by Amanda Spain
I still hear the sound of the tires screeching across the wet asphalt. I wake up in the middle of the night feeling the bits of glass scratching my face. I sit in silence, yet I still hear the echoes of our screams. In a dark room, I see flashes of red and blue in the distance. I relive that night every second of every day.
It feels like a dream that you’re gone. I go to bed hoping, praying that the next morning you’ll be alive, but you’re not. I haven’t had a single drink since that night. I can’t bring myself to grab a beer and drink it. I tried once, but the moment the alcohol touched my lips, I was brought back to that night. The night I ruined everything.
We had so many plans for our lives. We were going to travel the world, remember? Take a gap year after graduation before we started our big, real world jobs. My gap year was spent behind bars, alone with my thoughts and regrets.
It’s been over a year, since I took your life away. Everyone around us seems to be healing and learning to move on with life. I guess they had the time to grieve, while I didn’t. I wasn’t able to attend your funeral. I wasn’t able to tell you goodbye properly.
Of course, if it weren’t for me, there wouldn’t be a need for a goodbye.
Everyday I wish that it were me that died. I deserved it. I’m the one, who got drunk and drove home that night. That decision will be the worst one I’ll ever make. I should have listened to you. I should have given you the keys instead of fighting you over them, insisting that I was fine. I told you I wasn’t that drunk because I only had a few drinks.
I thought I was fine. We only lived a few blocks from the house where the party was. We might have made it home had it not started to rain. You might still be here had I not swerved off the road trying to avoid something that wasn’t there. I never meant for the car to start rolling down the hill and slam into a tree. I tried to get us out, I did, but it was too hard.
Darkness surrounded us. I couldn’t see anything. Maybe if I was sober, I could have saved you. If I was sober, we may not have been in this situation.
It seemed like hours before any help came. I sat there watching you die because I was stupid, drunk, and helpless. The sound of screeching metal was deafening as I watched them use the Jaws of Life to get you out of the car; only to realize it was too late.
The paramedics on the scene said you died from blood loss. The console of the car on the passenger side pinned down your legs and once they removed the car a bit, you bled out. You died right there. You didn’t even have a chance. It was a lose- lose situation. The fireman tried to save your life, but in doing so, it ended your life.
It’s not their fault though. It’s mine. I pinned you in that car. I caused you to bleed out and die at the age of twenty-four. The police investigating our crash told me there was never anything in the road. My heart sank down to the ground before shattering in a million pieces. Everything that I caused that night was for nothing.
I will always live with the pain of that night. All of my broken bones, cuts, and bruises have healed from the accident, but the most painful is the scar that I’m left with from it all. The mental wound that I will never recover from. Something a plastic surgeon can’t fix.
You were my best friend and now you’re gone. You’ve been gone for so long, but it still feels like yesterday. We could always tell each other anything, but you’re not here to talk to anymore.
If you were though, I would tell you that I’m sorry. I’m sorry for making that stupid decision. I’m sorry for getting in that car, for driving. I’m sorry for just watching and letting you die.
I folded the paper that I was holding as I read my letter to her tombstone. I placed it into the envelope and licked the seal to activate the glue. Once the letter was closed away, I placed it down on the ground near the yellow roses someone had left prior to my visit.
I placed my hand on the top of her stone and closed my eyes.
“I’m sorry again. I miss you every day. You’re still my best friend. I understand if I’m no longer yours, but I still hope that I am, at least a little bit. I love you. Goodbye, Rae.” I whispered.
The clouds that had covered the sky all day were now starting to separate. The rays of the sun started to shine down and I knew. A smile crossed my lips as I stood up from the ground, giving one last touch to the cold, grey stone before walking away.