Through Grass, Grown Tall


His mouth was dry and the sun was shining through the curtains far too brightly. ‘What fucking time was it?’ Was all he could think as he rolled over from his tangled bed sheets and started to open his eyes – much to his brains dismay.


“Well fuck me.” His raspy voice let out slowly before his found the will to close his eyes again and try to fall back asleep. The night before had been out of control. John had just made it back from tour and the party that his friends who still lived in town had thrown, was out of control. There were girls scantily clad practically everywhere, a mean game of six-cup happening in the backyard and more drugs nearby than a normal person should be able to partake in at a moments notice. It was all too much, but it was also too normal.

It was becoming too constant. The booze and the girls, fuck, the drugs – it was all too common. It was getting old. All John wanted to do was be alone for more than ten minutes and do something out of the ordinary. He wanted to watch a movie or have a conversation that didn’t involve talking about his band or a tour. He wanted to fucking disappear.

But strange things happen when try to disappear – you become more important. That was something John had learned all too well at a different point in his life. In fact, he’d learned it twice in the same instant. The more you want to disappear, the less possible it becomes. And the more known you are, but unknown you actually want to be – the more people suddenly give a shit.

However, that was before. These days John would be incapable of disappearing. And he didn’t actually want to vanish – he just wanted part of his life back. He just wanted to figure out where his world had gone. He just wanted a fucking moment to think.

Yet that’s the sick thing about the universe, just when you think you have it all figured out – the one thing you’ve been searching for just fucking shows right back up.


“John, sweetie?” The tapping at his door was too loud and the sun was still too fucking bright.

“What time is it?” He whispered to himself as he found himself waking up for the second time that morning without ever realizing he’d fallen asleep after the first. He’d lulled himself to sleep with the thoughts of her. Her soft skin that always seems to have a sparkly glow. Her big blue eyes that would light up when he’d walk into the room. The way she’d always been compassionate while still being able to be a little bit mischievous. The way Chase, his first best friend and her, his second, and him used to laugh for hours over the dumbest things. He fell asleep imagining her laugh that would come in between secret kisses. He fell asleep to her.

9:30. Fuck.

“John, baby, you have to get up – we have to get ready to go.” The room to his door was opening and standing behind it with her head nervously looking in was his mother. "So you're alone? That's surprising in the good way." She was trying not to sound incredibly relieved at the truth of her words.

"You know you're the only woman for me, mom." His voice was starting to sound normal as he sat up in his bed and threw his legs over the side before putting his head in his large hands and grasping his hair.

"That's sweet, my son, but someday you have to move out and give me grandbabies." She was laughing as she spoke and moving across the room to open the blinds and let the rest of the sunlight moving in. Why mothers did that he’d never understand. Especially since he was more than aware that she knew he was wickedly hungover and struggling.

"Alright, let's slow your grandma roll down, lady. I have no time right now for that." John was stretching as he said the words, but for some reason they felt sour in his throat. Like he knew given the chance things would be different. "Plus you're still too young for some gremlin to call you grandma." His mother was laughing at his words and moving closer to him. Close enough to bend down and kiss his forehead while patting down his hair smoothly.

"I'm glad you're home, my son." And that was all it took - John could see how lonely she was. How aged she'd become and how sad her eyes looked. He was all she had left and he fucking owed it to her to do better. He had to do better.

"Mom..." She waved him off and took a deep breath before moving a step away so she could turn her back and subtly wipe her eyes before turning right back around with a forced smile on her face. John recognized this look. He'd seen it on both of his parents in the past. And he'd seen it in the only eyes of the one other person outside of his family who'd understood. He hated that look. His mother had been faking it for years now.

"Did you have fun last night?" Her voice held a bubble to it like she was just on the verge of a breakdown, but was still holding it together.

"Yeah, Ma, it was fun." He paused after he said it and stood up from the bed so he was now towering over her before wrapping his slender arms around her and pulling her feeble body into his own, "I'm glad to be home too, Ma. I'm glad to be home, too."

“Okay, now enough of this. You get yourself ready and meet us downstairs. We only have an hour until we have to leave.” And then his mother was moving. She was patting him on his shoulders and moving away from him right out the bedroom door, but not before repeating her statement one last time. “An hour, John, an hour.”


John took a deep breath before making the way from his mother’s car and standing himself in the parking lot of the church he’d hoped he’d never have to see again. The one place where’d he’d literally lost everything in.

