Julia drove her little, silver car down the dirt roads that crisscrossed the Albertan prairie countryside. Overhead, the sky was blanketed by thick, seamless clouds, which left only Julia's dim headlights to provide light on the road.
Beside her, texting away like her life depended on it, Karla let out a laugh. "James just left the party; didn't even bring any of his friends with him, he just drove off."
"Oh dear," Julia rolled her eyes as she giggled, "what is wrong with him? Hasn't a girl ever turned him down before?"
"According to Mercedes," who Karla was busy texting, "he's had a crush on you forever and was waiting for the perfect moment to ask you out. Guess it was all for nothing you heartbreaker."
"Had a crush on me forever? Mercedes is just saying that." Julia laughed, trying to imagine the built, green eyed, completely adorable boy in her class asking her out. He'd been either very drunk at the party or desperate-still, even if he was truly 'in love' with her, she'd never love him back.
"Nope, it's true."
Smiling, her face reddened with embarrassment. "I feel like such a bitch, even if he did deserve it. Did he actually leave the party?"
"Yep, and you'll never guess who he went after."
"No!" She turned to her friend, eyes wide. "He's going after me?"
"Guess so, should be darn near impossible, considering we're not even home yet."
"And we're not going to be! Can I please crash at your place for the night?"
Karla said that would be fine, and resumed texting Mercedes, getting all the juicy details about what was happening at the party. "So why did you reject him?"
"I didn't reject him." She rolled her eyes again, feeling her phone vibrate in her pocket. "He was drunk; said that if I didn't kiss him, he would drink my beer. I told him don't do either, he kissed my cheek, and I sloshed the beer in his face."
"Ouch, you really are a bitch." Karla glanced at her, a teasing grin on her face.
"Afterwards, he told me he was sorry and wanted to go out for dinner next Saturday." Julia remembered the way he'd stared up at her with his cutting, unbelievably green eyes.
She also remembered his smile, which immediately turned into a frown when she said 'no'. "I turned him down."
"Why, though? I mean, that was pretty adorable, apologizing like that. Not to mention, he's one of the cutest boys in Camrose."
"He probably is."
"So why did you say no?"
Julia felt her phone vibrate again. Reaching into her pocket, she pulled out her phone, and saw who the text was from. Inside, her heart, which was already sore from missing Steven so badly, now beat madly. She read his texts to her, a large, joyous smile on her face.
"Because," she took in a deep breath, trying to calm her tumultuous insides, "I'm in love with someone else."
"What! Who is it?" Karla put a hand on her friend's shoulder, pleading with her for more information. In doing so, the phone that Julia had placed on her lap, slipped down her leg and landed on the floor.
"Hold on," Julia checked the dirt road, saw that it was clear and bent down to retrieve her phone. Groping around in the dark, she only found pebbles and dirt on the carpeted, dirty floor.
However, the road intersecting her own wasn't so clear. Instead, a large, flat-bed truck rumbled down another dirt road, which intersected the one that Julia drove on. Neither driver took notice of each other until it was too late.
"Found it." Her hand tightened around the phone.
A horn honked nearby, Karla screamed.
Julia was just lifting her head up, when the entire cab lit up with a bright, blinding light. An explosion sounded inside as well, followed swiftly by more screaming as time began to slow.
The front end of the truck was smashing through Karla's side of the car, the light from its headlights illuminating the entire cab. Tiny fragments of glass filled the air, cutting into her skin.
Karla's face froze in a mask of hideous pain, as her wider body was crushed in by the front of the truck. A trickle of blood ran out of her open mouth.
Before time sped up again and Julia was knocked unconscious, she felt her friend's blood splatter on her bare knee.
All Julia could think of was Steven as she was lifted from her seat, her head slammed against the steering wheel.
However, as luck should have it, she did not share the same fate as her friend. Instead, her door had been left slightly ajar the entire car ride, since the sensor that indicated if all doors were closed had been broken for months.
So, propelled sideways by the forward motion of the colliding truck, she was shoved against the door, opening it and sailed out of the wreckage.
In her hand, she clutched her cell.
Against the rough, dirt road, she skidded to a stop away from the wreck. Blood seeped from gashes all over her body, while she stayed unconscious.
The phone, clutched in Julia's gnarled hand, vibrated.
That simple, familiar sensation ran up her blood-covered hand, up her lacerated arm and throughout her torn, bleeding, pale body.
It was enough to awake her, if just for a moment.
"Hey you," It was the first words that she'd spoken to the quiet, cute boy sitting under the oak tree. At camp, while her friends unloaded their bags and jogged over to their cabin, Julia had wandered down a dirt path, lost in thought.
In the hot, atrocious summer heat, she noticed that one of her fellow campers had taken refuge under a leaf-filled tree. Sweat beaded his brow, also dampening his white, tight-fitting shirt. In his hands, he held his cell, staring at the small, rectangular screen with a smile on his face.
She stopped walking, folding her arms over her chest. A smile of her own came to life on her face, as she stared at him.. Though she was never sure why, the allure to go and introduce herself to him was too strong to resist.
Something, perhaps even a silly thing like fate, had put her legs into motion, so that she walked up to the boy.
Then, it had opened her mouth and caused her to speak two, simple words, "Hey you."
Now, lying on the dirt road, covered in blood and barely awake, she knew that boy was keeping her alive. Just thinking about him strengthened her heart, throwing away some of the pain.
"Steven." She mumbled under her breath, "I love you."
Turning her head, she stared at the wreckage, tears building in the corner of her eyes. Inside, her friend was mashed into the wreckage, likely dead or near to it.
There was nothing she could do to help her.
"Karla…" she mumbled other words in an incoherent, dry voice.
Far away, she could hear the distant cry of sirens.
Would they save Karla?
Would they save her?
Her phone vibrated again, startling her. Lifting her head, gasping for air as the pain intensified with her movement, she glanced at the phone. Again, it vibrated.
Slowly, she moved her hand up towards her chest, holding the cell so that she could see its luminescent screen. It was still on. Though it was cracked, the screen still told her that Steven had sent her several, unread messages.
Each of them were adorable, loving and brought tears to her eyes.
Painfully, she brought her fingers to the key-pad, trying to muster the strength to reply. Blood from her fingers gathered on the tiny, glowing keys. Still, she typed in two words, and pressed send.
"Love you." Her message read, but it wouldn't do. No, she needed to say one more thing before her strength finally left her.
Gasping for breath, her fingers feeling as if they were afire, she sent her final message to Steven, the man she loved.
And would always love.
The one who held her heart-the man in her dreams.
"Forgive me…" the phone fell from her hand, landing on her chest, and then rolling off onto the dirt road.