That’s all I was thinking.
The confused look that was practically written on my face.
That’s all I felt when I was given the news.
It started off as one of those boring and tedious school days where nothing happened. I arrived at school and walked over to all my friends. They always gathered around my locker. My friends and I were the group of people that everyone hated because we would take up almost the entire hallway, and no one could get through. We were like a football huddle in the middle of the school hallway. However, JJ my best friend, was missing. Then I realized the night before she texted me that she had some kind of doctor’s appointment.
The high pitched bell, that sounded like a five year-old screaming, rang for first period. That’s when my Chemistry class was junior year. I texted JJ before class to ask her how her appointment went. She didn’t respond right away, which I thought was odd, so I was checking my phone throughout class. I never got a text.
She probably left her phone in her car. She will…...
The bell rang interrupting my thought. I walked into English and didn’t see JJ. This made me skeptical. JJ never missed English. It was her favorite class. I sat down and checked my phone to see if she answered. Nope. My teacher started to take attendance. Although I liked English, my teacher, Mr. Adams, was a crude person, and I never got along with him. Our personalities didn’t exactly match up, but he always liked JJ. I never understood how JJ liked him. He was old and mean, but him and JJ got along.
After attendance, he walked over to ask, where JJ was. I told him that her doctor’s appointment must of ran late. He dismissed my thought with a hand in my face, and told me “ I didn’t want an excuse for her. I just wanted to know where she was.”
The day had gone so smoothly that by the time 5th period rolled around, I had almost forgot that JJ wasn’t at school. I remembered as soon as one of our friends Jack asked if I knew where she was. No one knew. I didn’t know. The teachers didn’t know. I never got a text. I never got a call. I didn’t get anything.
Where was she?!
That’s when it happened. The teacher’s phone rang. I was sitting down talking to Jack about getting ice cream after school, even though it was the middle of winter. Jack was in the middle of a sentence when Mrs. Brown, our 5th period teacher, said my name. Instantly, I got goosebumps. I felt everyone’s eyes on me. I felt my face turn from white to a bold and almost florescent red.
I never get called down to the office. What did I do?
I stood up and walked to the door. As I was walking down to the office, I was trying to think of things I had done wrong that day. Then it hit me, it had to be because I had my phone out in first period. The office ladies are probably going to take my phone from me.
When I got to the office, I was prepared to hand over my phone. I hadn't been in the office this year yet. It smelled like cough drops and almost like sweaty socks. It was a horrible aroma. When I first walked into the office, I saw the office ladies and their desks. Off to the right of their desks was the principal's office, and when I saw the principal's office, I also saw my mom. I was very confused as to why my mom was at school. When my mom saw me I could see the look of worry and sadness. Her eyes were puffy and red, like she had been crying. Her cheeks were wet. Her mouth would open and then close, like she wanted to tell me something. When she saw me her arms opened for a hug. I felt my stomach start to turn. With caution in my voice, I simply said “Hi mom. Why are you here?”
“Sit down sweetheart. We need to talk. Something happen to JJ.”
“Mom what happen?”
“JJ was on her way to her doctor's appointment this morning, and someone ran a stop sign and hit her. I’m so sorry.”
“But she's ok right? Should we go to the hospital?”
“Alli I’m so sorry, but JJ died on impact.”
I don’t really remember anything that was said after that. All I remember is feeling this unbearable pain throughout my whole body and falling to the ground. The ground was comforting. It was hard and cold, I liked the feeling. I don’t remember going home from school later that day, but I guess I did.
All I kept thinking was, why her? Later that night I cried myself to sleep in my dark empty room. I had nightmares about her in the crash. I would dream the car slamming into her side door, and the windows shattering, the air bag deploying, and then her unbearable and intolerable scream. I always woke up screaming before I saw her die.
People always asked me if I was ok, and I would smile and say yes. What people didn’t realize was that they were basically asking me if I was ok even though I was dieing inside. It was easier just to say that I was ok, rather than stand there and talk to someone about my dead friend. People would stare even though they tried not to, but I guess it was to hard not to stare at the best friend of a dead person. To me, JJ’s death caused a part of me to die, a part that I had known for 13 years. Now, 30 years later, JJ’s death has helped me. JJ’s death taught me to make the best out of life because you never know when your times going to be up. I guess me trying to make the most of my life is my way of remembering and respecting JJ.
What I Thought was a Normal Day