May 23, 2008
By Kody Cartwright, Marbleton, WY

Ever since their freshman year of high school, Emily and David were high school sweethearts. Everyone at Big Piney High School knew the two would always be together, even after High School. At first, Emily and David were just neighbors in La Barge, but they were still very close friends. Emily thought David was the best, and both of them wanted to be together. Now, their senior year, they would soon be torn apart.

Emily’s eighteenth birthday, the 17th of December, David decided to take Emily out to eat at the fanciest place in Big Piney, called Annie’s Restaurant. The roads in La Barge were icy, and it was a little foggy. As David stepped outside to go start his car, David let out a sigh, his light, foggy breath hung in the air. He looked up to the night sky, and wished this would be the best night of his life; tonight, David was going to ask Emily to marry him. After the car was warmed up, David parked outside of Emily’s and honked the horn twice. Waiting for Emily, David took out the ring he bought for the engagement. The ring was expensive, but he didn’t care, he loved Emily and the price of her love didn’t matter. As Emily was walking down her sidewalk, David quickly put the ring back into his pocket. When Emily got into the car, David gave her a gentle kiss, and as he put the car into drive, he leaned over and whispered in her ear, “I Love You.”

When David was about five miles out of La Barge, he turned the car radio on; he wanted to get the weather forecast. The forecast stated it was going to snow for the rest of the night, there was to be no unnecessary traveling. Emily told David, “Maybe we should turn back, my birthday will be fine, and we can just go back to my house and watch a movie or something. You heard the forecast, there is to be no unnecessary travel-.” David stopped Emily from finishing her sentence, “It is your birthday, so it is necessary. Everything will be fine. I promise.” In the back of David’s mind, he was almost agreeing with Emily, but he wanted this night, his girlfriend’s birthday, to be special.

Finally, David pulled is car into the parking lot of Annie’s Restaurant. As David and Emily walked up the stairs, hand-in-hand, David lightly touched his pocket, assuring the ring was still there. Before they were at the door, snow began to lightly fall, so far, the forecast was coming true. All of a sudden, David felt a chill up and down his spine. But he wanted to make Emily happy, it was her birthday. David brushed the thoughts away as he opened the door. Inside of the restaurant most of the tables were filled; three tables sat untouched. When a friendly waitress had the couple seated, she asked them what they would like to drink. Almost in unison, they both agreed to stick with water. David then decided right then, it was time to propose to Emily.

David took Emily’s hands, and locked a gaze into her blue eyes. His heart was beating as fast as a thunder stock racecar. He then said shaking, “Emily, you and I have been together for a long time, and-.” At that moment, David got out of his chair and got down on one knee; the same thing that David had seen all the movie stars do in all the romance movies that Emily forced David to watch. Before David could even get the first two words out, Emily said as if she was crying, “David, just stop right there. You and I are only eighteen years old, and we are at the point of deciding what colleges to go to and what we are going to do out of high school, and I’m not even sure if I’m ready for that kind of commitment. Yes, I do love you, but I don’t want to get married when I’m just about to get out of high school.” David felt as if he just got tackled by a huge linebacker, and he acted as if he was life-less. His whole life he had known Emily, and ever since freshman year, he had fallen in love with her; it seemed as if his whole life started to crash and burn all around him. His train of thought was suddenly stopped by the sound of Emily’s voice, “Do you understand David? But you also have to know, I still love you, maybe one day I will be ready to settle down, but not right now.” David understood what Emily was talking about, he suddenly felt stupid. He knew now that he should also wait till he too was ready to settle down. Now, back in his chair, him and Emily both decided that they weren’t in the mood to eat anymore, as if the night had been ruined, and they should start heading home.

When they stepped outside, Emily and David got instantly cold. David took Emily in his arms and while the snow fell around them he lightly said, “Happy Birthday Em.” David only called her “Em” when he was trying to cheer her up, but at that moment, he needed the cheering up. As David and Emily walked down the steps, still bracing each other, David got a horrible feeling that now after he tried to propose to Emily, their relationship would start to crumble; and now that David knew that Emily didn’t want to marry David, four years seemed like nothing. David understood that Emily didn’t want to settle down, but he wanted to be with her for the rest of his life. While thoughts of rejection were still going through David’s mind, he and Emily climbed into the car. David didn’t even bother closing Emily’s car door like he always did; he figured since she didn’t want to marry him, she could do it herself. As much as he understood Emily’s wishes, he still didn't want to let her go, he wanted so bad to have Emily say yes to his proposal.
When David started the car, he turned the radio back on. There was another forecast that was being stated. “The snow is still going to fall for the rest of the night; there is still a warning of no unnecess -“David clicked the radio off, he didn’t want to hear it. He was still going to drive home. David also didn’t want to face the fact that this trip was a bad idea; all he wanted was Emily to marry him. But it didn’t look like that was going to happen, ever.

