Pressing the Brakes on the Green LIght

October 8, 2012
By , brooklyn, NY
She stared back at me. Her pale skin, light brown hair, and bright grey eyes seemed so deathly and devil-like. Her long arms were wrapped around her, as if she was cold. But I knew better. She wasn’t cold; she was there to mock me.

Doors opened loudly, slamming against the pale blue walls. A patient was being rolled on a hospital bed, followed by a number of doctors and nurses that were intending to save his life. This commotion broke the everlasting silence of the hospital’s hallways. It distracted the people from their thoughts and made them turn their hoping faces. Yet, I didn’t move an inch. I kept on staring at my ghastly reflection.
I think you should leave, she spoke to me. Nobody wants you here.
I have to make sure she’s alright, I told her simply, never looking into those grey eyes.
I personally believe she died. After that car crash, no one could ever possibly make it. She smirked.

I ignored her. Instead, I turned my head to the couple sitting some feet away from me. The woman had her head resting on her knuckles and her eyes were closed. The man had his arm wrapped around his wife. A passerby could mistake them for a statue, except the slow movement of their bodies taking in and letting out air, gave away that they were human.
I turned my head back to the window and forced my eyes shut, restraining the physical evidence that would give way to my true emotions. Instead, I thought back to the accident.

“Oh my god, we should really listen to this song. Scarlet said it was really good.”
“Right, because all of a sudden we do everything that Scarlet says is good,” Katelyn muttered.
“No, I just like to check some new songs out,” I explained.
“Sure you do.”
“Hey, what exactly is that supposed to mean!” I exclaimed.
Scarlet invited Katelyn and me to her art show. And after days of begging, my mom thankfully let me drive up there with Katelyn. Unfortunately, driving in the rain, at night, with Katelyn about to have a hissy fit, wasn’t the ideal situation that I imagined.
“It just means that all of a sudden it’s not just the two of us anymore. It’s Scarlet, Rosaline and Katelyn and Katelyn is at the last place.” I could feel her trying to control her anger. Somehow, I had to try and lighten it up.
“Oh come on, Katie. You know that’s not true. And it was never just the two of us; we have loads of friends.”
“You know what I mean, Rose.” It took me a moment to answer while I switched lanes in order not to go out the next exit.
“Katelyn, I don’t understand where you are coming from. We were all set on going on this trip and now all of a sudden, halfway there, you imply that you don’t like Scarlet?” I asked shocked and amazed at how I didn’t notice this before.
“It’s not that I don’t like her,” Katelyn answered quietly, almost too quietly for me to hear her.
“Then what is it!?” I was trying really hard not to lose my patience.
“It’s just I feel like she is replacing me.” There, it was finally out, that thought that was probably eating her up for quite a while now. But why would she feel that way?
“Katie, why would you think that?” I inquired truly shocked by such a statement. “No one could ever replace you.” I meant ever single word I said.
“We never hang out like we used to, just the two of us. Scarlet always has to join in. She always has to be everywhere. If we make plans, somehow we have to alter them, so they can align with her schedule as well. If I invite you somewhere, but then Scarlet will provide you with a better offer, you would cancel on me and go with her instead.” Now that was a despicable accusation.
“How dare you say that? I have never canceled on you. If we made plans then I would always carry them out. Don’t you dare accuse me of choosing someone else over you.” I could feel the numbness in my hands as I tightened my fingers around the wheel.
Katelyn started to twirl the green ends of her black hair. She always had to add some color to it. She first made her ends pink, then orange, then yellow, then red. She looked especially good with red considering that red really suits her. However, quiet recently, she dyed her ends green. I like it best on her because it brings out her green eyes and green is also my favorite color.
“I don’t want to lose you, Rosaline,” she spoke quietly with the voice of an angel. “You are the only one who understands me and you are the only one who can read me like no one else. If I lose you, I’ll have no one to turn to because I’ll never be able to find such a wonderful friend like you. And Scarlet sees that in you and she wants it to.”
“Oh so Scarlet is a thief now?” I spoke plainly and apathetically.
“I didn’t mean that,” she said and I heard her voice break as tears sprang to her eyes.
“You know what Katelyn, if you are really jealous of someone else hanging out with me because that someone else isn’t you, then maybe you aren’t the good friend that I thought you were.”

My eyes had complete contact with the road ahead; however the gasp that I heard coming from my right, made me turn my attention elsewhere. I stared in my friend’s green eyes and the hurt that I brought upon her was impossible to mask.
The next thing I hear is an ear splitting sound coming from a parallel universe. The wheel magically turns in my hands. The car swirls around in a circle. There is a loud crash and then, only darkness.
I wake up on an air bag, safe and sound without a single scratch. Katelyn, however, is lying lifeless next to me.

I didn’t mean it. I didn’t mean it.

“Doctor, is she going to be okay?”
“We are doing everything we can, miss.” I could hear it in the nurse’s voice; they didn’t want me there. But I could care less about what they wanted. I had to know that she was going to be alright.
I ran after the cot trying to keep up with what the doctors and nurses were doing. They placed an oxygen mask over her and checked her vital signs. From the looks of it, this wasn’t the best possible situation, but it wasn’t hopeless either.

I kept up with them as long as was made possible. Unfortunately, a nurse stopped me when they exited through yet another set of double doors.
“Miss, you can’t go any further.”
“But,” I protested.
“I’m sorry, miss. The best thing for you to do is to wait in the waiting area.”
Arguing and pleading was useless and hopeless. I bet they heard this thousands of times before. I walked over to the window, staring out at the street below me. I stood for seconds, minutes, or hours; I don’t know. But Katelyn’s parents showed up soon. Unfortunately, I wasn’t in any state to inform them as to what happened. But, it’s not like they asked me to, anyways.
All I could do was follow the nurse’s advice, and wait.

Still in denial? She asked me.
I opened my eyes and stared directly into hers. That glint that I was avoiding before was impeccably seen in her eyes. No, I answered.
It was my fault, I know. But I can’t do anything about it.
No, you can’t. And you are going to have to live with that. She smirked again, self-satisfied.
I know, I told her. And I will regret it ever day of my life. If she doesn’t … doesn’t make it –
You mean if she dies? She raised one eyebrow at me, challenging me.
I met her gaze steadily. If she dies, I will never forgive myself.
And what do you think her parents will think of their daughter’s “perfect” best friend?
I glanced over at them. They were still in the same position they were before. They will never forgive me either. No, one will ever forgive me.
Suddenly, the doors open as a doctor, wearing his blue scrubs, walks in to give the long-awaited news. My reflection vanishes as I turn around to listen.

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