January 7, 2011
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Fates a funny thing. You don’t see it coming. You never do. It sweeps in and closes the door behind itself, leaving you no choice but to sit down and close your eyes. The ride will come no matter how much you don’t want it to. The wind will push, but your heart will pull back, always thinking, regretting. That’s how I felt that year of 2001. I was empty, knowing that I was really alone. That my footsteps were on speakers for the world to hear, that I was walking on thin ice, that any moment, it would crack and I would go whirling into a spiral of emotions. But it eventually became something more. It started out in despair, then anger, than I was determined. I was no longer sulking and crying, begging for fate to come back and lick off the mistakes I had made. I was fighting against it. Fighting against fate.

“I can’t do it, I can’t…” she whispers. I look at the Scrabble board, knowing that as long as Lilly was here, I would never really win. “Come on, Lilly, you’ve been wanting to go to this college for a long time. Don’t give it up ‘because you’re scared of flying.” She shrugged, her green eyes frightened, “I don’t know, maybe I shouldn’t…maybe it’s not a good idea.” I grasped her by her shoulders and shook her gently. “Come on, you’ve been through worst, right? What’s the worst that can happen? You’re going to get stuck sitting next to a fat guy?” I say. She laughs nervously, tilting her head to look at me. The sun shines on her face, and I could see just how frightened she is. I lean in and kiss her. “Don’t be scared, come on Lilly, I love you and this college will too. Do it.” She gave me a sideways glance, caressing my cheeks, “I don’t know…” I gave her a determined look, “Come on” I say. She breaks into a grin, and I smile with her. “Ok. I’ll do it. Yeah, I can do this, you’re right” she says. I’ll never forget how the sunlight shined upon her hair, making it look golden and unreal. She smiled and kissed me, “I got to go, thanks. I love you Eric.” I help her up, “I know. I love you too. Call me, ok?” She nods and smiles again, picking up her bag and jacket. Then she leaves.

Ok, so here are some things you need to know about me and Lilly. We love each other. No, not the fake love high-schoolers put on. Real, roller-coaster, heart-flipping love. After high school we plan to go to a college together, if Lilly’s first choice doesn’t take her, and then get married. We had it all planned out. It was our life. We were supposed to have one of those scrap-book lives, all smiles and laughs, our eyes glistening with love. But it doesn’t always go the way you want it, does it? We knew each other since 1st grade, when I was bullied for being too skinny and bad at sports, and Lilly threw a mayonnaise sandwich at them. When we used to sip from the same Kool-aid and life was easy. But high school came and things got complicated. Lilly was beautiful, gorgeous even. But she loved me. And I loved her. Her being amazingly popular and I being sadly loser-ish was hard. But we fought through the rumors and gossip and landed again next to each other, holding hands. She was the only thing that really helped me feel whole.

“Don’t be nervous, you’ll do fine. I know it.” She smiled, her hand reaching for mine, “I love you Eric, thank you” I pushed the hair from her face and kissed her hard, trying to make my assurance run in her veins. We pulled apart and she gasped, laughing. I looked at the board of planes, “Oh, that’s your flight. I love you. Call me, ok? Please. I’ll miss you. Tell me how it goes, ok?” she put her hand over my mouth, “Quit babbling Eric. You know you’ll be the first one I’ll call. I love you too.” I smiled and hugged her, taking in her strawberry-scented hair, and pulling my hand away from hers, the last attempt to keep her with me. She smiled and walked away. We both turned around and looked each other in the eyes. And she waved and didn’t turn back.

It kind of felt like she was going off to college already. Like I was tearing apart from her. I walked around for an hour, not knowing what to do with myself. I missed her already. It was the week of my mom’s maternity leave, she was pregnant, and any moment this week the baby was due. So I stayed home, wanting to see the tiny baby at the moment it was born. I looked around for some baby gifts and bought a bib and a toy from Gap. I was lonely and bored. It was Monday, and everyone was in school, and the girl I loved was on her way to New York, leaving me for a week. And so I found myself at home.

It was 8:30 and my phone was ringing. I rubbed my eyes and flipped open my phone, it was Lilly. “Hey baby” I said into the phone. Soft sobs came from the other side, and screaming. “Eric” she sobbed. I sat up straight in bed, the covers falling to the floor, “What is it? Lilly? Are you ok? Listen, it’s just a plane…” She sobbed harder, “We’re being hijacked” she whispered. “Oh my god. Oh my god.” I couldn’t breathe. “Lilly, ok, is anyone trying to…like, stop it?” I had no words. This couldn’t be happening. “, I’m scared…I should have never went... Oh god, god. No!” she screamed. I jumped up and ran downstairs, switching the TV on. “MOM! DAD!” I screamed. Mumbled voices came from upstairs and shuffling feet. “Lilly, are you there? Listen to me, it’s going to be ok.” She choked and started sobbing again. “What? What is it?” I checked the time, it was already 8:45. “We’re going… no…oh my god. Eric, I’m going to die. ERIC!”

It was the last thing I heard from her. The line went dead and an hour later we watched the twin towers implode and die away. I couldn’t believe it. She was on that plane. She didn’t want to go. I had forced her. I had killed her. I sat, staring open-mouthed at the TV, my parents and I crying silently next to me. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry” I whispered into the pillow. But that plane, crashing, crashing down…I couldn’t hear the screams of the ones in the towers. All I heard was her was saying : “I’m going to die. ERIC!” I stared on, tears streaming down my cheeks. I couldn’t take it. I heard the undying track of her voice in my head, repeating: “Quit babbling Eric. You know you’ll be the first one I’ll call.”

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This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

Shrien said...
May 4, 2011 at 2:28 pm
Thanks, and LOL = ]
Poppy-Love said...
May 3, 2011 at 6:28 pm
First off this peice is really good. I love it. Also I have a really good friend named Shrien.
peregrinefalcon This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 12, 2011 at 10:47 am
Wow. That's awesome. Great concept, heartbreaking emotion, amazingly well-written. Nice job. :)
Shrien replied...
Jan. 13, 2011 at 6:49 pm
Thanks so much! (:
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