Disclaimer: The characters in this story are property of Saban, not me. I never have, and probably never will work for Saban, but we all can dream, can't we? In the unlikely event that readers shower me with cash, I will send it all to Saban Studios. This story is a followup to "Wish Upon A Star". If you haven't read it, read it.....if you survive this story without having to go to the Hospital, then please email me and tell me what part you liked/hated/despised/adored etc. I'd like to thank Jeremy for giving me a place to showcase my (lack of?) talent.. I suppose I should thank my cat, but she just shedded all over my best skirt. Oh well, maybe next time!
"No..." Ashley murmured. "Not this day again..." it was the anniversary of what was probably the worst day of her life. She remembered it like it was yesterday, even though it had been two years. She had been fifteen, and her parents had just recently told her that she was allowed to date. It had been one of the best days of her life, especially after Eric Carllson had agreed to go out with her.
"Hey, Ash, breakfast's..." Cassie trailed off as she saw the expression on her friend's face. "What's wrong?"
"I was just...thinking. You know, about, um, stuff.."
"What kind of stuff?" Cassie asked softly. A tear trickled down Ashley's face.
"The first guy I ever asked out..."
"Well, Ash, guys have turned you down all the time," Cassie attempted a joke.
"He said yes, Cassie. He said yes," Ashley murmured quietly. Cassie's eyes widened as she went through all the possibilities. Parental disapproval, peer pressure.....no, that wasn't it. She looked straight at her friend "Oh, no. Ashley, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry!".
"It's okay," Ashley gave a tiny smile. "You didn't know."
"Want to talk about it?" Cassie's question made Ashley think of last night. Andros had poured his heart out about his sister, and she guessed it was her turn now.
"Sure, Cassie. It all started like this......"
Wednesday, April 3rd, 1996
"Uhm, Eric?" fifteen year old Ashley Rose asked tentatively. "Uh, I was, um, kind of, wondering if you would, um, like to, uh......goouttothemovieswithmeonSaturday," she said the last part as quickly as she could, afraid that she would lose her nerve if she didn't get it out. Her close friend smiled. Something he did rarely enough these days.
"I was wondering when you were going to ask me, Ash." she was ecstatic! The boy of her dreams, with whom she had been best friends with for years, had agreed to go on a date with her!
Saturday, April 6th, 1996
Ashley knocked on the door to Eric's huge house. Mansion would be the proper word, actually. There was no answer. She remembered then that his parents were going to a marrige counselor that day. Thinking that Eric was up in his room and probably just couldn't hear her, she tried the door. It was unlocked.
"Eric?" she called cautiously. No answer. She opened the door all the way and stepped inside. Even though she spent plenty of time there, the huge house always overwhelmed her. She walked upstairs towards Eric's room, a feeling of dread following with her. She didn't know why she felt so afraid of what she was going to see. When she entered his room, she screamed. Long and hard. There was her best friend, and maybe even sort-of boyfriend, lying on his bed, a pill bottle clutched in his hand. There was a note sitting on his bedside table. The feeling of dread creeped up on her again as she picked it up and read it.
I'm so sorry that I could not say this to your face, but my life has been getting worse and worse. Today, my father said it's my fault that my parents were having these troubles, and after that remark, I realized I just couldn't live the life I'm living now. I apoligize for standing you up, I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me. Maybe we can have that date in another lifetime? I really do love you, Ashley, and as more than a friend. I always have.
"No!" Ashley cried. "It's impossible! Not Eric, please!" she began to shake his still form. "Wake up, please Eric! Wake up!" she realized he wasn't going to wake up. She lay down next to him, sobbing uncontrollably. She stayed there until his parents came home. When they heard the sound of someone crying, they went to investigate. Looking up, Ashley saw then and began screaming insults. They couldn't make out what she was saying, or what she meant, until she thrust the note into Mr. Carllson's hand. A fury burned in her eyes.
"This is your fault! All your fault!" she gave them one last poisionus glare, and fled down the stairs.
"Oh Ashley, I never knew..." Cassie knew it sounded dumb, but really, what else could she say? "I'm sorry."
"It's okay," the blonde wiped the tears from her cheeks. "It was years ago, and I should just....let's go to breakfast," she managed a small smile. "I'm okay, really. It helped to tell someone."
"Alright. Tell me everything about him, sometime?"
"Sure," the two best friends went down the corridor to the mess hall together. "You know, sometimes I get this feeling, like he's watching over me or something."Behind them, unnoticed, a pair of ghost eyes watched.
"I love you Ashley. I hope you and Andros find happiness....."