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To Come Alive

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March 11, 2011: the worst day of my life. It was a Friday night around 10:30. I was driving home in my beat up, old car on the biggest road in town. It is a two lane highway. I was heading east and there was an eighteen-wheeler right on my back. He tried to pass me by going into the wrong lane, but little did he know he was driving head on into another car. In his effort to swerve away from the eighteen-wheeler they ran into my car.

Meaningful moments in my life flashed before my eyes and they all had something in common, then I realized the pattern. Becca was in every single one. My car had flown into the tree line leaving my best friend Becca bloody, crushed, and dead. I was a little light headed, but that didn't matter. I couldn't get to Becca through the smashed car, so I jumped out of the car and ran to the passenger side. I knew I wasn't going to be able to open the door, but I couldn't stop trying; I had to save her. As I frantically tried to open the door other people came running toward me. First, I saw Brandon Anderson, the most popular guy at my school. He jumped out of the car that hit mine and ran towards me. From what I had heard he was rude and snobby. He was the last person I wanted to see. Then the paramedics began arriving. The flashing lights made my head spin. They grabbed me and put me into an ambulance before I had any time to object.

The next thing I remember is laying in a hospital bed with only doctor's around. All they did was stare at me like I was an animal at the zoo. A few moments later, my mom was sitting at my side. I could tell by the distressed look on her face that there would be no good news about Becca. I knew she was gone, but I prayed my mom wouldn't say it. I couldn't hear those words. Her mouth opened and I knew she was about to say it. Tears began rolling down my beat up face. "I love you" she said, "Someone's waiting to see you." Although I knew it wasn't Becca, part of me wished she would appear in the doorway and everything would be okay. She quietly exited the room and shortly after a shadow appeared in the doorway. I couldn't make out who it was, but I knew it wasn't Becca. There he was, the Brandon Anderson, in my hospital room. What in the world could he want? He looked disgusted and appeared to be slightly choked up. I knew I didn't look good, but could I really look that bad? "I'm sorry", slipped out right before he began sobbing. Between the sobs he talked, but I couldn't make out anything he said except for one word: killed. All my fears had been confirmed. Someone said it, she's gone. I was hysterical, and so was he. My best friend was dead and his car killed her. He reached his hand in toward mine, but I yanked it away. I knew it wasn't his fault deep down, but on the surface I couldn't even bear to look at him. He managed to get out one more, "I'm sorry" and then stumbled out of the room. I knew he'd be over this in a week. We were just stupid little sophomores who didn't exist to 'the big senior' until this.


The next day I was released from the hospital. When I got home there were flowers and a card on my nightstand. The card read 'I'm so sorry. I know I'll never be able to make up for the pain I caused you. You probably won't believe this, but I know what you're going through. If you every want to talk or need anything my number is (332)-345-7639. Brandon.' I knew this was a joke. He could never relate to me. His best friend isn't dead, and mine is. Someone probably forced him to send this. He probably didn't even write it himself.

Two dreadful days passed and then it was time for her funeral. I made a promise to myself and to Becca that I wouldn't cry the entire time. Her mom had asked me to say a few words, but it wasn't a big deal or anything. After she spoke I made my way up to the front; lip quivering, legs shaking, hands sweating, and eyes watering. I looked around for familiar faces before I began. Our eyes met and it was over. Brandon Anderson, once again causing problems. Tears began streaming down my face just as they were on his. I'd broken my promise and couldn't finish or even start my 'speech'. I tried to mumble out a few words through my tears, but I'm sure no one understood. I hate him. He has already screwed up enough, and now he ruined this too.

I proceeded back to my seat, head hanging down, and just thought about how much has changed. One week ago, we didn't have a care in the world. I never imagined sitting at her funeral. After the service I made a bee-line for the exit, but someone stopped me from behind. I turned around, it was Brandon. "You did good up there!" he joked. Personally, I didn't find it very amusing. I turned back around and continued on my way when he yelled, "Wait it was just a joke! I still need to talk to you!". WHAT DOES HE WANT FROM ME. After a short discussion I agreed to go get coffee the next morning so he could explain himself.

We met at a Starbucks the next morning at 10. He started with, "I know I've said it a million times, but I'm really sorry. My dad died the same day. I know what you're going through." My jaw dropped. I cannot believe how I've treated him lately. He has been going through exactly the same thing, actually worse. We sat in dead silence. Although I knew there were people and noise all around it was as if we were the only two people there. I could tell by the expression on his face that he was waiting for me to say something. I muttered out, "I'm so sorry". Then he began talking: telling me how his father had overdosed on the day of the accident and he was just trying to get away from it all, but obviously that hadn't been his best decision. Needless to say, I felt horrible. After talking for 3 hours we both said our goodbyes and went our separate ways.

We both returned to school the next day and things were starting to settle down. We never spoke at school, but I passed him in the halls and he gave me a small smile. My friend, Sarah, gave me a look signaling that she had seen and then added that she needed to talk to me later. I tried to get out of seeing her later that day, but I knew she wouldn't give in. We met up later that day in the parking lot and she said she had seen me and Brandon at Starbucks and then mentioned she had seen the smile too. "What's going on between you two?", she asked. I quickly answered back saying, "Nothing!", but I could tell she wasn't buying that answer. She gave me a weird look and then jumped in her car and drove away. When I got home I couldn't stop thinking about our conversation. I had never thought anything was going on, but why had I been so defensive when she questioned me.
3 Months Later

We began to grow closer through the next few months. One night right before dusk we decided to go on a picnic, but Brandon said he was going to keep where we were going a secret from me. Once we arrived we walked over to a bench with the most beautiful view and he grabbed my hand. This time I didn't pull away, but rather squeezed it tight. Tears started flowing down his face. He started, "This is were I was going that night. It's my favorite place in the entire world. It's as if nothing matters when I am here." That's when I realized it didn't matter where I was, as long as I was with him.





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