“I can’t wait for this! Glory, I can already picture all them fine South African boys with them nice British accents Ooo! You know, all good boys are made in the South, I mean, look at me,” Michael whispered gesturing to himself. I rolled my eyes.
“I don’t know how you survived in Georgia; you’re like the gayest thing to ever set foot on the Earth, Michael.”
“Oh hush Delilah!” he sucked his teeth, “Why do you think I signed up for this trip? I was getting real tired with them annoying butt Southern Bells, all that balderdash in the air was beginning to suffocate me. Besides, my parents were ever so ready to ship me away, they were tired of being the talk of the town.” Michael rolled his eyes, I feel his pain. The ladies of my hometown weren’t very pleased with the fact that there was a gay child in their “sinless town”. Give me a break. Although, I’m kind of happy that they basically kicked him out of the town because there was no other way I could have paid for this field trip myself. My second parents also known as Michael’s famous doctor mom and dad paid for this trip. Gosh I love Michael, as like a brother I mean. Michael and I go to Alabama Technical Vocational School; it’s a long commute but its way worth it. We’re in the Medical program and every year the junior in the program go on a trip. We’re on our way to South Africa!
I glanced over at the boy a few rows away from me sitting under the overhead cabin; he’s the boy I’ve been going to school with since kindergarten and the boy I’ve been…thinking about since about third grade. Not that he knows I exist. He was engaged in dispute with his best friend Harley.
“Harls, c’mon you saw the x-rays, the man had a mass the size of a baseball in his encephalon, be real, it was indubitably a…” the boy said, his green eyes shining. His long red wavy hair bounced around as he spoke, the passion for what he was doing shone in his eyes. He was wearing a button down plaid shirt with the top unbuttoned; I could see the key resting on his stone hard chest. He ran his hand through his hair. I bit my lip, golly gee was he gorgeous.
“He’s not a piece of meat Delilah, although I wouldn’t mind taking a bite outta that…” Michael whispered shifting his eyebrows. I smacked his arm.
“Shut up Michael!” I looked at him again. “God almighty I just wanna, run my hand through that hair. It looks so silky.” I tilted my head to the side. “Is it too much to ask to be Mrs. Ricky Wyatt?”
“Yes, yes it is,” Michael replied. I rested my head on his shoulder; I could feel the pull of sleep attempting to yank me down under.
“You know…have a pillow fight, drink tea and hot chocolate out of mugs, and argue over stupid things. I want him to wear an ugly pink apron and make me bacon….to hug me from behind…” I droned on. I was mumbling, I was slowly dosing off. I tend to mumble when I’m tired, and according to Michael, I also talk in my sleep, I do believe we’ve had about 50 too many Hannah Montana themed slumber parties.
“So you want a fairytale?” Michael sucked his teeth and sighed, “Cinderella has brain washed us all honey”
“Eh. I blame Nicholas Sparks.” Michael smiled and shook the blanket over me, I cuddled up to him, what would I do without this guy?
“You take your meds today D?” I ignored him and proceeded to doze off. I don’t need them.
“Delilah!” a silky deep voice yelled at me “Fire Delilah! We’re going down!” I was being ravaged, the strong hands on my shoulders were shaking me hard, and I could hear screaming in the background. The most distinct scream out of all of them was Michael’s; I knew his scream like I knew my own, mostly because his was like a hyena crossed with a five year old girl. My eyes snapped open, and before me, stood an angel. His bright eyes were blazing with worry, his fire red hair dangling over me; I could just reach out and stroke it…. “Delilah!” I snapped out of the trance that his hair seemed to have had me under.
“Ricky,” I breathed “What’s going on?” I looked around; it was anarchy, complete and utter chaos. Everywhere, people screaming, falling, bleeding, and then, I saw it. The fire was towards the cockpit, it was blazing; there were a bunch of people on the ground in front of the fire, screaming; one by one they were being sucked right out of the plane. Then my eyes landed on him, among the group of people sprawled out in front of the fire, screaming and clutching his leg was Michael. “Michael!” I yelled shoving Ricky off me, I didn’t care. I ran and kneeled beside him and dragged him onto a chair and strapped him in. I moved his hand away from his injury, oh good Lord it was grievous. It was bleeding a great deal more than I would have liked, I feared that this was not going to end well. It looked like on top of this terrible wound on his leg, he’s also got a second or third degree burn.
