Executed Eyes

February 12, 2008
Ambrielle sat on her front porch waiting for him. The frigid air sent a shiver down her spine. Wrapping her wool coat around herself a little tighter, she checked her watch.
“He should be here by now,” she whispered.
Ambrielle and Hayden had been best friends ever since second grade. Everyone used to make fun of him because he was a little different and Ambrielle had felt bad for him. Just as she started to go inside to call him, she turned around hearing screeching tires as Hayden fishtailed into her driveway.
“Hurry up Ambrielle, hop in!” He shouted with a grin on his face. Ambrielle rolled her eyes as she made her way through the thick snow to the small dinky Oldsmobile.
“You shouldn’t be driving like that in this weather you moron! I was worried, you could get yourself killed driving like a madman!” Hayden laughed as Ambrielle hit his arm.
“Don’t worry, I’m the best driver I know.” Ambrielle sighed, “I better put my seatbelt on driving with you.”

Every year, Ambrielle’s best friend Eve hosts a big New Years Eve party that everyone goes to. She lived out in the country about half an hour away from Ambrielle’s house so the ride in the snow was a little treacherous.
“Oh Hayden! I forgot to tell you I got a package in the mail today from Michigan State.” Hayden nodded, “And?” Ambrielle hopped up and down in her seat and clapped her hands,
“I got in! I got in! I’m so excited to go to college together! We definitely have to take the same writing course and oh! We can check out all the cool clubs around there, I’m so excited!”
Hayden tried to fake a grin as he concealed his own little secret; he had received a letter also. He didn’t get in. Ever since second grade, Hayden loved Ambrielle. He remembered the first time he saw her. She had long skinny legs and radiant blonde hair that flowed in the wind as she was swinging on the playground but what he recalled most about her, were her eyes. They were soft and delicate, but piercing and intriguing; a deep shade of blue that melted his heart. From that moment on, he knew this was the girl he wanted to marry and he couldn’t tell her tonight, at a celebration, that they wouldn’t be spending their college years together. After high school, their friendship may end. Hayden cringed at the thought.
“Are you ok?” Ambrielle asked him, “Have you got your letter yet?”
Yes, He thought.
“Nope,” he lied. She shrugged her shoulders,
“Oh well, I bet it will come soon.” They sat in silence for a little while,
“How did you do on the exams?” Ambrielle was hitting a sore spot tonight.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” Hayden snapped. Ambrielle looked out her frosted window at the shiny, shimmery snow. She loved snow; it was so beautiful she wanted to go play in it. Ambrielle didn’t know what to say to him sometimes. He was always moody lately and seemed to snap at her more easily. She was worried about him. He had always been a loner but lately he seemed to be pulling away more from her and she couldn’t figure out why.
“We’re almost there,” Hayden grunted. Ambrielle had a feeling tonight wasn’t going to go well.

