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So there I was staring at the mess across from me. Their bloodied forms bringing tears to my eyes and gave me a nauseated feeling - the feeling of throwing up. In the distance I could hear the police and the ambulance approaching but it didn’t quite register. I couldn’t accept what I was seeing, even though I knew it was clearly there – clearly real. I recall someone pulling me away from the wreck but I never got around to figuring out who it was... When I came to, I was sitting in a hospital bed, with nothing but the lonely beating of my heart coming from the heart monitor. I was glad I was sitting; the sound was enough to bring me to my knees. I was alone now, truly alone. Our mom had died when we were still just kids, and our father had abandoned us long before. Granny had taken us in and we’d been living with her since, of course we were overjoyed Nova was right across the hall, though down the street hadn’t made much of a difference till then. But we all know that no one lives forever. Granny passed away only a few months earlier, we never had the chance to get over it, and I never would...
“Come on, Andy! Hurry up!” Chris shouted. “We gotta celebrate at some point!”
“I’m coming, I’m coming...” came my reply from upstairs.
“Yeah, hurry up!” I heard Nova shout along.
I hurried to finish getting ready. Chris had told Nova to wake me up and join them downstairs because he had something important to tell us both. Of course that didn’t go to well for me. I liked my sleep; I’d have spent all my days in bed if I could, but with school and all...
“What’s so important that you woke me up?” I asked.
Chris thrust a small card into my hands, “My license!”
He smiled and it was contagious. A grin spread across my features and Nova’s as well. Chris had been talking about getting his license for quite a while, even before everything that happened with Granny. It was obvious he was happy to have it. We could drive to the city again, instead of taking the bus. I could have gotten mine a little while back, but I was too much of a nervous wreck to be safe on the road. It was hard to believe after all we’d been through in the last few weeks, it was quite a burden for three teens to take care of a business with no adults around. We’d always said we were ready to go out into the world, but it was then that we realized how much we weren’t. There were taxes for the shop, taxes for the house, taxes on our salary; taxes on everything! Then there was the electricity bill, the phone bill, the internet bill, the bill for the car Granny hadn’t finished paying, the bill for the cable; there was just too much!
“Are you coming or not?!”
I giggled as I heard Nova coming upstairs, then, “Hey, hey, hey! I’m what if I wasn’t dressed?”
I loved to annoy her with that. Even though I had a door, no one ever seemed to respect it, except for Granny who almost had a heart attack after walking in on me changing one day. That proved my point.
Nova grabbed my hand and dragged me downstairs, not giving me the time to tie my hair the way I would’ve liked so I simply tossed the brush onto my bed as we hurried out of the house and into the car.
“So, where to?”Ed asked, grinning.
“You mean you pulled me out here and you didn’t even decide where we were going?”
“We didn’t but that’s all it took, huh?” my question was lost in the breeze of the quickly approaching storm.
We had never made it down the road. We had always lived in the more country like side of town, where the roads weren’t wide and everyone knew each other. It was quite small so there was never and real need for a car unless we were going out of town, that’s how I knew, instantly, that the man driving opposite us, wasn’t from town. He was coming straight as us at what must have been 130 kilometres an hour. I won’t blame it on the fact that Ed was grinning at Nova and I like a fool, or that there was rain or another such bothersome forecast that disturbed the other driver, but simply the fact that his mind was long gone with the many drinks he must’ve had earlier. Even the drunks walked, or attempted to, it was the first accident it town in quite a while. I guess that’s why it made the headlines of every newspaper, even the ones closer to the city. It was everywhere.
TEEN CRASH IN SPRINGCREEK, CELEBRATION GONE WRONG, read whichever you will, they all say the same thing. I’m alone now. I’d like to blame someone but I simply can’t. I have a hard time bringing myself to believe it was even the other man’s fault, though most would definitely say it was.
“He was drunk, he shouldn’t have been driving!”
It’s clear in my head now, as though it had just been said. There had people shouting all sorts of obscenities at him. I hated it. It wasn’t his fault he had felt the need to drown his sorrows in a glass of liquor, everyone else who was legal in town did it too. Even some kids went out of their way to send their parents out so they could drink as well.
“I’m sorry Andy, but your brother and your friend, they didn’t make it.”
It had taken me quite a while to finally understand what the last part was. I hadn’t listened to him passed ‘I’m sorry’. I just couldn’t because then I knew, they were gone, and I was alone. But I wouldn’t cry, because that meant I was accepting it, and I simply wouldn’t do that. I didn’t weep as they buried you; I wouldn’t believe that you had gone where I could not. I waited. For weeks and weeks I waited. I couldn’t take it anymore, I wasn’t going to see you, and then I accepted it. I cried and cried for you to come back. All of you. Granny, Nova, but most of all, you Chris, we’d been through so much together, since we were just infants. We were all we had. Of course there was Granny and Nova, but that would never equal what we had, brother. Now that you’re all gone, I don’t what to do.
“I wish you were here to show me the way...” I sighed.
I sit now, in front of your graves; mom, Granny, Nova and you. And I cry. I weep for all the moments which I could not; the times where I had to be strong for the both of us, the times when you simply could not know because it would break your fragile soul to pieces, so I kept it to myself, and the times where there simply weren’t words to express how I felt.
This is my goodbye, to everything from then; the guilt, the pain, the unshed tears, the blame, the shame, and every other time where I felt something of than happy to just be with you.
“I love you, brother, and I’ll never forget you.”