“Oh man, you should have seen your face. Ha!” Death continued chuckling heartily to himself while Lucas merely stared in confusion. It was a few more moments before the being had finally calmed down enough to speak normally.
Death cleared his throat. “Anyway… I know it’s been a while… But I couldn’t help but notice your current, shall we say, predicament… So I decided I owed it to you to share some happy news.” Lucas could not see his face, but he imagined a smile beneath the shadowy hood as Death spoke.
“Uh… news?” He asked nervously.
“Indeed.” Death laughed softly. “You can pack up your fishing pole and head home, boy. Your work here is done.”
“What are you talking about?”
The hooded figure simply shrugged. “No more need for it. I thought you would have figured it out by now…”
Lucas felt a twisting sensation in his stomach. “What are you saying?”
“Your little Evelyn’s long gone, boy.
Death nodded. “Took her away myself. She wasn’t ready the first time I tried, all those years ago… But she told me there was nothing left to keep her here anymore.” He shrugged. “I just can’t imagine what she could have been talking about…”
Lucas felt like he could no longer breathe. “There’s gotta be some mistake!” He insisted. “She wouldn’t just give up like that…”
Death simply shook his head. “No mistake, I assure you.” He said simply. “She was ready, so I took her.”
“No, no, no, no, no….” Lucas held his face in his hands. Gone?! She… she wouldn’t… Would she?
“So you see? No more stress, no more wasted hours…” Death continued cheerfully. “And best of all, even more time for that new girl of yours.”
“Why would you do that?!” Lucas cried out angrily. “Why would you take her away?! You knew I was trying to help her! You knew she wanted her life back!”
Death was completely unfazed by the outburst. “It’s not always for me to decide.” He shrugged. “It seemed like what she wanted.”
“How could you…” Lucas muttered, clenching his fists at his sides.
“No need to worry, my boy.” Death continued, ignoring Lucas’ anger. “She’s with her family now. She’s in a better place.” He assured him.
“But…” Lucas muttered weakly. “That’s not–”
“Just thought you ought to know… Well, I’d best be off. Places to go, people to see, all that. See you around, boy.” Death gave a cheery wave of farewell. “Enjoy your new-found freedom!”
Lucas barely had time to blink before he was gone.
“Wait, come back!” He called out. But he knew it was no use.
Lucas walked toward a nearby bench in a daze, replaying what Death had just told him. Could Ev really be gone? Was that really what she wanted?
What about traveling the world? Playing music again? Living a long and happy life? All the plans she’d had… The plans he was going to help her achieve…
The words echoed in his mind, as clearly as if they had happened only yesterday…
“…What about bringing you back? What about my promise?”
“You were never doing that for me. We both know that. Goodbye, Lucas. I hope you have a wonderful life…”
She thought I was giving up on her… And now… Now, it was too late.
Lucas dropped his face into his hands.
His first love. His best friend. Gone. Forever.
I’m never gonna see her again…