“It looks so beautiful. God, they have such a great day for a wedding, right, sweetie?” His mother was rounding the car and eyeing up her oldest son as she reached out for his hand and held it firmly in her grip. Just like she used to do when he was much smaller and less independent. Back when she still had another hand to hold on the other side of her body. Back when things were so much different – so much more complicated, but still so simple.

He wasn’t sure how she was surviving this. He knew that this church brought back so many memories of her own. It was the place she was married years before and the place she’d been forced to let go of part of her life. It was incredible to him how strong she was capable of being. But it was also terrifying to him in some respects that he was positive he’d never been, or would ever be, that strong. He held her hand tighter and he prayed to whatever person might possibly exist above – that he could find whatever strength he had in himself he’d use it from this point on. Today he was going to change. He was going to do more – do better.

“It is beautiful, Ma.” They’d reached the steps at this point in front of the large cherry wood doors and John noticed the sudden, but slight, hesitation in how confident she looked as she placed her heeled right foot onto the first step. He watched as she paused and how she held his hand a little firmer before letting out a deep breath – one he didn’t realize she’d been holding. “Ma?”

“It’s just – I mean – we haven’t been here since…” She paused and looked over at her son’s sullen face, “God, I just can’t believe he’s not here. He was supposed to be here. Parents aren’t –“ She coughed and John moved his body so it was completely in front of her and his arms were wrapping her body into his. “There’re just not supposed to have to bury – It just isn’t all that fair.”

It was the first time she’d said it like that – fair. What was fair exactly? Was winning a lottery and dying the next day fair? Was solving an incredibly hard math problem two seconds after someone else, and always being considered second, fair? Was finding the one person you truly understood love from only to lose them because of a death fucking fair? None of it could be rationalized and none of it was supposed to be. John knew that now, but he didn’t know how to voice that understanding to the one person who loved him despite everything that he’d done wrong. Despite the fact that he was the one who should have been received in this church – and not the other love of his mothers life.

“Ma –“

“I’m sorry, baby, I just thought – I thought I’d be able to do this with out thinking about him, but I can’t. And you know what, we shouldn’t have too. I’m tired of pretending. If we don’t accept it we can’t move on, right?” She smiled at John with watery eyes and patted the lapel of his jacket down before moving her hands to his recently chopped, but slightly overgrown hair and fixed it in that motherly fashion she always had.

And even though John understood what she was saying – he just didn’t think it was ever going to be that easy. And even though he kissed her forehead and followed her up the steps with his hand grasped in hers and walked through the big cherry doors as he nodded hellos to people he recognized – the only thing he could think of was the words he’d said so many times before to the only other person out there who had ever understood, but would never get to say them back;

Through grass, grown tall.

And as he walked down the aisle towards a pew on the right front side of the alter, he heard the words in his mind in that that distinct voice that seemed like it was fading from his memory far too quickly because he’d never actually get to hear again, the only thing he could picture was the wooden coffin that had once sat right in the middle of the now ornately decorated alter. It just didn’t make sense. How could things fade and change so quickly? How did people forget?

He’d moved on in so many ways and he knew, physically and emotionally he was okay and getting better each day, but mentally – he wasn’t fucking sure anymore. Because right now, as his mother spoke to neighbors and family friends only feet from him – the only thing he could keep seeing were ghosts.

And when Michael stepped out in the middle of the church, despite looking rather tired and slightly annoyed, while the entire congregation took their seats as the procession started, John assumed the ghosts he’d been seeing would disappear and that his mind would focus on the ceremony happening right in front of him. But the moment Maggie started to make her way down the aisle and everyone stood up to watch – he knew the ghosts would never leave. Because sitting in the back of the church with a bored look on her far too skinny and tired face was the one person he’d never thought he’d see again – Hunter Champagne. He felt like everything in the world stopped.

And for a split second, maybe due to the sunlight shining in as the doors closed behind the bride or the fact that he knew his heart was racing so quickly – almost making him dizzy – he could have sworn he saw Chase right there beside her. But when he blinked – he was gone. And just as quickly as he’d seen her was as quickly as he knew he’d never, for the rest of his life, be completely okay.

It was then that he realized nothing in life would ever, ever be fair.
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Hope everyone is doing well! Ketely and I are officially going for it on this story, so be prepared to get confused, informed and full of hatred towards pretty much everyone in the story (including its authors). Because, lets be real, nothing in life is easy - and neither is this story. So thanks for even reading! Hopefully, we'll have some more updates up soon!! Leave us some comments to get the ball rolling!