Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters from TVD, they belong to L.J. Smith. I am simply borrowing them for my entertainment and the entertainment of my readers.
Shopping Mall, Fell's Church, Virginia
We have been walking through this damn mall for hours, literally. Elena is having trouble finding the perfect dress to wear to our ten year high school reunion. Meredith and I have our dresses already. I roll my eyes heavenwards as Elena enters another store. I have to admit, she has gusto. But I'm tired and my feet hurt. Great there is a God, a bench!
"Look, Lana, I gotta sit down for a moment. You have taken us up and down the escalators, stairs, even the elevator once. Can we please rest? My feet hurt and it's close to lunch time, I'm hungry." I'm complaining, I'm usually very passive, but I am really tired!
"Fine, Bonnie. You and Meredith will be beautiful while I look like trash at our reunion." Elena Gilbert scolds me, there's a little whine to her voice as well. She's probably tired too and I'm sure very frustrated. She wants to look perfect because Stefan Salvatore is going to be at this lovely event. He, his brother Damon, Elena, Meredith, and about four other people made up our little "clique", if you will. She and Stefan dated, hell all of us have dated at least one or more from within our group. Only two of our members, Meredith Sulez and Alaric Saltzman dated and got married four years ago.
"Elena, I think Bonnie's right. We should catch some lunch somewhere. With food in our systems, we can help you find the perfect dress for meeting up with Stefan. Okay?" Meredith is always so calm and can talk Elena into almost anything. Why don't I have that kind of hold over my friend? Wait, I do. But he's the only one…Damon.
"Fine, okay. Bonnie McCullough, Meredith Saltzman-let's go eat!" Elena smiled finally and I knew things were going to end well.
An hour later, we finally found the perfect shade of blue for the perfect dress to match Elena in all her…perfect-ness. I laugh inside, I love my best friend, but Elena is so dramatic sometimes. She's tried on the dress for the second time and finally decides it's the one. I look at Meredith and she looks relieved, but doesn't want Elena to notice. I look into the bag that holds my dress. The soft shade of pink will compliment my strawberry blonde hair, thankfully not clashing with it. That's the trouble with being a red head, there are only so many colors you can wear that won't clash with your hair. And depending on what shade of red it is, colors are limited. Thankfully, mine is light and most light colors look nice on me. I've gotten lost in my own little world again, I barely register the fact that Elena is trying to get my attention.
"Huh, what? Sorry, zoned out." I say, blushing fiercely.
"Obviously, anyway. Aren't you a little nervous about seeing Damon?" Elena apparently asked this already. Wow, what's with me? Am I nervous? I haven't seen Damon in four years, not since…
"The wedding, that was the last time I saw him. I don't know, maybe. But I've talked to him online, and we've texted each other. We just haven't seen each other." I finish.
"Wait, what? You seriously haven't hung out with Damon since our wedding? I thought you guys were closer than that." Meredith seems taken back.
"Well, you know that chick he dated for a while prohibited him from hanging out with me. Then, you know our jobs, we've been busy." I try to explain. But who am I kidding? I miss him so much, he was the only male best friend I had. Well, there was Matt Honeycutt. But Matt and I were not nearly as close as Damon and I were.
"Bonnie, I think you and I should probably try to talk to the Salvatore brothers before the reunion. What if we've changed so much that they don't like us?" Elena sounded more like me that time, with the insecurity lacing her voice, "Or they've changed so much and we don't like them?" that's more like her. I'm a little miffed that she assumes Damon won't have a thing to do with me. So I voice my thoughts, that's something I learned from him.
"No offense, Elena. But Damon will always like me, besides, when was the last time you talked to Stefan?" I press, she's not happy with me for speaking my opinion. But I finally did it, I stood up to the girl I always followed. Guess that makes me a leader too.
She stares a moment, looks to Meredith whom pretends she didn't hear me at all, then back at me.
"Excuse me? When did you get so snappy? You know what, never mind." Elena huffs, but hasn't answered my question. Meredith finally decides to intervene.
"Elena, just answer Bonnie's question. When was the last time you spoke to Stefan?"
"Really, Meredith?" Elena is getting pissed. I wasn't trying to do that, but it is a simple question. Why is she having such a hard time answering? Or does she just not want us to know she hasn't spoken to him? There were a few minutes of silence, when she finally answered.
"Since the wedding. That was the last time I saw him or talked to him. He hasn't tried to stay in touch with me, Bonnie, like Damon has with you. And I'm not sure he even wants to be my friend, much less more than friends. There, Meredith, now you both know my dirty little secret." Elena had tears in her eyes.
"Don't cry, Lana. We didn't mean to make you upset. I just…" I trailed off, what else could I say.
