’t complain.

John:
David, you’re supposed to convince me to stay here! If you start telling me to come home, you know I will.

David:
Sorry. I mean, do what you have to first. I wouldn’t complain if you rushed it a little bit though, yeah? For me? I miss you already.

John:
Me too. I’ll be home before you know it, though.

David:
Not soon enough.

~

To:
‘David Erwood’
From: ‘John Doyalson’
Subject: ‘Coming home!’
Message:

That’s right! I’m finally headed home! I know you said to call you but it would be about 3 in the morning there, and I just found out! I know I haven’t had much of a chance to write, and I know you hate emails, but you have to like this one. I’m coming home! My plane doesn’t leave til tomorrow night, so I won’t be back til the following day. Still, it’s been so long this time, I’m just glad to be headed back. I’ll tell you all about it when I’m finally there. And I’ll call you when I land.

Love you.


~

Eve fiddled with the pen between her fingers. It was green and silver, decorated with images of dragonflies. It was cool and smooth beneath her touch. David had given her this pen as a Christmas gift, along with a couple of notebooks she had since used and thrown out. They’d done a Secret Santa draw, and when they were to present the gifts he’d smiled at her nervously, set the small, neatly wrapped box on her desk and walked away. She’d ripped it open, admired the pen for a moment, then sat it aside and forgot about it.

Now she admired it again. She remembered that nervous smile, the way he had jerkily set the package down and stiffly turned to walk away. She could almost hear him stutter, “I-uh-I mean, m-merry Christmas Evie.” She’d found it annoying, now it seemed endearing. She set it against the paper and wrote.

~

John was not wallowing. He was sitting on their bedroom floor, legs crossed and surrounded by boxes. He was dressed in an old pair of sweatpants and one of his t-shirts, just a little too big. He leaned his head back on the bed and stared at the ceiling. It seemed so far away.

The room around him seemed bigger than it was before. In front of him sat an old shoe box, colour faded and corners worn. John stared at it for a moment before he removed the lid and placed it softly on the pale carpet. Inside he could see an array of envelopes and papers, scrawled notes and extensive correspondence. He immediately recognised not only his own handwriting, but his.

He grabbed for the papers and greedily began to read.

~

John,

When are you coming back to London? It’s been months since you left. You told me a fortnight, at the most. Mel has been begging to meet you, and Steven and Nikki are starting to think you won’t be back in time for the wedding. You do remember when it is, right? Nikki will be devastated if you don’t make it.

It’s not nearly as fun without you here. Eve’s taken over your duties at work. She’s… pushy. I still love her, or course, but she’s not you.
Please, stay safe. Let me know when you’re coming back.

Love, David.

~

Remember that day we went to the park? Then for a walk? And you fell in the Thames? I was thinking about it today. I don’t really know why, I guess it’s just one of those moments I draw on when you’re gone. I miss you. Love, David.

~

David,

We buried Mum today. I knew it would never be the easiest thing to do, I mean she is my mother after all. Still, I never expected it to be this hard. Cade and his wife showed up, and I got to see my nieces and nephews again. Tisha has gotten so big! Even Adam is in school now. It was great to see them again, even in such circumstances.

Trent showed up too. I really was not expecting that, not after everything that was said when he left. But he stood there like the dutiful son and watched the proceedings. He didn’t cry, he even came to the cemetery. He just stood in the back and as soon as it was all done he turned and walked away, never even said hello. I don’t know what’s going on with him anymore. Maybe I should try to talk to him again?

The entire family has been pretty distracted, no one seems to know what to do or say with Mum gone so they just go about their business. I don’t want to sound like a horrible person, but I can’t wait to be out of here. LA seems horrible and stifling now, I don’t know how I ever lived here. I can’t wait to be back in London with you, hopefully I won’t be here too much longer.

Love you always,
John.

~

John,

Merry Christmas! I can’t believe you have to miss it for work, but I still hope you’re having a good time with your family. It’s been pretty crazy here. The office party was only a few days ago, it was as crazy as usual. Nikki and Steven left early, Connie got completely pissed and Pat ended up half naked. I don’t even know how that happened. I spent most of the night talking to Eve and her fiancé, Rick. He seems like a pretty nice guy, I can’t believe we haven’t met before now. You’d probably like him. Still, everyone noticed you missing. Of course, they all know where you are, but they all looked at me like I was fragile or something. I mean, you’re just in America, not dead. I guess it was kind of nice they care though.

Dad and his new wife Tanya tried to talk me into going to theirs, but I don’t really want to. I won’t spend Christmas alone, I swear! Eve invited me to go to dinner at theirs, and I think Mel is doing lunch at her place so I’ll go to that for a while.

