She Would Have Said Yes
Sam finally left and I felt so alone. Donna had been my lifeline and now I just felt so lost without her. I guess you never realize how much you depend on someone until they are gone. Now I had no one to depend on, like I depended on her.
I sat down on the couch as a dizzy spell came over me. The doctors had assured me I would have them for quite some time. I was just glad that Sam wasn't here to fuss over me. The last thing I needed was to be fussed over right now.
'Josh if you were in an accident I wouldn't stop for red lights.'
Donna's sweet voice filled my ears. I had been too shocked to respond to her when she had told me that. I wasn't sure if she was talking about what happened after I was shot, or something that she had planned on doing in the future. Whatever the reason was, it didn't matter because that night I hadn't gotten a chance to do the same thing for her. The fact was she had died, while I had lived.
I noticed a hair barrette of hers lying on the coffee table. I picked it up and I noticed a few strands of her hair remained in it. I was reminded of when she took it out and let her hair flow down loosely. How she had laughed and said that she wasn't having a good hair day. But she couldn't figure out why I was smiling so brightly at her. It was beautiful to me messy or not.
I set it back down on the table as the tears began to start again. I would never be able to see her beautiful hair, or even hear her complain about it. She would never be able to do those things again. My Donnatella was gone forever.
I groaned as the doorbell rang. I really wasn't in the mood for any company. I didn't need them to worry about me, I wasn't going to do anything stupid. I had learned my lesson a couple of Christmas's ago. But then Donna had been there to lead me back to the light then.
"Josh, please let me in." Ainsley's voice called from outside my door.
Ainsley Hayes was actually the last person that I wanted to see right now. She was even worse than my regular friends. Partly, because she looked a lot like Donna, and partly because we had never really gotten along.
"It's open." I yelled half-heartedly from the couch, knowing that Sam hadn't locked it behind him.
"I need to talk to you." Ainsley said softly as she came and stood in front of me.
"So talk." I grumbled.
Ainsley looked at me and for the first time I could tell that something was really bothering her. She looked as if she had the weight of the world on her shoulders. I had a sinking feeling that I was part of the reason for her to be looking like that.
"Please tell me what's bothering you." I asked softly.
"I was driving back to work because I had left something I needed in my office and..." She broke down in tears before she could finish.
"And what?" I asked quietly as I pulled her into a hug and let her cry on my shoulder.
"I was driving the other car that killed Donna." Ainsley finally managed to sob out.
I instinctively pulled away from her. Ainsley didn't seem too surprised by this. Anger welled up from somewhere inside of me, but I bit my lip to keep it from spilling out. Yelling at Ainsley wasn't going to bring Donna back.
"I saw your car hit the patch of ice and spin towards me but there was nothing I could do. You have to believe me Josh. I never meant to hurt anyone. Especially not Donna." Ainsley sobbed.
"I know." I stated very quietly.
"Do you believe that it wasn't my fault?" Ainsley asked slowly, looking for some sort of solace from me.
"There was nothing you could have done." I admitted gently, though those words tore at my very soul.
I wanted to blame her. I wanted to yell at her for taking Donna away from me. I wanted to get vengeance for Donna's death. And I think I would have if Ainsley hadn't of sat there looking so shattered. I truly believe that there was nothing she could have done. Yet, it was going to haunt her for the rest of her life.
"Tell me about what happened." I urged slowly.
"You want me to tell you about it?" Ainsley asked as if she hadn't heard the question right.
"I don't remember what happened. I need to know how she died." I replied quickly.
"I guess it's only fair that I tell you." Ainsley said as she took a deep breath.
She closed her eyes for a minute. I think she was visualizing the scene that she probably saw in her dreams every night. I also think she was searching for the best way to tell me. I placed my hand on her shoulder as if to reassure her. She took another deep breath before speaking.