“David, put the car in drive and take me home. I’m sorry if I ruined your night, but I don’t want to get married. Why can’t you understand; I’m not ready for that-“ David quickly interrupted her.

“Kind of commitment. I know. I heard you the first time. But you too have to understand that-.” David couldn’t finish his statement. Emily was shocked. David never yelled at her like that. Suddenly, she felt unsafe. She knew David would never hurt her in any way. But she still had a gut feeling deep down inside her stomach. Something was bound to go wrong.

David made a U-turn. He too also began to have a feeling something else was going to go wrong. But he didn’t say anything to Emily about it. There was silence in the car, except for the sound of the cars old rattling engine. David started thinking how he could make Emily say yes. He also started to think of all the cases that had been on the news. About how some guys would kill themselves because of rejection. He didn’t want to do that, he didn’t want to hurt Emily either. He wasn’t that kind of person. All of sudden, all David could see was fog, and it was thick. The only thing he could see was black ice on the road. The car began to fishtail; David quickly took control of the car again. David hated driving in weather like this. He wanted to get home, and fast. It wasn’t the smartest thing to do, but David began to speed up. David didn't know it, but it was going to be his very last mistake.

Fifty-five, sixty, seventy-five, eighty.

“David you really need to slow down. We are on black ice, it’s foggy, and it’s snowing. It’s too dangerous.” Emily finally broke the silence.

“But I want to get home.”

“I know, but it’s still too risky.”

David ignored Emily’s warning. He was now ten miles out of Big Piney, and then finally, David let off the gas petal. He was now going the speed limit. David then began to apologize to Emily.

“I’m really sorry Emily. I thought you would want to marry me. But I understand. You want to wait.”

“It’s okay David.” Emily and David leaned in to each other, when they were close to kissing; the car began to fishtail again. David shot back into an upright position. He looked back at Emily, a said, “I guess I should pay attention.”

Now, they were about ten miles away from La Barge. David wanted to kiss Emily so bad. He looked at Emily, and she looked back. They started leaning in again. When their lips touched, a bright light shined through the windshield. It almost blinded David. A horn blew loudly. David opened one eye, and saw a large semi right in front of the car. David tried his best to move his car out of the path of the semi, but there was no room, except in the ditch. Right before impact, David looked at Emily, then; time seemed to be in slow motion. David had heard about how your life is flashes before your eyes right before you die; he didn’t see anything, except for the semi, then Emily, he wanted to scream, “I love you Emily.” But nothing would come out of his mouth. It was as if someone was squeezing the life out of him. Then, he looked at Emily, for the very last time, then, impact.

Emily woke up by the sounds of sirens. She had a really bad headache, and blood was running down her face. Her eyes were blurry, from blood running in her eyes. Emily was still in the passenger’s seat, with her seatbelt still on. She looked at the driver’s seat; where David still sat; motionless. His hands were still on the steering wheel, he too was covered in blood, and dead. His eyes were still open, looking at Emily. Tears welled up in Emily’s eyes. The tears mixed with the blood, making her vision even worse. As she lifted her arm, a pain shot through it and glass fell off her arm, and she closed David’s eyes. When paramedics came to the car side they opened the door, and cut Emily’s seatbelt. They helped her out of the car, and put her on a stretcher. Emily didn’t scream, didn’t yell, all she could do was cry.

When Emily was in the ambulance, the paramedics kept telling her she was going to be ok. But she thought to herself. “No, I won’t be okay. David is dead! How will I be okay?!” She then began to fall asleep on the way to the clinic. At least she would wake up, David never would. When Emily was at the clinic, they told her that they couldn’t do anything for her, so with that said, they rushed her to Rock Springs. The whole time, Emily kept thinking to her self, “Why couldn’t I have just said yes to David? This is my fault.” With those thoughts running through her head, Emily fell into another sleep.
Arriving in Rock Springs, Emily awoke by the sound of rushing doctors and nurses; they were all trying to make sure Emily would survive. Emily felt a tight pinch, as the doctors inserted an I.V. into her left arm. Then, the doctors gave her a shot into her right arm. The shot made Emily want to scream. She hated shots. One of the nurses came her side with a wet sponge, to wipe the blood off of Emily. The nurse then took thin strips and put them on all of the cuts she had from all of the glass. The nurse then said,” You know, you’re lucky to be alive. The doctors are amazed, you have no broken bones, and all you have is major bruising and a couple of major cuts from the shards of glass. Someone was watching over you tonight.”

What the nurse said make Emily want to cry, she held back the tears as she said,

“I feel really guilty. It’s my birthday today, and my boyfriend, David that I have been with for four years was with me tonight. Before we left the restaurant, he asked me to marry him, and I said no.”