It’s currently a bit past eleven at the moment. Almost Christmas. It’s been quiet tonight. I’m not used to spending Christmas alone anymore, all I can think of is the last few years and the way we’ve spent our Christmas Eves together. It’s our tradition, and I love that. I have the wine, and I have the fire and the book, but it’s just not the same without you here. I hope you’re thinking of me on Christmas Eve.

Love,
David.

~

What am I supposed to do?


Eve stared at the words she had written, tears building. She let out a shaky breath. She grabbed the paper and screwed it up into a ball, then threw it toward the trashcan. It hit the edge to settle on the carpet.

Eve stared at the envelope on her desk. It was stark white, crisp. The writing on the front was too neat, too formal. She was almost afraid to touch it, just in case she damaged it in some way. She followed the looped letters: John.

Eve grabbed the envelope and placed it carefully inside her bag. She stood up and pulled her bag over her shoulder. She fished her keys out of her bag and exited the room.

~

A knock on the door surprised John. He set the letter down and stood. His knees were stiff and he took a moment to stretch them out. He hurried to the door and opened it, the corner of his mouth twitching into a half-hearted smile when he came face to face with Eve. Her dark hair was tangled around her shoulders and her brown eyes were rimmed with red. She looked smaller, her shoulders hunched inward and fingers fiddling with the hem of her blouse.

Eve smiled, though it didn’t reach her eyes. “Hi John, may I come in?”

“Sure.” John stepped back and allowed her entry before he closed the door. He led the way to the living room and gestured for her to take a seat on the sofa. He sat in one of the armchairs and leaned forward, elbows resting on his knees.

“How are you?” Eve asked as she set her bag on the floor by her feet. She watched as John considered the appropriate way to answer the question.

“I’m fine.”

Eve was silent. John could see she didn’t buy it. Neither of them pointed it out.

“Everyone at work misses you,” Eve said. “Are you coming back?”

John shrugged.

“We all love you John, and we all loved David. But you can’t keep holding onto him forever, you’ll have to move on at some point. Let us help you.”

John said nothing.

“He didn’t want you to push your friends away.”

“He’s dead,” John spat. He glared at Eve, who just stared back.

After a moment, Eve reached into her bag and pulled out an envelope. “He gave me this to give to you.”

John stared at it. His hand twitched, but he refused to reach for it. His gaze flickered from the envelope to Eve. She was watching him, eyes wide and pitying. He hated it. Then she stood. John almost leapt from his seat, he wanted to snatch the envelope from her. But he stayed where he was. He watched as Eve set the envelope carefully on the coffee table.

“I’ll call around tomorrow,” she said. Then she let herself out.

As soon as she was gone John grabbed for the envelope. He rushed to open it, shook the paper into his hands and read.

~

John,

I’m not really sure what to write now. I thought this letter would be a good idea. Why did I think that again? I’m just about done packing to go to the hospital. By ‘I’ I mean Eve has finished packing for me. I know you’re on your way back, but I wish you were here now. I just want you to tell me it’ll be fine in that tone of yours that I always believe, to stay by my side until it’s time. It’s strange, I know I won’t be coming back here. It’s a weird sensation. But Eve promised to put this away for me once I’m gone, so you can read it and hopefully put it behind you.

I don’t want this letter to be too long. But we have to leave soon and I don’t know if I’ll have another chance. I know I don’t have that much longer. I don’t know what you’ll do when I’m gone, but I want you to look after Evie for me. I know she had Rick but she’ll need you too. I know it won’t be easy, but you’ll have to be strong for her. Please, for me? I know you’re strong enough to do this. I just keep thinking how it was when Nikki and Steve died, how hard you and Eve took it. It was you guys that made me realise I had to be strong. Now you can do the same for Eve.

I can’t believe we’ve had nine whole years together. It feels lie just yesterday we met, yet at same time I feel like I’ve known you forever. I guess I just want to remind you of the times we’ve had, good and bad, in those nine years. They meant so much to me, every moment of it, and I would not be the person I am today without your influence. I know I don’t say it enough, but never doubt just how important you are to me, you have always been.

I should probably wrap this up, I don’t want to upset myself too much. Make sure you look after yourself, and everyone at work. They’ll be counting on you, as always.

Love you, forever and always,

David.


~

He folded the paper over, and then unfolded it. He stared at the words again, not really reading them this time. Then he slipped it into the envelope and stood. Back in their bedroom he placed it on top of the others and replaced the lid on the shoebox. At his desk he found a spare piece of paper. He sat down and balanced the weight of the pen in his hands. He began to write.

~

David,

I don’t know what I’m supposed to do anymore. Please, tell me. How am I supposed to do this? You’re right, you are the strong one. I don’t know how to do this without you.

But no regrets.

Love, John.