I woke up again and Bill was gone. I wondered where he went. I sat up as much as I could and noticed he left a note by the water pitcher. I reached over and started to read it. It was in Evie’s writing. I cried as I read the contents of the letter. Of course I didn’t hate her! And it wasn’t her fault that the baby didn’t make it. I was the stupid one who overreacted. Oh god! She’s gone. I was sobbing my eyes out. I heard shuffling by my door and saw Bill, who had tear tracks down his cheeks and soft red eyes.
“Bill.” I said. “Is she really gone?” He nodded.
“She tore out of here when I told them the baby didn’t make it.” He whispered. That just made me cry worse.
“Did you read this?” He nodded again.
“I’m so sorry Holly.” He said, coming over and sitting on the bed. “I promise, we’ll find her. Ryan, Brendon, and Patrick are out looking now.” He stroked back my hair and kept his hand on my face. “I want to be stronger than this.” He told me, crying. “I want to be strong for you.”
“Bill, you’re here.” I whispered, leaning into his palm. “You stayed with me. That’s all I need. You deserve to cry. Evie was our best friend, and maybe this is what God wanted. Not to get all preachy, but maybe he felt we weren’t ready to be parents right now.”
“I know, but did he have to do it this way?” Bill asked.
“No one said he was reasonable.” I tried to smile, but my lips could only frown. I couldn’t smile with Evie gone. “How could she think this was her fault?”
“Maybe because in her way of thinking, she was keeping things from you, and made you run out that door.” Bill replied. “She did always have a weird way of thinking like that.”
“Bill. What was Ryan supposed to tell?” I asked, gesturing to the last line of the note.
“Evie was homeless.” He said after a deep breath. “She had been for some time. That’s why she never stayed over, she hated to impose. Ryan’s mom ran the shelter she would go to, and I guess Ryan found her sleeping in the ally and took her to his house, and Adrienne, his mom, wouldn’t let her live on the streets. Evie didn’t want us to know.”
“But why?” I asked. Bill scooted closer to me and put an arm around my shoulders.
“She thought we’d hate her.” He told me, a tear forming in his eye. I reached up and wiped it away.
“We need to find her.” I told him. “I need to find her. I need to tell her that none of this is her fault. She needs to know we need her.” I told him. I looked at my arm and saw an IV. I reached up and went to rip it out, but Bill stopped me.
“A nurse is coming in a minute or two. They took the baby while you were passed out.” He told me. “You’re getting discharged in a half hour.” I nodded and the nurse came in and gave us a sympathetic smile. She gently took out my IV as Bill held my clothes as she checked my stats and everything.
“Okay. Just sign out at the front desk.” She smiled at us and left so I could get dressed. I didn’t feel good. It was guilt. I felt bad that Evie was gone, and I felt worse that my baby was too. Bill sensed it and helped me get dressed. I was just totally sluggish from crying and the pain. He kissed my shoulder and cheek and lips and I just leaned into him, holding onto him as tight as I could.
“Let’s go.” We went to the lobby and I checked myself out and held Bill’s hand. On the way home, we decided that we were going to tell out parents everything tonight, together. We got back to my house and went into the kitchen to see Patrick sitting at the table with his head in his hands. I put my hand on his shoulder and he looked up and smiled weakly.
“I couldn’t find her.” He informed me. “The three of us searched and searched. She’s not in town anymore.” A tear crawled down his cheek. He was close to Evie too. I hugged him tight and he hugged back. “I will find her soon. Don’t worry Hollz.” He kissed me on the cheek and let Bill take me up to my room. We sat in the dim room on my bed, just holding each other and crying for everything we were worth.
All I could think about were the years Evie and I had been friends. They were the greatest years of my life. We had clicked so instantly. And if it wasn’t for her, Bill and I wouldn’t be together. Bill and I had been standing at the bus stop for a few minutes. Of course, I didn’t know who he was then. All I knew is that he was really tall, and really cute. Evie came up to the stop and hugged me hello, turned to the boy, and said hi. He smiled back and pulled his headphones down around his neck. They talked and Evie finally introduced us. The bus came and he sat on one side of me, while Evie sat on the other. I asked him what he was listening to, and he showed me the screen of his iPod. He was listening to Fall Out Boy. I giggled. I told him that was my brother’s band, and he smiled. My stop was first, so when I had to get off, he quickly grabbed my hand and asked for my number I gave it to him and he gave me his, and I ran off the bus to school.
Evie had set up our first date, making sure it was romantic and sweet. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be who I am. I’d probably be in a lot of trouble. She kept me out of drugs and stuff. Well, not alcohol, but she knew she couldn’t stop me from that, and she knew Bill and I drank responsibly. She was there when Bill went away for the summer on a tour, and I felt so alone. She was there when Patrick left with Bill to go on tour. Most of all, she was there for me, and I just threw all that away.
