Ever Lonely

02 - Crooked Parts, Crooked Pasts - Cassia

“Zac, your part’s not straight,” Taylor told his younger brother.

“Great job, Sherlock, it’s been crooked for almost three years,” Ike reminded.

“Zac, you’ve gotta learn how to make it a straight part,” Taylor told Zac.

“’Parting is such sweet sorrow,’” Zac quoted in a pretty decent English accent.

“If looks like you were combing your hair and you sneezed,” Ike commented, making the trio laugh.

“Why is it even crooked like that?” Instantly, Zac fell silent and solemn. He began to leave the room, but before he disappeared through the doorway he said softly,“I don’t even know why you had to ask that.”

June 12th, 1996

“Daphne! Give that back!” Zac shouted, lunging for the baseball hat.

Daphne giggled and threw it to him. He grinned and tossed it aside. She squealed and ran away from Zac as he chased her up to the tree house. Cornered, she sat down and Zac, showing no signs of wanting to chase her anymore, sat down next to her. You could say that there was this thing going on between Zac and Daphne. Both of their families knew that even though the two were only ten, it was more than just a friendship bond between the two. It was more romantically involved. Although Zac had no plans of kissing Daphne—his stomach churned at the thought—he knew somehow that they would be together for the rest of their lives, and had no objections to that. He was actually quite content with the thought. His ten-year-old mind hadn’t yet made the translation that it would later in life: he loved her. But can you blame him? At ten, a “date” consisted of rollerblading down the street and showings of affection were no more than a hug. But, as stated before, he was perfectly happy with sharing the rest of his life with Daphne. He grinned at his companion and a lock of his long blonde hair fell into his face. Daphne reached out and put it behind his ear. He made a face.

“Aw, Daph, now my part’s crooked!” He reached up as if to fix it but Daphne grabbed his hand.

“It looks good that way.” She smiled and Zac returned it.

“Hey, you wanna go blading?”

“When do I not?” Daphne giggled. The two agreed to meet at the street corner when they were ready.

“Mom, I’m going blading with Daphne!” Zac shouted on his way to the garage. Diana was checking on the violets in her flowerbed and a baby Mackenzie was playing on a blanket nearby. Diana nodded and Zac was off like a shot. Five minutes later he and Daphne were blading down the street, hand in hand.

“Come on Zac!” Daphne said, as she looked both ways in preparation of crossing the street.

“My blade came untied, let me fix it. You go on ahead.” Zac responded. Daphne began crossing the street. When she was halfway across he came after her. “Okay, wait up!” Daphne turned around and her eyes widened in horror.

“Zac, watch out!” she shrieked. Zac looked to his left and saw a car coming toward him, very fast. Before he could react, Daphne pushed him out of the way, knocking him to the safety of the sidewalk. There was a blood-curdling scream from Daphne, then silence. The owner of the car got out, apologizing profusely. Zac didn’t hear any of it. Even through his helmet, the shock of him hitting his head on the sidewalk had knocked him out. Even then, he somehow knew before it went completely dark that he wouldn’t be sharing the rest of his life with Daphne after all.

Zac sat on the edge of the hotel bed, fingering the crooked part that Daphne had given him nearly three years before. Taylor walked into the room and Zac got up and went to the dresser. There was a comb sitting there. Zac picked it up.

”You know that saying, ‘live and let go’?” Zac asked. Taylor nodded. “I’ve got the living part down. I’ve just gotta work on the letting go.” Taylor’s mouth hung open.

“You mean…”

“Yup.” Zac slowly straightened out the part that had been crooked for three years, his only memory of Daphne. He set the comb back down and left the room.

“He’s really growing up,” Taylor thought to himself, “if he can so willingly forget someone he really loved.” Taylor left the room after Zac.