"It was lightly snowing and the roads were starting to get a tad bit slushy, but it didn't seem like anything out of the ordinary. Like I said I was trying to get something from the office. I noticed your car immediately. I could tell that Donna was laughing at something. Then as I got closer you hit a patch of ice. I saw you valiantly try and fight with you car, but the wheels locked up and you spun around. I had begun to slow down in anticipation but I wasn't fast enough. I plowed right into Donna's side of your car." Ainsley said shakily.
"Go on." I urged gently.
"I jumped out of my car and I went to check on her. But she was gone. She must have been killed instantly. I looked over at you and you were bleeding and barely breathing. I thought that I had killed both of you. I called 9-1-1 and I told them what had happened. After the ambulance and the cops came they determined that no one was at fault." Ainsley replied as the tears continued to stream down her cheeks.
"It was an accident." I stated softly.
"I couldn't go to the hospital because I was afraid that everyone would know that it was my fault and that they would hate me forever. So I went home and I cried myself to sleep. But I couldn't sleep because I kept seeing the accident in slow motion. And I kept seeing Donna lying their peacefully in the car. She just looked like an angel, Josh." Ainsley sobbed.
"What made you tell me?" I asked slowly.
"No one figured out that it was me who was driving the other car. The police didn't release my name to the papers. But it's been eating me up inside. I thought that you should know. If you want me to quit then I will. I promise that you won't ever see me again." Ainsley assured me.
"Donna would hate me if I forced you to quit. It was a terrible accident, but you shouldn't have to quit over it." I replied softly.
"I'm so sorry Josh. I knew how much she meant to you." Ainsley stated.
"Thanks." I replied as Ainsley gave a hug and left.
I sat there a little numb. Ainsley had been driving the other car. That thought just blew my mind away. It was easier to blame myself for what had happened, but now a friend of Donna's was in the same boat as me. I felt really bad for Ainsley, because at least I couldn't remember the accident. Sam was right, it was better not to remember.
I flipped on the television and one of Donna's favorite movies was on. It was Runaway Bride with Richard Gere and Julia Roberts. Donna had forced me to watch it with her when I was recovering from the shooting because I wasn't allowed to watch anything with violence.
"I guarantee that there will be tough times. I guarantee that that at some point one or both of us is going to want to get out of this thing. But I also guarantee that if I don't ask you to be mine that I will regret it for the rest of my life. Because I know in my heart that you are the only one for me." Richard Gere said from the television.
His words tore at my heart. Donna had cried when she heard that proposal from the movie. She said it was romantic. I had planned to borrow a little bit from the movie with my proposal, because I knew it would mean the world to her that I remembered, even though I was in a pain killer induced haze at the time. But I never had that chance to tell her those words.
I clicked the TV off and I wondered how my life could ever go on. Everywhere I looked there was something to remind me of Donna. Hell I couldn't even watch TV without running into one of her favorite movies. How was I ever supposed to go back to work and walk past her desk? How was I ever going to live with someone else as my assistant?
I placed my head in my hands as I pondered those questions. Donna's death was leaving a void that I wasn't sure I was ever going to be able to fill. It was void that I realized I didn't want to be filled. I didn't want anyone to replace her, I just wanted her.
I knew that I was supposed to take at least another week off of work to allow my body to finish healing, but I wasn't sure I could wait that long. The longer I put it off the harder I knew it was going to be for me. Not ever talking about the shooting had taught me that. I had waited so long to talk about it, that one day I just snapped. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to do that again.
Figuring out how to get to work was going to be another problem. My car had been totaled, though I never would have driven it again anyway. And besides, I didn't really have any medical clearance to drive, that wouldn't come until the dizzy spells were completely gone. I decided that I was just going to have to call a cab. If I tried to call any of my friends they would just simply tell me no, and I wanted to surprise them.
I took Donna's ring back out and I held it in my hand. Even though she never saw it I still thought of it as her ring. It was like one of the only parts of her that I had left. I went into my bedroom and I found a chain. I decided that if Donna couldn't wear the ring, that I was going too. I felt I owed her that much.