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Three Too Many
The fresh, sweet smell of Summer basked in the air, yet Marcus didn't show any signs of joy. In fact, he expressed quite the opposite. The young man was dressed in all black which drastically contrasted with his ghostly complexion. While his friends had become perfectly sun-kissed during the pleasures the season had to offer, Marcus had barely left his room. Perhaps he was lazy, or perhaps guilt gave him a heavy heart.
Marcus solemnly walked past the tombstones of peoples' loved ones. His head was tipped down, gazing hard at the ground as if he were trying to see the buried coffins below the surface. An immense web of emotions jumbled inside of the boy's chest. He was sad, he was guilty, he was angry, he was going to explode from too many feelings.
The path Marcus was walking on narrowed, but he continued on. The number of headstones began to shrink the further he walked. The closer he got, the more he slowed down. Visiting her final resting place only reminded Marcus of everything he had done wrong and everything he had lost. His everything was Liron.
Chills ran down Marcus's spine as her voice rang clear in his ears. He could see her beautiful honey-colored hair that was always tied up in a playful pony-tail and her vivid green eyes. He pictured her mischievous smirk that she so often flaunted when she had a clever comeback. He so longed to hold her hands in his once more. Marcus desperately wished he could explain himself to her. Regretfully, he knew it was all too little too late. His girl friend's death was undoubtedly his own doing.
Marcus rounded he final bend and walked up to the tombstone. He brushed his hand on the unfinished top of the cold grey stone. It read, “In Loving Memory of Liron Gallagher. An old soul in a youthful gift, taken too soon, you will forever be in our hearts”. A twang of pain hindered his heart, remembering the fateful day that had occurred exactly one year ago. Marcus's friends and family urged him to believe that her death wasn't his fault. His mom would earnestly try to persuade him, “Honey, there was nothing you could have done to prevent it from happening. It wasn't your fault.” But Marcus knew differently. His friend Cat Stevens had ignorantly told him, “You did nothing wrong! She died because of her decision to have three too many.” But Marcus knew that that was not the case. Standing over Liron's grave, Marcus neither cried nor spoke. His silence was the only thing he could manage. Nothing he could do or say would justifiably commemorate his memory Liron or make him feel any less guilty for what he knew he had done.
--- A Year Before ---
Liron clenched her grip on the wheel of her '98 Civic. Thinking of what had happened at the party just made her angrier. She stiffly adjusted herself in her seat as she drove away from the scene. All she could see was her boyfriend, Marcus (formerly, now of course), making out with Cat Stevens, whom was utterly drunk and oblivious to what was going on.
“That idiot”, Liron said under her breath.
She could smell the alcohol on her clothes, part from drinks spilling on her in her eagerness to leave, part from her own drinks. She had had 3 beers while she was at the party, nothing that could keep her from driving, she told herself. The silence became overbearing, so Liron bitterly flipped the radio on.
Through the static, the radio played, “Baby you a song, you make me wanna roll my windows down and---”
“Oh, shut up.” Liron said heatedly as she switched it off again.
Rage began to blur Liron's head and tears sputtered out of her eyes. She drove on and into the woods, winding through the foliage. It was late, everything was dark apart from the moonlit tree tops. The faint sound of grasshoppers chirping could be heard in the distance as the '98 Civic barreled by. Sniffing away her tears, Liron began to hear a grumbling noise. Nervously, she rolled up her windows, but continued to drive.
Suddenly, there was a loud thud and the car veered off to the right. Liron, unaware of what had happened, swerved hard to the left. The squealing of the brakes erupted the peaceful noise of nature. All Liron could see was haze as she stumbled out of the car. She had driven nose first into a huge oak tree, leaving her car in a crushed mess of metal. Unbeknownst to her, Liron's forehead was red and wet with blood. Searing shoots of pain ran down her spine from severe whiplash. Liron was badly shaken.
“What the heck just happened?!” she cried in mixture of frustration, pain and shock.
Remembering that she had left her phone in her purse which she forgot at the party, she screamed out in anger. “Why did this happen to me, what did I do to deserve this, why does my head hurt so freaking much?!” were all thoughts streaming through Liron's mind.
Liron's head began to feel woozy and she struggled to find her balance. Determined to find the road, she began to crawl up the steep hill to the road. A deafening ringing resonated in her ears and she began to see stars. She slipped on the scattered leaves on the ground, but slowly made her way to the road.
Blinded by oncoming headlights, Liron collapsed on the side of the road.
--- Several minutes later ---
A police car drove through the woods, making his rounds when he sees smoke from off the road. Pulling up to the scene, the police officer sees a body lying on the ground. Rushing out, the officer assesses the situation. Quickly reaching for his walkie, he says, “This is officer Botwin on Lime Kiln Road. I've found a young girl unconscious on the side of the road, appears to have a serious head wound and smells of alcohol. Call for back up.”