“Delilah, Fire. Plane gone.” He mumbled through clenched teeth. This had to be exceedingly painful for him. I got up and looked around; there was a glass box with a first aid kit in it… what idiot puts a first aid kit in a glass case? I balled my hand into a fist and punched the glass in and yanked the first aid kit out, I now had blood running in streams down my arm, I could feel the little pieces of glass in my hand, ouch. “Delilah, your hand…”
“Hush Michael!” I snapped. I began examining his wound… there wasn’t much I could do with what was in the kit. “Look at you!” I sighed pushing the hair out of my face. I was exasperated, this looked hopeless.
“What happened?” a familiar voice queried next to me, I looked over and green eyes met mine.
“W-went to ask pilot if everything was o-okay, on my way back, heard snaps and huge boom. I dived onto back j-just in time. We’re-” Michael flinched in pain. Ricky was digging around his wound plucking out glass. “We’re going down.” Michael finished.
“Ridiculous, the pilot is a genius, we’ll be fine.” I said, but I didn’t believe it.
“D-Delilah….there is no pilot,” he whispered, I furrowed my eyebrows in confusion. “Snaps and boom was cockpit falling off plane…was first to go… we’re spinning off course.”
“We’re gonna crash…” I mumbled, I looked over at Ricky, his eyebrows were furrowed in focus, the golden key around his neck shimmered; he sat back on his legs and ran his hand through his hair.
“I can’t stop the bleeding.” His expression was pained. Ok Delilah, you’re a med student, top of your class, think! We need to stop the bleeding or he’ll die… must stop bleeding “Tourniquet! Make a tourniquet!” I exclaimed, Ricky eyes lit up but then the expression left as quick as it came.
“He could lose his leg…” Ricky explained looking at me intently.
“It’s either his leg, or his life.” Ricky looked back down at Michael, he had passed out, the pain was so bad, finally Ricky reluctantly took off his shirt. Oh good Lord. He began ripping his shirt into strips and tying it right above Michael’s wound, he pulled the shirt hard and Michael’s eyes shot up and he let out a piercing scream. Ricky’s muscles bulged; I could see the strain in his tight abs, the key bounced around as he worked swiftly.
“I know buddy, but we have no other choice, brace yourself, this is going to hurt.” He knotted off the shirt, twisted the top off the rubbing alcohol and poured, Michael yelled so loud I thought my ears were going to bleed. All at once something shifted, I was thrown backwards, the air became unbreathable and my heart felt like it was in my in my throat, everyone was screaming. I was in much too much shock to scream. We were free falling out of the sky.
I pulled my head out of the water and began coughing, my throat was on fire and my eyes were stinging. I looked around, there was land about five or six feet away from me, some of us were sprawled out on the land and others of us were spread out in the water, the plane was in pieces next to a tree, I was flung out into the water when we crashed. Looking around I noticed that I couldn’t see Michael… oh no where’s Ricky?
“Michael! Ricky! Michael! Where are you guys!” I yelled but got no response, all I got was a few frantic looks from my peers. I hysterically began to paddle forward, moving my arms as quickly as I physically could, I must have looked like a maniac, I didn’t care, I needed to find them. I finally reached the land and I collapsed on the hot sand and began letting out all that water that I took in, when I was done I collapsed back down on the sand, I had no fight left in me. I hoped that Ricky and Michael were safe, because try as hard as I might, there was no way I was going to get back up. Not long after I fell back down did I feel strong hands go around me and lift me right back up.
“You alright there Delilah?” I looked up at the person holding me and my eyes met big terrifyingly blue ones, Hurley. “Billy go tell Ricky that we have her, she’s weak and she looks like she’s about to pass out, she’s got a big bruise on her head too.” Hurley called out; I saw a blob which I assumed was Billy run in the opposite direction. Hurley looked back down at me, oh good lord…there was like four Hurley’s. “You don’t look so good baby.” He picked me up and headed in the same direction of Billy, he was talking but I really couldn’t understand what he was saying. “Ricky’s been worried sick…abandoned mini mall… learned about this in school…can’t believe….crashed so off course…luckily we crashed here… survive for months…” I could only pick out pieces of what he was saying, I felt so weak.
“Ricky.” I whispered laying my head on the soft cotton of his t-shirt.
“No worries darlin’, Ricky’s just inside, we’re almost there.” I felt…so…weak.
