Chapter 1

Goodbye, Asher.

Abby’s voice echoed in my mind. I rushed to her front door. How her Accord out-drove my Mustang was beyond me.

Locked. Of course the door was locked.

“Abby, open up!”


“Abby, come on, just talk to me!”

I glanced at her lone car parked in the driveway. I rushed to the side of her house and peered inside her bedroom window. Through the yellow curtain, a shadow drifted back and forth. I tapped on the window, and she stopped moving.

She pushed the curtain back. Her cheeks were tear-stained. Her red hair was a mess, and her brown eyes weren’t full of their usual warmth. They were distant, like she was looking straight through me.

Did she even know I was there?

“Abby, just tell me what happened. Open the door, or at least the window."

Turning away, she raised her hand, clutching something black.

The blood drained from my face. I tried to open the window. Locked. I banged my fists against it. “Abby, put the gun down! You don’t want to do this!”

Her hands trembled as she pressed the gun against her temple.

“Abby, please, don’t do this!”

I pounded harder against the window, screaming her name. Her words came back to me, haunting me. No, this wasn’t goodbye. She was my best friend. She would never leave me.

Her finger moved over the trigger.

I smashed my fist even harder against her window, ignoring the searing pain that shot up my arm. She didn’t even look at me.

"Abby, please! Just put the gun down and talk to me. Don’t do this!"

As soon as my fist connected with the glass again, I heard a sound that sounded nothing like glass breaking.


Crippling pain shot through my chest, sending me to my knees. Tears clouded my vision, but there was no time for crying. There was a rock on the ground before me.

Without thinking, I picked it up and hurled it through the window.

I smashed my fist past the jagged pieces of glass and made a bigger hole to crawl through. Falling on Abby’s bed, I rolled off and landed beside her. Blood ran down her face, staining her hair. Wrapping my arms around her waist, I held her close and pulled out my phone.

“911, what’s your emergency?”

“M-my neighbor, she just shot herself in the head.” I gave them her name and address, my gaze never leaving Abby’s limp body.

“Okay, sir, just stay calm. An ambulance and police are on their way. Just stay on the line until the EMTs arrive.”

Stay calm. Yeah, right.

I pulled her closer, resting her head against my chest. Her long, red hair was sticky with blood, and her pale skin looked even paler now.

"Sir, what’s your name?"

I swallowed the lump in my throat. "Ash Daniels."

"Ash, is Abigail breathing?"

I looked at her chest. It never moved. I grabbed her wrist. Her pulse was faint.

"She’s not breathing.” A tear slid down my face, landing on Abby’s cheek.

The dispatcher continued talking, but I didn’t listen. My only focus was on the girl in my arms. Regardless of heart beat or pulse, Abby was still here. I didn’t know how much longer she would be, so I had to make every word count.

“I’m sorry for everything.” Tears trickled down my cheeks. “Please, Abby, don’t leave me. I need you.”

Something touched my shoulder. I turned my head, but there wasn’t anyone there.

My gaze landed on a piece of paper lying beside Abby’s leg. My hand shot out on its own. I trembled, trying to pull it back, but I picked up the paper.

I’m sorry I couldn’t be strong anymore. I’m tired of crying myself to sleep. Every day I broke a little more, but there’s nothing left.

I never was the perfect daughter, but, Mom, I want to thank you for loving me and being there for me when no one else was. The reason I held on this long was because of you.

Ash, if you’re reading this, I just want to thank you for being my friend, even though we grew distant. It’s better that you stayed away from me. I would’ve dragged you down, too.

I’ve thought it through, and I’m at peace with my decision. I love you both, and I’m sorry. I don’t deserve it, but someday I hope you’ll be able to forgive me.

Love always,


Next Chapter: Chapter 2