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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: April 22, 2016

A A A | A A A

Submitted: April 22, 2016



I had never been to a bar before. I hadn’t even planned on going, I only went because my friends’ band was playing there that night. I sat there surrounded by a few friends listening to the music. A couple of my friends had already gone up to the bar and come back with a glass of water. The bartender wasn’t too happy with all these people that don’t drink. It was bad for business. A different crowd comes with every band I guess.

Next to me sat two British women, they looked like they were having a good time. After a while, they started talking to me, “Do you know where we can go for a bite to eat after hours around here?”

I gave them a few suggestions and we talked for a while. I thought to myself how unusual it was that complete strangers were talking to me. I wasn’t really used to this attention.

“Thank you, dear. We just arrived yesterday and don’t know anything about this neighborhood,” they seemed like pretty nice women. “What’s your name anyway?”

“I’m Heather, nice to meet you.” They didn’t bother me again so I turned my attention back to the band. Next thing I know some guy leaned down to me and started talking. He had alcohol on his breath but he didn’t seem to be drunk. He had some questions about the band and then he quickly turned back around. I was relieved he didn’t talk to me for long and turned to my friends, “Why does everyone in here keep talking to me?” I said and laughed it off.

When the show was over I stayed to talk with a couple of my friends. The guy that had talked to me before showed up again and he casually looked around. I looked at him for a second but as soon as I turned my head back I was startled, he was right next to me talking in my ear. Probably because that’s the only way I could ever hear him in there.

“Excuse me, I don’t want to interrupt but I just wanted to tell you that I think you’re incredibly beautiful … I hope you have a nice evening.” He turned around before I could say anything so I just awkwardly gave him thumbs up as he walked away. I looked at my friend Oscar with a wide-eyed look because of what had just happened. He had a weird look on his face but I didn’t pay any attention to it. Oscar was my best friend and he was the life of every party. We’ve been friends since we were little kids always running away from the scary, old man that lived on our street, with my little sister Lily trying to keep up most of the time.

“What did that guy want?” Oscar asked his words laced with curiosity. He wasn’t smiling though.

“Uh, he told me that I was beautiful and that he hoped I would have a nice evening,” I said while looking at the table and I think I blushed. Thankfully, the lights weren’t very bright in there.

There was something sweet and innocent about what had happened. This guy had no agenda by saying what he did and he wasn’t even trying to get to know me at all. He just told me I was beautiful for the sake of telling me. Do people normally just go around telling strangers they’re pretty? It was kind of like a confidence boost and I went home smiling because of a guy I would never see again. I didn’t even remember what he looked like.


The weekend went by and it was Monday again. I gave Oscar a ride to school like usual.

“How was your weekend?” I asked as he got into the car. “Did you meet the love of your life?” It was a game we used to play. I would ask if he had found the love of his life and he would tell me about some girls he’d met and found pretty. Oscar is tall and handsome, the kind of handsome that doesn’t go unnoticed. He’s used to getting looks from girls everywhere we go but I know he usually doesn’t pay any attention to them. Lately, when we play that game he’s started answering by saying “Yes … she’ll find me soon enough,” and then he’d grin and refuse to tell me more. This morning was somehow different but everyone is allowed their cranky Mondays sometimes.

“Nope, she’s still hiding somewhere,” he answered and it was clear that he wasn’t his smiling self.

We didn’t talk at all the rest of the way but I probably shouldn’t have read that much into it since it was Monday and we were both very tired. There was something else though that was different. Oscar kept giving me these looks through the entire day. It was kind of like he wanted to tell me something but I wasn’t sure and I didn’t ask. We just walked side by side in the hall and talked about unimportant things like next week’s assignment and what was for lunch that day.

School was almost over when I got a petrifying call.

“Hey, it’s Mom,” my mom said on the other end and her voice sounded worried. “You need to come to the hospital right now. Lily was in an accident.”

I don’t remember much of what happened after I hung up, it’s all kind of a blurry memory, like something someone else experienced and I only heard about. Anyway, I had somehow gotten myself to the hospital but I couldn’t think clearly. My little sister might be in danger and there was nothing I could do but wait. I sat in the waiting room at the hospital with my mom and Oscar. That was probably how I got there, Oscar would’ve taken my car and drove us there. I tried to distract myself while we waited by listening to a clock ticking, a phone ringing somewhere, and doctors hurrying somewhere. A little boy was running around the waiting room on his little feet with a toy train. “Choo-choo,” he sang as he dragged the train on the floor.

