❝ another life that's gone to waste ❞

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Another tear, another cry,
Another place for us to die,
It's not complicated.
Another life that's gone to waste,
Another light lost from your face,
It's complicated.

"Autumn Leaves" -Ed Sheeran

I woke up to an insistent buzzing.

It took a moment of groping blindly around my nightstand before I found my phone. I squinted my eyes at the bright light, hitting the answer button without quite managing to read the Caller ID. "Hello?" I answered, slurring the word a little my only partial consciousness.


If he hadn't used that nickname, I wasn't sure I would've recognized Ashton. He didn't sound like he normally did, his voice hoarser than usual. I glanced at the alarm clock on the bedside table. The number 2:48 blinked back at me in a red light that was all too bright for my still adjusting eyes.


He didn't respond.

I sat up, wrapping the blanket around me. "What's wrong?"

"Why would you assume that something's wrong?" he choked out, a bitter edge in his tone.

"Well you're calling me at three in the morning," I replied quietly. I stifled a yawn, shaking my head to get rid of the remaining drowsiness.

"I know. I'm sorry," he said. The apology hung there, like there was more that he wanted to say, but he didn't speak another word.

"What's wrong?" I repeated.

"I- It's Skylar's funeral tomorrow," he whispered, his voice catching.

And in that moment, I was wide awake.

"I can't- I don't know to write for her eulogy and it's tomorrow," he continued.

"You don't have to do it," I told him.

I heard a quiet rustle from his side, him shaking his head maybe? I could almost picture the grimace on his face from his tone. "I think it's a little too late to back out now."

"Just write what you feel. It doesn't have to be a poetic novel," I said.

"She deserves that though," he argued.

I opened my mouth, then closed it again, unsure of how to respond. It wasn't like I believed that Skylar didn't deserve something like that, but it wasn't up to Ashton to write it. Not now at least, not so soon.

"What did you say for your parents?" Ashton asked, breaking the silence I had caused with my uncertainty on how to answer.

I stilled.

Blake and Avril.

What had I said?

Ashton took my hesitance as reluctance. "Sorry," he said. "You don't have to answer that."

"No, it's okay, I just..." I trailed off. I shook my head even though he couldn't see me. "I don't remember what I said."

"You don't remember?" he repeated softly.

Why didn't I remember?

It wasn't like I didn't remember Blake and Avril, or any of the things they had done that I would've mentioned.

I remembered that they used to always let me pick the songs to play in the car, no matter how much they -mostly Blake- had hated my taste in music at the time.

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