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“I am sorry Elena,I didn’t know that,” I whispered,stunned.
“Yeah,not many people do.I haven’t told it to anyone,but this is the spot where it actually happened,and,It-it-it w-wa-was,horr-ri-i-bl-bl-ble,” she broke down again.
I crouched,so that I was sitting next to her and put my arms around her.She was shivering in the cold.It was after all going to be a stormy night,as the news channels had predicted.Yet,she had led us here.
“Would you like to tell me what happened that night?” I asked gently.”But only if you feel like,” I added hastily.
“No,it’s ok.I want to tell someone,” she whispered.
“It was junior prom night,and me and Zelda had dates for the first time in our lives.There were these two brothers,Zach and Martin,who had been interested in us,you know,always flirted and stuff.And that night we got ready at her house,and her mother clicked pictures of us,we were all smiling and happy and excited.Zelda particularly was.She had never been on a date,but had always wanted some kind of fairytale romance.She had dreamed about it forever.And she thought Martin was going to be the one.I didn’t discourage her either.It was her happiness that I cared about.I knew it a temporary phase,nothing like love,but I played along with her that night.And the party was really great.She had even kissed Martin,she’d told me in the girls washroom,when we had decided to meet for discussing our progress with boys.Zach was a cute guy,but not really my type.But she was swearing up and down that she was in love with Martin.I felt like laughing at her,but we all were high on the drinks the seniors had sneaked in,and so I didn’t give it much attention.
When it was time to take us back home,Martin and Zach were drunk and wasted and so was Zelda.I hadn’t had anything much,just a beer or two.They had this really bright shiny red car in which we all had come,the four of us.And then the way to our houses was a little rough.And it was quite dark out too.It was way past midnight and Zelda and I had missed our curfews.We would definitely be grounded for that.Zach was driving,and he wasn’t sober at all.he swerved the car around like a toy while Zelda pretended to scream in fear,just to attract looks from a highly drunk,wasted Martin.And then,there was this turn we had to take for her house,and Zach thought it was it when he swerved the car at a very high speed and quite dangerously,a-an-and th-then,we crashed into a row of trees.The car overturned and was upside d-dow-down.
Zach and I managed to wriggle out and he called 911 and then ran to look for help.I pulled out Martin as best as I could,and I checked his pulse.He was still alive.Zelda ha-had su-su-suffered the most damage.She had h-hi-hit her head on the tr-tr-trees and was bleeding a lot.A begged her to speak,say anything,anything at all,just to prove that she was still awake,still alive,would live to be my best friend for a thousand more years.Tears were flowing down my face freely.My vision was blurred.I kept holding her hand and shaking her.Her eyes fluttered open for a second.She had said,’El-El-Elena,I-I wi-will al-al-alway-ways l-lo-lo-love y-y-you,t-ta-take c-c-care,’ and then her pulse had stopped.It seemed mine had too for a moment,as her eyes fluttered close and she lay in my blood soaked arms with a peaceful smile on her face.And then,I had to tell her parents what had happened that night.And my parents.And everyone else.That I had witnessed the death of my best friend.That it was my fault she had died.Only if I had not been drunken,my Zelda would still h-h-have b-bee-been ali-ve.It was my f-f-fau-fault,” sobbing endlessly.
I hugged her tight again and pitied her.She had seen her best friend die in front of her eyes.And worse,all these years she had been blaming herself for it.
“Elena,you can’t blame yourself honey.It wasn’t your fault.It was Zach and Martin’s fault.They had been wasted.They were the ones driving recklessly.Not you.You couldn’t have done anything.”
“But if only I had not drank that beer,she might have still been alive,” she cried out.
And I understood her.Understood what she was feeling.Why she was feeling so.
She felt it was her fault,because the loss of a loved one does that to people.Makes them feel guilty that it happened and they were helpless.That they couldn’t do anything at that time.
It would take years to get over it,but one day,maybe she will be able to do it,think of Zelda as a brave and courageous best friend,who fought till her last breath to say goodbye.