Finally, a doctor came out and asked to see my mom.

“As you know, your daughter was hit by a car and had a very bad landing. It turns out she-,” then the doctor went on to say a lot of things I didn’t understand or maybe I just didn’t want to listen. He said something about the spine and how some glass from the car window went into her back and then he went on to use a lot of medical words that had no meaning to me. I waited until he would say something about what was going to happen to my little sister. “I’m afraid Lily will not be able to walk again.”

There it was. It was like someone had knocked all the air out of my body. My mom started crying quietly and I felt Oscar squeeze my hand lightly, I didn’t even notice that he’d taken my hand in the first place. I was glad he was there. I had never been so mad at anyone before. This person hit my beautiful, little sister with that car and took away her ability to walk forever. I couldn’t believe it, there had to be some way that she’d get back on her feet. There just had to be.

Lily had to stay at the hospital for a few days, we weren’t sure for how long. Mom stayed with her for a while and stayed the night. When I got home I went straight to bed exhausted, I was glad this awful day was over and I could disappear into sleep for as long as I wanted.


I woke up around noon, I decided to stay home today since I wouldn’t be able to concentrate at school anyway. I talked to my mom on the phone for a while and thankfully Lily had slept through the entire night. The same thing couldn’t be said about Mom, she’d woken up every hour to see if Lily was okay.

After I finished breakfast I decided to go out for a walk. It was warm outside and the sun was shining so I only needed a light jacket. I found myself walking in the direction of Oscar’s house, he lived only a couple of houses away. That was always very convenient when we were kids. I could go over there whenever I wanted, we still spent a lot of time together but it wasn’t the same as when we were younger. I knocked and Oscar came to the door.

“Hey, do you want to go for a walk with me?” I asked and he didn’t even answer, just grabbed a jacket and closed the door behind him.

We walked down the street together but no one really knew what to say since yesterday. We knew Lily was going to be okay, except for the fact that she would never walk again. I remembered that time when Oscar and I took Lily ice-skating. She looked so happy, like she was flying on the ice. Then every time she fell down she’d have fits of laughter like it was the funniest thing that ever happened. She wasn’t even 12 years old and would be forced to sit in a wheelchair for the rest of her life. There was nothing fair about this. Then there were all the times we went on our bikes to the park. We always pretended it was a race but Oscar and I let Lily win most of the time.

I guess Oscar has always been there. He was almost like a part of the family but I wouldn’t go as far to say he’s like a brother to me. In that moment, walking there with him and remembering all those times with him and Lily, I knew I was the luckiest girl in the world to have him by my side.


After our walk, we drove to the hospital to see Lily. Mom was still there but she went for looking for some coffee to give us some time alone with Lily. As soon as we walked into Room 44B Lily’s face turned into a smile. That’s one of the greatest things about her. She’s more positive than anyone I know and has such a big heart for everyone. Even though it has barely been 24 hours since she learned she’d never walk again, she was able to smile only at the sight of Oscar and me walking in.

“How are you doing, Lil?”

“I’m okay. Just trying to let it all sink in, I guess,” she answered and looked at her legs. The hardest part would probably be when she could come home and had to learn to live with this disability. That’s when it would finally sink in for real.

“Well, we’re here for you if you need anything,” Oscar told her. He’s been around the family for such a long time that he’s been kind of a big brother figure for Lily. We don’t have a brother or a man at the house since Dad left so it’s nice to have him around. It was all very hard for me to talk about. Oscar had tried to make me talk about it the day before but it was too soon. It had only been a day since it happened when we were there visiting her and I had a hard time just talking to her. But Lily knows me almost better than anyone so I hoped she understood.

We stayed and talked with her for a few hours, she fell asleep for the middle part and Oscar and I watched TV when she slept. It was a good day considering we spent it at the hospital with my little sister who had just lost her ability to walk. We were all trying to look at the bright side and be thankful for the fact that Lily was alive. She could have died but at least she was still here and of course, that was something to be thankful for. I looked at the time again and it was getting late so we decided to go home but I promised Lily I would be back the next day.


