My heart pounded violently. I could feel it in my head, constantly thumping away. My parents' wet sobs sounded distant and faded, even though they were only a few feet away from me. Everything blurred together, like ingredients in a bowl of cookie dough. Words and cries all meshed together into one moment, one confused and dazed emotion. I was numb to everything. I didn't know what I was doing. I walked, but it didn't feel as though I was controlling my legs. I had wandered far away from my house, until I was out in the field. I sat in the long grass, stoic, expressionless, and not looking at anything in particular. I don't know how long I sat there. It could've been 5 minutes, but it also could've been 5 hours. I never thought of going back to the house. But then a feeling came over me; a sudden realization of how selfish I was being. I wasn't the only one who was struggling. I wasn't the only one who had lost Ben. What are you thinking, Alice? What about mum and dad? What about Will?
I stood up suddenly, feeling slowly coming back to my body. I felt an urge, a rush to go and comfort my parents and Will. How could I have been so selfish? The earth revolves, but it certainly doesn't revolve around me. I ran, the wind turning my cheeks pink. My dark hair fell out of it's neat bun as I sprinted towards the house.
I exhaled heavily as I reached the house. Stopping, I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. I felt my flushed face and pushed my hair away from eyes. My shoulders straightened as I slowly walked into the house. Softly, I peered into the living room. My mum was asleep, curled up in a crochet blanket. I bit my lip, and tried my best to be silent. I stepped into the room, looking for my father. His shoes sat by our floral lounge chair, but he did not accompany them.
I searched the house looking for my father or Will. Neither of them were downstairs and I had checked every room upstairs, except one... Ben's room. I turned the handle slowly and walked into the silent, sunlit bedroom. It was neat and tidy. A few things were missing, like a pair of shoes and a suitcase that Ben had usually stacked school papers and socks on. Dust danced in the pastel beams on light that shown through his window. Ben and I had always called them "dust fairies". I took a deep breath and sat on his creaky bed. My eyes wandered around the room until they focused on something... Ben's journal.
I slowly approached the wooden desk that his journal sat on. Why would he leave this behind? I thought. I opened and was surprised by what I saw. It wasn't Ben's journal.
Day of Discovery
I knew you'd eventually wander up to my room. I hope it's sooner, rather than later. And might I say, shame on you for snooping through my stuff! But don't worry, I would've done the same thing if you were gone. "What am I reading?" you may very well be asking yourself right now. I know you thought it was my journal and I'm sure you're surprised to find that it's not. This journal is yours. This journal has a total of 365 pages. As I'm sure you know, that's the number of days in a year. I'm assuming this war will be over in a year and soon, I'll be back with you and Will. And when I come back, I want to know what you did in those 365 days without me. And I don't mean some vague description of what you did. I wanna know everything. I wanna know what you thought every single second. I want words, pictures that only your mind could fabricate. And in return, I'll give you the same. Alice, please write down everything. I wanna know what made you happy in this time of sadness. Please write every single day, no matter how boring your day has been. I wanna know everything. I promise I'll do the same. Lastly, my dear Alice... I want to leave you with one thought. Nobody is ever alone. Not truly at least. Because somewhere, someone else is looking up at the same stars, tears streaming down there cheeks asking "why?". And it doesn't matter whether you know them or not, because that means you're in this together. Do me a favor and don't you forget that. I love you, Alice. Don't forget to smile.
My blue eyes filled with tears, making his writing blurry. I held the journal close to my heart and breathed heavily. I quickly stood and rushed down the stairs. I made my way outside and rushed to Will's house. When I finally reached it, I knocked on his door, breathing heavily. Will's mother opened the door.
"Is Will here?" I puffed.
"He's out for a walk in the field, I'm afraid," she answered. She was always a short and snippy woman.
"Okay, thank you!"
I dashed towards the field. "Will?! Will?!" I yelled. And then I saw him, with his back turned towards me. He sat motionless. As I reached him, I slowly sat at his side. He looked at me, tears in his eyes. He held a journal in his hand too.
"He left you one to?" I whispered.
"He's still with us, Alice."
I smiled through my tears. He wrapped his arms around me as I rested my head on his strong shoulder. The silence connected us, making words seem small and pointless. I smiled slightly, knowing I would write about this in my journal that night.