~Damien Rice, Cold Water {listen to this song.}


Friday, August 12th: Olivia and Thomas are hosting a feel-good luncheon at the Tree Hill Community Center. Come to eat and enjoy time with your friends, and don't forget to bring some homemade desert. After lunch, we're all going back to Olivia and Thomas' house for a special reading of an excerpt from Thomas' new book, which is still in-progress.

The luncheon was not what we had expected. Or rather, it was, but Thomas had barely spoken throughout the whole thing. He had smiled, said a few simple, meaningless things to our friends, but he wasn't there. He hadn't been there for the past few weeks, really.

Almost every night he was writing, working on a new book. He wouldn't let me read any of it, and when I asked him about it he always changed the subject. I had a sinking feeling the book was another one about Jenny.

Especially now that she was dead.

Thomas had his days. A couple days of the past few weeks had been fine, he'd even acted happy. But most of those days I could barely look at him without feeling pain. His pain.

"I can't wait to hear what new stuff Tom has wrote," Ava told me as we all gathered around our living room, waiting for the big unveiling of Thomas' new book. It was only a rough draft, but he was actually going to read it aloud to all of Tree Hill that wanted to listen. 

"Yeah, well whatever it is, your guess is as good as mine," I replied.

"What? He hasn't told you anything about it?" Marcus came up behind Ava, carrying a Coke. "That's unlike him."

"I know," I said, biting my lip. Very unlike him, indeed.

Just then, Thomas coughed into the microphone we had scored the day before at Target. Everyone turned to look at him. 

"Um, hello everyone," Thomas said, not looking at me. "So I've been working on a new book, and this one is... Well, it's different from the other two but hopefully you will still... er, like it.. Here's an excerpt, it's called 'Unfairly Forgotten.'"

Thomas cleared his throat, fidgeting. That was unlike him too. What was this book about? 

"'There are times when someone leaves us, that we have to stay strong and brave. We have to be the example to set, the one others look up to in the face of tragedy. We have to pretend life is okay, even when it's far from it.'

"'There are also times, in these desperate days, that we must break. We cannot stand strong forever, sooner or later we'll fall from grace and crumble. Sooner or later, we just need to be alone. And cry.'

"'I ask myself why my son was taken from me. I didn't even get to know him, I didn't even get to see him,'" Thomas paused, taking in a deep breath. I could feel my lower lip trembling. "'How can you let that happen, God? Why would you take my son from me?'

"'Maybe I'll never know. So I thought life couldn't get any worse right? But in fact, it can. You can believe life is better, you can pretend you're just fine, but in reality you're only kidding yourself. I was kidding myself. My son was gone before he saw the light of day or before he saw his beautiful mother. You cannot escape that, I cannot escape that. But I tried.'

"'And it worked for awhile. Until someone else was taken from me. My first love, the first girl who noticed me, the first girl who told me she loved me. This girl is gone too, just like my son, and I ask God why he has done this to me, but he won't answer. Why did you go that, God? Why did you take away two--'"

The whole room was stunned as I grabbed the microphone away from Thomas. "That is enough," I told him with tears streaming down my cheeks.

"Excuse me," Thomas told everyone. 

And then he was gone, too.

{comment if you read, please! I hope it's okay that I included @foreverandalways-jami. I hope you all liked the story, I promise Thomas and Oli will find happiness eventually ;) }
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