At the crack of dawn, as the sun rises its bright rays hitting the off-white curtains slowly illuminating the royal blue colored bedroom,
Mae continues to contemplate the life of lies she has weaved for herself and those around her. She hasn't had a peaceful minute of sleep since the day before yesterday.
Multiple days throughout the weeks her mind runs rampant and she can't find a way to turn off her thoughts. "Another day, a tighter mask", Mae thinks as she rises from her unslept in bed.
She's careful to not cause the multiple photos strewn across her comforter to fall off the bed.
She sluggishly makes her way to the bathroom that's attached to her bedroom and proceeds to prepare a warm bath for herself.
When she is finished with her bath and is dressed for the day, she steps back into her bedroom and goes towards her bed.
She freezes when her eyes land on a certain photo that brings back nostalgic memories. Mae picks up the photo and stares at the smiling faces of her best friends and herself.
In the photo, they were standing in front of their high school in their graduation gowns and caps.
They had their arms linked together, Mae stood in the middle with Alisha on her right and Min-Joon on her left; in addition,
Alisha and Min-Joon created a large heart behind Mae with the arms that weren't linked. Their friendship had been a strong one that began when they were all around the age of eight.
Mae Elyse Jacobs, Alisha James, and Min-Joon Kim were an inseparable trio.
However, after high school, although they all decided to attend the community college located in their city, MoonSight City,
Mae had begun to drift away from them in the middle of their first year attending MoonSight Community College. Looking at the photo Mae began to feel an immense amount of sadness and guilt.
As she proceeds to place the photo back down on her bed, her sight falls on a photo that causes her stomach to feel uneasy and tears to well up in her eyes.
Mae picks up the photo, not recalling having seen it when she was shuffling through the pile of photos the past night. This photo is of Mae and her parents on the day of her graduation party.
They are in their backyard standing behind a cake smiling brightly.
The tears Mae is attempting to hold in begin to fall as she begins to remember the dreadful day that had completely altered her life and choices.
An evening in late November it was raining heavily outside as Mae and her friends were inside her house trying to come to an agreement on which movie they should start off
their movie marathon with.
Mae checks the time on the clock hanging on the wall behind her living room television and notices that it's been over an hour since her parents left to the grocery store to purchase some chips,
soda, and popcorn for her friends and her.
She decides to call her mother in order to know if they are almost arriving home because the grocery store is not too far from their home and although it's raining she doesn't think it
should have taken them so long to get home. The moment she calls her mom's number the front door bell rings.
She hangs up the phone thinking that must be her parents ringing the bell possibly because their arms are full of groceries.
Mae stands up from the carpet she was sitting on and asks her friends if they could come and help her bring the groceries inside.
When Mae opens the door she is astounded to see two police officers standing on the threshold.
"Are you Derek and Denise Jacobs' daughter?", one of the police officers asked Mae.
Mae nods wordlessly before clearing her throat and replying verbally, "Yes I am".
The two officers look at each other briefly before the prior one speaks forlornly, "Miss, we need you to come downtown to the station with us,
there has been an accident and we regret to inform you that your parents had passed at the impact." Mae was frozen on the spot, trying to process the news.
Her friends were behind her in complete shock, however, Alisha stepped up closer to Mae and gently squeezed her shoulder to see if she would react.
She continued to stand completely still and Min-Joon decided to come forward and reply to the officers that were calmly awaiting Mae's response.
"Officers, we will go ahead and drive Mae to the station. We will follow behind you." The officers nodded and proceeded to go back to their cop car.
Alisha and Min-Joon slightly shake Mae and she reacts, turning around to face her best friends. Instantly, she begins to sob and her friends embrace her tightly.
When Mae and her friends go to the station, Mae is asked to go alone to recognize the bodies of her parents.
The moment she sees both of their bodies she turns around and runs out of the station, past her friends yelling at her to come back, sprinting her way home.
The sudden ringing of an alarm halts her memories. She cleans the tears that are streaming down her face and quickly turns off the alarm coming from her phone that's on her bedside table.
She quickly grabs her phone, placing it in the front pocket of her jeans, grabs her jacket from her closet, and picks up her car keys that are hanging on the hook on the top of her bedroom door.
She locks up the house and makes her way to her car that it parked in her driveway.
When she gets inside her car and starts the engine, she decides to take an aimless drive around town in order to clear her mind of the depressing thoughts that are beginning to accumulate.
She begins her drive deciding to head downtown. She turns on the radio and the song emitting from the speakers causes her thoughts to halt.
As quickly and safely as she can, she parks at the side of the road before turning up the volume on the radio. The song currently playing is "Spring Day" by BTS.
This song was her mother's favorite song. It reminds Mae of a conversation they had when she was younger.
One Saturday evening, Mae was about eight years old at the time, her mother and her were sitting on the couch as she was calmly brushing her hair while listening to music.
Her mother had a beautiful singing voice, in Mae's opinion. Her mother would constantly sing while doing any type of chore around the house.
Also Mae would always ask her mother to sing to her when combing her hair or before tucking her into bed at night. At the moment, the song her mother was singing was "Tokyo" by RM.
When that song came to an end the song "Spring Day" by BTS started and her mom began to sing louder. Mae already knew that this was her mom's favorite song but never asked her why.
As her mother was finishing up with combing her hair, Mae asks her, "Mama why is this song your favorite?" Her mother puts down the hair brush and Mae turns to face her.
Her mother smiles down at her and grabs Mae's hands in hers.
"Mae honey this song talks about missing people you love and care for that are no longer with you.
It is very sad, but also beautiful because the song is telling you that even though you are sad right now one day you will not be sad anymore because you have to move on."
"Mama you won't leave me right?", Mae replies frightened.
Her mother tightens her hold on their hands as she says, "No I won't ever choose to leave you Mae, but I want you to listen to me, I'm going to tell you something really important right now okay?
Mae nods her head saying, "Okay".
"Honey, if anything were to happen to me or your dad I want you to stay close to Alisha and Min-Joon okay?
I know that you will be sad but I want you to go to them because I know that they will help you smile and get you happier.
You are the best of friends and I know you will always be there for each other."
"Yes mama, I love Alisha and Min-Joon! We are best friends forever!", Mae replies happily.
As Mae's memory fades she finds herself frowning at the fact that she did not do what her mother asked of her.
She realizes that she had made the mistake of ignoring her friends for so long, allowing herself to be swallowed by her sadness because of her parents' deaths.
Mae grabs her phone that she left in the cup holder next to her and nervously sends a group text to Alisha and Min-Joon stating if they could come over to her house so they could talk.
Mae merges back onto the road and drives back to her home.
When she gets home she sits in her living room, with her cell phone in her hands, anxiously waiting to see if either of her friends reply back to her message.
The time that passes seems like an eternity to Mae; however, after about thirty minutes there is a knock on the door and Mae goes to answer.
When she opens the door she is surprised to see Min-Joon and Alisha standing there smiling at her, albeit looking slightly worried. "They arrived quickly.", Mae thought.
Mae tells them, in almost a whisper, to come inside. Once they step inside, Mae closes the door, and turns towards them. Before she has a chance to say anything Min-Joon and Alisha hug her.
At first Mae stood still, shocked at the hug, but quickly wraps her arms around her friends and begins to cry. They hug tighter and Alisha and Min-Joon rub Mae's back softly.
Once Mae's crying begins to die down they separate and Alisha and Min-Joon tell Mae how happy they are that she had contacted them before they all head to the living room and begin their
much needed conversation.