Chapter 6 Shaylee Marie O’Shea
“So are you going after school today?” Brianna asked as she and Jace walked up to their mythology class.
“Yeah I’m going. It’s been a year,” he answered solemnly.
“Are you going with someone?”
“I wasn’t planning on going with anyone why?”
Brianna shrugged her shoulders, “I just thought it would be better if you went with someone. I know how you still feel.”
He looked up at her and semi smirked, “Don’t expect me to ask you to come with me. I would rather go by myself but I know you’re not going to take no for an answer. I know how stubborn you get Miss Bri.”
She smiled, “You know me too well Jace. Just walk me to my locker after the bell and we’ll go together. I know it’s been a year but you are still taking this pretty hard. You try to hide it but I can see it in your eyes.”
“You do know me too well Bri.”
“That’s what happens when we’ve known each other for as long as we have dude.”
Brianna and Jace's last period class went rather quickly. The last bell rang and Mrs. Nesworth wished her students a happy weekend as she always did on Fridays.
Jace had completely forgotten that it was Friday. He took his time collecting his notebook and text book and he realized that he didn't take any notes which was very unusual for him. It was a good thing that this class was only Mythology and the easiest class on his schedule. Brianna, who sat behind him, waited for her best friend to pack up his backpack.
They were the last two to walk out the door and before they entered the hallway Mrs. Neworth stopped them.
"Jace, I know it will be hard but try to take it easy this weekend," she placed a gentle hand on his shoulder.
She then turned to Brianna, "Take care of him, Bri. And watch out for Warren too."
"I'll try my best," Brianna nodded.
Mrs. Nesworth knew Brianna, Jace and most of their friends ever since they were little. She was their next door neighbor, Brianna and Jace grew up two houses down from each other with Mrs. Nesworth's house in between them. Mrs. Nesworth's two daughters use to babysit Jace and Brianna and Mrs. Nesworth became good friends with their parents. She knew Jace and Brianna really well and she knew how hard this weekend was going to be on the both of them.
It didn't take long for the best friends to walk out of school. Their walk was quiet; they just listened to the birds chirping and the sound of their feet hitting the sidewalk. Usually their walks home were a lot less quiet and more cheery but today was different. They usually walk home with their other best friends from the ballroom dance team but today they were at a dance competition. Jace and Brianna would have been partners at the competition but today was the year anniversary of one of the worst days of their lives.
Instead of hooking a left and heading toward their block, they continued straight toward the outskirts of town where the cemetery laid.
They gazed at the tombstones with names of people they didn’t know etched into the granite and the colorful flowers making the cemetery as bright as a dark place as this could ever be.
In a few minutes they reached the gravestone that sent a sharp pain through their hearts.
“SHAYLEE MARIE O’SHEA, 4/19/1994- 8/14/2011” was carved into the marbled granite plague. Jace knelt down and traced his finger delicately over the letters and numbers then the fairy that was etched next to the name.
“I never noticed the fairy before,” Brianna said in a near whisper.
Jace nodded his head making is medium length brown hair bob. He replied to his best friend but his eyes didn’t leave the gravestone, “It kind of looks like her if you ask me.”
Brianna knelt beside him and looked at the etching, “You’re right, it does look like Shayl.”
“Shayl,” Jace repeated. “I haven’t heard anyone call her that since she passed.”
“The only ones who called her that was the dance team anyway.” She reached her hand out and traced over the words that were underneath the fairy. “Gra Anois Agus Go Deo.”
“Love now and forever,” Jace joined her in saying.
“Her favorite saying in both Gaelic and English,” he whispered.
“I miss hearing her say that,” Brianna looked at her best friend to see how he was going to handle her words.
He just raised his eyebrows and shook his head slightly, “I miss the way she talked, the way she danced, her personality, her smile. I just miss her period.”
Brianna rubbed her hand on Jace’s back to comfort him as they remembered Shaylee.
Shaylee Marie O’Shea was Jace and Brianna’s best friend. She had long chocolate brown hair that shone in the sun. Her medium brown eyes were expressive, kind and many said they could melt hearts with just one look into them. She was beautiful and her inner beauty out shined her outer. She always lent a helping hand to anyone who needed it and she held a lot of love in her heart. A lot of that love was for animals, but mainly her family and dearest friends.
She was a dancer and an amazing dancer at that. Ballroom dancing came naturally to her. It was like she was born to dance. Shaylee was the best dancer on the team and everyone who watched her dance agreed but she was too humble to recognize her extreme talent. Her talent wasn’t limited to dancing though. She sang like an angel, painted like Michelangelo, and could ride any horse like she was reading its mind.
