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TITLE: Journal
AUTHOR: Gabi Fisher
SPOILER WARNING: Alludes to Mulder's dad's death, but that's it. Nothing major.
CLASSIFICATION: VA
SUMMARY: Rather self explanatory I think.
DISCLAIMER: No, silly. I don't own them. I'm just borrowing them. I'll consider returning them to CC when I'm done.

*****

From the park bench I've been sitting on for the past hour, I watch the young women happily playing with their children, the couples holding hands, gazing at each other with adoration I can now only dream of, the women out exercising. The unusually cool summer day has brought everyone outside of their air-conditioned homes and apartments to enjoy the fresh air at the community park. I just wish I was as happy as all the people around me. 

Instead of taking part in the activity I was immersed in, I sit alone, clutching a small, leather-bound journal. The only thing I have left of her.

I finger the diary, almost as devout Christians would a bible, knowing it held great truths that they could not yet bring themselves to believe. Only now my greatest truth is gone. I can only hope to find fractured illusions of the once-grand truths she held within the aging pages of her journal. Slowly turning the pages feeling her essence within each aging page, I finger where her tears have marred the pages, where her pen has been angrily stabbed into the book, the heavy underlines under words. I had only read passages. I cautiously avoided the entries marred by tears, holes, profusely underlined words. They were filled with too much emotion. Too much that I wasn't ready to deal with. Memories that had been replayed a thousand times over in my mind until they no longer meant anything were in here, in her words, just waiting to set old demons out again. 

The months following her death had been hard enough. The last conversation we'd shared were harsh words, bitterly exchanged. I asked myself a million times as to why I could have let her leave so upset. Why didn't I try to amend the situation? She had been crying when she left. I hurt her. Hurt her enough to cry in front of me. Something she had not done in years. On cases, she always waited until she thought I was asleep before she would let the tears fall. But I could always hear her sobs through the thin motel walls, and it cut through me like a hot knife. She left my apartment in tears while I stood defiantly in my apartment, stubbornly returning to the baseball game on TV when I was sure she was not returning instead of finding her and apologizing. 

Early the next morning I received a phone call from her mother. She had been in an accident during the night. The paramedics had done all they could, but were unable to save her. I sank to the floor, cradling my face in my hands, sobs wracking my body. I don't know how long her mother stayed on the phone, but by the time I had remembered the phone hanging from the cord, gently bobbing, she had hung up.

I knew this was my fault. It was my fault she had died. She was upset and shouldn't have been driving. It was all my fault. 

Several hours later, her mother came to my apartment. She let herself in with her daughters keys. 

"You know it's not your fault," she tried to reassure me. "It was an accident. It was no one's fault." She didn't know that I *had* caused her daughter's death. I was the one responsible. I upset her. I was the one who let her drive when she was so upset. I wanted to tell her this, but I couldn't. She stroked my hair, trying to calm me. I finally fell asleep, or at least I must have, because although I don't remember falling asleep, I remember waking up. Not that it makes much difference, because whether I am asleep or awake, the same images haunt me, the same scenes repeat endlessly, the same demons nip at my soul. 

When I woke, she was no longer at my bedside. She had left a note. 

Sorry I had to leave, but there are some things I need to deal with. As soon as funeral plans are arranged, I will let you know. If you need anything else, please don't hesitate to give me a call.

The note was impersonal, though it had little effect on me. I knew she was hurting as much as I was. At least she left me a note. If I was in her position, I am sure I would have been selfish, blocking out everything but my own pain.

I went to the funeral, gathering all my strength and willpower. On the drive to the church, I turned around four times. I almost went back home. However, I knew I had to go to the funeral. It was something I had to do. If not for myself, then for her mother.

The funeral was the most painful of my life; even worse than that of my father. Even with the guilt I felt for both of their deaths, I was much closer to her than I ever was to my father. Her mother had asked me to speak about her to the small gathering, but I was unable to. I could not stop crying long enough to speak. All I could do is hold her mother's hand through the eulogies, praying for it to end soon. The rest of the ceremony passed in a blur of pain, and before I knew it, I was home again.

I stayed in bed for days. I didn't leave my apartment. Not once. I could do nothing but cry, and then when I could no longer cry, I just lay there. I would drift between waking and sleeping worlds, but it made no difference. Everything was the same. Whether awake and remembering, or asleep and having nightmares, the memories, the pain, the guilt, the remorse were all the same.

A week after the funeral, her mother called me again. She asked me to help her sort through her daughter's apartment. She said she couldn't do it alone, and I was the only other person she thought cared enough about her daughter to be able to go through her belongings and know what was important enough to save. She told me that this would help. It would make me feel better. That even though I hurt, I had to move on, and this would be a first step. Anything would be worth a try, I figured, and so I agreed. 

From her belongings, I only kept three things. Her favorite coffee mug, the one with the lipstick stain she was unable to wash off and constantly used to complain about, but refused to get rid of; a picture of the two laughing, unaware of the photographer, that had its place on her nightstand for so long; and her journal. Her mother kept some pictures, some jewelry, and a few trinkets I assumed she had given to her daughter. The rest was bagged, set up to be sent to charities.

Her mother was right; although I would never stop missing her daughter, halting life would not bring her back. I had to move on. The reassuring words in her journal depicting events I remembered helped me when I thought I was losing my grip on her. Even though I only read small sections, select passages, it was like in life; some things were known, some were not meant to be shared.

***

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