A/N: I know that at first glance this story might seem a little like my story "Survivor" but it's not, so thank you for coming to read it. Also, in reference to the song, I advise everyone to watch "Wuthering Heights" next time it comes on television and then buy the CD, it's the best CD I've gotten since Evanescence in February. Just a funny and pointless story before I get to the real story: I had to mow the yard this morning and I was out there, mowing the yard when the lawn mower suddenly stopped working for no reason. Like, three people from neighboring houses came out to help me try and figure out why it was broken and we finally thought we had gotten it to work and when it started, we were all like "yay, we did it" then two seconds later it stopped working again and everyone was like "okay...maybe not." Anyway, it was funny but that's beside the point. On with the real fic and please review and enjoy!
The Future Ain't What it Used to be
Despite the time of year, the weather was cool, almost chilly and Kimberly Corman was happy that she had decided to bring along her kaki jacket, which she now gratefully slipped on. The wind whipped her brown hair into her cheeks and she blinked, pushing it away from her eyes and attempting to tuck it behind her ears. It was May but it felt like October, or a later winter month and Kimberly wondered where the warm weather had vanished to.
On top of the chilly weather, the day was overcast, threatening rain by blocking out the sun and blue sky with dark thunderheads; the radio announcer earlier had blamed the chilly temperature on the coming storm but Kimberly couldn't help but feel like there was something more behind it. Something metaphorical perhaps or however you would like to describe it (symbolic, maybe?) but she was certain it was something else.
For today was the second year anniversary of the crash of Flight 180 and the first year anniversary of the pileup on Route 23. The pileup that had killed her best friends and changed her life forever. Kimberly couldn't believe that a year had gone by since the horrid day, for time had seemed to drag on for her. But she assumed that she would always look at the passing minutes, hours and days in a different light now. Kimberly would no longer see the coming day as another chance to do something great, or another beautiful sun rise and sunset; now she saw it as the day that she might die.
Even though she had supposedly cheated Death and its Design, those feelings still lingered with her every moment of the day. She hadn't felt anything odd about the day she was supposed to die last year, it had felt like a normal day until she had actually suffered her vision, so she had no idea if that morning, afternoon or night would be the day that she died for real. Kimberly found herself constantly looking out for potentially deadly objects and circumstances, seeing Death where she used to see life.
But she had decided long ago that that was the curse of being a survivor. She knew that the now late Clear Rivers had gone through such thoughts and actions every minute of her life. But she no longer had to worry about whether or not stepping into the street would end her life and in a way, Kimberly envied Clear's freedom. There was something beautiful about the release that came with Death but she knew that she had fought too hard to give in just yet.
And here she stood, in the front lawn of Mt. Abraham High School, a forty minute drive away from where she lived. Standing next to her recent fiancée, Thomas Burke, before a large bronze statue of an eagle taking flight, grounded on a marble pedestal that was engraved with the names of forty-seven people. Forty-seven people who had died far too soon, unable to experience the life that they were entitled to.
The first set of names meant nothing to Kimberly but she read them anyway, feeling a pang of sadness and guilt as each one passed through her mind. As she neared the end of the list, the read names that meant a great deal to her and caused her heart to ache even more then it already had. 'Tod Wagner, Terry Chaney, Valerie Lewton, Billy Hitchcock, Carter Horton, Alexander Browning, Clear Rivers.' The last seven names had been recently engraved, the school having decided that the original Flight 180 survivors had needed to be immortalized as well.
Kimberly took a single step forward and set a single white rose upon the base of the memorial, Thomas following suit and lying his flower beside hers. It was a mundane tribute, for the lost deserved much more, but it was all she could do. Her gaze lingered on the final golden name, the name of the person that she had known personally, that had helped save her life. Clear Rivers, who had suffered more bad times then anyone should ever undergo, who had lost her father, family and finally, her first and only love. For a second, Kimberly glanced over at Thomas, who was staring solemnly into the cloud filled sky, and thought about how she would feel if she had lost him. She wouldn't have anyone left to hold onto, no reason to continue fighting, to continue seeing those meaningless sunrises and sunsets.
The breeze pushed against her face, blowing the petals of the roses, opening them slightly. Kimberly frowned, wrapping her arms around herself slightly, trying to keep out the cold. She wondered if Alex Browning's view of life had changed like hers had. Had he been so wrapped up in trying to figure out what was going on and why it had happened in the first place that he didn't notice how things had changed. Did he notice how mundane most things seemed now, that dreams of the future suddenly seemed pointless and frivolous like she did?
Dreams of becoming an interior designer and marrying young and having one child (a girl) had suddenly become to seem pointless, meaningless when you realized that you could die any second. Watching sunrises became more like a duty then a fun pastime when you knew that anyone could be the last you saw and that you had to memorize every hue, every second.
Kimberly realized that the disappearance of her dreams and hobbies had been yet another thing that Death had snatched away from her. Would there be nothing left for her to hold onto when the tides of Death washed everything away? It was then that Kimberly realized that there was nothing as sad as a tomorrow gone bad, lost in pursuit of more important things.
What dreams had been taken away from Alex and Clear and everyone on Flight 180; what had been taken from Timothy Carpenter, or from Kat or Rory? Kimberly knew that her dreams of becoming a designer or something along those mundane lines were no more, cast aside in pursuit of doing something more valuable and important with her life. She had lived when others had died and there was no way that she was going to waste her life doing something stupid. She had to prove that she had been right to survive, that she wasn't going to squander everything away.
Dreams had been lost, just like lives. The future she had seen for herself was now no more. But the futures, the lives that those lost in the plane and highway accidents were no more either, only they didn't have the choices to pursue something else.
Suddenly, Kimberly felt like she was much older then twenty years, that she bared the burden of something twice her age, the painful knowledge and the pain of loss. The endless night seemed to a hold onto her, grabbing onto her thoughts, only dark days dragging her forward. She felt like she was lost forever, being dragged into a future that wasn't what it used to be.
"The future just ain't what it used to be." Kimberly mumbled underneath her breath, causing Thomas to glance over at her.
"What?" He questioned, having missed most of what she had said, looking slightly confused.
Kimberly glanced over at him, shaking her head slightly. "Nothing." She said shortly, sighing deeply. "Let's go."
They had many graves to visit that day.
It's like a storm that's never ending,
it's like a shadow on the land and the
sea. There's nothing so sad as a tomorrow
gone bad, the future ain't what it used to
be. Some days I feel so numb and empty
and those would be the good days for me.
Nothing gets to me now unless I'm thinking
of how the future ain't what it used to be.
It's always so cold, I'm too young to be
old, the future ain't what it used to be.
Were there every any stars in the sky? Did
the sun ever shine so bright? Do you have
any dreams I can borrow just to get me
through the lonely night? Is there any
thing left to hold onto when the rivers
wash it all away? Is there anyone left
to hold onto? Is there anything I can