It was raining as high school senior, Andy Biersack and his boyfriend of two years, Ashley Purdy, drove home from a birthday party at Andy's Aunt and Uncle's house, who lived an hour away from L.A.
It annoyed Ashley that it was raining. It reminded him of a term that a his English teacher had used, once. What was it?...Path...pathetic...falla...pathetic fallacy! When the weather in literature and movies matches how the character's feeling.
Ashley was in a bad mood, as he leaned against the comfy, leather upholstery of his boyfriend's volvo. The volvo had been bought using guilt money Andy'd recieved via mail from his father for 'missing his birthday and christmas for five years'.
Andy was in a worse mood, if it was possible. He glared at Ashley from his place behind the wheel, looking seriously pissed off.
Ashley wasn't going to apologise, he knew that for certain.
"You just fucking had to. I can't take you anywhere!" The taller boy exclaimed, squinting out of the laminated glass windshield. The rain made it hard to see, so he turned the windshield wipers up another level.
"He fucking called you a faggot! I'm allowed to hit him!" Ashley retorted, brown eyes alight with hatred towards Andy's uncle.
"You broke his nose!" Andy said. "You can't do that!"
Ashley smirked, putting a stick of bubble-mint in his mouth. "I just did," he pointed out, idly checking his reflection in the glove-compartment mirror.
"I- you...you're impossible!" Andy groaned, face-palming. "I-I just...I don't like it when you hurt people like that, Ash," he said, quietly.
Ashley's eyes immediately softened and he sighed. "I'm sorry, babe, I just...I can't let people walk all over you, even if you do," he said. "I hate seeing you hurt, and not doing anything about it." He reached over and gripped his boyfriend's hand, which was clutching the gear stick.
Andy squeezed his hand, before scanning the area. "We're about half an hour away," he said. "Are you staying at mine, tonight?"
"Yeah, if that's OK?" Ashley said.
"Of course. You should just move in," Andy laughed. "My mom wouldn't mind, she loves you."
"Sweet, let's talk about it when we're back," Ashley smiled.
Andy saw something in the distance and sighed. It was a sign surrounded by bright traffic cones. "Fuck, it's a road-block. We're gonna have to take a de-tour." He swerved down a smaller road.
Silence, for a moment, before Ashley spoke, "you know I love you, right?"
"Yes, I do. I love you, too, babe," Andy smiled, turning to meet his boyfriend's eyes. "With all my heart."
"Good, cause-" Ashley's eyes widened. "CAR!" He shrieked. Andy spun around, seeing bright lights heading straight for them. "SWERVE!"
Andy spun the volvo around as quickly as possible and screamed as it collided with the back, left hand side of Andy's car with a powerful force, plowing the small, black volvo off the side of the road, sending it rolling. The boys heads banged painfully with wiplash, and the airbags were deployed.
Ashley's hit his square in the chest, a crunching noise could be heard. Andy had held his hands out before him, and the dull ache that set into his arm told him that his wrists were broken. That's when he blanked out.
The car seemed to have caved in on itself.
A moment of silence.
"A-Andy?" Ashley's weak voice. Andyy forced his eyes open. The car had landed upside down. Ashley, who was coughing painfully, blood trickling down the corner of his mouth, sounded scared. "I-I think I broke a rib..."
He could hear someone on the phone, calling 911 for Firemen and Ambulances. The voice was slurred, but worried. He must have had a few drinks, but had been sober enough to have common sense.
"Shit..." Andy muttered. As he'd passed out, he must have hit something, because his head felt funny. "A-Ash...Is...my head...OK?"
"You're bleeding..." Ashley gasped out. Every breath was painful, coming out rasping and uneaven, and his chest felt like it had been stabbed multiple times.
Andy heard sirens in the distance. "H-hold on...help's c-coming..."
"Ha...you said...coming..." Asley smiled weakly, which soon turned into a grimace. He grabbed Andy's hand, which took a lot of strength, and squeezed it.
Andy barely felt the pain of his wrist being moved. "I...love you...Ashes. N-no matter what..."
"I l-ove you, too-" Ashley coughed, staining his lips red.
They were both vaugely aware of another man's voice. "Are you alright? We're going to get you out." The firemen were here. Ashley felt them pull him out of the wreakage, and then Andy did, too. Paramedics started checking them over.
Everything felt numb.