Purple was her favorite color, so much so that she often wore purple contact lenses that slightly tinted her eyes a violet color. They never made her eyes completely purple because her brown eyes were too dark.
Shaylee also loved fairies. She was completely fascinated by them. Her room looked like a fairy palace and every year on Halloween she would make a new fairy costume for herself, each year being a different set of wings, dress and a completely different color. Like her parents and a few of her friends, she believed in fairies. She often wrote wonderful stories of adventures in a far off made up land called Eylsia. The stories turned into a series that she wished to have published one day. Sometimes Jace thought the stories were real because Shaylee wrote them so easily. They were like distant memories Shaylee was slowly remembering one by one.
Along with her family and pets, her friends meant the world to her. But Brianna and Jace meant the most.
Brianna was like the sister Shaylee never had and the two girls did pretty much everything together. Brianna also believed in fairies and all the other mythical creatures Shaylee believed in. They were each other’s back bone. Brianna was bullied growing up and Shaylee and Jace were the first to stand up for her. They taught Brianna how to stand up for herself and now without Shaylee, Brianna felt a little weaker now.
Jace was more than just Shaylee’s best friend, he was her boyfriend. They grew up together and their families were very close friends as well. The O’Sheas and O’Learys weren’t surprised at all when Shaylee and Jace started dating. They were the perfect couple, it just took them forever to realize that. When pretty much everyone in their grade started dating in 7th grade, the couple waited until they were in their sophomore year to start dating. It didn’t take long for them to feel that the connection between them was stronger than friendship; they were in love and they both agreed.
“We miss her too Jace,” a kind voice said behind him.
He looked over his shoulder to see Mrs. O’Shea holding hands with her husband and Warren, Shaylee’s twin brother.
Warren hugged Brianna then exchanged looks with Jace.
Brianna and Jace were Warren’s best friends too. Like his sister, Warren was very smart, very talented, an amazing dancer, and believed in fairies as well. To sum up Warren, he was basically the male version of his sister but a little less out going. He didn’t really say much unless he felt completely comfortable and he was completely comfortable around his family, best friends, and the dance team and that was it. But the person who knew him the best was Shaylee. After Shaylee’s death Warren almost never talked anymore. It was rare to hear his voice and everyone seemed to rejoice whenever they did hear him. It was hard to tell who was hit hardest by the death of Shaylee: her parents, Warren, Brianna, or Jace. Those five people were certainly the ones who missed her the most.
Warren placed a sprig of sweet smelling lilacs on the grave then rejoined his mom, “There you go Shayl. I know how much you loved that lilac bush in the back yard.”
“This is probably the last time it’s going to bloom this year,” Mrs. O’Shea said.
Mr. O’Shea nodded, “September marks the end of the lilac season sweetie. But like you always said, the last blossom has the sweetest smell.”
All five of them stood in silence just staring at the grave stone. They all still couldn’t believe that it had been a year since she was diagnosed with a rare and deadly form of cancer that eventually cut her life way too short.
They didn’t know how long they all stood there for but when the silence became too much for them, they walked out of the cemetery together. Brianna walked between Warren and Jace with her arms around their shoulders.
That night before Jace feel asleep, he lied in bed staring at his favorite picture of Shaylee. She wasn’t wearing any make up but in Jace’s opinion she didn’t need any. She wore the most beautiful smile on her face which made Jace smile even though it pained him to remember how much he missed that smile.
“You know how much I miss you Shayl but,” he said aloud to the picture, “I have to admit that I’m tired of missing you. I mean I will always miss you and you know that I will always love you but I don’t want to hurt like this anymore. I never want to forget you and I never will but I just want something exciting to happen. I’m tired of feeling this way and I know your brother, parents, and Bri are tired of feeling this way too. I don’t want to ever replace you but I want something to make me happy again. No one will ever make me happy the same way you did though. I just don’t want to be depressed forever.”
He sighed then gently kissed the picture and placed it on his dresser next to his bed. He turned off his light and closed his eyes.
When Jace was fast asleep, a figure with wings floated down from nowhere and sat softly on his bed next to him. Her wings, which looked more like fairy wings than angel wings, folded behind her. She ran her fingers through his hair and whispered to him, “Oh if only you knew how this surprise is going to change everything. Things will get better baby. You will become happy again; you just have to let yourself be happy.”
She placed a gentle kiss on his forehead before she flew off.