On our way home from the hospital Oscar was very quiet. It was a bit strange with him these days, he wasn’t normally like this. Another thing I like about him, he always has something to say. I’m more reserved and shy but he talks enough for the both of us.

“Do you mind if we go for a quick walk?” he asked the moment I parked in front of my house.

“Sure,” was all I said. We took the direction down the street. It was a beautiful, calm evening and the sky was filled with stars, each competing with the next one about who shines the brightest.

“Heather, there’s something I want to talk to you about and I’ve been thinking a lot about this.”

“Okay,” I was both curious and nervous about what he was going to say.

“You’re my best friend in the whole world,” he started. “And I never want to do anything that might drive you away …” he drifted off for a moment, deciding on what to say next. “Heather, I love you,” he stopped there.

“Okay, I love you too silly, what’s this about?” I said half-laughing and stopped to look at him. His whole face was starting to go red and he rubbed his hands on his pants like he was drying off sweat. I guess I knew that he didn’t just mean he loved me as a friend but I got scared and needed to play it cool for a second. If he wanted me to get it he would have to spell it out for me.

“No, I mean I’m in love with you and I have been for a long time.” Okay, I had to say something soon. “I never wanted to say anything because I was afraid you might not feel the same way,” he was starting to look more confident now and he just stood there, looking at me and waiting for a response.

“Why are you telling me this now?” I asked and couldn’t take my eyes away from his trying to figure out where this was coming from.

“Because after your sister’s accident and everything, I realized that I could lose you at any moment. I know it’s cliché but it’s the truth,” he admitted. “But I’ve felt like this for too long not to tell you.”

I didn’t know what to say. It seemed like I had lost all my vocabulary and Oscar just continued to look at me. Finally, I gave him a hug.

“I love you too,” I whispered. “But I’m not ready to be with you now. After all that’s happened in the last few days … it’s too sudden.”

When I pulled away from the hug, Oscar had a hurt look on his face. I felt tears trying to force their way out and down my face.

“I’m sorry,” I said. “I just know that if we started a relationship now we would end up hurting each other and maybe we couldn’t even still be friends after that. I won’t be able to give you the attention and care you deserve so soon after what happened with Lily, so you’ll end up hurt and I will too. I think it’s better if we wait.”

Oscar let a few seconds pass, which felt like minutes, while he decided what to say.

“I know you’re probably right. I’m willing to wait, but I will definitely be here when you’re ready,” he said and even gave me a subtle smile. Relief and happiness are the two feelings I felt in that moment. I knew he was always going to be there for me and we would someday have our fairytale ending.


Actually, it didn’t happen like that at all. This is what I wish would’ve happened. Here’s the real story. When Oscar had spelled it out for me that he was in love with me and wanted to be with me, I knew instantly that I felt all the same things for him. We shared an amazing kiss like you’ve seen in the movies and I never wanted it to end. We started dating and it went well for a few weeks. He was so nice and helpful with everything concerning Lily that I couldn’t believe anyone could be so selfless and never ask for anything in return. But one afternoon after two months of a relationship so perfect it was unreal he told me that he wasn’t happy. It had been a very nice day. We had just come home from being with Lily at the park all day, it was one of the first days she felt confident enough to go outside in her wheelchair. We’d gone to the park and made a picnic for her. It was all very romantic and perfect. When he told me he wasn’t happy it was like someone had stabbed me with a knife and twisted it inside me. How could I not have seen it? Oscar tried to explain it to me and told me that he wanted nothing more than to be able to be there for me and my family, but it’s also been really hard for him because I never stopped to see what I could do for him. I guess I got caught up in my own needs and found it only natural that he would always be there for me all the time. I forgot that he also needed me. We had a long conversation about everything that happened in the last two months and decided the best thing would be to break up. We’re still friends but not like before, I don’t know if we’ll ever get there again. We promised each other that we would try again someday and I truly hope we will. In the meantime, I constantly think about the first story I told you, the one I made up about how I was smart enough to wait until I was ready to be with him in the way we both deserve.


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