“It’ll be okay sweetheart.” Bill whispered. “We should go downstairs. Our parents are going to be here any second.” We got up and dried our eyes and went downstairs and waited with Patrick silently in the kitchen. Our parents came in, Bill’s after mine, and came into the kitchen.
“Who died?” My mom asked jokingly, and Bill and I winced and held each other’s hands tighter.
“We’ll get to that in a minute mom.” I said, standing up, with Bill. “Please you guys, have a seat.” Our parents took a seat with Patrick at the table, who smiled at us with support.
“Now please, tell us what’s going on.” Bill’s dad said.
“I was pregnant.” I said. It hurt to say the past tense.
“WHAT?!” My mom jumped from her seat, but Patrick calmed her down.
“Now, let her finish.” Bill’s mom said. “Now Holly, what do you mean by was?”
“Listen, I was fully intending on keeping the baby.” I said. “I guess fate had other plans. We were going to tell you guys, but we weren’t sure when, or really how.”
“Then yesterday, Holly, Patrick, and I were at a friend’s house when a few things happened and Holly was really overwhelmed she ran out the door, tripped over the welcome mat, and rolled down a flight of stairs. We took her to the hospital, and she lost the baby.” Bill explained, the pain evident in his voice as silent tears rode down my face. He pulled me tight to his side and I broke down.
“Oh god.” We were engulfed by comforting hugs from our parents, and Patrick. “Oh, I’m so sorry you two.” Mr. Beckett said as the parents stepped back.
“I know they’re really young, but they could’ve made this work.” Patrick said. “They really love each other. They’d be great parents.”
“Just please, be more responsible until you guys are a bit older?” My dad asked, hugging me.
“We promise.” We said in unison.
“It just, it hurts, you know?” I said, my hand on my stomach.
“Oh sweetie.” Mrs. Beckett hugged me tight. “I can’t say I know your pain, but I can say that it is a great one, and we’re all here to help you two.” Her and Bill’s dad hugged us, and had to get home to his sister, Courtney.
“Mom, can I stay with Bill for a little bit?” I asked. “I think right now we just really need to be together.”
“Sure sweetheart.” My mom said. “Call me later though, okay?” I nodded and she hugged me, and Bill and I went up to my room and I packed a duffel bag with clothes and a few other things. I said goodbye to Patrick and Bill and I got into his car and drove to his apartment. We got inside and I put my duffel bag in his/our room and sat with him on the couch.
“I love you Holly.” He whispered.
“I love you too.” I said back. “I miss Evie.”
“Me too, honey.” He kissed the top of my head and hugged me tight, and we fell asleep on the couch.
It’d been a few days since Evie went missing. Bill had Mike and the guys look after the store, while he and the others, including Pete, went out to look for her. I wanted to go out, but Bill wouldn’t let me. I hadn’t been eating right. Only once a day and it was never anything big. I couldn’t eat without feeling sick. I was too worried about Evie. I loved her so much, and she didn’t even realize how much she meant to me. I would never ever have blamed her for the loss of the baby.
“Holly, please eat.” Bill asked me. He, Ryan, and Patrick were over, while Joe, Andy, Pete, Brendon, and Spencer were out looking for Evie. I shook my head.
“I can’t.” I said. “I’ll just throw it up. I won’t be able to eat until Evie’s back. It’s how my body is.” I explained. He nodded sadly and wrapped me up in his arms while Ryan and I sat at the counter. Brendon’s phone began ringing and he checked it.
“It’s unknown, but local.” He said.
“Maybe it’s one of the guys, calling from a payphone.” Patrick said. Brendon flipped open his phone and put it to his ear.
“Hello?” He asked. His brown doe eyes went even wider than they usually were, and his mouth hung open. “E-Evie?!” I sat up straight and motioned for him to give me the phone. “H-hang on Evie.” He handed me the phone and I fumbled with it a bit before putting it to my ear.
“Evie?!” I asked frantically. “Evie, it’s Holly, please, come back!” I was crying, and I could hear her crying too.
“Holly, I-I can’t.” She said. She was breaking my heart into pieces. “It’s all my fault.”
“No!” I shouted. “No, Evie! It’s not your fault. Shit happens! Please come back!” My voice was cracking from crying. “We need you here. I fucking need you here. Please, don’t do this! I can’t be without my best friend, my sister! I don’t care that you’re homeless, you can live with me, or-or Bill, or Ryan! Anyone! Just please, come home!” I was bawling my eyes out and Bill hugged me tight. “Please Evie. I miss you.” I said quietly.
“Holly, I-I don’t know.”
“Evie, listen to me. I can’t do this without you. You’ve always been there for me, and now it’s my turn to be here for you. Please.” I didn’t care if I was being pathetic begging and crying. I needed my best friend back!
“I’ll think about it.” She sighed, choking on a sob, and hung up. I tossed Brendon’s phone on the counter and let my head fall onto it too, and cried more. Bill hugged me tighter, and I didn’t think things could get worse.