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Watch Your Back
“I hope we don’t miss Sarah’s graduation party. We need to hurry.”
“Don’t worry, Elena, we’ll get there in plenty of time. I can only drive so fast. She’ll understand. Besides, John is probably there, so she’s preoccupied drooling over him,” Tristan stated.
“Oh yeah, I guess so.”
“Hey, are you alright?” He murmured.
“I just…I don’t know.” I turned in my seat to look at him. I didn’t know what I was afraid of, growing up? Saying goodbye to my family? Of course I would see them again, eventually, but this was it. All those years growing up, imagining myself on my own or married. I remember when I was little and seeing the older kids in high school and wondering how it must feel to be them? Now, it was my turn to graduate. I deserved it. Tristan glanced over to look at me. He was right. I have no reason to worry. I’ll have him with me always and forever. We keep each other sane, in a way, and bring out the best in each other. “I’m just a little nervous. It’s really starting to settle in that we’re what we dreamt of as kids, a grown up. It’s just so surreal.”
“You worry too much, you know that?” He smiled my favorite crooked smile and kissed me.
I hope he pays more attention to the roads because they are getting twisty.
“Hey, slow down a bit,” I said. He glanced at me with a confused face.
“I…I can’t,” he stammered.
“Tristan, slow down!” I demanded.
“The breaks, Elena! They’re not working!” We didn’t know what else to do. We pulled the emergency break, but nothing seemed to happen. That’s when a family of deer ran out in front of us.
I woke up to the sound of my phone ringing. I was slowly gaining consciousness. I tried to sit up, but I couldn’t. The car was sideways in the ditch. I glanced over at Tristan to see if he was alright. When I looked at him, my heart stopped. His golden blonde locks were now matted thick with blood that was dripping onto his face. “Tristan!” I shouted. He wouldn’t wake up. I was shivering with complete horror, and tears were starting to roll down my cheeks. I dug for my phone and saw that Sarah had called me. She is probably wondering where we are. I dialed 9-1-1, barley coherent and audible. I sat there, praying for angels to help Tristan. They were always there for me. Now, they needed to help him. Fifteen minutes passed before the paramedics arrived. I can hear them shouting and other bustling noises when I slowly start slipping out of consciousness. I prayed one last time.
I slammed the door walking out of the house. “Elena, stop right there! That’s enough!” My mother yelled. I turned on my heels and stomped my feet like one of those snotty girls on TV. “I know it’s hard to get past a death of a loved one, but you need to stop shutting everyone out.”
“You wouldn’t understand, Mom. Why don’t you go discuss my problems with your new husband? He always knows what’s best, right?” I said sarcastically. “It’s his son, Matt. There is something wrong with him; he’s not right. You’d know that if you paid attention to your children.”
“Excuse me?” Mom questioned.
“You know that the police figured out that the brake line was cut in the car accident and they don’t know who did it? Well, I’m starting to think it was him.”
“Elena, that’s absurd! How could you think of such a thing?”
I couldn’t explain to her the things I’ve been seeing or hearing. I can’t even comprehend it myself, but I feel like angels are trying to tell me something. I wonder if Tristan is an angel, and he is right here with me. Right then, I heard someone call my name from behind my house. “Elena, listen to me.” The peculiar voice murmured. Right there before my very eyes, he was standing, Tristan. My vision was getting blurry, and my knees were getting wobbly. “How can I see you?” I whispered.
“Back there, you finally believed and let me in, but that’s not important. You’re in danger Elena. You were right. Matt cut the breaks that night, but he never meant for me to die; he wanted you to die. I know this because I can hear his thoughts now and again. He’s coming after you. You need to get away from here Elena, run!”
My head was spinning, was this really happening? I was right about Matt, but no one would believe me. There’s no evidence. I thought for a minute. “Tristan…,” I choked saying his name. “If I die, I could be with you again.”
Pain crossed his pale face. “No, never think like that! You’re going to have a long, happy life and find someone who makes you happy,” he said sternly.
“No one compares to you, Tristan. I won’t be with anyone else but you,” I walked up to him to touch him, but my hand went right through him.
“Look, Elena. You don’t have much time. I can sense that Matt is getting anxious,” Tristan urged.
“I don’t want to run away, make him leave. There has to be another way to get rid of him.” I scrambled through my mind to think of ways to prove he was guilty. “I have an idea, but you’re not going to like it.”
The next morning I began to put my plan into action. I went outside to sit on the porch swing to contemplate my plan. “Now all I have to do is wait,” I murmured.
“Wait for what?” Matt interjected.
I jumped at the sound of his voice. “Hey Matt, what’re you doing out here?” I replied.
“I kind of wanted to talk to you.” He stated.
“About what?” I questioned. My hands were getting clammy. Would he notice how nervous I was and would he catch on that I knew it was him who cut the brakes? I took a deep breath and relaxed.
“Mom and Dad are letting me host the senior party this weekend at our house. I hope you don’t mind. You can stay if you want to,” Matt stated.
I was slightly confused. Was this his way to make his move? Thinking he could get me alone? “That’s really cool. Thanks, Matt.”
“Any time Elena. See you around.”
People are showing up already, and I’m getting nervous. I have no idea if he is going come after me or not. Another thing that makes it worse is that I haven’t heard from Tristan in a long time. I head downstairs to grab a drink and to see if some of my friends have shown up. I see Sarah, and, as I expected, she asks me if I am okay. “Yea, I’m fine. I’m just a little jumpy.”
“Why’s that?” She questioned. She was looking around avoiding eye contact.
“You know me; I just have a hunch about things.” For some reason, my head started to spin. “I’m going to go upstairs for a while. The noise is giving me a headache.” I went upstairs to my room and walked out on the balcony to get some fresh air.
I spun around and fell, startled by the voice. Why was I so disoriented?
“Enjoying your drink? I touched it up a little bit.” My vision was still hazy, but I could see well enough that it was Matt.
“You drugged me?” I realized that I was slurring my words. I had to fight the effects of the drug.
“I didn’t give you anything too bad. Only enough to do the job I wanted in the first place,” he said slyly with a smirk on his face.
The next thing I knew his hands had a firm grasp around my torso. He was going to throw me off the balcony. Right as I was about to go over, I hit something hard. It was Tristan! “What the…,” Matt said startled.
I didn’t know how Tristan did it, but Matt was now dangling over the edge and I was out of his reach. I watched Tristan hold Matt’s life in his hands.
“This is for the breaks,” Tristan whispered in Matt’s ear. That’s was when he let go. I didn’t look, but I heard the thump that followed Matt’s screaming.
“How? What just happened?” I asked dazed.
“I met someone while I was away.” When he said that, my heart stopped. “No, not like that, Elena. I love you. Let me finish. This person showed me what I needed to do, so that I am not trapped here. You are my unfinished business, Elena. I was granted the power of true form to protect you. I’m glad I came at the right time.”
It was a lot to take in, and the drugs were not helping. “You don’t happen to know what he put in my drink, do you?” I questioned.
“He just gave you a sedative, nothing huge,” he confirmed. “So this means that I have to go. Don’t be afraid, Elena. I’ll always be here with you, just slightly out of reach,” he said with a smile. “I got a glimpse into your future, and you have nothing to be frightened of. You’re on the right path.”
I didn’t know what to say. I never thought I’d have to say a goodbye that’d last forever. “Thank you, for everything. I trust you, and I’m going to take your word and try my best. I’ll see you eventually, Tristan.” A tear rolled down my cheek as I realized my best friend is saying goodbye, at least for now. He stood there and smiled as he slowly faded away from me.