Life’s too short. I know this now. No matter which way you go you always end up with regrets. Some people can live till they’re 100 years old, never stepping outside their door, afraid of what lies ahead. Or a young girl could live, spending all of her fourteen years of life searching for adventure and danger, things that make her want to fear, and yet nothing far from death is ever exciting enough. Or even worse, a girl could spend her short life living as a shadow, always blocked by the beauty and accomplishments of a risk taker, a heart breaker. No matter which way you go, you always have regrets.
Meg loved danger, sought it out every chance she got, and more often than not dragged us all into it. Maybe that was the issue. She sucked us all in like a never ending vacuum of trouble, so much so that we all began to do it ourselves without realizing.
We threw it all away for her when she got herself into trouble, breaking and entering, drug runs, or anything else. I did it because she was my best friend. Jase and Dean did it because, unlike me, she was perfect. Blonde corkscrew curls fell over her shoulders, cascading down her back, effortless and yet troublesome, flying into her face as she fled. Her body resembled an hour glass, tucking in and filling out in all the right places. I used to wish my body was so elegant, envied the way the boys fawned over her and not me. Jase was often caught flirting with her from behind the cash counter at Randy’s Movie Rentals, the video shop the four of us worked. Well, technically we all worked there but really I was the only one that worked, the boys both wasted their days taking turns flirting with Meg, trying to win her cold, indecisive heart. Meg, for the most part, just sat on the counter and lead them on, along with any other man who happened to walk by and show a sliver of interest.
One of those men was Carter.
God I hated him.
I warned her, over and over, but she just wouldn’t listen to me. No matter how hard I tried she refused to believe a word I said about his stereotypical serial killer vibe. His hair was shaggy but he attempted to grease it back. His clothes were dingy and dirty and reeked of sweat. And his teeth were long, straight, and yellow. It also didn’t help his image that he was at least twice our age. Many times I had almost lost my lunch, walking in on them having at it in the video shop storage closet.
And still, despite her affair with Carter, Meg still held the leash on Jase. I mean she could have at least had the decency to admit that it was never going to happen between them. Maybe then he would have come back to me instead.
Meg never did heed my warning about Carter. As horrible as it sounds I did think she looked quite funny in the trunk of his tiny car. Curled up like an accordion. Her face was red and tear stained but she was too stubborn to even admit that she was crying, let alone that I was right.
It took us all a good ten minutes to pry her ungrateful butt out of that car. By that time Carter had emerged from the building. There was no doubt that Meg’s legs hurt, she had limped against Jase pitifully once she was free, but once she saw Carter she was suddenly able to run just as well as ever. The boys ran in front of her, grabbing her hands and pulling her along as quickly as they could.
Carter was faster.
I wonder if her head still hurts where Carter almost ripped her hair out, trying to yank her back into his trap.
I wonder if my skin is still crammed under her nails from when she clawed at my arm, trying to free herself of his grasp.
I wonder if her lungs have yet seized to function at the realization that she’s left her friend in the clutches of a mad man.
I could barely understand what happened as she shoved me back and ran for safety.
I could barely understand Jase, stopped at the end of the lot, staring at me.
He looked on for a long moment.
Looked on as my blood pooled around the jagged blade wrenching itself into my gut.
Looked on as I fell to my knees.
Looked on until he heard Meg’s shrill “C’mon Jase! Leave her!”
And then he stopped looking, turning to follow her like the faithful lap dog.
Alright, perhaps I am a bit bitter about the whole thing, but bitterness is an awful thing to have in your dying moments.
My breath is coming short, my chest heaving in pain. I should just close my eyes and get it over with. I gave everything for Meg.
It’s all gone now. But I can’t let it ruin me. Not so close to the end.
I love her, even though she left.
I love Jase, even though he left.
I cannot let the pain of the departure ruin my love.
Not even now.
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