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Never Again
Katrina Hayes 2003

"Never again..." she spoke, her voice barely audible.

He lowered his head, but kept his gaze locked with hers. "No. This will never happen again. But why remind us? Let us enjoy it as it is now, the days where this is no longer possible will come soon enough."

"Never again..." she whispered a second time. A tear escaped her eye and began coursing its way down her dirt-streaked cheeks. He reached up and wiped it away with a single finger, and raised his head again.

"Nor will you ever forget us. The actual occurrences may never occur again, but the memories will never be lost. But you have to let the occurrences happen, or the memories will never be made. Be here... please?" It was her turn to lower her head, although she also lowered her gaze.

He grasped her chin, and raised her head again. He could feel the lack of response in the muscles in her neck. It was as if she did not care enough to continue holding her own head up. He leaned forward.

Tears poured out of her eyes as his lips met hers, and she went slack. As if she did not care enough... to continue holding her entire body up. She slumped to the ground, the rain-soaked concrete unkindly receiving her.

He kneeled down, pushed a lock of hair from her face, and her eyes opened slowly.

"Never again..."

"I'm sorry, you just..."

"No, it's just..." She sat up, moving so slowly, operating with muscles she had essentially surrendered control of. She kissed him, and this time neither slid away.

"I meant... we'll never have this chance again."

"We have before."

"I guess... it takes the realization that something is not unlimited that forces you to appreciate it. And now, this will never happen again."


A third kiss.

When she didn't show up at school the following Monday, he wondered. When she wasn't there Tuesday either, he wondered. Wednesday. Thursday, the school made an announcement. Apparently the administration had known she was missing, but didn't want to cause a stir. But now, it was thought that a "moment of silence" during lunch would be appropriate. There would probably be follow-ups in homeroom, with students being lectured about depression and suicide while they rolled their eyes.

Her body had been found. Three long cuts up each arm. She'd lain down in a ditch, flooded by the rains that had begun the previous Friday, and hadn't stopped since. Whether blood loss had taken her and then she was submerged, or she submerged and drowned and then she lost blood from the wounds she had already inflicted upon herself was unknown....

He knew neither was what had really killed her. And the note blew up on his front porch that day.

Never again.