Category: Thirteen Reasons Why
Pairings: Jessica/ Preston (somewhat) and Clay/Hannah (Past)
Warnings: Mentions of death.
Summary: They wanted to remember. They didn't want to forget. Sometimes for them her memory brings them more peace then the living do. Oneshot.
Credits: To Jay Asher for writing the book in the first place.
The Roses On My Grave
After All This Time
Clay did this every year – he knew the way by heart, and could possibly walk through it blind-folded. But he liked to remember and he could still hear the hum of the tape player as it played her voice through his head over and over again. Sadly, he could only do this once a year since he had moved away after he had gotten married. He could still hear her laughter from the summer he worked at the movie theater. It closed down three years ago – it was real old and they were placing a new theater there, it just wasn't the same anymore. He held the wrinkled copy of the map he had received all of those years ago; it had been 16 years since he had received that package of tapes.
He glanced at the map briefly but he didn't really need to. He knew the next location – Rosie's Diner. He always got himself a shake in Hannah's memory before he went to her grave. He would go along the route Hannah had set and have Rosie's diner as the last stop. He sat down at the bar and the cashier handed him his regular shake, ready for him. They never asked him why he came in every year. He knew that someone slid into the seat next to him but he barely noticed her until the person cleared her throat.
"Clay - is that you," the voice asked him shocked. Clay knew that voice and he did not need to turn to see why she was shocked to see him.
"Hello Jessica," Clay greeted her in a monotone voice. She squirmed at his voice – it made her remember. When she had been raped by Bryce she had become pregnant. She went to school as long as she could before she gave birth to a baby girl. She gave her up for adoption – her only request was that the baby girl be named Hannah.
"Are you staying long?" Jessica asked. She asked him every year and his answer had always been the same.
"No," Clay answered as usual. Jessica stood up and went to grab her purse and he continued to talk. "How is Hannah, Jessica?"
"You know I don't know the answer to that question," Jessica answered tightly. She couldn't contact her daughter until she turned 18. A ghost of a smile slid across Clay's drawn face.
"I meant Hannah Baker," Clay informed her, "I see you sometimes visit her grave." When the Baker's had returned Clay had convinced them to put a grave in her remembrance. It wasn't a real grave stone but a marble wall with Hannah's name on it. Fresh flowers always surrounded it as well as candles. As time had gone on more names were etched into that marble.
Names of those who died before they graduated – a couple were suicide, three from natural causes, two from murder, and five from car accidents (including the one that had been caused because Jenny Kurtz hadn't called the police when she had hit that stop sign). With Hannah's name there was 13 people's names etched on that marble. Just like the number of reason's why Hannah Baker killed herself. Like Clay, Hannah didn't really belong on that list but she was there because the world needed to remember what they did to her.
"I do," Jessica whispered into the stale air. "Every year – the same 3 times." Clay knew why Jessica visited 3 times every year – the 1st for when Jessica had met Hannah, the 2nd time had been when Jessica had slapped Hannah at Monet's – that had ended their friendship – and Hannah had lost yet another safe place, and the 3rd time was the anniversary of the day Hannah made sure she received those tapes. Jessica could only visit three times because she had since moved out of town.
"Does your husband go with you?" Clay asked her. Jessica closed her eyes and briefly imagined her husband's face and then Hannah's.
"No," Jessica answered. "He doesn't understand why I do it every year 3 times or at all for that matter." Jessica had married someone she'd met and dated while she'd been in college. They had been married 10 years and Jessica couldn't have anymore kids because of the complications of Hannah's birth. His name was Preston Westlight and Clay considered him an outsider.
Everyone in the town knew that Jessica and Preston were in the middle of a blow out divorce. Preston wanted more money then he deserved, especially due to his widely - known infidelity. When Jessica came back to throw him and his stuff out of the house, as well as get the copy of the house-key, she found him with his business partner's secretary. The whole town had the pleasure of hearing it all - Jessica was pretty loud.
"He never will," Clay said as he grabbed his coat to leave. Jessica nodded and watched Clay Jensen walk out of those doors like she had done every year.
The wind kicked up and blew Clay's hair into his face as he walked into the graveyard. He walked into the cool breeze and allowed his thoughts to wonder before he finally arrived at the marble wall. This time someone was standing there – Preston Westlight.
"All I heard about was Hannah this, Hannah that," he raged. "Why does someone who's dead has the full attention of my Jessica?"
"Because Hannah cared," Clay pointed out to him as he placed fresh flowers in place of his old ones -very dead ones. "During the bad, the good – even when her own life was falling apart. She just cared." Before
Preston could respond back, Clay's wife, Skye Jensen nee Miller, appeared by his side along with their
three kids. The oldest being Evan Clay Jensen, the next being Hannah Skye Jensen, and the youngest being Erica Regina Jensen.
"Daddy," Erica said as she tugged on her father's coat, "Can we go home now?" A small smile tugged on his lips and with a swoop he picked up his youngest.
"Yes, we can go home," Clay told her. As the young family walked away the ghost of Hannah Baker waved goodbye to Clay once again. Hannah knew that Clay had found his home and she was happy for him even though his home was not with her. She watched the family disappear and looked at the marble wall. The names of those on it stood behind her as she glided forward to get a better look at the flowers Clay had left. Hannah smiled – he had left red roses on her grave.