Authors: Ashley Suzanne
Cover Designed By:
MGBookCovers – Melissa Gill
By Ashley Suzanne
In July of 2010 my husband lost his best friend, Danny, in a motorcycle accident. I have lived the last 3 years of my life, helping my husband get over the tragedy that he was faced with and I really hope this book will help him heal. Not in the common sense of healing, that we’re all thinking, but that Danny will live on forever in this type. His name will be remembered and not only will he be in our hearts, but all my readers hearts. Here’s a piece our hearts, Danny Boy!
Over the last few months, while writing Mirage, I developed a very special relationship with another author. This author helped me mold my story into what you’re about to read. The stories we shared about our families and the loss that our loved ones experienced, helped me write this novel more than she even imagines. From the bottom of my heart, this woman is beyond amazing and with that being said, this book is for her as well as her daughter Lue. Fly Sky High…
“You can love someone so much...But you can never love people as much as you can miss them.”
For Jesse and Lue
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of characters to actual
persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. The Author holds exclusive rights to
this work. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited.
While I used names of people in my life, the scenes of this book are works of pure fiction.
Thank you for taking a chance on a girl with a dream <3
The picture frames that once lined the table in the hallway are now scattered across the floor, in shambles, like the pieces of my heart. Anger and sadness flow through my veins as I look at the broken glass that reminds me of my shattered soul. I am sitting on the cool hardwood floor with my back to the couch and hands in my hair. Tears stream from my eyes and my chest heaves up and down, as I try to catch my breath. All I can do is think back to the best day of my life and try to figure out how it completely fell apart.
“You’re it for me, Pea,” Danny said. “I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you. We’re going to be so disgustingly happy, our friends are going to hate us
” he joked.
“Don’t I know
it! I already see the girls making faces when we’re together. This is going to push them over the edge,” I teased. “Do you think we should make a group announcement? Head out on Saturday night, like usual, then BAM, look at my ring, we’re getting married.” I was already disgustingly happy and I couldn’t wait to tell everyone and show off my classic princess cut ¾ carat diamond on my left ring finger.
“We can do it however you want, Pea, as long as you promise me forever and always.” How could I not swoon when he said stuff like that
“I’m yours as long as you will have me,” I said as I crashed into him
pulling him in for the most passionate kiss of my life. Even though I instigated the kiss, it wasn’t long until Danny took control, claiming my mouth for his own, just like he did my heart.
In that moment, I thought to myself, ‘I am hopelessly in love with this man. Please dear God, don’t break my heart.’
Five weeks later, the night of our college graduation, I am in my apartment with a few girlfriends, Kylee, Marisol and Lena, getting ready to hit the after party. Knowing Danny would be here soon, I decide to wear something that would tease him in just the right way. My Danny was a boob man, so I put on my black lace corset top that was meant more for lingerie, but God I looked amazing in it. I paired the top with a pair of dark washed jeans and my favorite black peek toe pumps. I was ready to celebrate the end of four years of study groups, aggravating professors, finals, midterms, and lack of sleep with my friends and my man. This is the beginning of the rest of my life …
Danny showed up a little after nine on his bike. “Hey Pea, are you ready to go?” he called from the hallway leading to my apartment.
“I am. I heard you pull up. I guess since we’re on the bike, I’m not bringing a purse.”
“You know the rules, Pea. No purses or heels on the bike. Change your shoes please. You can put your heels in my backpack, if need be,” Danny said sternly.
I headed back into my room, I exchanged my pumps for a pair of black leather knee high boots that fit perfectly over my jeans. Looking at myself in the mirror, I was surprised. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this earlier. This looks so much hotter. “Damn Mira,” I said to myself.
I grabbed a thin black hair tie from my dresser and used my fingers to brush back my long brown hair and placed it in a low ponytail. I am sure glad I decided to curl my hair tonight because the wind would have really messed up my hair and knotted it if I would have straightened it.
Giving myself one more glance in the floor length mirror on the back of my bedroom door, I walked out of my room, shutting the door behind me, “I’m coming.” I slipped on my leather riding jacket and left the apartment walking downstairs.
Danny was waiting for me on the front stoop of my apartment building. I don’t know if it was just an emotional day or what, but Danny looked somewhat more mature. He was wearing light faded jeans and an all black button up shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows, exposing his tattoo on his right forearm.
Last summer Danny and Skylar got matching tattoos. Danny’s right forearm displays the word Smash in Old English lettering. Skylar’s is in the same spot and says Axe in the same lettering. Skylar’s uncle used to call them Smash and Axe while they were growing up. Boys will be boys. I think it’s silly, but these boys are two peas in a pod. I’m surprised I’m not dating both of them.
Kylee was just finishing putting her helmet on and climbing on to the back of Skylar’s bike when I reached where Danny’s bike was parked. Danny was riding his beloved GSX-R. Again, the boys have matching bikes. I swear these two did everything together. The only difference in Danny and Skylar’s bikes was the color of the seats. Where Sky was purple, Danny had a dark midnight blue. Everything else was all black. I think the boys called it “murdered out” but I have no clue what that means. It’s just looks like flat black paint to me.
I pulled on my black helmet with pink pinstripes and jumped on the back of Danny’s bike. This was my favorite part. I can just lie on his back, rest my head on his shoulder and go along for the ride. No talking, no music, nothing but us and the road. Some girls get off on buying shoes, me, I get off on the sound of a bike. There is just something about the rumble of a bike that makes me want to flip around the front and madly kiss the man I’m so in love with.