My eyes flashed open and for a moment I thought I was home, the soft mattress beneath me felt just like mine but then I realized, where’s my Backstreet Boys poster? I turned my head and my heart skipped a beat.
“Ricky” I breathed, he smiled, his green eyes that were intently looking at me shimmered. “Why didn’t you wake me?”
“You needed your rest, I was a bit worried for a moment there, you’ve been sleepin’ for two whole days.” A worried expression crossed his face. I looked around, there were mattresses everywhere, it looked like Sleepy’s. “By the way Delilah, we’ve landed on an abandoned island; this is a mini mall… what are the odds?”
“Ricky Wyatt of all the mattresses here you chose to be on mine,” I said coyly, Ricky blushed a little.
“Why Miss Delilah, yours looked like the most comfortable one.” He rolled over and propped himself up on his elbows and held himself over me, making sure to only let a bit of his weight on me. He tilted his head and looked at me thoughtfully. “Delilah… I’ve known you for what twelve years? And somehow I’ve managed to not tell you how I feel about you.” My heart was beating at about a million times per second. “Delilah I’ve seen you around, I’ve seen you every day of my life, I’m in like half your classes, you’re brilliant. You’re beautiful, your laugh could grant us world peace and your touch could cure cancer. You’re everything I’ve ever wanted,” I laughed tears of joy streaming down my face, “and I must be the stupidest man in the world to have never told you this before.” A worried expression crossed his face, “Delilah?” His words were falling to deaf ears, I couldn’t understand what was going on, I felt like I was losing control of everything. I was spasming uncontrollably; I had no power over any of my body parts. “Delilah!” Ricky screamed. “Hurley!”
“What’s going on Rick?” Hurley asked out of breath.
“She’s seizing… I-I don’t know what to do…” Ricky explained, his voice was strained, he was worried, I wanted to explain to him that I was fine, but I couldn’t, my words wouldn’t come out.
“Epilepsy… the guys had pulled a bunch of stuff from the wreckage, I saw her luggage, she has pills in there.” Hurley walked over and gripped Ricky’s shoulders and shook him, “Snap out of it Wyatt! You and Delilah here are the top of our class, you know what to do, do it.” And Hurley ran out. Ricky leaned over to me and unzipped my jacket, then he hastily unbuttoned the top buttons of my shirt, then it stopped. I slowly regained control of my body parts, my vision cleared up and the violent ringing in my ears stopped. Ricky was standing off to the side giving me a worried look.
“Ricky…” I whispered, he ran over to me.
“Shhhh, it’s alright darlin’ everything is fine.” He whispered, I smiled, I suddenly felt so tired, even though I had just woken up, I felt drained.
“Ricky Wyatt.” I mumbled.
“I think I may just be fallin’ in love with you…” I breathed; I could feel myself falling asleep again.
“Really? That’s funny ‘cuz I think you may have stolen the key to my heart.” He replied, putting a chain around my neck, I looked down; it was a small golden key, I flipped it over, there was a small heart engraved onto the back.
Two months went by in a blur, it was the best two months of my life, it was like living in a Nicholas Sparks book, we made it work. The boys caught the food, the girls cooked it in the little food court restaurants, clothing wasn’t a problem, because the stores were full of them. Of course it wasn’t perfect; a bunch of us had died. Either they got sucked out if the plane when the cockpit broke off, they drowned in landing or their injuries eventually killed them off. The last scenario was almost Michael’s fate, luckily Ricky and I did all we could and we kept him alive. A lot of people are a bit emotionally damaged, some lost sisters, brothers, boyfriends or girlfriends. Nobody really slept in the mattress store…we used the mattresses for ‘other’ things. Ricky and I walked into the food court holding hands. Michael, who was sitting in Hurley’s lap, looked giddy as ever, he looked in his place. I can’t believe I didn’t notice how handsome Michael was before, sure he’s got messy brown hair and a whole patch of funny looking freckles on his face but they work; he’s got a scrawny build and he’s blind as a bat. But all in all, he’s quite handsome. Hurley on the other hand is quite the opposite, he’s built like a football player, no he’s more of a Greek god carved from stone. They’re perfect for each other them two, Michael seems to fit in Hurley’s arms as if he was made for him; they fit together like missing puzzle pieces, finally found. Michael’s leg was still a mess but Bill had made him a crutch out of wood, not that he ever uses them, it seems like Hurley is always carrying around 75 percent of the time.
