Chapter I - It all begins here...Mature

Everything began on a quiet Friday night, the traffic cruised lazily on St-Catherine as I waited sitting at a terrace, a paperback in one hand, a frappucino in the other. Overhead the radio spewed some god awful pop music.

I checked my watch just as a man sat across me, I looked up at him, recognizing William, my work buddy and childhood friend. We both contrasted heavily on each other, With his dark pony tail, his van dyke and bronzed skin despite being late November. I on the other hand was un-noteworthy in just about every level. Brown eyes and hair, unremarkable build and pale complexion.

"You're late" I declared.

"Usually, if I recall correctly, it's you that's late."

I let out an annoyed sigh, since he was right, before I asking "Did you bring them?"

Out of his jacket's pocket, he flashed out a pair of tickets. "Sixth row, 45th and 46th seats.
God bless employee's discount. Oh and my brother too..."

"So, what took you so long? We were supposed to meet here at seven."
"I couldn't find them..."

I rolled my eyes at him and said "You seriously need to clean your place up man."

"Hey, I've got a social life Zeke. I don't have time for that"

"Should I be feeling targeted?" I asked, staring into will's eyes.

"Eh... Look, let's just forget about it, before it goes into an argument. 'Kay?" He then rummaged around his pockets before claiming "I forgot my phone... You got the time?"
"Nine, fifty five." I replied after a second look at my watch. "9:55..." I muttered again...

Across me, Will jumped up "Dude! We're gonna be late!" He then grabbed his stuff and
nearly sprinted out of the coffee shop, leaving me behind...

I finished my drink in a single shot and ran after him. The Concert hall was a good half hour away. And we had only a few minutes before the opening...

We both ran down the street, doing quite a few illegal crossing. Or rather, Will ran as I panted heavily jogging sluggishly a good ten meters behind him, Too much time passed on the Xbox do that to you... He abruptly stopped his sprint mid street and turned around to face me.

He yelled the words "Jeez Zeke, hurry up or we're gonna--"
That was as far as his sentence got... He probably never noticed the screeching sound of tires as a bus rammed him...

Now, I can say two things when I think back to this night. One; it wasn't pretty Two; That's a great way to ruin an evening.

The ride in the ambulance wasn't really long, but it surely felt like an eternity. Next to me, the paramedics worked on Will, he wasn't conscious and had gone into cardiac arrest...
There was jack squat that I could do, and I was pissed. In a way it was my fault. If he hadn't stopped for me, it wouldn't have happened...

At the hospital, the docs wheeled him away into the operation room and I was left waiting. I could have left. But I couldn't. I couldn't do it, I had to be there.

The night passed, stretching every minutes into hours. A kind nurse passing by gave me a coffee and blanket.

It went on, until around noon on the next day. When he finally got out of surgery. It was only then his brother came by...

As I learned from the doctors, he had gotten many bone fractures all over his body, internal hemorrhage and his head had also taken quite a blow. They couldn't tell if he'd have permanent damage yet, but it was very likely...

But at least he was alive.

Days passed, until he finally regained consciousness. I was on the nearby seat, dozing off from lack of sleep when I heard him utter "Zeke..."

"Will!" I all but yelled waking up, looking at him. He was awake, his eyes were glassy from the morphine. I got the chair closer to him and asked "It's a stupid question but... How are you holding up?"

He laughed a bit which made him groan in pain. "I'm alive so I'd say good." "Everyone's sent you cards and stuff." I said smiling faintly, pointing with the thumb to the literal boxes of get well cards he'd received.

"How long has it been?"

"Five days."

"And you're still here? What are you, my mother?"

At least his sense of humor was still alive.

"I had to, your family didn't come often. Someone had to be there for you."

He gave me a broad smile, trying to hide the pain he was feeling "Man... you look like shite.

Go home and rest 'kay? I'll be fine the docs got me patched up well didn't they?"


"No but. You go home, otherwise you'll end up sharing my room"

I opened my mouth, but then closed it. There wasn't any point arguing with him. Beside, he was right. I hadn't had a night of sleep in nearly a week. I was standing up only due to excessive amount of red bull and coffee.

So I went home. Slowly, over the following month, life went back to normal. I visited him two days later again. But it felt odd... I'd seen him nearly dead and he was now feeling good. Gone were the bruises and many of the bandages. The only indicator of bad health was his skin, he'd lost the tan traded it in for a sickly pallor.

After two weeks, he was already out of the hospital, some said he made a phenomenal recovery, he didn't show any sign of sequel of the accident. He was back to normal. Back to his routine, except work, back to speed dating, sports and partying.

I didn't know why but I felt something in him had changed...

The End

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