By: Milo H.
Would you believe I was innocent if I stood before you with my hands stained from my sins? Could you forgive me for the wrong, and the right I never stood up for? Even If it meant losing someone’s life you might have known. Is there salvation for me?
I walked a steady pace with my head low, in the middle of the noisy passing crowd, placing my headphones in my ears to drown out the sound.
From time to time a stranger would bump into my bag or me like I was nothing as If I wasn’t even there, but I kept walking.
How innocent are they for their mistake of colliding into a stranger? Someone they didn’t even know? But what if they did know me. Would it be just as insignificant or more?
A tall figure stepped on my shoe from behind. I fell to the ground; face first, unable to take my hands out of my jacket in time to catch the fall.
I opened my eyes slowly, with my hand still in my pocket I turned the volume on my IPod down to listen for an apology, but as I looked around, no one stopped to help me up or even take notice.
I forced myself to my knees, and gazed down at the ants on the road making their way to wherever their destination was…but together. No one was alone.
“Need a hand?” Asked a familiar tone.
My heart sank to my stomach; my mind reeled, calculating the possibilities of this being real. Was I dreaming? Did I hit my head so hard where I was hallucinating?
Even if it wasn’t, I couldn’t let him go just yet, not even in a dream.
Closing my eyes, I focused on his light tone and matched a face, his smiling face to it as I reached up to take his hand. Warmth. All I could hear was his voice no one else was around.
Straighten myself; I let myself smile for the first time in a while. Opening my eyes…. he was gone. The crowd has returned to their meaningless chatter.
Blaring my music, I moved my way through the crowd to the back where the loading dock was near by. I stopped at the railing.
“Hey!” He shouted.
I just looked down at the dirt on my shoes, waiting for him to disappear again. But he didn’t and with each minute, the emotions from the past five days that I kept inside struggled to escape. I couldn’t take the silence.
“Are you really here?” I asked
“As real as ever, are you okay? You look a nasty fall.”
“Where have you been?”
“I’ve always been here, but Jess are you okay? Why wont you look at me?”
“I’m afraid that if I do, you’ll disappear. And I need you now more then ever.”
Because without you I’m alone. You’ve seen how everyone ignores me, like I’m not even alive. I don’t belong here,
“Just keep looking down then. I’m never leaving your side.”
“That’s a lie and you know it.”
I turned around, praying to see his brown eyes, but only a truck backing up into the loading docks was there to greet me.
I gripped the strap of my bag, and ran to the open field a mile from the dock, the one that haunted me.
I made it to the beginning of the field before my legs buckled under me.
“You don’t have to do this.” He whispered.
“I do. I can’t keep living, acting like it never happened. Our memories feel like dreams, like I made you up in this messed up world.”
“Your so dark lighten up,” he laughed
I looked over my shoulder, shocked to see him looking back. All the surprised emotions flooded back. He looked the same way he did before he died, tall with brown hair tossed to the side, matching brown eyes and a smiled I longed to see.
“Why are you here Luke? Are you haunting me? Am I being punished? I’m sorry…”
“Save it its okay. What are friends for?”
But to risk your life and lose it, Luke please I’m so sorry. You have to believe me; I didn’t know this was going to happen. I knew what they were planning. The group of guys from the football team, there sick prank, they knew you couldn’t swim…
I dug my nails into the soft dirt as I cried my confession.
I knew it all, and didn’t tell you. I avoided you because of how embarrassed I was because of the things they were saying about me. I shouldn’t have let it get to me… I should of told u. Luke please….I’m so sorry.
“I know I know its okay. I knew,” He said with a sad smile.
“Why…are you here?”
“I wanted to see you,” He stepped closer
“Be honest… am I going crazy?”
I whipped the fresh tears away on my sleeve.
“Going crazy? Nah, you’ve always been crazy,” He chuckled. “No jess, I just wanted to see you that’s all.”
“Why did you go…If you knew.”
“Jess…I’m bad with words. Sometimes the reasons for my actions I just cant verbally express. I knew it was a set up, and the things they said. Jess it’s not true. You are a beautiful girl.”
“You…you knew I was there didn’t you…you knew all along I was behind the car… I watched it happen. I watched you die. And you didn’t give me away, why? “
Luke looks over his shoulder suddenly.
“Jess I don’t have a lot of time, and id rather not waste it dwelling on what’s one. Jess stop dwelling on the past and move on. Smile, be happy.”
“What’s there to smile about? I lose my best friend.
I could feel my lower lip quivering with every word.”
“I’m here aren’t I?”
“But you wont be. You said so yourself there’s not enough time.
Maybe if I would have told you or done something there would be”
“Please just stop.” Luke looked up at the sky and smiled.
“You know what? Remember that time you begged me not to go to camp in Colorado. How upset you were about having to spend two weeks w/o being about to talk to me?. He smiled at the memory. If you have to, then pretend I’m at camp. Just for a very long time. You’ll see me again just like before.”
“No. No you stop. Luke I need you. Don’t do this to me.”
He took a deep breath.
“Listen we cant fix this…Just Pease read the letter. It will explain everything. That morning, I placed a letter in your bag…. Please Jess. I have to go now”
“No Luke no please. I reached up to grab his arm but he stepped back, turned and walked away without looking back.”
I pounded my fist on the ground; drug my nails back into the soil sobbing his name. I began to tremble as I reached into the bag to retrieve the hidden letter. Taking a few deep breaths. Preparing to read the worst, about what a terrible friend I have been…I began to sob louder.
Three words in bold read……….
Another secret I never told, and never will be able to tell.
Feeling guilty for my actions is almost as painful as the unspoken truth. My time’s run out to tell you and now there’s no way I could but somehow you always knew what I was feeling. Could you forgive me for the wrong, and the right I never stood up for? Even though you lost your life?
P.S. I love you too, always have.