At that moment, Emily began to cry. When the tear rolled down her right cheek, it stung. She guessed it was because there was a cut under her eye. Emily understood that she was lucky to be alive and that nothing was broken; except the doctors wouldn’t be able to mend her broken heart. After the nurse left, Emily figured that her life was over. She didn’t want to live; she felt as if David died because of her. If Emily would have said yes to him, he would have been more concentrated on the driving and being with Emily for the rest of his life. Emily then fell asleep again; hopefully she could get rid of the guilt that she still felt.

When Emily awoke the next morning, she opened her eyes and two cops were standing over her, as if they were waiting for her to wake her up. One of the cops was skinny and had muscular arms. The other was fat, and short. The skinny one then began interrogating Emily. His voice was deep, and loud. “Emily, my name is Officer Brent, and this is my partner Officer Alex. We are here to ask you questions about the wreck last night. We are just going to ask you simple questions, and all you need to do is answer honestly. First off, what is your boyfriend’s full name?”

“David Clark.”

“Were either of you drinking last night?”


“Where were you coming from, and where were you headed?”

“It was my birthday last night, and we went to dinner at Annie’s Restaurant. Then we where going home to La Barge. When we were about ten miles away from Big Piney, the fog hit and all we could see was black ice. All I remember after that was David swerving, then I saw a bright light and herd a loud horn. I woke up, covered in blood, and David was dead, in the Drivers seat.”

“Okay, I think that is all we need today. Your parents will be here shortly to take you home.”

Emily just nodded in agreement. She wanted to see David. But she knew that was never going to happen again. Emily tried to sit up, but it was too painful to move. Emily felt like crying again and she wanted to apologize to David’s parents; but that wasn’t going to bring him back. He was gone.

About fifteen minutes later, Emily’s mom showed up. She ran to the bed side, and hugged her. It hurt Emily, but yet it felt good. Her mom began to cry, and it made Emily feel worse, David’s parents wouldn’t have anything to hug and take home, where he would be safe. The doctors explained to Emily’s mom that she should just take it easy for a while and to just stay home. They also told her mom that she should be evaluated because of her loss; to make sure Emily was okay. It made Emily feel like a crazy person. They let Emily change into some other clothes. The ones she wore last night were covered in blood. Then Emily’s mom put her in the car, and they drove away from the hospital.

When Emily’s mom was driving into the outskirts La Barge, Emily asked her mom if they could go to the crash sight. For some reason, she wanted to see the car. Her mom said she would. When they were really close, Emily closed her eyes. When the car stopped, Emily opened her eyes, and looked at David’s old blue ford car. She got out of the car, and ran up to the car side. Glass was every where. When Emily looked into the car, blood was every where, and the driver’s seat was empty. Tears began to run down Emily’s face, and she fell down where there was little glass. Emily put her hands over her face, and sat for a while, just crying. She wanted David to be there, to hold her and to tell her everything was going to be okay.

It took Emily ten minutes before she could stop crying. Wiping the tears from her face, Emily got up off of the ground. She took one last look at the car, and walked back to her own.

When it came time for the funeral, three days later, Emily didn’t want to go; she went anyway. She figured if she went, she would be able to see David for one last time. When Emily walked into the church, all eyes turned back and stared at her. Before she sat down, she went up to the coffin, where David was laying. Emily had never seen anyone in an open coffin like that. It scared her. It was like death was all around her. Emily just stood there, looking at David. Tears began to roll down her face again; she hated crying. Emily’s mother then motioned her to sit down. Her mom had to get up out of her seat, and pull Emily away from David’s coffin; then she had to force her to sit down. Emily felt alone, in the crowded church.

When it came time to bury David, Emily was standing with David’s family in the foggy Wyoming air. Emily moved closer to the deep hole where David would rest in piece. When she sighed, her breath followed right behind her. When the coffin was being lowered into the ground, she threw a rose into the hole. The rose hit the coffin, and another single tear ran down Emily’s face. Emily remembered she still had the ring in her coat pocket. She pulled the ring out. Guilt stared to fill Emily’s mind again; she had the chance to be with David for the rest of her life. Now, that chance was gone. Emily took one last look at the ring, and said lightly, “I love you David.”

Then she dropped the ring into the six foot deep hole. While the ring fell, she had flash backs of her life with David; and the four years they were together. Emily wanted to take back the whole night. She knew that things happened for a reason, and she felt like there was no reason that God should have taken David away from her. The thoughts faded away from Emily’s mind. When she stood up, she said, “I will never forget you.” Emily stood there for about ten more minutes. Then turned her back and walked away. What life was in front of her? What was going to happen to her when she graduated? All she knew is that she would never be able to forget the best four years of her life, with David.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Jul. 10 2009 at 5:15 am
lauraep23 BRONZE, Cheyenne, Wyoming
1 article 0 photos 4 comments
Good story.

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