Suddenly, his 8-year-old little brother Daniel entered the room looking for a toy he had lost earlier, thus snapping Kyle back to the present. While Daniel looked, Kyle proceeded to tell his brother that he was deeply in love with Valerie. That he felt like he may have found his “the one”. Daniel, in turn, reacted with disgust. “Yuck! How could you even say that? Girls are disgusting!” Enraged by the comments, Kyle picked up a pillow and threw it at his brother. Daniel fell over from the impact and hit his head against the wall. Daniel stood up with tears in his eyes and ran out of the room screaming “I’m telling Mom!” Kyle didn’t care.
Finally, at about 5:30 that evening, the phone rang. It was Valerie. Kyle answered with much enthusiasm and started to ramble on about how much he misses her, how much he loved her, how much he had thought of the night before. Before long, however, Kyle discerned that something wasn’t right. “What’s wrong, Val?” Valerie, audibly upset, responded in a split second. “Kyle, I have to break up with you.” Kyle’s heart sank. “B-but, why?” “I have some problems at home, and I can’t handle having a boyfriend right now. I’m sorry.” “Why? Did last night not mean anything to you?” “Kyle, please. This is already hard. Don’t make this harder.” “Why can’t we stay together and let me be there for you?” “Kyle, stop. I just...I…I can’t.” Valerie hung up the phone crying. Kyle quietly put the phone down as his eyes began to fill with tears.
Kyle sat there stunned, tears continuing to fill his eyes. “What just happened?”, he said to himself. Eventually, he fell over in his bed, crying like he’d never cried before. He just lost what he considered to be the love of his life. But the nightmare had just begun. The next day at school when he saw Valerie, he tried to talk to her, but her friends blocked him from coming close to her. Valerie’s friend Sam told Kyle that Valerie didn’t want to speak to him ever again. Kyle was crushed and spent the rest of the day mentally checked out. When he got home, he went to his room and continued to cry. Kyle never left his room that night, not even to eat. His heart was in shambles. He spoke to no one of his break-up, and he tried to bottle up his emotions and hide it. Trying to hold out hope that Valerie would return to him.
Over the next two weeks, Kyle continued to see Valerie at school, but didn’t approach her because of what Sam had told him. Eventually it became too much to bear. On an early June afternoon, Kyle came home from school and went to his room. He grabbed the picture of him and Valerie, the one that Kyle’s mom Edith took before prom. He laid down in his bed and said to himself that he didn’t care anymore if he lived and started crying. He said life without Valerie was not worth living. He closed his eyes and as he passed on, his thoughts remained on Valerie.
An hour later, Edith came home from the grocery store. She called for Kyle to come help put up groceries. When Kyle didn’t answer, she went to his room to check on him. She found his lifeless body in his bed, still clutching the picture of him and Valerie. She tried to wake him, thinking he was simply sleeping. When he didn’t wake, she frantically called 9-1-1. When paramedics arrived, he was pronounced dead on arrival. Kyle’s family was devastated. His body was taken to have an autopsy performed to determine why a kid in seemingly good health would suddenly die.
That evening, Edith called Valerie to inform her of the tragic news. “Hey, Valerie, it’s Edith Taylor, Kyle’s mom.” “Hi there, Mrs. Taylor. To what do I owe this call?” “Sweetie, I’m afraid I have some bad news.” Edith’s voice started to break up. “I came home this afternoon from the grocery store and I found Kyle in his bed and wasn’t able to wake him.” “What?”, Valerie answered, shaken. “We called the paramedics, but they pronounced Kyle dead when they got here. Sweetie, Kyle’s gone.” Valerie began to cry uncontrollably. Edith tried to comfort her. “I’m sorry, sweetie. I know this is going to affect you almost as much is it is going to affect us. I want you to know, Kyle loved you until the very end. He was holding the prom picture I took of you two when we found him.” Valerie did her best to stop crying so she could talk. When she did, she revealed to Edith that she had broken up with Kyle two weeks before.
Edith began sobbing. She no longer needed the result of the autopsy to tell her why her son was dead. In her heart she knew, Kyle died of heart break and the loss of will to live. Edith hung up on Valerie, but not before calling her a heartless tramp.
Shocked and emotionally distraught by what just happened, Valerie again began crying uncontrollably. She went to the kitchen, pulled a knife, and slit her wrists. The whole time repeatedly screaming “How could I do this to him?! I loved him!” as a pool of blood formed beneath her on the floor. Valerie’s mother witnessed this and ran to her daughter’s rescue. Valerie was admitted to the local mental health hospital’s adolescent unit where she received extensive treatment for her guilt and suicidal tendencies over what happened to Kyle over the next 3 months.
Once Valerie was discharged, she returned to school. Sam met her at the entrance to the school her first day back. “Where have you been, Val? I haven’t seen you in months!” “I was in the hospital!” “Oh, my God! For what?” “I tried to kill myself when I found out Kyle died. His mom called me a heartless tramp when I told her I broke up with him.” “She did?! What a bitch! I still don’t understand why you did that.” “Because you told me to. Remember? You told me he was too lovey-dovey and it was creepy. You made me break up with him. You wouldn’t leave me alone about it until I did. This is your fault! Just leave me alone.” Valerie started to walk away before stopping. “Actually, wait a minute. If you were so concerned about me, why didn’t you come find out what happened to me?” Sam was speechless. “That’s what I thought.” Valerie said. “Consider our friendship over.”
At first, Valerie tried date other guys and move on. But each date is ruined the moment something happens that reminds her of Kyle and she breaks down crying. She eventually gives up on dating and instead focuses on her education. When someone asks her out, she declines and says someone already has her heart. She graduates with high honors from her high school and goes on to attend a community college nearby. Ultimately she ends up with a medical degree from a large university specializing in psychology.
At the age of 32, she adopts identical twin boys in honor of what would have been Kyle’s 34th birthday. She names them Kyle and Taylor. She raises them as a single mother. Almost nightly she would tell them stories of the love of her life. How they would go down to the lake and swim all day, not a care in the world. How one time she dumped ice cream in his lap in his mom’s van and Edith got pissed because of the cleaning bill that resulted. She would tell them of their last night together, how he whispered in her ear that he would never leave her and always been there for her, and how that made her cry with happiness. And the sadness that ensued two weeks after when she learned he was gone.
At first, the boys obviously didn’t understand, but as they got older they grew to have a fondness for the boy that made their mother so happy when she was just a teenager. It made them sad to see their mother in tears over the loss of the love of her life.
Over the next 40 years, Valerie’s stories of Kyle continued to echo through the halls of her household. Stories of happiness, and stories of sadness. When she died at the age of 73, her children and grandchildren honored her memory by having her buried next to Kyle. It took a lifetime, but finally Kyle and Valerie were together again. As their souls met in Heaven, Kyle said to Valerie “Welcome to paradise. I’ve been waiting on you.” An eternity together had begun. Things were finally the way it was meant to be. And it would stay that way forever.