Bethany Belle moved from Montreal to Manhattan, New York to follow her dream to be a well known journalist. She left behind her friends, her father, and the love of her life Jay Bouvier, who shortl...
I felt guilty returning to Montreal under the circumstances. I never attempted to visit after I moved to Manhattan for university and I didn't put too much effort into keeping in touch. I have no excuse other than it was just too hard. As a child, my father had moved the two of us around a lot. I was born in New Hampshire and lived with both my parents until i was 7. They planned on giving me a younger brother or sister, but when they lost the baby my mother became a heavy drinker and thier marriage fell apart. My father won custody of me and moved us to Canada. First to B.C. then Ontario and everywhere in between. He wanted to make sure my mother could never find us and when we moved to Montreal when I was 13 she never did.
I met Sebastien first. I was in grade 8 and he was the only one who attempted to cross the barrier I had so desperately tried to build around myself. After moving so much, I learned not to make friends. I tried to ignore him, to be mean to him and I even told him to fuck off. He never did and in a way, I'm glad he tried so hard. We became bestfriends almost instantly. In highschool he joined his first band... something he'd been talking about for so long. Eventually, I met Pierre, David, Jeff, and Chuck. They made highschool worthwhile.
Then there was Jay, Pierre's older brother. He was sweet, gorgeous, and had a love for life I'd never seen before. I was in love. Unfortunately, I was 14, he was 17. So I knew he'd never think of me that way. I kept my crush tucked aside, and never told a soul for 4 years. A couple days before I turned 18, Jay took me out to dinner, a date, and confessed his feelings for me. He told me he had been waiting 3 years for me to turn 18 so he wouldn't look like some sort of pedofile. I experienced what true love was for 4 years with Jay. We planned to get married, by a house, have kids. And we would have, if I didn't move away.
I had been accepted to the University of Manhattan's journalism program. A dream come true. Jay had originally planned to move with me, so we could start our lives together in New York. A couple weeks later, he was diagnosed with Leukemia. I left him behind.
Now, 4 years later, I've made my first trip back home only to see the man who changed my life slowly waste away. No one will be excited to see me, no one will greet me with a warm smile and a hug, no one will tell me how much they've missed me or how much they still love me. But i pray to god for their forgiveness.
"Where to from here, ma'm?" The cab driver, with a thick french accent, glanced into the rearview mirror at me.
"First right, then your third left. It's the sixth house on the left." I replied, barely thinking about it at all. The Bouvier house had been a second home to me for so long, but now i'm scared to return. I told Mrs.Bouvier I'd stay in a hotel. I wanted to stay in a hotel. I insisted I stay in a hotel. But she wouldn't take no for an answer.
"We have plenty of room, Bethany." she had told me over the phone. Her voice was so emotionless. "Don't go out of your way to sleep in a strange bed. It's so expensive, too."
"It'll be billed to my office, Louise, It's no problem at all." I explained.
"Please." Was all she said. It was obvious she needed more support to get through this traumatic event that no mother should have to experience. I couldn't say no to a cry for help.
The cab pulled up to the house. It looked different, as if it were slowly wasting away too. Mrs.Bouvier's prized gardens looked as if they've gone untended to for months, the red door looked more pink and there was not a single window that had the curtains opened to let the sun light in, except one. Pierre was standing at his bedroom window, starring down at the cab. I gulped. I was frightened to see Pierre again. He hated me for leaving his brother behind in a time of need. He called me selfish, stubborn and other nasty words that made me feel guilty. But most of all, I think he hated me most for choosing Jay over him.
It was obvious in highschool, that Pierre had a thing for me and the feelings were mutual. Unfortunately, he wasn't one for a commited relationship, he prefered to keep things casual. And I barely dated. I was too hung up on Jay.
Pierre was gone from the window and Louise was on her was down the front stairs of the house. I got out of the cab in time for her to embrace me in a warm hug, something I didn't expect.
"Bethany, it's so good to see you." she smiled, weakly, and help me at arms length away. I studied her as she studied me. "Beautiful. You look great, darling."
"It's good to see you too." I smiled. She looked thinner, and older. Stress has gotten the best of her.
"Let's get Pierre out here to grab those bags." She said as the cab driver removed my luguage from the truck. I was going to insist I carry them myself but she was already calling Pierre out the door. He appeared as if he'd been waiting to be called. "Can you take Bethany's bags inside? Then I'll prepare dinner and we can all catch up."
Pierre starred at me until his mother was done talking. I couldn't read his face. He looked almost the same, but tired. His hair was longer, and back to his natural colour.
He grabbed all 3 of my bags at once and took them into the house. Louise and I followed. Pierre had just dropped the bags at the bottom of the stairs.
"Pierre!" His mother yelled. "Don't just leave her bags here. Take them up to Jay's room."
"Jay's room?" I asked nervously. "I'm sleeping in Jay's room?" I couldn't sleep if I had to sleep in Jay's bed. There are too many memories in that room.
"I'm sorry dear, we're all tied up for space. Seb's taken over the guest room, his parent's are still going through this nasty divorce and there's no point in these boys having their own place if they're on the road most of the year." The phone started to ring and she excused herself to the kitchen.
"What's the matter?" Pierre asked, bitterly, entering the room. "Gonna feel to guilty sleeping in the room of the man you left behind to die?"
I was thrown back by his harshness. I knew things would get bad, but I didn't think he'd try to push my button's like this.
"I have nothing to feel guilty about." I said quietly starring at my feet.
"Nothing? Really?" he took a step close to me. I felt goose bumps appear all over my body. "You left him when he needed you most. You completely removed Jay and everyone else from your life for what? An education you could've acheived here and a job! You always were- and still are- so selfish. You left him here to suffer alone."
"If i thought he'd be alone, I wouldn't of left." I tried to keep my voice calm because Pierre was slowly raising his.
"But he was alone. You were such a big part of his life, wthout you he only suffered more." He was yelling at me now. "Yeah he has all of us here to support him but all he ever wanted was you. He wanted to marry you, Beth. He wanted to spend his entire life with you and you bailed on him!"
I clenched my fists and did exactly what he was trying to make me do. I stepped towards him, so I was so close to his face he could feel my breath. "You don't think I wanted that?!" I yelled. "You don't think I wanted to marry him, to have a life with him? My entire future for 3 years was based on him being by my side! And when he became sick, he told me to go! He encouraged me! He told me to go on and live my life without him cause he knew if i stayed with him I would be living in hell watching him suffer. So don't judge me, Pierre. Don't tell me i left him behind because I wanted to stay but he pushed me away because he loved me that much. He stopped being selfish so i could go have the life i deserved." At this point I was in tears and Louise was standing in the doorway, listening. Pierre looked at his mother, his fists were clenched and he was biting the inside of his cheek so he wouldn't say anymore.
"Sleep in my room." He finally said, and started to walk into the living room. "But carry your own fucking bags up stairs."