Sample text for I heart you, you haunt me / Lisa Schroeder.


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He Spiced Up My Life

When you meet someone

so different from yourself,

in a good way,

you don't even have to kiss

to have fireworks go off.

It's like fireworks

in your heart

all the time.

I always wondered,

do opposites really attract?

Now I know for sure

they do.

I'd grown up

going to the library as often

as most people go

to the grocery store.

Jackson didn't need to read

about exciting people and places.

He went out

and found them,

or created excitement himself

if there wasn't any

to be found.

The things I like are

pretty simple.

Burning CDs around themes,

like Songs to Get Your Groove On and

Tunes to Fix a Broken Heart;

watching movies;

baking cookies;

and swimming.

It's like I was a garden salad with a light vinaigrette,

and Jackson was a platter of seafood Cajun pasta.

Alone, we were good.

Together, we were fantastic.

The Final Good-bye

Ashes

to

ashes.

Dust

to

dust.

I think

this is where

I'm supposed to say

good-bye.

Is that what

everyone's thinking?

Good-bye, Jackson?

Rest in peace?

That's not what I'm thinking.

I'm thinking,

I hate good-byes.

"Let us pray," the minister says.

Dear God,

What can I do?

He didn't deserve this.

Can't we bring him back?

Isn't there anything that will bring him back?

Please?

Amen

I look around.

If tears

could bring him back,

there'd be enough

to bring him back

a hundred times.

It's Not Fair

Mom takes my hand

and leads me back

to the car.

All I can think about

is how my boyfriend

will soon be

underground.

He'll be lying there

alone

in the dirt.

Mom asks me

if I want to go to the Montgomery house,

where people will gather

to eat

and talk

and remember.

"I can't believe people feel like eating.

And talking.

Those are the last things I want to do."

"Life goes on, honey," Mom says.

As we pull away,

my eyes stay glued

to the casket.

It's proof

that sometimes

life

does

not

go

on.

As Two Names No More

Ava + Jackson = true LOVE 4ever

I ♥ Jackson

J loves A

A loves J

Scribbles I made

on my French notebook.

I study the words

on the purple notebook

like I used to study

Jackson's face

when he wasn't looking.

When we got home,

Mom suggested

I write down my feelings.

Basically, keep a journal.

But I can't stop staring

at those scribbles

and thinking about how

they used to be true.

But not anymore.

Now it's just Ava.

No more Jackson.

No more true LOVE 4ever.

I turn the

tear-splattered cover.

I put the pen to the page.

All I can write is

Jackson

Jackson

Jackson

Jump In

I started swimming

about the time

I traded my bottle

for a sippy cup.

Mom took me to

a Baby and Me class

at the pool.

She said I was so natural

in the water,

she wondered

if she'd actually given birth

to a mermaid.

By high school

I was swimming competitively

on the swim team.

Jackson came

and watched me swim

many times.

That's where it started.

"I dare you to jump off the high dive," he said

one day after practice.

"You know I'm afraid of heights!"

"Exactly. That's why I'm daring you."

I couldn't

disappoint

my boyfriend.

I climbed the ladder,

making sure I didn't look down.

I inched my way

to the edge of the board,

then I crossed my fingers,

closed my eyes,

said a prayer,

and

jumped.

My stomach flew

to my throat

as the air

rushed

around me

and through me

until

I hit that water hard.

"I did it!" I yelled

as I climbed out of the pool.

He brought me a towel and simply said,

"That's my girl."

Nothing to Do Now

This summer,

I could have made money

at my second home.

I could have sat by the pool

in my suit,

pretending to watch the kids,

to guard lives,

while I thought about

him.

But accidents happen that way.

And my life doesn't need any more

accidents.

So today I quit my job.

Mom asks me, "What are you going to do all summer?"

I just shrug.

Lashing Out

Nick,

my ex-boyfriend,

my boyfriend

pre-Jackson,

calls me.

"Ava?"

"Yeah."

"I've been thinking about you.

Are you okay?"

"Nick, that's a freaking ridiculous question."

"Is there anything I can do?"

"Nope. Not a thing.

Good-bye, Nick."

Click.

Crap, why did I do that?

He was just trying to be nice.

I'm such a jerk.

Is being a jerk

one of the five

stages of grief?

Wishful Thinking

I'm sitting

on the porch swing,

thinking of how

Jackson and I

used to

sit and swing

together.

The stars are duller

than an old pocketknife.

They used to sparkle

like five-carat diamonds.

I wonder,

is heaven

up in the stars?

Beyond the stars?

Can Jackson see them

like I see them?

Is he wishing

like I'm wishing?

"Star light, star bright," he said the first time

we sat here together.

"Make my wish come true tonight," I said.

"That's not how it goes."

"Why drag it out?" I asked.

He laughed. "So, what's your wish?"

"That time would stop,

so we could stay like this forever."

"Tough wish," he said.

"What about you?" I asked.

"Let's see.

I'm hungry.

How about a cheeseburger?"

"How romantic," I told him.

"Change your wish to a chocolate shake and we're set."

We went to In-N-Out Burger after that.

He got his wish.

I didn't get mine.

I Need Mr. Sandman

Sleep doesn't come.

Night after night

I thrash around

like a fish

caught in a net

trying to escape.

And I cry

for what I've done

and who I've lost.

Four days after the funeral,

Mom shows me the phone messages

she's taken for me.

I didn't want to talk

to anyone.

Jackson's brother, Daniel, called.

Jessa and Zoe called.

Nick called,

again.

I ball them up

and throw them away.

"You're tired," Mom says.

She calls the doctor.

He prescribes Ambien.

"That's good," Mom says.

"Sleep will help."

Will anything really help?

When I wake up,

I remember.

It hurts

to remember.

Mom brings me a sandwich

and some juice.

I get up to pee

and sneak another pill.

"I need to sleep a little more," I tell Mom.

She doesn't argue.

Because sleep helps.

Company's Coming

The phone rings.

It rings and rings.

I finally drag

my butt out of bed

and answer it.

"Ava?"

"Yeah."

"Do you want to do something?" Cali asks.

"Maybe go to the pool?"

"Not really."

"Wanna do something else?"

"Not really."

"Are you okay?"

"Not really."

"Can I come over?"

"I guess."

"You need anything?"

But before I can answer, she says, "Never mind.

Stupid question."

Stupid.

But sweet.

Mirror, Mirror

I'm putting on makeup.

I'll be like a clown

and no one will see

the real face

behind the mask.

I don't want Cali to see

the sad me,

the depressed me,

the shamed me.

As I stand in the bathroom,

carefully lining my eyelids

bronze,

I feel a splash

of cool air.

I shiver.

I feel something.

Something behind me.

Something familiar.

Hauntingly familiar.

I glance behind me,

but I don't see

anything.

Or anyone.

And then,

when I look in the mirror

again,

I see,

for a split second,

not just me,

but someone else.

Jackson.

Copyright © 2008 by Lisa Schroeder


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