Maybe it wasn’t all bikes. Maybe it was just Danny’s. I knew the sound. Even though it was identical, Skylar’s and many other bikes around this town, something about the sound of this bike screamed Danny and nobody else.
We left the parking lot and headed towards the highway. My legs were squeezing the life out of Danny’s and I was almost lying down on top of him. We were going so fast, as if we were flying. This is where I get my thrills in life and I’m so happy I get to do it with my future husband.
My future husband. Oh hell. In a few months, I’m going to be Mrs. Daniel Thomas. Mira Rae Thomas. That sounds like music to my ears.
I’m totally in my zone on this ride, I didn’t even notice when a car came swerving into our lane. Danny’s bike started to sway beneath my legs. I gripped his waist even tighter and tried to remember everything he ever told me. There is an art to being a passenger on a bike.
Don’t fight against me.
Don’t lean into turns with me. Keep your body centered. Hold on tight. If we go down, try to stay on your back with your head raised. Try not to tumble.
Ok. Alright. Trying to keep my body centered, gripping tight and not fighting against Danny, the bike continued to sway beneath me. Before I knew it, we were headed right towards the guard wall in the middle of the highway.
Panic set it. “Danny ... Danny ... What do I do?” I screamed and I knew he couldn’t hear me over the traffic and the roar of the bike.
We hit the wall. The sound was so loud; I felt it in my bones. The sound of metal slamming against concrete is a sound I will never forget. Nails on a chalkboard don’t even compare.
I flew off the bike. The pain of hitting the cement of the highway at over sixty miles per hour was excruciating. I felt my bones in my leg snap as I tried to keep on my back without tumbling.
“Aaaaahhhhhhhhh,” I screamed out in pain. Every inch I slid down the highway was terrifying until I hit my final resting place. I had no idea what was going on around me.
My body finally won out against me as my head slammed against the hard cement and pain shot through my entire body.
I assumed I blacked out. When I finally came to, I was in the back of an ambulance with medics looking over my body and starting an IV, their faces looked grim.
“Danny?” I asked, my voice coming out weak and barely there.
The blond medic just looked at me with blank eyes. He slightly shook his head.
“No,” I cried, “no, please no.”
My Danny didn’t survive. They said he had too much trauma and died on the scene. My body screamed in pain as I tried to get off the gurney to go to where ever Danny was. The other medic, who I don’t remember too well, grabbed my shoulders softly and pulled me back to stay on the gurney. The blond medic inserted a syringe of medication into my IV and within seconds, I felt my body relax and go lifeless.
In that moment, my world came to a screeching halt and that was it for me.
Skylar came to visit me in the hospital for the two days I was admitted, while I was treated for my road rash and broken leg. Surprisingly, I didn’t have it too bad. Because my injuries were minimal, I was released on the second day, with crutches and a wheelchair that Skylar had “borrowed” from the hospital. I had a pretty bad bump on my head, some scrapes and bruises and a broken leg, but I was alive. Which was more than I could say for Danny…
Now here it is, five days after the accident and the day of Danny’s funeral. At the service, his mom asked me to sit with her. She told me that I was practically family anyway, being engaged to Danny and all. It did feel a little weird not sitting with my friends and parents, but it was nice to be able to sit with Mrs. Thomas, who looks so much like Danny it’s scary.
Immediately following the burial, we all went back to Danny’s mother’s house. People were coming and going. Friends, relatives, faculty from the school, members of the community.
I don’t remember eating much that day, or any day since Danny died, for that matter. I remember hearing my stomach growling. I knew it needs some sort of sustenance, if I planned to take the pain medication the doctor prescribed, but the thought of consuming anything made me ill.
“Mira, honey, you have to at least eat something. Trust me, I know how hard this is, but you have to take care of yourself,” Danny’s mom pleaded with me.
“Mrs. Thomas, I promise I will eat something later. I just can’t right now,” I responded back emotionless, not even making eye contact with the woman.
Everything seemed to pass by in such a blur. I didn’t even realize that I was being wheeled out the door with Kylee on my side and Skylar pushing the wheelchair.
“Where are we going?” I asked them.
“We’re taking you home, Mi. You have had enough for one day. You need a shower and some sleep,” Skylar said.
“And something to eat,” Kylee chimed in.
When we got back to the apartment I share with Kylee, I immediately saw the long thin table by the front door lined with pictures of my past. Some of the happiest days of my life, captured forever. I will be forever haunted by these images in my memory, let alone having to look at them every day.
“This isn’t fair. Why did you leave me?” I yelled as I swiped my arm across the table, knocking everything onto the floor, shattering the glass in the frames.
“Come on, Mira, let’s get you in the shower,” Kylee said. I saw the pity in her eyes and Skylar just looked at the floor, not making eye contact with either of us.
“I’m sorry guys. Today was just an emotional day,” I said apologetically.
“Mi, we all miss him. Just take care and call me if you need anything Kylee,” Skylar said as he walked out and closed the door behind him.
“I’ll clean up this mess, hun. Just go,” Kylee said as I got out of the wheelchair, carefully sitting on the floor and tried to pick up the pictures around the glass.
Kylee grabbed a shoebox that wasn’t taken out in the trash and started putting my memories away. “I’ll just put them all in here, for safe keeping, until we can buy new frames,” she told me as I used the crutches to maneuver into my bedroom.