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A Good Day for a Goodbye
I only have one thought on my mind at the moment. My one and only friend is gone. Just like the wind. Here one second, and gone the next. Fate was working against me, I guess. I wonder, does fate not like me? Did I do something to make it mad? I don't really know. All I know is that he's gone.
Staring down at the dull concrete stone, I can't help but notice the sound of someone sobbing. It sounds like a girl, around my age. I look around, but I can't find anyone else. Who could be crying, if no one else is here? I can't come up with an answer until I see a tear drop land on my shoe. Am I crying? My hand makes it way to my cheek, and is met with a thin layer of water that stayed behind on my cheek. Why was I crying again? Hadn't I already used up all my tears? I wipe them off with the back of my hand.
Getting tired of the tight feeling I have around my neck, I reach up and tug my black tie down a little ways from the collar of my white dress shirt, then readjust it so that it lays flat all the way down to where it's cut off from vision by my black jacket. I don't know what had possessed me to wear a tie, considering that I hate wearing them.
I lay down some flowers. Red ones, of course. Red was his favorite color. He had told me the first time we had met, after I had told him mine.
"Huh?" It takes me a moment to figure out what this boy in front of me was doing. Why was he holding out his hand to me? Did he want something?
"You're supposed to shake it," The boy smiles, then reaches down to take my hand. Slowly he starts moving his hand up and down, taking mine with it. "My name's Kyle."
"It's nice to meet you. My name's Hali." My response is automatic. I've had to say it a million times to people who never bother to talk to me again after introducing themselves.
Kyle takes a seat next to me, "What's your favorite color?"
I tilt my head in confusion, "Blue. Why do you ask?" Why would a boy who I just met want to know what my favorite color is?
"Well, to be friends you gotta start somewhere, right?" Kyle smiles again, reminding me of my older brother, who is away at war.
"Alright then… What's your favorite color?"
In a matter of days we had learned everything to know about each other. We were inseparable. He always sat next to me at lunch. He would walk me home from the bus stop. Whenever I mentioned a movie I had any interest in seeing, he would offer to take me. He would stay up well past midnight with me watching my favorite show.
Sometimes he would even take me out to our favorite little café downtown. Right after we got off the bus, he would take me to his house. Then we would get into his hand-me-down car that his brother had given him and drove down to the café. I can still remember what we would get. An iced coffee with whipped cream and caramel. I can't remember ever getting anything different
"Hey Hali, try this! It's really good, trust me," Kyle smiles as he holds out a cup of iced coffee with plenty of whipped cream and caramel.
"Ok?" I take a small sip. Kyle was right, it's great. Sweetness and bitterness battle to be the dominant flavor. The whipped cream, caramel, and sugar back up the sweet side, while the nature of the coffee keeps the bitterness alive.
The pleasure must show on my face, because Kyle chuckles, "Like it?"
"Mhmm!" I steal another sip before Kyle can take the cup away.
"Tell you what, I'll go get you one."
I sigh, looking up at the cerulean sky. How can it be so beautiful out when today is such a sad day? The tears are flowing steadily down my face now, and I don't make an effort to stop them. It would be useless to even try at this point.
More memories flood my mind. Us staring up at the stars on the roof of his house. Us swimming in a lake a little south of town. A full day of doing nothing but watch Star Trek. Drawing him in my sketch book. Auditioning for the school talent show with him. Little things start to become more apparent. His smile. His sky blue eyes. His dark brown hair. Everything about him suddenly become more striking. The sound of his voice, more than anything. Sweet, yet powerful. I will never forget that voice.
I can still hear him calling out my name for the last time…
"Come on, Hali!" Kyle runs ahead of me, full of excitement. We were leaving our café, and going to the park. I had promised a few days ago that we would get to watch the sunset from there today.
"Well I'm sorry I'm not as fast as you are!" I giggle running after him.
After glancing in both directions, Kyle races across the street to get to his car, a smile plastered on his face. I follow him across.
And that's when it happens. A car races around the corner. Kyle hears it coming a whips around.
He screams my name and closes the gap between us. I'm thrown back, and I hear a crash. Some sort of crimson liquid splatters the ground. Did I get hit by a car? I don't think I got hit by the car, I don't feel hurt. I realize that I'm only a few feet to the left. If I didn't get hit by the car, who did?
That last day, he threw himself in front of that car to save me. Why did he do that? He had more of a plan for his life than I do. He could have lived out his life, and been happy. But if this is what he wanted, then I won't complain. He would have wanted me to be happy.
It had taken me a while to realize that he wasn't coming back. That he would never smile at me again. That we would never go up onto his roof and talk again. Never again would we go to the café. Never again would we play pranks on our history teacher. I guess you don't know what you have until it's gone.
I look down at his grave again, wondering if I should say anything. But what's there to say? "I'm sorry you died protecting me"? That would just be stupid. A subtle breeze ruffles my skirt as I think of something. Something that would have made him smile if he were here. When I finally settle on something to say, the last tear plummets to the ground.