Deeper Than Blood

by Sydney Wiggins

Have you ever lost the one person you would die for, the one person that was your entire life, that one person who could always make things better? The one person who was your best friend and your lover at the same time? The one person you swore you would protect and keep safe no matter what the consequences were for you? I have. She's lying right in front of me in her coffin. My girl. My life. My world. My future. Gone, dead, no longer breathing, no longer in this world.Slipped out of my fingers like grains of sand

Her face now pale, lay on a pillow made of satin that could have given the color of snow a run for its money. Her wavy dark brown hair streamed down her shoulders. I couldn't see her beautiful green eyes, but I wanted her so badly to open them up, blink, smile, sit up and say this was all a joke. She was dressed in a cream dress that hugged around her neck and flowed down her to her feet. Her hands lay folded together on her belly button. Peach blush was smeared on her cheeks, which accented the light brown eye shadow that was on her eye lids. It all blended well with her skin. But never in her life...I choked back on a sobHad she ever worn anything other than lip gloss. She was naturally beautiful. This wasn't my Megan. My Megan is somewhere far away from here, not dead, enjoying the bright sun shine

"Bradley!! Hurry up! The sun is going to set before we get there!" Megan had cried over her shoulder as I ran after her through an apple orchard. The sun was minutes away from setting and it cast a brilliant aurora through the cracks of the apple trees. The grass was as thick as a lion's mane and tickled my calves as I ran after her. Her dark curls bounced as she raced for the highest and biggest tree of them all. Dodging a tree, I watched as she stopped and twirled around. Her curls blew in the warm summer air and the light glinted off her oak green eyes making them sparkle, rays of the sun settled on her skin and illuminated it, and for a second I thought she might have been an angel Silently to myself I thought-I'm marrying this girl. Laughing-her laugh was like wind chimes bouncing in the wind harmonically-she turned back around and hoisted herself up on the tree and gracefully swing between the tree branches climbing into the thickest one. Hurriedly I scampered up the tree, clumsily climbing out onto the branch and sitting beside her. We had a perfect view of the sun setting. It shot burst of light around us casting our shadows on the ground. Lowering her eyes she looked at our shadows and smiled. A smiled that could have caused the Earth to stop spinning. Gingerly she took our hands and formed a heart, the shadows mimicked us. A moment of silence passed between us.

"I come here, when everything around me hurts" She whispered softly "I come here so that when I see the sun, I know tomorrow will perhaps be better?" Lifting up her eyes she smiled at me, a crooked little smile that only tells you half the truth..

Megan was thereIn our little spot that we shared. Where the sunshine made everything betterNot here. Not in this death bed, that when we leave will be bolted down and buried in the ground. Slowly tears tumbled down my cheeks and fell on the floor. My lower lip trembled and my body silently shook all over. My mom reached over and pulled me into her arms.

" Shh BradleyIt's going to be alright..." She murmured into my ear. I could hear her voice shaking, and I could feel her moist cheeks on my neck. No it wasn't going to be alright. It feels as if my heart has swollen to twice its size and is pounding against my rib cage. It feels as if my past was shattered and shards of what once use to be are now lodged deep inside what could have been.

As long as I am alive Bradley.Everything will be fineI could hear Megan whisper in my ear.

My thoughts collide inside my head. I'm tough I keep telling myself. But I have come to realize I'm just a boy who claims he is tough, I won't let anyone see me weak. In reality I am not tough. A boy who doesn't need someone's hand to hold to get me through thisI am not weak. In reality. I'm weak. I need a hand while I'm rushing on the cobble stones of life, ignoring the beating of my heart, and ignoring the reality check my brain sends me, because all of those reminds me I'm alive, and being alive reminds me of the pain, that she's not alive. Other family members and friends gathered behind me, ready to look of Megan. My breath caught in my throat. I'm not moving. I promised her I would never leave her side. Never. I promised her I would protect her. A snort escaped me. My face wrinkled up with sorrow and more tears poured out. So what for protecting herMegan's mother walked up and stood next to me. Looking at her daughter a dark sorrow feel over her, and her eyes glistened over. The smallest hint of depression tugged at the skin on her bones. Days. Days she had be crying, and it showed on her face. Her skin hung off her facial bones as is gravity had screwed her over. Despite her shockingly young age, she looked older, much older. Taking a tissue softly out of her pocket she dabbed at her eyes. Slowly she turned her head and looked at me, with such cold and bleak eyes. Gently she pulled me into a hug. Her tensed body felt like concrete against mine.

