When She Loved Me

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It was dark on the streets of Cambridge. Hours ago men carrying black brief cases walked swiftly to their homes, ready to greet their families. The only light that was found was from the streaks of lightening every few minutes.

Thunder roared in the distance making the scared dogs yelp. Thick grey smoke swirled around the chimneys and then vanished into the dark night sky. The wind pulled the rain in every direction making a pelting noise on the windows.

Somewhere on Lake View Street stood two houses, numbers 224 and 225 to be specific, held two teenagers. In 225 stood a teenage boy wandering around his living room. Picking up the remote, he turned the television on and instantly saw a storm warning, flashing, at the bottom of the screen. The screen soon turned fuzzy after going to one of those infomercials about culinary supplies. He chuckled quietly to himself.

'What person in their right mind would buy knives on TV?' He thought. Just as the infomercial ended, her heard the infamous sound of a power surge.

'At least I heard the weather' He mumbled to himself.

Not wanting a thousand things to go on at once when the power came back, he turned it off and walked slowly towards a small radio making the floorboards creak as he did this.

Picking up the flashlight perched on the windowsill, he shined it up to the black portable radio. Flicking the on switch, he heard a lot of static, but between that static was a song that made him stop and listen.

He hummed the familiar tune softly along with Sarah McLaughlin singing, as he thought back to those careless days when he was younger. 'When somebody loved me,

Everything was beautiful'

Many moons ago, the parents would watch them play in each other's yards, never thinking that anything would come between them. Then again, kids don't have many worries at ten when their lives consist of cartoons, except if one of them had the usual scraped knee, but they didn't have to worry about that. The other one was always watching out for the other, especially ten-year-old Andy Calhoun. He was always very protective of his best friend, Aubrey Cohen. A tear rolled down his tan skin.

Thinking back made him consider the reason why they weren't friends anymore. What was it? With his left index finger he turned the wheel on the radio wanting to hear the song louder. To another person the radio would have sounded like static, but to Andy, it was as clear as day. He knew that song like he knew his way around his messy room; shirts on the floor and socks scattered amongst them.

As thunder roared in the sky, he thought back to the time when things went astray. At the age of fourteen, the moment those two kids took their first steps into high school, everything changed. Andy became, well, for lack of a better word, a 'Big Shot,'

He wouldn't care about anything but his popularity. This affected Andy and Aubrey immensely. Aubrey wasn't even close to being popular and because of this, Andy left her.

All he wanted was to spend one more day with her. All he wanted was to go back to when they were the only two people who mattered to each other. All he wanted was his best friend back.

Another tear rolled down his face as he stared at the house right across from him. He quietly sang the next verse of the song. This time, it reminded him of his first few years of High School. Oh how he wished he could turn back time.

He stopped as the music went on in the background. That's just it, though. He wasn't there for her. It was like the other one didn't even exist. Whenever they passed each other in the hallways, both acted as if they were never friends. Like all those years of plying tag in their backyards were erased from their memories. All those hours they would spend at each other's houses doing homework meant nothing.

He had always secretly wondered why he did this every year to her. Music flowed into his ears, yet again, bringing him back to reality. This time, he sang for all those times when he left her.

He couldn't take it anymore. His balled his fist and punched it into the wall almost denting the wall and without realizing the throbbing pain of his hand. His heart was breaking. He could not stand what he had done to her.

Thinking back, he realized the only year he even got close to enjoying was twelfth grade. Each time they passed each other in the hallways they would sneak glances at one another. What a stupid move he made. Why would he wait three years before acknowledging her presence? What kind of person would do that?

He then realized, that maybe it was just life. They were going separate ways, different colleges, and different career choices. Even though they never spoke anymore, it was like they were each other's security blanket. They needed that make sure the other one was still in view, just in case. He stared out the window, his eyes full of resentment. His body felt numb as he watched the rain collect on the pane and then slide down it.

His eyes were brought to the brass clock chiming on the wall, signaling midnight. His shaggy golden brown hair hung astray as he turned back to the window. The loud booming of thunder was still heard loud and clear. Dogs howled in the distance.

The next streak of lightening triggered another memory. He thought back to all those time when he was over her house during a thunderstorm. How she was always terrified. How every time during a storm she would run to him. His eyes welled up with tears. He looked down in shame. His fingers picked at the sides of his sweatpants. His grey t-shirt was wrinkled.

Another loud boom was heard, and as if by some miracle, the lights flickered back on. Though, only the lamp by the couch was actually turned on. His cobalt eyes turned back to the window. A light was on in the window across the street. Looking around at the now illuminated house he noticed something: it was empty.

Without wasting another minute, he hastily threw on his shoes. His hands were shaking from nerves as he tied the white laces into a semi-perfect pretzel shape. After taking a deep breath, he grabbed his jacket and walked out, closing the door behind him. What he didn't hear was the singing coming from inside his house. This time, it wasn't him that was singing. It was the voice of Sarah McLaughlin finishing off the song for Andy. The static was no longer there.

When she loved me





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