I got home earlier than usual and started working on my homework right away. My cell phone rang at about 11 pm, and it was Mike. He had asked me if I wanted to come see him.
"I'm sorry for calling you so late. You should be sleeping...but I needed to talk to you" which was perfectly fine with me. I agreed, knowing that it wasn't safe to leave him alone. God only knows what he can do to himself. And with these thoughts I jumped out my window into the night. The warm air was still present: the summer hadn't left completely. I walked two blocks from my house and a car was waiting at the corner. As I got in the passenger side, cool air hit me hart, yet was not unpleasant. His eyes looked forward from above the steering wheel.
"What's up?" I didn't know why I was called so late.
"We're done...she wants me out of her life..."
That wasn't exactly unexpected; I knew the situation all too well to be surprised, I suppose. As I reached for his right hand, he did something unexpected: he pulled away from me. My reflexes were too fast for my own good, and when I grabbed his wrist my fingers soon became aware of the similar sized lines that ran down his arm, swollen and obviously sensitive.
"I shouldn't even be here..." was all he said. It wasn't too hard to understand what he meant by that short phrase.
"Mike, what are you talking about?" I knew the answer, yet I asked anyway.
"You know... here..."
I did know, and yet. And yet my lost thoughts kept swimming around in my cranium trying to make logical sense. I couldn't focus on his face. Everything seemed so distorted, only his eyes kept that cold, distant look in them. That look that brought pain to my heart.
Just twelve months ago he was nothing. He was rightfully enraged with the world around him. Just twelve months ago he was constantly in pain. Then she met her. She changed everything. She made his world a brighter place. Smiles were more constant, funny became one of his descriptions. Nothing. Nothing was in his eyes now. Nothing and everything. Such confusion, such chaos and pain, it was unbearable for me to see him this way...yet again. He loved. He loved the girl who called it quits. I wanted to tell him everything would be okay, that things would work out, but it was too big of a lie, even to myself. He asked soundless questions. Questions to which I didn't know an answer.
"You said it would get better. What am I going to do now..." He wasn't accusing me. The tone was to solemn to be capable of accusation.
" I don't know... truly, oh Mike but it WILL be better! I mean, hasn't it always? You know, the silver lining idea? There's a reason for it all, and you can make it through. I know you can!" I was determined to "save" him.
He cast his eyes downward, and with a heavy sigh he spoke. "I hope you're right. Thank you. For coming. I know it was a short notice."
"Don't be ridiculous, I'm glad you called. I was worried...I'm glad you're...okay"
He laughed an almost hysterical laugh. "Okay? So THAT'S what Okay feels like. Well, let me know when to prepare myself for Horrible"
"You know what I mean..." even though I wasn't really sure of my statement.
"Yeah yeah, sure, I know."
"Well...what are you going to do now?" heavy. The question must've weighed a ton.
"The usual, you know, mope and shit. What else is new? You should get to bed. It's getting late. Sorry."
"No it's okay, I can stay if you want me to." and yet the 1:04 am on the dash mocked my words.
"I dragged you out of bed. You need your sleep" It was final. I was to get out and walk back to the warmth of my house. "I love ya kid. Take care." He smiled at me, attempting to look cheerful. At least more cheerful I told to myself. "Plus I've gotta go too..."That was my cue. The conversation was done and over with.
I stepped out the door into the now chilly night. Once I got home I tossed and turned in my bed, foolishly attempting to escape the nightmares which existed only in my head.
I woke up more content the next morning. I think he'll be okay. No. He WILL be okay, I mean come ON, it's MIKE! The thought cheered me up a little. As I walked down stairs I saw my dad reading the morning paper in the living room. There it was. On the front page. A picture of his dismembered blue truck was accompanied with a title "18-year-old male killed in car accident." Along with the wreck was his picture. A picture that was taken four months ago, back when everything was right. At least he was happy, even if it was only in a picture. At least that's how he will be remembered. I didn't care for details. The main idea was too overwhelming to face. In a whirlwind of emotions I dashed up the stairs back to my room.
My big brother was gone. My best friend was taken away from me. If only I would've talked to him for maybe five more minutes, he could've lived! I was alone. My best friend was gone, moved on to better things. At least I hope he did.
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