As they pulled up to the house, there were already about fifty cars parked in the lawn and a huge bonfire blazing around back. Hayden put the car in park, got out, and slammed the door. Ambrielle unbuckled her seat belt and followed him. He went straight out back to go smoke but she climbed the steps to the porch and walked in. “Hey everyone look who’s here!” Eve shouted from across the room as everyone started clapping. Ambrielle had always been popular not only because she was beautiful, but also because she was nice to everyone. She hung out with the jocks, the nerds, the cheerleaders, the science geeks, the partiers, the popular people, and anyone who fell in between such as Hayden. Hayden was always a misfit. He wore ripped jeans and listened to some pretty hardcore music. He smoked and hated preppy rich kids but somehow Ambrielle and him just fit together. Everyone judged their relationship, but couldn’t deny that they just worked without any explanation. Eve ran up to Ambrielle, gave her a hug, and led her to the kitchen,
“So where’s the tag along?” Eve and Ambrielle’s other popular friends never much liked Hayden, but she didn’t care.
“Eve, be nice. He’s out back smoking I think.” Eve made a gagging sound and Ambrielle rolled her eyes.
“Well anyways, onto the important stuff. Guess who’s here tonight?” Eve looked around and whispered, “James Howell.” Ambrielle looked around and spotted him on the couch some floozies surrounding him.
“He’s so pretty.” Ambrielle managed to whisper out. At that moment James looked up at her and winked.
“Oh my… girl, did you just see that?” Eve giggled, “James Howell just winked at you!” Ambrielle waved blushing.
“Oh chill, Eve. He was just being friendly.” Eve raised an eyebrow and walked over to the punch bowl.
“Want some, it’s spiked?” Ambrielle scrunched her nose,
“Ew, no thanks!” She made her way into the living room and mingled. As she reached the middle of the room, a hand fell on her shoulder.
“Hey you.” She turned around and was looking into James Howell’s eyes. They were gorgeous, the kind of eyes that make your heart flutter, deep, chocolaty brown.
“Oh hi.” Ambrielle grinned nervously she could smell his cologne.
“Wanna go somewhere quiet and talk?” She nodded excitedly; keep your cool Ambrielle, she told herself. He led her onto the back porch where only a few kids were smoking by the bonfire. They sat down on a log closer to the fire to keep warm.
“So I’ve noticed you lately.” He looked at her and her heart started to pump faster.
“Really? Why?” She smirked a flirtatious grin.
“Well, you won homecoming queen, you helped the math club go to nationals and volunteer in the cafeteria. Oh and your cute.” Her heart was literally racing now pounding harder and harder against her chest.
“Well, it’s pretty hard not to notice you,” she giggled, “You’re every high school girl’s dream.” She could feel the warmth of his body brushing up against her.
“How does it feel to get your wish?” she looked at him as he put his hands up to her cheek and kissed her.
“Ambrielle Missy! What are you doing?” She pulled away from James to see Hayden staggering down the steps.
“Ambrielle what are you doing with this jerk?” Hayden slurred. “Hayden, are you drunk?” Ambrielle stepped closer to him.
“No, but you have to be if your kissing him. He doesn’t even know you like I do! He’s just using you!” Ambrielle looked at James pleadingly and he nodded and walked off.
“Hayden, that wasn’t very nice. You don’t even know him. He’s a genuine guy.” Hayden huffed,
“Did you figure that out when his tongue was down your throat?” Before she knew it, Ambrielle slapped Hayden across the face. Drunk or not, he had crossed the line.
“That’s it miss goody-two-shoes. I’m out of here. Find your own ride home!” Hayden swayed and staggered off to the front lawn. Ambrielle stood there for a minute and realized Hayden couldn’t drive like this.
“Hayden, wait!” She started to run away from the house towards him. “You can’t drive like this!” He slid into the driver seat and slammed the door. Ambrielle jumped into the passenger’s seat, “Let me drive Hayden, you’ll kill yourself in these conditions!” Ambrielle started to get scared as Hayden put the key in the ignition. “Hayden, stop let’s talk about this. Why are you getting so upset? You’ve been different lately; talk to me like you used to.” He shifted the car into reverse and skidded backwards, through the car into drive and peeled out of the driveway. A few minutes passed by and the car was picking up speed. Ambrielle forgot about everything around her as she spoke to Hayden, “Please tell me what’s wrong? I can’t help fix it if you don’t talk to me!” Hayden shot her a dirty look, “Little miss always fixing things, always getting good grades, always being kind and helping everyone, and always breaking my heart!” Hayden screamed angrily as the car started pushing 70 on a dirt road. The snow was coming down thick but neither Ambrielle nor Hayden noticed. “I have always loved you Ambrielle! From the first moment I saw you I wanted to be with you forever but you are always too busy to notice! So now that we can’t even go to college together anymore I will probably never end up getting what I want, but then again it was never about what I wanted, it was all about you!” The car swerved a little.
Ambrielle whispered, “What do you mean? We’re not going to the same college?”
Hayden looked at her. “I didn’t get in, ok miss perfect?” Ambrielle started crying,
“Hayden, slow down you’re scaring me.” He looked at her and saw the tears coming out of her eyes, the eyes he loved. “I love you too Hayden.” Ambrielle replied just as Hayden looked up the car started losing control. It all happened too fast for them to realize what was going on; the white blurriness of the snow whirling around the spinning car and the car gliding along the road looking for something to hit. Then it was over. With a hard hit the car slammed into a tree and knocked Hayden unconscious.

