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I Should Have Listened

Short story By: buddha4ellen
Other



A short story I wrote a few years ago about the regrets one may feel after dealing with specific tragedies.


Submitted:May 2, 2013    Reads: 72    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   


She would've liked it here. She would've liked the sound of the waves crashing against the rocky shore. She would've loved the towering cliff, rocks jutting out dangerously from its tall front. She would've enjoyed wading through the icy water, not caring about having to dodge the raser sharp stones and shells that littered the beach, boulder sized rocks plodded patternless through them. She would've liked the rural aspect of it here too, how no one could be seen for miles and the sound of traffic was unheard of. I should've brought her here, should've realised how much she'd love it here, even if I didn't.

She would be sitting where I'm sitting now, one of the huge rocks in the waist high grass. From here I can see for miles in every direction. I sit facing out towards the choppy sea, as most people would, but not her. No she'd have preferred to look back at the empty, over grown fields than the immense mountains that towered over the climbing sea, barely visible through the thick layer of rain and fog. Of course, like most things, she loved this weather, she'd say imperfection was the beauty of nature, I never truly understood this but I get the feeling I'm beginning to now. On a sunny day you could see the incredible angles of which the rocks on the cliff stood at, but today the view was streaked with the falling rain. She'd like this, of course, always said how relaxing it was to walk in a heavy downpour of rain. Sometimes I wonder why we were best friends when we were simply opposites.

About two months ago I let her drag me out for a walk, I'll never forget it. Though it had not been raining it was a dark November's day and a cold piercing wind swept through the branches of the wood she had chosen for our walk. I watched her skip merrily in front of me, hopping daintily over the miniature streams and bowing gracefully under the low hanging branches of the powerful trees. She spent the entire walk showing me different types of trees and the different animal noises as I acted suitably amused. I have no idea how long we spent in that wood but it felt like forever, at least she seemed to enjoy it.

She was never one of the 'popular' people but that never stopped her doing what she wanted to do and being the most smiley and happy person I know. People made fun of her passion towards charitable activities, she was always volunteering or raising money for something. She was always first to sign up for things too, there wasn't an activity or team in the school she hadn't put her name to. It didn't matter that the debate team was 'uncool' or that she was useless at almost every sport, she kept trying. Every single year she ran for class president and every single year she came dead last. I never ceased to disgust me that our school elections were nothing but popularity contests, she was obviously the best candidate but that didn't matter because she wasn't 'cool'. Of course, she never let it faze her, sometimes I wondered if she even realised people didn't like her. I always admired her will power, I wish I had told her.

She changed though, over the past month, I should have realised there was something wrong, it was quite a drastic change. It wasn't that she became any less charitable or stopped signing up for things, it was more that she lacked the passion she previously had. I worried that she was finally letting people's cruel words get to her. She missed a lot of school too, it was weird not seeing her smiling face when she had seldom missed school before. Even the teachers were shocked at her absence. When she did come to school she lacked her usual air of joy and, though she smiled, the sparkle had left her eyes, making it look forced and fake. Over the course of the month it was as if someone was sucking the fun and will to live out of her and she became more and more intense, why did I look past this?

It wasn't just her attitude that changed but her physical appearance too. I would be lying if I said she was ever absolutely gorgeous but no on thought her ugly. Thick wavey brown hair rolled down her back and framed her pale face and dark brown eyes. Her face was never marked with even one spot and she was far from fat. She had a quirky sense of style but you'd know from looking at her she kept healthy and watched her appearance, unfortunately all this changed too. Her silky, smooth hair turned dry and brittle and her face exploded with spots, as if she wasn't showering or even washing anymore. Bags appeared under her drooping eyes and she was losing weight at an unhealthy pace. She rarely changed her clothes nor seemed to care and though I knew none of her changes were good I believed she was just over tired and no one else cared enough to even ask. I wish they had.

I will never forget the last time I saw her. It was after school last Friday, as usual we were walking to the bus stop together. She looked as she had done for the past four weeks: hair tied back roughly in a pony tail, her make-upless face covered in spots and her scrawny body draped in the same clothes she'd worn the day before. We spent most of the walk in silence, listening to the steady rhythm of her feet dragging on the stony tarmac. Whenever I commented on something or other she would force a laugh or reply shortly, but made no other attempt at conversation. Upon reaching the bus stop I let a sigh of relief as I slipped my heavy bag off my back and sank onto the ground beside the packed bench, she simply slumped down beside me. I watched her stare at the ground, occasionally opening her mouth as if to say something, I wish she had. When my bus finally came I said goodbye to her, receiving a half-hearted 'bye' in return, accompanied with the noise of someone choking back tears. Her eyes remained focused on the ground but from the way her shoulders shook I could've sworn she was crying.

Katie, I'm not sure if you can hear me but I'm sorry. I never believed in Heaven before now but I hope you found it. I was never the type of person to express my love towards other people, but I did and always will love you. I wasn't a good friend either, I took it for grand that you'd always be there for me but I never thought you'd need me to be here for you. You rang that Saturday but I ignored it because I was watching the match. Little did I know that I would never get another chance to talk to you. I wish I had answered. I should've got off the bus and talked to you. I should've told you I loved you when I had the chance. Why was I so naive?

I should've listened.





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