“Ooo back from the mattress shop already? That was fast.” Lydie-Beth said; she was behind the counter in the food court frying up something. To be honest, Lydie-Beth was the only girl here who I couldn’t help but envy. She was perfect, she had wavy red hair and huge blazing green eyes, dull in comparison to the knotty brown mess I call hair and the dull brown marbles I had for eyes. She reminded me of a princess, she walked with a light step with grace and perfect posture; she was thin but curvy and very athletic. I couldn’t stop myself from wondering… Ricky could have had her…why would he choose me? Lydie-Beth is so perfect, so beautiful… how could Ricky Wyatt choose a daisy in a field of roses? I couldn’t help but quote my favorite poem by Julie Martinez in my mind. An angry shudder ran through me as I looked at her but I didn’t hesitate to shoot her my fakest smile. Before I had the chance to continue to ponder on how much better Lydie-Beth was than me, a tall, lanky boy named Ridley came running in.
“It’s here!” he exclaimed “The plane is here! There’s only eleven seats left guys so if you want to go home, go now!” he yelled breathlessly and ran. And we were all so excited, so relieved to be going home, until it dawned on us: someone’s not going home.
It was chaos, the first thing I saw was Hurley spring up out of his seat, knocking Michael to the ground, he picked Michael up and slung him over his shoulder running fast and hard. Then Lydie-Beth jumped over the counter, knocking the pot of hot grease over and she ran without looking back. The stand where she was began to burn, the fire alarm went off, the lights began to flash, and I began to feel a bit faint. I dropped to the ground with a thud and lost control. I couldn’t see, I wasn’t sure how long I was down or what was going on.
“Delilah, you hold on Delilah” I heard Ricky yell as he undid the buttons of my shirt.
“Ricky c’mon! There’s only one spot left on the plane it’s as good as yours! Leave the girl!” A voice yelled. My vision cleared up and I came back into focus.
“I won’t leave her!” Ricky yelled. “She can come with us, can’t she just sit on the floor. Or- or on my lap?”
“No, it’s a small plane, the lesser the load, the better.” Ricky looked down at me; I used up as much energy as I could and pushed myself up off the ground.
“Go…” I said putting my hand on his chest and pushing him a little.
“I won’t leave you Delilah, don’t make me leave you.” He whispered his expression pained me; his eyes were glistening with tears.
“They’ll come get me, real soon. And- and you know what?” I said fingering his t-shirt “I’ll take my meds, ya, I’ll take them and I won’t be so sick anymore, and when I get back it’ll be senior year and we’ll be together okay?” I reassured him, a tear rolled down his cheek.
“I love you Delilah, I love you and I always will. You are my sunshine, my only sunshine; you make me happy when clouds are gray.” He sang, putting a finger on the key around my neck, I laughed; my tears were acid burning their way down my cheeks. Stop Delilah, you must be strong or he won’t go, I wiped the tears off my face and I kissed him, one last time. I threw everything I had into that kiss, we both did, the buzz from the kiss sent my head spinning and a jolt down my spine. I watched as he walked away and I waited until the mini mall door closed behind him before I lifted myself off the floor of the food court. Little did he know, that would be our last kiss. The tears freely fell from my face as I ran to the Bath store at the end of the mall. He wasn’t coming back. I filled the tub up with hot water. He had to leave…staying would have meant his death. I slowly stepped into the water. He’s safe now, he’s well on his way back, that’s all I wanted, but they won’t come back for me, they will forget about me. He will fall in love with Lydie-Beth or someone else and I’ll be stranded here, waiting for death. I pulled the chain over my head; I turned the key over in my hand and traced the heart on the back. I put the jagged end of the key to my wrist, I grit my teeth and pushed it down, drawing a deep jagged line and switched hands. He gave me the key to his heart, not knowing it would also be the key to my death. The only thing that was going through my mind was my favorite song, Hey There Delilah by the Plain White T’s, but my own twisted morbid version of it. I heard the pounding of running feet down the hall of the mall.
“Delilah!” Ricky yelled, but I knew he would be too late. I slipped my head down under the blood stained water.
Hey there Delilah what’s it like in heaven baby
You’re another life away but girl tonight you look so pretty
Yes you do
Being alive ain’t fun without you
I swear it’s true