In the back of my thoughts it is still there... It is always there... Like the migraine from hell, there in the back of my brain softly pounding, yet the aftershock is so deafening.
January 5, 2011
It was Wednesday morning and our deadline to get the paperwork finished for the house was Thursday morning. Nothing was finished. I had been racing around all morning from place to place, from Ben's work to the lenders office. My cell phone had become a permanent fixture, attached to my ear.
I was talking to Jason on one line, John was holding on the other and I was late to meet Paul so he was meeting me in between him and me in the Burger King parking lot. I clicked over to John from Jason and the line was beeping again. I answered the line and immediately asked K.O. if I could call her RIGHT back, I swear... RIGHT BACK!! She softly and politely replied, "Okay, sweetie, but really RIGHT back... promise?"
I clicked back over with a little concern in the back of my mind. I hoped everything was okay but I really had to talk with John for a minute before I got to Paul with all of these papers to sign.
I hung up with John and immediately dialed Kari's number. She answered after one ring. (She NEVER answers after one ring) I asked if everything was okay and she did not answer my question; she just began talking and I began rambling in my own head... Alison and I were just talking on the phone... okay? Whats wrong, K?... Umm, Lori?.?... Hey, Kari, are you okay?... I'm fine, Lori... whats wrong, baby?... You know, Chris Boyer... (was that just a question, Do I know Chris Boyer? okay here it comes. He is getting married he is marring Bonnie and they are going to live in a little house with a little white picket fence and raise four little children and live happily ever after... Chis Boyer, the first boy I think I really loved, for real. The boy who shattered my heart. The boy who told me he loved me so very much but he just could not be the person he wanted to be when he was with me, the man that I deserved. The man that wanted two curly haired little girls with big blue eyes, the cute little house with the white picked fence and the art studio in the detached garage in the back of the house where he could watch me paint, or "play with my photographs" from his library window with all of his English and History books. The boy who said I should keep the ring and take the heart locket that he searched for, for months to match the one I had lost that my Grandpa Jack gave me on that last Christmas. The boy I gave my heart to.) YEAH, Kare, I know Chris Boyer. What is going on? Spit it out, hun...
The world froze for a moment when she spoke again.... "Lori, he... he... he... he died, Lori... He killed himself... He hung himself, Lori." I was speechless, thoughtless. We talked for another minute or two and then we both had to go.
I had just kept driving and listening without any emotion at all and then suddenly, after we hung up, it hit me like a tsunami. I stopped my truck in the middle of 140, put it in park and sobbed uncontrollably for what seemed like ten minutes. A man rolled up next to me and after motioning to roll down my window asked if I was okay, if I needed a jump. I replied that I was fine, it had just stalled. What I did not say was that it was my heart that had stalled, not my car.
After meeting Paul, in my Jackie O sunglasses on a sunless day, Kari called back. She had left work. Alison had left her job as well. They were both on their way home to pack. I would pick Kari up from the train station at 11:30pm on Thursday night and we would get Alison from the airport the following afternoon. There would be no funeral and no showing but we would throw a party because that is what Chris would have wanted. There would be A LOT of booze... Booze and food.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
As I drove to pick up Kari the thoughts filled my mind again and I realized that something had happened in the last thirty something hours. Our childhood had officially come to a close. We were no longer teenagers or "young adults". We were just plain adults. Adults who got married. Who had kids. Who had grown-up jobs. Who's friends lost hope and took their own lives...The flashbacks started...
We were standing in the rain. I was screaming at the top of my lungs. The most primal scream I had ever used. The tears on my face mimicked the downpour from the sky. Evie stood in front of the open car door. Jarret was at the wheel and his girl was in the front seat. Chris stood, not a foot away from me, as he stared at me with motionless eyes. "You broke me, Chris, YOU BROKE ME!!!" he just stood there. "ONE DAY YOU WILL REGRET THIS, YOU WILL WANT ME BACK AND I WON'T BE THERE!!! I won't wait, Chris... It will be too late." In his annoyingly, always calm voice he answered and I saw tears in his beautiful eyes, "Your right, Lori Beth, I know that you are exactly correct." He walked away and got into the car as I fell to my knees in the pit (parking lot). Alison walked over, bent down and picked me up. "You're going to ruin that dress you are sewing, Lori, come back into the green room."
It was raining so hard as we drove down Homer Adams Parkway. We pulled into the Famous-Barr parking-lot because Chris could not see to drive. It was not "the thing" to have cell phones yet so neither of us had one to call Alison, Kari, Erin, and Heather to tell them that I would be even later to the slumber party. Sitting in a car, with the radio blaring Sarah McLachlan, in the pouring rain at almost midnight with nothing to do... What would any teenage couple do?? He pulled me across both seats and out of the drivers side door as I screamed that the rain would ruin my hair. He assured me that my crazy curls were beautiful and that he nor my girlfriends cared if they were a wet mess. We both laughed so hard as he spun me around the parking lot. We were soaking wet but we didn't care we just kept dancing and singing to "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy" eventually falling to the ground laughing until our bellys hurt.
As I waited for Kari's train (I was really early; as if I were excited in some way. Maybe just ready to get one of the hardest weekends of our lives started and over-with quickly.) I did something I maybe should not have. I logged onto Facebook from my Blackberry. I searched his name and his page appeared. There were notes. Notes from many of his friends, many of my friends, many of our friends. It hurt. It hurt so very badly. I instinctively wrote...
Lori Beth McPherson I have no beautiful words, you know I never did. All I have is that I love you and will never forget what you were to me.January 6 at 11:33pm
|Prom May 1999|
|A pantsless toast! Andy, Ben, Adam, Mikey, Kevin, Alex, Ethan, James, and Brad|
|A smaller toast from Chris's two best friends Mikey in light blue stripes and Alex in purple|
|We will Miss You, Boyer! Stephen, Ethan, Alicia, Alex, and Amanda|
|A smiling, puffy red face photo of K.O. and me|
|Chris and I at my High School Graduation Party May 2001 (He was the last one to leave that night)|
|Me and Ben at Chris and Andrea's New Year 2009|
|Me and Andrea New Years 2009|