"This one has wiplash, two broken ribs...they appear to have punctured his lung," a man's voice said. "Possibly from an airbag? Legs crushed."
"Broken wrists, wiplash and a deep gash on the forehead. Concussion. Glass from broken window appears to have slashed face, collarbone and throat," another man responded. "Legs crushed, as well."
"Do we need stretchers? Administer CPR?" Andy could feel the grass underneath his body where he and Ashley had been layed down. He could feel someone's hand against his throat, checking for a pulse.
"Yes, of course. We can't give up on these guys, yet."
Andy wanted to ask what was going on. He could hear panic in the paramedic next to Ashley's voice. "He's stopped breathing," a woman said. She sounded panicked. Probably a trainee.
"Claire, keep calm and do it. Cardiopulmonary Rescusitation."
"It-it's not working."
"Charles, we're not going to need a stretcher. How's the other one?"
Andy gasped quietly as another level of pain hit him. Ashley was dead? No...he couldn't be? Could he?!
"I don't think he's going to make it, chief." The pain started to ease, and a numbness set in. His eyes felt heavy so he closed them, muscles relaxing.
"Hush, now, and- we're losing him!"
'Ashley, I'm right behind you, baby.'
And that's when his life ended.
Eventually, there would come a day when a familiar face walked through the gates of the small cemetery. He would smile, nostalgically, remembering walking past the rusted, iron gates everyday on his way back from school, as a young boy.
He would pick his way past the many graves until he came to two that looked slightly out of place, placed in the cool shade of a willow tree.
He'd place a rose on each of the graves, and, kneeling in front of them, tears filling his eyes, he would read the epitaph enscribed on the identical black, polished marble headstones.
Here lies Andrew 'Andy' Dennis Biersack
26th December 1990 - 22nd December 2008
Died at seventeen years old
Beloved boyfriend, son, cousin and nephew
'Remember not the pathos of our plight
Or the tears of our too-youthful end.
Mourn us not, for we became a light,
Eden shining still through deathless night,
On all who first pure love would comprehend.
Judge us not, although we chose to die,
Undone by beauty such as few have known,
Love so perfect one could not reply
In words less meteoric than its own.
Each life must wend its way towards death and pain.
Though we died young, our story will remain.'
He'd smile, sadly. Those words were perfect for Andy, who spent so much time pouring over Romeo and Juilet, his favorite play. Though the 'chose to die' line seemed out of place, the rest fit in.
He'd then turn to the next one.
Here lies Ashley Purdy
28th January 1990 - 22nd December 2008
Died at eighteen years old
Beloved boyfriend, brother and grandson
'Nothing's so sacred as honour
Nothing's so loyal as love.'
Short and sweet, Ashley's epitaph had been more difficult to write. Eventually, it was decided to quote Sheriff Wyatt Earp, from the coyboy era's own tombstone, which they'd found on the internet and had all exclaimed, "that's Ashley!" Laughing until it turned into crying.
The man would then proceed to speak, wiping his eyes.
"Hi, guys, it's me: Jake. I- I miss you so much. We all do. After high school, we all moved. Couldn't stand to be in this town anymore.
"I have twin daughters. Andrea and Ashley. Big surprise, huh? I'm divorced, now, but I started dating C.C...you always said that was going to happen.
"I came back because it's been ten years. Doesn't feel like it, though. Andi and Ash ask me about you all the time, 'cause as bedtime stories I'll tell them about what we'd get up to as kids.
"You know...I thought it was a sign, when they were born. Ashley was born with blonde hair, like yours, Andy, and Andrea has big-ass blue eyes and dark hair. I thought m-maybe...it'd be like having my friends back. And it is."
He checked his phone, and sighed.
"I-I have to go...I love you guys."
Jake would then turn away, and though his eyes would be alight with tears, he'd be smiling. It was the 22nd of December, 2018, ten years to the day when a drunk driver took his best friend's lifes.
Though it was four days early, Jake finally had closure, he wasn't going to come back. So he stopped and whispered, a lone tear trickling down his cheek: "happy birthday, Andy."
If he looked back, he'd see a sudden gust of wind blow the two roses together, and two birds watching him from the tree.
If he'd looked back he would have been able to see that the two birds were a magpie with eyes that seemed to flash blue as they followed the man's retreating form, glittering with intelligence, while the other was a glossy raven who cawed loudly, its own eyes a glinting, mischevious brown.
He didn't, though, he didn't have to.
He knew they were there.