She loved you BradleyShe loved you so much." Megan's mom whispered into my ear. Shutting my eyes I hugged her tighter. Tears poured out of my eyes, and stained on her dress. I nodded choking back more sobs. Pulling away she wiped away her tears, fixed her dress, and then looked at me. Smiling lops idly she tilted my chin up. "Smile big boy. Don't let them see you suffer too much." She said to me. My eyes filled with tears. I can't be strong for you, I'm so sorry MeganI can't be strong. Once more I looked down at her. Slowly I could feel Morgan come next to me. Her body trembling, she was Megan's identical twin, same everything, but their personalities as different as night and day, different as black and white. Megan was more of a delicate and precious kitten so innocent and meek...Morgan's more similar to a tiger brilliant, bubbly and fierce. Stroking her twins hair she murmured "It's hard to say good-bye.Isn't it?" Her face was blotchy from hours of crying and her eyes were swollen and red. "You have no id-" But I caught myself as she threw a look of cold hatred toward me, but soon the look faded and sorrow once again masked her face. "It doesn't feel real..." Her lower lip trembled as she continued: "'The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it' Megan's favorite quote." Kneeling down she took out a sharpie pen and in big bold letters on the front of her coffin she wrote: "The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it. Your death will NOT be in vain and I await the day till I can see my twins beautiful face smiling again. Your other half-Morgan" Big tears tumbled down her face as she stood up capped her mark and walked back to her seat. I stood there the last one, shaking as I took one last look at my life as she left me. Taking out a picture I laid it under her hands. The picture was of her in the apple tree smiling as the wind blew her hair forward, she hung onto the branch she sat on as little bits of cotton and flowers swirled around her, and for the smallest moment she stopped what she was doing, cupped both her hands around the air and waited for a cotton piece, at the exact moment in time I took the picture. The sun perfectly shining through the leaves and the angle of light perfect. Leaning in I whispered softly in her ear "I love you Megan." Gradually I turned around and walked back to my seat, every step of the way was hard. My feet felt as if they were giant weights of lead attached to my legs and heart, a nugget of sorrow sitting there in the cavity I call my chest hurt worst of all. Every step I took away from her coffin was another heart string ripped out and falling to the ground as if it was ash. I couldn't believe that someone could feel so much pain. Everywhere I looked I saw people crying, holding onto their loved ones as if they too would vanish at any moment. I couldn't hear the music I couldn't even hear my own thoughts running around inside my head, all I heard was my heart breaking in half and sinking to the pit of my stomach. I felt as if someone were to punch me in the gut I would vomit up my heart, it no longer rested in my chest, but now it boiled in my stomach. Then my eyes caught Morgan's as she got up and walked to me, took my hand, she held it firm in hers and she lead me to the seat next to her. It felt good to be held sturdily, to not have to rely on only you. After a moment of sitting there, are hands still linked, she turned around and looked me in the eyes. "You and me. The only way we will ever get through this is together. From here on out we stick together, I know you hurtSo do I. That's why we need each other." She spoke in an angelic voice unlike her character. I nodded to numb to feel or move my lips. Taking one more look at me, she squeezed my head and went back to watching the memorial. I'm not quite sure how much time passed, seconds, minutes, hours, I just say there. Numb. Unmoving. Not able to connect with anything. An empty casing. My only sanctuary was where our memories lied.

"Seeing death as the end of life is like seeing the Ocean as the end of the Horizon, Bradley." Cupping her hands around my cheeks she leaned in and kissed me lightly on my lips. "When I leave here, I won't be gone. I'll still live here, forever and ever." Lightly she laid her feeble hand over my heart. My lower lip trembled and I shook my head. "No, no Megan. You're going to be okay. In another week we're going to walk out of here-I'll carry if you like? We'll walk out here and I'll take you to that new book store you said you wanted to go to. Please. Don't say things like this"I took her hand in both of mine and kissed it, first I kissed her finger tips, then her knuckles and last I turned her palm over and kissed it right in the middle. She giggled-a weak giggle- and took her hand back. "I love you Bradley, always remember that." Her face was so soft and kind despite how sickly she looked. "Always." I replied sitting in the chair next to her and taking her hand. She closed her eyes and murmured "Good"

Days passed, then weeks passed, and months passed, and then one year had gone by after Megan had died. Life went on and people coped. Every day I thought about her, that every breath I took she should be taking with me and that every step I take she should be right beside me. But Morgan, she's the only reason I'm still alive. Ever since we made that pack, we have been inseparable. We've grown so close, she knows all of me and I know all of her. MorganIs nothing like Megan. They may have been twins but nothing besides their looks are alike. The more time I spend with Morgan I realize the more I love her, the toughest time of my life she put her life aside, her problems, her everything to help me get through mine. In my time of need she was there to pull me through, and in her time of need I did the same. It's come to the point where I can't find myself without her near me; she's the only one who saves me from myself. I love Morgan with such a passion at points it seems to overwhelm us. I know Megan would have wanted me to move on and be happy again, sounds like other people say that. But you have no idea till it actually happens to you and your forced to move on. Every breath I take it proves that I could live without her, but it still hurts, you know? There are things that we don't want to happen and never expect to happen, things we don't want to know but have to learn to live with, and people we can't live without but have to let go. I've made a pact with myself to not be defined by my past, not let it hold me back. Sometimes the greatest thing to come out of all your hard work isn't what you get for it, but what you become for it.

One Year later

"Hello old friend, I know it's been a while I'm here again" The cold winter wind blew as I laid the flowers on Megan's grave, I knelt down gave a word of prayer then stood back up. "But this probably won't be the last time, love." Slowly I bent down and kissed the top of her grave stone. Here lies "Megan Lee Walker 1992-2008. Loving daughter and loyal friend." Despite the cold stone I felt her warm cheeks as I kissed the stone. Taking one more look at the grave I turned around and walked back to Morgan, taking her warm hand in mine we gracefully walked back down the path we came. With no tears, and only a mild aching in our hearts.

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