“You’re coming to Chris’ party, right?” I asked in a matter-of-face-of-course-you-are tone. I looked up from my freshly painted toenails and looked Nicola in the eye. She had no makeup on and her eyes were puffy and red.
Poor thing. This was the first time she’d ventured out of her house since the funeral and she just looked lost and lonely… like a little old lady left on her own after her life partner’s just died.
“I don’t know,” she murmured back, “I think it’s too soon.”
“Too soon for what?” I asked, bewildered, “Too soon to have fun?”
“Sort of.” Was this really Nicola? My Nicola? The Nicola I’d known since forever? Surly not! My Nicola never said no to a party and was always the one to make it an event worthwhile going to. She’s was the soul of any party – especially when she’d had a bit too much to drink.
“You have to come. Look, Chris posted a message on Twitter earlier advertising it to everyone at school. He’s put that it’s in memory of Sam. He was his best friend, remember. He’s hurting too, but he’s learning to live with it.” I’d hoped I’d sounded sympathetic but obviously not. She looked me in the eye as if I was crazy.
“Are you trying to tell me to just forget him?” she spat. Woah, where’d the timid, depressed Nicola gone? She wasn’t even being herself here. I didn’t like it.
“I never said to forget him, Nic, all I meant was…”
“What? To just pretend that he never existed and move on to someone new? I don’t think so!”
“Nicola, calm down,” I couldn’t deal with her getting hysterical like this, it was too much for me to handle, “Sam is gone! You need to learn to live with that. I know it’s hard for you and I can’t imagine the pain you must be feeling right now, but you need to try, even if it kills you, you need to. You’ll make yourself ill someday.”
“I d-don’t care,” she stammered, tears brimming in her eyes, “I j-just want him b-back!” she collapsed into my arms and sobbed into my chest. I wrapped my arms around her feeble frame and comforted her. She was my best friend and I hated seeing her like this.
“Hey, stop this crying. Sam wouldn’t want to see you like this, would he? Stop this.” I cooed, rubbing my hand up and down her back in rhythmic movements. She sat up, her eyes bloodshot and her nose running. She looked me in the eye and then into her lap. She knew I was right and that she had to learn to move on.
“I just… I just miss him… so, so much.” She murmured. I took hold of her hand.
“I know, honey. I miss him too. And, no, I know I’ll never be able to miss him as much as you but I do miss him too. I loved him like a brother.” We were both silent. The only thing you could hear was our breathing and Nicola’s deep sniffs of snot.
“He said he loved me,” she whispered, still looking down at her lap, “right before he died. He said – shouted out to me – ‘I love you’, and died… just like that… right when that car hit him. His words echoed in my head, round and round and round, as I watched him fall off that bonnet… lifeless… dead.
“I didn’t have to wait for the paramedic’s confirmation to tell me that he was gone, I just knew. As soon as he died, a part of me died too. I’m only half alive… the other half of me is buried in a grave to rot and decay, whilst the rest of me slowly dies and lives with constant heartache.
“He shouldn’t have died; he was far too young. He hadn’t even lived yet! He should be sat at home, listening to music, chatting to people on Twitter and revising for his exams. He should have been able to get good grades and go to College, and then to a good University to be a doctor, a lawyer, or even a mechanic – whatever! – just so long as it made him happy!
“He should have gotten married, had kids – even grandkids – and grown old and wrinkly with the woman he loved. I would kill to be that little old woman, all old and shrivelled in a rocking chair on the front porch with him by my side, counting the days until the day we die. And now, neither of us can have that… all because a stupid car didn’t hit his brakes hard enough.
“I curse that driver and their inability to stamp their foot down on a sodding brake! I hate them for what they’ve done to me, for what they’ve done to him! To both of us! I hope they feel miserable and suicidal for what they’ve done – for what they’ve caused – because if they don’t feel my pain… I’ll make them feel pain. They’ve ruined my life!” she was screaming now, at the top of her voice, her tears collecting in her mouth and the rest pouring down her cheeks and onto her t-shirt.
Her faced was screwed up and red and it wasn’t an attractive sight, but she was my best friend and I really hated seeing her like this. I made me cry. I wrapped my arms tight around her and cried with her. I could feel her pain, her sufferer, her life wasting away. She was hurting so much that flames singing her skin would only feel like a pin prick. She was suffering from a broken heart, something that would take years – if ever – to repair itself fully. I just hoped it was sooner… rather than later.