"No, I'm sorry, you guys. I envy the fact that you and Damon have remained friends all this time. Even if you haven't seen him, you've at least spoken to him. I can't say that." She was wiping tears from underneath her unique blue eyes. We hugged, Meredith on the outside holding Elena and I in her long arms, right there in the middle of the boutique. A few people passed by with looks upon their faces that seem to scream, "freaks". We laughed in spite of ourselves as we finally realized we were in the view of the public. We said our goodbyes and went to our cars. The reunion was a week away, and we figured we were as ready as we were going to be.
On the way home, I decided I would get on facebook. There were still a few people Elena wanted me to invite to the reunion that she didn't have as friends. I guess that would be relaxing enough. I wanted some coffee, a Caramel Macchiato, sounded delicious at this moment.
I waked in to my apartment, threw my keys on the table by the door, and set off for my small kitchen. I started going through a mental checklist: coffee made, logged on to FB, and now time to read some status updates.
I about fell out of my chair when I read Caroline's first…I can't believe he's gone, R.I.P. Stefan Salvatore. What? Surely she's mistaken, there is no way! I scroll down the page, there it is again. This time it's in Tyler's status. Ring, ring, ring.
"Hello? Matt?" I say, stunned at what I'm reading all over the place.
"Bon, hey. What happened to Stefan? Caroline posted on facebook that he died." I can't breathe, no that can't be right. Oh, God, Damon.
"Uh, Matt, I'm not sure what's going on. I'll call you back in a few, kay? I need to call someone else." Matt said okay, then hung up.
I start checking frantically for Damon, to see if he is signed in to his FB. He's not, then I think of Elena, is she signed in? No, thank you, Jesus. I dial Damon's cell phone. I really hate asking him, but I have to know for sure, if this is true or some sort of ridiculous joke.
"Hello?" Damon's voice is weak, which isn't like him. Obviously, not a joke. I gather my bearings before asking,
"Hey, what's going on? Is it true? Is your brother really…gone?" I'm not sure how Damon feels right now. So I don't want to push him.
"Yeah, Bon. He is." He tells me quietly. I can hear him sniffling over the phone. Should I say something comforting? I'm not really sure what to do, I've never dealt with anything like this before.
"How, how did it happen? Never mind, you don't have to answer that." I say quickly.
Damon sighs, he sniffs again, but tells me anyway.
"He, um, shot himself." Damon begins crying on the phone. I want to stop him but I don't know how.
"Shh. Damon, do you want me to meet you somewhere?"
"Yeah. Can you come across town? That's where I live now, out by the Old Wood." he asks quietly.
"Okay. Yeah, I should be there in about thirty minutes." I can't cry, why can't I cry? One of my close friends has just committed suicide, and I can't even shed one tear. Damon hangs up his phone without saying goodbye.
I gather all the remainder of my strength to call Elena before I leave, she answers and instantly starts balling. I know she's been told, but I hope she didn't find out on facebook. I ask her, she says that Meredith called her. Alaric had heard about it somewhere. I try to comfort her, but she quickly asks if I talked to Damon. I tell her yes and she wants to know every detail: why, when, how. I can't tell her everything, cause I don't know the whole story myself. I promise to call her back once I get back from Damon's house.
That thirty minute drive seemed shorter than I thought it should, or maybe it was because I was so nervous. How do you comfort someone who's going through something like this, when you haven't a clue how they feel? One can only imagine, but one can never truly know until it happens to them.
I pull into his driveway, put my car in park, and get out. I'm taking my time getting to his door. He opens it before I'm there and out runs this sandy haired dog. At first I'm a little scared, this dog is pretty big.
"Your dog isn't going to bite me, is he?" I inquire.
"She didn't mean it, Junior. She doesn't know that you're not a dog." He says smiling briefly. I try to play along to break the ice, because that is exactly what Damon wants me to do.
"If he's not a dog, then what is he?" I question, stepping up the first step and into the house.
"He's my son, Bonnie. And he rules this house, so you had better be nice." He sniffs, then looks down at me. He's at least two feet taller than I. He reaches out for my shoulders and pulls me in for a hug. I stand on my tiptoes, trying not to break my neck. He hugs me tightly, tighter than I've been hugged in years. That's because only Damon hugs me this way. He sighs contently, so do I.
This is how it's always been with Damon and me. We pick up right where we left off, no matter how much time has passed; four days, four months, or four years.
When Damon had let go of me, I realized just how much I'd missed those bone crushing hugs.
"You want something to drink? Water, soda, beer?" He calls over his shoulder as he walks into his kitchen.
"Beer sounds good." Yeah, that's exactly what I need, liquid courage. He returns shortly with two cans of his favorite beer. I smile to myself, still the same old Budlight. After a few sips, he began telling me today's events that lead up to Stefan's demise. I sat back and listened at first, because I knew this was what he needed.