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A Night To Remember
I looked out ahead of me and saw the sea of blue, gray, and white caps and gowns. It was all so overwhelming and relieving at the same time. I mean the whole concept of growing up is hard to grasp, but it's so exciting. I'm finally on my own I can do what whatever I want. I can say what I want. I don't have to rely on anyone anymore. I'm finally free.
"Jamie Williams," Mr. Chavez called out. My heart sunk into my stomach. I stood up from my seat and took what seemed like hours walking up to the stage. I felt everyone staring at me as I walked past. I got to the stage and saw Harvey, Blake, and Madison standing at the other side waving at me. They gave me a sense of relief as I walked up to Mr. Chavez. He looked me in the eyes and mouthed the words "I'm proud of you," as we shook hands. I smiled and turned to the crowd to see them all taking pictures. I counted to 5 slowly in my head, just like we did in rehearsal, frozen hand in hand with Mr. Chavez, smiling. Most awkward 5 seconds of my life. I walked toward Harvey, Blake, and Madison and the very second I reached arms length of them, Madison attacked me with the biggest hug she's ever given me.
"I can't believe we're finally out of this place," Harvey looked around as he thought aloud. "As much as it sucked, I'm gonna miss it."
"Me too," my mind flashed back through all the memories during my last four years at Wayne High School; both good and bad. "But I really can't wait to get on with my life."
Fast forward to later that night.
Harvey was driving, while I sat shotgun, and Madison and Blake took the back seats. The trunk was supplied with endless amounts of junk food and beer. John trailed behind us, also stocked with food and beer. We were ready for 1,694 miles of endless freedom to California. The five of us planned to go on this road trip since sophomore year; we all planned to go to the beach and have the time of our lives and that's exactly what we're going to do.
It took us 5 miles for Blake to roll a blunt. That's record time.
"Really, Blake? Really?!" Madison hated it when Blake smoked. She didn't mind it when anyone else would do it, but it was a different story with Blake.
"Why do you get so mad when I smoke? I'm still going to do it."
"Whenever you smoke, you get--" She stopped to think of a word most appropriate to suit him without confusing him. "--annoying." I'm surprised it took her that long to concoct that. That's the first word that comes to my head when I think of Blake. He's that type of person that will just do whatever he pleases. And he usually doesn't do things that don't bother most people, but instead, he does things just to annoy them. I sometimes mistake him for my child; he's quite the handful, but he's still one of the only people I can tolerate. I'm pretty sure everyone has a friend like that.
"You always think I'm annoying, so what's the difference?" Harvey chuckled a bit when he heard Blake say this. I hit him.
"Harvey, don't bring yourself into it," I whispered to him while Mad and Blake bickered in the backseat. "That's the last thing want to do." He smirked at me, and turned back to the road. He knew it was true.
"Aye, Blake, don't be stingy," he yelled to stop Blake and Mad's argument and to get a puff of Blake's joint. Win-win scenario. Blake passed the joint up to Harvey, and turned around to look through the trunk for food. Mad pulled out her iPad and started playing Tap Tap Revolution. I looked at Harvey and smiled while he finished the rest of Blake's blunt.
"I'm just happy." He smiled back.
"Why is that?"
"Just because we finally get to leave this place. We finally get to leave Wayne. And when we come back, we get to leave again. No more high school, no more parents, no more anything. Just freedom. I can finally travel the world and stop worrying about school. I'm finally free, Harvey." He looked at me for what seemed like minutes; long enough to make me nervous that he wasn't looking at the road.
"I'm happy for you, Jamie. I'm happy we don't have to worry about school or anything getting in the way anymore."
"Me, too." I turned on the radio. The Temper Trap came on. I closed my eyes and drifted asleep.
"Wake up, Jamie! We're here!" I heard John shout from a distance. Did I really sleep that long? I look up, and see a huge sign in front of the car that read "BEST WESTERN: Frisco Inn". By the looks of it, this place wasn't anything spectacular, but it wasn't a place where spontaneous lovers would go because it's their only option. It looked pretty decent. "You like it?!" John finished as he started unpacking all the stuff.
"Uh, yeah, I do. One question, though."
"Anything," he replied barely paying attention.
"Where are we?"
"Frisco, Colorado!" John yelled in excitement.
I looked around again, and saw the vast amount of trees, I felt like we were surrounded by a forest. It was nice though; it was a change from the flat farming land I grew up with.
John, Harvey, and Blake finished unpacking all the stuff into our room and we all headed in. Noticing there was only two beds, I called one for Harvey and I, and Madison called the other one for her and Blake. John compromised with sleeping on the chairs since he was the only one without a girlfriend here. Harvey pulled out the case of beer, and we all gladly took one. We stayed up late playing beer pong and flip cup, and soon one turned into ten or eleven. The room was foggy and filled with essence of Mary Jane. I'll admit, I was gone. Between the drinking and smoking on the side, I was gone. I was pretty sure everyone else was, too. The time flew and 2 am came around the corner. We were running low on beer and the night still felt young, so Harvey decided he'd go into town to get some more.
"How is that even gonna work, Harvey? How are you gonna get beer? You're 18. And last time I checked, 18 is not equal to 21." Madison was crying, she was laughing so hard from her witty remark. We all started laughing with her, except Harvey.
