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It Hurts to Know
On January 12, 2008, I killed my best friend. People think it was an accident. But I still blame myself.
Juliet and I had been friends since I was four and she was five. Our mothers were both scrap booking fanatics and whenever my mom went over to Juliet’s house, I had to come.
Eventually, one thing led to another and we became the best of friends.
We were the perfect match. She had blond hair and blue eyes and I was you average brunette. She was outgoing and sometimes a bit crazy (which by the way, I loved). I was shy but always trying to be funny. Juliet was like a sister to me. We grew up together. We were always kind to each other and never once fought about anything. Until that day…
Juliet and I were so happy when she got her license. Actually, I was just glad I had a friend with a hot sports car to drive me in. To celebrate this new step in her life, we decided to grab a bite to eat at Tony’s Pizza Palace across town.
The fight didn’t start out as much. I wanted bacon on my pizza and Juliet wanted pepperoni.
“Oh c’mon, Chaycee! You always get what you want.” she said stubbornly. “For once could you not act like such a brat?”
I rolled my eyes. Probably just PMS, I thought.
We got pepperoni.
As we finished our pizza, I took the last sip of the large Coke we were sharing.
“Really Chaycee? You took the last sip?” she said angrily. “ What is wrong with you? You know that’s my thing!”
Yep. Definitely PMS.
I ignored her as I walked through the door and out towards her blue Mustang. I shivered and zipped my jacket up against the harsh winter cold. I hopped inside the warm car and waited for her return.
When she came back she kind of shrugged at me and closed the door. She started her car and asked,
“So where do you wanna go?”
“I don’t know. I’m just a brat, remember Jules?” I replied.
“Oh yeah. Sorry about that. Probably just PMS.”
I smiled. “It’s okay. How ‘bout getting some ice cream?”
Juliet laughed. “You read my mind.”
To get to our favorite ice cream shop, we had to cross Route 95, the highway. I wish I had known what a mistake this would turn out to be. Especially on a cold, dark night, when the roads were covered in black ice.
On our way there, we started talking about normal things like school, clothes, boys…
When she told me that a cute boy asked her out and she had said yes, I was happy for her. Until I learned that the boy she was going out with was the same boy I had been crushing on for a whole year. I tried to stay calm but I felt betrayed. Jules had known how much I liked him. I told her how I felt and she tried to understand.
I wanted her not to go out with him. But she wouldn’t budge.
“Chaycee, can’t I have a little fun? I mean, it’s not like were going to anything…”
Juliet ‘coughed’ sarcastically.
She laughed. “Just kidding.”
That little comment just made me madder.
“Oh please, girl. Get over him. He obviously likes me not you.” she said.
I knew she was just teasing but I was fed up with her smart remarks.
With my face turning red in anger, I gave Juliet a hard punch in the arm. She turned towards me and started, “Chaycee, what the…” Then she screamed.
It all happened so fast. The accident was all a blur to me. Her blue Mustang slipped on that invisible black ice. We crashed into the metal guard rail and came to a stop. I gasped, thinking it was all over.
Before I could say a word, I felt a tremendous force hit the driver’s side of the car. Then everything went black.
The pain woke me up. I could feel the blood trickle down my neck. I couldn’t move anything but my head. I turned towards Juliet.
“Jules,” I croaked. “You okay?”
That’s when I got a good look of her. Her broken body was in a huge tangle with the seat belt and the steering wheel. At first I thought Juliet was just unconscious, but then I realized she wouldn’t wake up again.
I passed out.
Again I woke up from the pain. But this time, I was dressed in a hospital gown and laying on a white plastic bed.
“Chaycee!” My mother almost screeched. “You’re awake!”
“M-Mommy…” I moaned pathetically like a child. “It hurts.”
“Oh baby I know. But Dr. Stevens here has got you on a lot of pain medicine. Hopefully it should help.”
She smiled sadly at me. Softly, my mother touched my face and a tear rolled down her cheek.
“Mom, don’t cry. Please don’t cry. I’m here. I’m fine.” I tried to fake a happy look.
She nodded but her eyes were still watery.
Suddenly my brain switched on and I remembered Juliet.
“Mom, w-hat happened to J-Juliet?” I stuttered.
My mother was fighting back sobs as she ran out of the room. She didn’t have the heart to tell me that Juliet was dead.
I went hysterical. I started ripping out my IVs and screaming. The nurses ran in and tried to calm me down. They must have thought I was nuts.
They yelled for the doctor to get a sedative to calm me down and that’s when I started to cry.
I sobbed with my whole body and I felt like someone had ripped a hole in my heart.
I had killed my best friend. But I was the only one who knew that.
Right now I feel guilty. Guilty that I am perfectly healthy and strong while Juliet didn’t live past her sixteen years.
To this day no one really knows what happened that night. They don’t know how Juliet and I fought just before she died. They don’t know anything at all.
But I know. And it hurts.