When Hayden woke up, ten minutes had passed. He saw glass and blood everywhere and didn’t realize what had happened at first but then he saw it. About ten yards ahead of the car illuminated by the broken headlights it laid there; a dark, shapeless, unmoving body. He looked over at the passenger seat.
“Ambrielle!” He screamed getting out and running towards her. The car had been spun into a tree on the passenger side and since she had forgotten to put on her seatbelt, the force of the hit threw her out the windshield. Crying uncontrollably, he dropped to the ground next to her lifeless body. Shards of glass ran through her skin on her face, arms, and legs. Her long blonde hair was now red from blood, but her eyes were still alive.
“Hayden.” He heard her whisper as he held her body close to him. “Don’t worry, I’m going to heaven now. Don’t blame yourself, I forgive you and I love you,” and with that last breath her body went limp and her eyes went from a lively blue, to pitch black. Hayden held her for sometime before he got up and called the cops and while he was holding her all he could do was replay that night over in his head. What was he thinking? If he had told her his problems, she would have listened. She wasn’t a goody-two-shoes. She would still be here, with him. Finally the cops showed up and placed him in the back of the car in handcuffs. Then, he watched out the window as a big, bald cop laid her gently in a gray bag and zipped it up from her toes to her head. The last thing he ever saw from Ambrielle was her dead, lifeless eyes.

“So I stand before you here to today so you can listen to me and understand me. I’m not just some old guy coming into your high school so you can get some afternoon classes off. I’m here because you don’t think it could happen to you. ‘Oh I’m a straight A student, I’m not depressed, I would never drink and drive.’ These are probably thoughts that over half of you are thinking right now but it’s not true. Any of you could mess up at any time. And it’s not just a small mess up either; you could end up killing yourself or worse, your friend. I’m so happy that I finally found something to do with my life, to tell Ambrielle’s story so maybe I can help save someone else’s life, but everyday I am reminded. After the accident I had to live with the consequences. Not only did I do time and pay fines, go to AA meetings and do community service, I will have to live with the guilt of knowing I killed the person I loved. The person I will always love.” And with that Hayden walked down from the microphone, in front of over one thousand high school students and walked out of the gym.

Hayden drove down that dirt road once a week. Eve no longer lives out here, in fact no one does, but Hayden doesn’t mind being alone; it gives him time to think. He drove in silence with no music. Finally, after about half an hour he reached it. He unbuckled his seat belt and hopped out of the car. He walked around the other side and picked up a bouquet of yellow roses. He turned around and walked two steps and knelt down,
“Hey you. Sorry I haven’t come in a while. I’ve been on the lecture circuit. Oh, I forgot to tell you. I gave up smoking! I thought you’d be proud of me for that.” He smiled as he lay the bouquet down next to the wooden cross. A flashback of the terrible scene raced across his mind and he started to cry, “I miss you. I have nightmares of that night. You were just trying to help me but I wouldn’t listen. I wonder sometimes you know, what it would have been like growing up with you. We could have made the distance work in college, who knows we might have even gotten married and had kids. They would’ve had beautiful eyes, just like you. I miss your eyes, I long to see them but they haunt me. I miss your smile and your long blonde hair. I love you Ambrielle.” Snowflakes drifted down towards the earth as Hayden stared into the deep blue sky.

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