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I Remember

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(David, a soon-to-be college graduate, is shown standing in front of a tombstone, staring intently at the patch of dirt before it. The sky is clear and blue, and he’s dressed in jeans and a simple gray sweatshirt.)

Hey. (Pause) How’s it going, man? It’s your birthday today. I wish we could celebrate it together…I really miss you. I wish I could tell you that I’m sorry. Because I am. I’m so sorry, Elliot. So incredibly sorry.
(Sits down in front of the grave.)
I remember everything about that night. I wish I didn’t. You didn’t even want to go out. But of course, I convinced you. I wish I wasn’t so convincing. I wish that was one of the nights where we just stayed home and watched bad 80’s movies together. I remember the party. How the girls there weren’t even that cute. How the music absolutely sucked. How the beer was awful. How we still managed to get drunk.

I remember when we decided to leave. Me, thinking I was fine to drive. You, suggesting we stay the night there. You were right, you were always right. But we left. I drove home. Except we didn’t exactly make it home. I remember you fiddling with the radio, trying to find a station that was playing decent music that late at night. You were talking about how much you hated parties. And then I remember the headlights of the other car, the sound of its horn as it came closer to us. As I lost control and we collided. I remember you shouting my name as it happened, trying to get my attention, but I was too drunk, too out of it to get it together in time. I got knocked out. You died on impact.

(Pause) It’s just not fair, you know? I was the one driving. I was the one who convinced you to go to the party. I wish it had been me who died. I know it’s awful to say but it’s true. You had so much going for you. About to graduate with a master’s in journalism, you had that internship at the newspaper. And me? Nothing. Just destined to be a failure - a failure responsible for his best friend’s death.

I know you wouldn’t want me to feel so guilty. But how can I not? I wish I wasn’t so damn stupid. I wish I wasn’t standing here talking to your grave. I wish it wasn’t my fault that this is how it is. How did I manage to screw up so badly? God, I miss you so much. Graduation won’t be the same without you. Nothing will ever be. I just wish I could talk to you one last time. I never really got to say goodbye, y’know? And I’m not sure that I want to, even now. I miss you. (Pause) I just hope that you’re alright, wherever you are.

Happy Birthday, Elliot.



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