Can't Save Myself

September 23, 2008
Life was hard. Harder than what most people would consider it. I lost my mother when I was 6; she just left no word or anything. I don’t blame her even though my father blames me. He’s not much of a man, my father. Nope, he just sits around and drinks. At least he’s not an aggressive alcoholic. He’s only hit me once, but he wasn’t drinking at the time. I was nine and looking through the photo album of me and my mother and I was complaining about how I didn’t remember all of the memories in the pictures, and I think that made my father mad. He hit me across the face and his nail cut me. It was a small cut with a bruise around it, but it went away eventually. I never told anyone, but now is so much harder than when I lost my mom. My best friend died today. He was only seventeen years old and his life was taken so brutally. I’d spent my whole life surrounded by him. He was a part of me in a way. I sat in the hospital for days after the accident. The mental image of his mangled body lying beside a bus stop bench was enough to ruin someone. Yet I only cried. He was driving home from work when he called me complaining about his new boss and how he was such a jerk. That’s when it happened. A trash truck sped through a stop sign and hit his tiny Honda Civic. I heard every bit of it, the hit, the crunch, then the scream, and finally silence. I cried before I knew I had started crying, and inside my soul was longing for his voice. But it never came. It was just a long pause. The phone never once disconnected. When I reached the scene in a mad rush I almost wished I hadn’t. It was horrific. The driver of the truck stood there in a daze. He was rough-looking, possibly in his forties, just staring blankly at nothing in particular. I wanted to hate him, but I could pull enough effort out of me to do so. I looked back to my best friend; the ambulance rounding the corning came to a screeching halt. He didn’t look alive, his eyes were still open and blood just poured from his face and body. I couldn’t look away, the sight of his body was so hideous, but I couldn’t look away. I was secretly waiting for his smile to return to his face and for him to get up and say April fool’s even though it was September. His car was totaled with maximum damage. His windshield busted out almost completely, his car twisted halfway around and sitting on his right leg, and his tiny wooden cross hanging from the rearview mirror dripping in blood. As the EMT’s put his body on a stretcher and drove wildly back to the hospital I followed, crying the whole way and driving just as fast. My father never once showed up at the hospital to see how I was, even though I had his car. He honestly didn’t care. But the hospital wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. My best friend was barely breathing and his brain wasn’t really working. The doctors said it was a miracle his heart was still beating at all. But they left me alone with his mangled body every chance they could. When my father finally came to retrieve me three days later, I left. I felt like I was walking away from myself. I wasn’t the same person anymore. I had seen death, I had breathed it in. I left myself with Jansen’s limp body when my father drove us away to finally go home.
The car ride with my father was a quiet one. It usually was. I can’t tell you the last time we actually had a conversation. He was a bitter useless man, and I didn’t really care anymore. I could take care of myself. When we reached our house I noticed the moving truck first, then the open front door and the empty room beyond it. I looked at my father for the first time in the car.
“Where are we going?” I didn’t sound like myself and that bothered me.
“We’re moving, to Washington. I already have a small house up there, and you’re already enrolled. They’ll expect you in school by Monday.” He said still looking out of the window.

My father had parked the car, so I got out and went up to my room. It was empty except for a small backpack. I looked inside and saw a small journal, a pen, my iPod, and some clothes. At least my father seemed to know what I like to do in my free time. I grabbed the backpack and walked downstairs.

“I’m ready whenever you’re ready.” He said quietly.
“I’m going to the bathroom, and then I’ll meet you in the car.” I didn’t look at him while I talked.

I looked at myself in the mirror. I was a mess, a lame excuse of a human being. My long brown hair hung from my head unbrushed, and my eyes had dark purple circles around them. My cheekbones were dangerously visible and my clothes looked old. I washed my face and walked out to the car. My father rolled down his window, lit a cigarette, and drove away. There went my life, flying outside the window. I was going to miss it. Not really my life here in California, but my best friend. The one and only human being who saw me, heard me, and stayed by my side no matter what. I was going to miss Jansen with all of my heart, with all of my soul. I’ve known Jansen ever since I was three. He went to my daycare and my mother was friends with his mother. We never left each other ever since. Even when he went through all of his multiple girlfriends, we stuck together like glue.
We reached Washington by 2 A.M. That’s when I really looked out of the window. We were in the middle of nowhere, and it was the first time I would have ever accepted living in a place like this. I felt like my life was over. I felt like the living-dead.

We walked into our small two-story home. I laid a blanket and a pillow on the floor and went to sleep. I fell straight into a deep sleep, one without any dreams, which was good. I wasn’t in the mood for nightmares. When I woke up it was 9 AM and my father was already helping the movers put our house together. I moved out of the way and into the kitchen. It was a small room with one big window that faced the front lawn. It was gloomy outside but not raining, what a perfect day for my current and possibly permanent mood. I grabbed a pop-tart and sat at the counter to eat it. When I finished I went upstairs to see my room. My father already had my bed, dresser and desk in place and was working on hooking up the TV. I grabbed my suitcase and started looking through it for my bag of shampoo, conditioner, soap, my toothbrush and toothpaste. When I finally found it I grabbed some new clothes and went into the bathroom. I brushed my teeth, and then turned on the shower. The water was extremely hot, but it felt so good. It washed away all of the bad memories just for the moment. Every ache in my body slowly went away as the water hit it. When I was done washing my hair and body, I immediately turned off the water. I stepped out, dried off, and put on my new clothes. I felt fresh, like I could finally breathe. I put my clothes in the laundry room which was a small room you could only get to through the kitchen. I walked back up to my room passing my father on the way. He was now helping the mover put together the living room. My room was a light yellow now that I actually looked at it. It made the place look happy and alive. It was a big room, too. My bed was in the far left corner, against the wall, next to the window that was straight ahead as you walked into the room. My dresser sat next to the door, to the right, and my desk to the left. My TV was on top of the dresser and there was a big empty space on the right side of my room. The floor was a nice shiny mahogany colored hardwood floor. I sat down on my bed with my suitcase and pulled out all of my things.

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