"I'm gonna get it. I'm Harvey Thompson. I'm gonna get the beer." He grabbed his keys and headed for the door. I couldn't let him go, not alone anyway. He had no clue where 'in town' was and he was just as faded as I was.
"Babe, I'm coming with you." I got up, stumbling across the room. I grabbed Harvey's hand, and we headed out for the car. Before the door shut all the way, the rest of the gang came charging out, too.
"We're gonna come, too!" Madison yelled with Blake and John following her outside.
"Whatever, just get in the car." Harvey said uncaringly. We all piled in, and took off down the dark empty road.
"Do you know where we're going, babe?"
"I know exactly where I'm going!" he said as started laughing. I shook my head in agreement even though I knew he had no clue where we were. I didn't care if we were lost. I was having the time of my life in this little empty place. I was having more fun than I had all of my high school career. I really didn't care if we were going to get lost or if we were driving drunk or anything. I didn't feel anything except happiness, really. I turned on my iPod, which was plugged into the stereo and started playing Kid Cudi. His music is so hypnotizing when you were high, I'm not sure why, but it just makes you feel as infinite as weed itself. We all started to sing along to the words while the music blasted. Our voices flooded the car, and what seemed like the world.
Until there was silence. My body was flat on the ground surrounded by shards of glass and blood. I turned my head, using more effort than usual, and saw everyone except Harvey on the ground. Everyone was in a panic, screaming for help and reaching for each other. I managed to get up after attempting it a few times, but it hurt badly in my legs. I stumbled over to the overturned car in the ditch.
"Harvey!" I forced out of my shaking throat. "Harvey, babe," I got no response. My heart froze. He can't be-- NO. Stop thinking worst case scenario. I looked over at John, Blake, and Mad. They were scrambling to make their way back to reality. Suddenly my legs didn't hurt, I didn't feel anything except my heart sink. I ran to the driver's side of the car, and flung the door open. My world seemed to be in slow motion at that point.
Harvey was propped against the steering wheel, gashes on his face, in overall horrific shape. I grabbed him, and pulled him into my arms. Still, no movement. "Mad, get help. Harvey needs help. Get help, Mad." My mind was tripping so bad. I couldn't think clearly. Mad made her way towards me, with Blake and John following her. She took one look at the body and turned around to throw up.
"Oh my god. What do-- what-- what are we supposed to do?" Blake stumbled on his words.
"Someone call an ambulance. Call someone," John replied without hesitation. We were all scared out of our minds at this point. None of us had any clue what was in store for us. Blake pulled out his phone.
"Are you kidding me?" He slammed his phone down on the grassy weeds of the ditch.
"What?! What's wrong?" I asked.
"No signal. We're in the middle of no where." He walked towards the forest near the road looking for some sort of help.
"You're not going to find anyone in there, Blake. Come back." Mad yelled. Her voice was shaky. I couldn't take hearing her hurt. I broke down. John came over and grabbed me. He took me away from Harvey.
"It's not going to help any of us to just stand in front of him." We walked to the other side of the street, where the glass didn't reach. We sat down. All of us were breathing heavy. We became those teenagers we would always hear about in Health class. The ones that you didn't want to end up like. The ones that drove drunk. The ones that died or messed up their whole life. We sat there in silence for a good 5 minutes; none of us could put together words that suited what exactly was happening. Not only that, but even if we could, no one would've wanted to say anything that wouldn't fix it. We just sat.
I thought I was delusional when I heard sirens in the distance until John, Blake, and Mad turned around, too. We stared at nothing but an empty street and a forest waiting for something, anything really, to come.
Two ambulances pulled up, followed by a police. We all got up and ran into the middle of the street hoping they were stopping here. Our wish came true.
"Ma'am, are you alright?" The officer looked at me and could automatically tell I was drunk. The paramedics ran straight towards us, and started asking us all questions.
"My boyfriend! He's in the car! Harvey is in the car!" I shouted as they were talking to me. Two of the four medics ran over to the car, and the other two took us to the ambulances to examine us. I had no clue what they were asking of me, I had no clue what they were doing. My mind was a huge blur.
I woke up in a bed surrounded by white empty walls. As I was fully awake, the nurse walked into my room to ask me how I was feeling.
"Everything hurts." I said looking down at my body. The nurse took a deep breath and began to talk.
"Last night. You were--"
"I remember," I interrupted. "I remember everything. The hotel, the crash, everything." I surprised myself when I said that, because usually this is the part in movies where people don't remember anything from the night before. I was an exception, I guess. I didn't know whether it was good or bad. I didn't have to go off what other people told me, but at the same time, if I didn't forget it now, I never will.
"Then you remember Harvey's condition..." she continued. My eyes flooded with tears.
"Yes," I whispered.
"Jaime, I'm sorry, but Harvey passed." I laid on the bed, motionless, just crying. I couldn't process my thoughts. The only thing I could do was keep reminding myself of what happened. I didn't want to, I just did. Throughout all the thoughts that ran through my mind, one stuck more than any other.
Everyone was right, I won't ever forget my graduation night. Ever.