Five

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My dream lingered in my head. She did look lonely, I thought. Lonely like I am now. I'd been so preoccupied with how I was feeling, I didn't consider how Ariana might be feeling.

That's because she's dead, a voice screamed in my mind. She doesn't have any feelings.

I know it was dumb, but I actually considered what Ariana could be feeling. I knew she was dead; gone but not forgotten. But what if wherever she was - Heaven? - she missed me? What it she was lonely there?

That's ridiculous, I thought, trying to convince myself. It's impossible! She's not lonely. She is probably in Heaven flirting with James Dean or making friends with Marilyn Monroe.

I tried to laugh, but I could barely manage a smile. When I awoke the next morning, the dream of Ariana stayed me the entire day.

After spending the rest of the week drawing and lounging at home watching TV, I missed Ariana more than ever. The only time in my life that I'd stayed home doing nothing for this long was the one time I had gotten the stomach flu which seemed to last for days.

 The only time in my life that I'd stayed home doing nothing for this long was the one time I had gotten the stomach flu which seemed to last for days

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By Saturday, I felt a little stir crazy and had to get out of the house. I decided to return to the cemetery to visit Ariana again, and asked my mom to drop me off.

"Call me when you want to leave, okay? I'll come back to pick you up," my mom told me as we pulled into the cemetery. I think she was just happy to get me out of the house for the afternoon.

I agreed and stepped out of my mom's car. Making my way through the parking lot, I walked up the hill. It was a beautiful day, sunny with white fluffy clouds filling the sky. The grass was bright green and the air was crisp. I inhaled deeply. As I got to Ariana's gravesite, I knelt down.

"Hey," I whispered, looking around to make sure I was alone. I proceeded to tell her about my week, the kids at school, and told her she hadn't missed much, which was true, in my opinion. I hadn't done anything worth talking about all week, other than walk around in a daze.

Tears welled in my eyes as I told Ariana how much I missed her.

"I saw you last night. Crazy, right?" I told her. "I dreamed of that day after the mall, remember? The picture your mom took of us hanging off your bed," I paused. "You said...you said you missed me and, well, I don't know. I guess I wanted to make sure you were alright."

I sighed deeply. "I miss you, too. I'm so lonely without you, Ari. I keep expecting you to call me or-" I couldn't finish what I was saying. She wasn't coming back. She wouldn't be calling me or coming over to my house. All I had left were memories and I vowed to keep them fresh in my mind forever, not letting her fade away. My hands brushed over the grass. I laid down on top of her grave and stared up to the sky.

The clouds formed into puffy shapes above me and I tried to imagine what each cloud looked like. I'd seen that done in a movie once. Some rom-com Ari and I had rented. A man and woman had a romantic picnic in the park and the guy pointed to the clouds, like See that cloud? It looks like a sailboat! The woman would look up, impressed. I stared up to the sky. I couldn't make out any shapes at all, honestly. Giving up, I pulled some grass with my hand and let it blow from my palm.

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