Looking in the mirror, I see a seventeen year old with dark blue eyes, long brown hair, and a crooked smile. To be honest, I think I am the only person who kind of still sees myself like this. Everyone else around
me sees a monster, and I am starting to see it too.
As I finished putting on my makeup, I turned and looked at Callie. Of course, she had her head stuck in her book; she loved reading more than anything in the world. I coughed loudly on purpose so she would look up. “Yes or no to this outfit?” I asked.
Callie is my best friend; she has been my best friend since we were about seven years old. When I moved to Fort Collins, CO, I began going to the same school as she did. Callie and I have always stuck together since then. She has been there for me since day one and I couldn’t be more thankful.
Callie beamed and nodded her head.
I grinned back at her and said, “Thanks! Are you excited for the party? I heard Aiden is gonna be there.” Callie has liked this boy named Aiden for a long time, but he has a girlfriend. I always give her a rough time about it just to mess around.
“Seriously, stop,” she said in a sassy voice. “ you know that I don’t have a chance with him. Even if him and Helen broke up he still wouldn’t like me, but, I am pretty excited about this party.”
I was excited for the party too; it’s at Colin Baker’s house. His parents are rich, and they don’t really care what he does as long as he gets good grades in school. He’s had a few parties this year, but this one is supposed to be the best because it’s the “End of the School Year” party. These parties include lots of drinking, but usually I only have one or two drinks and then I’m done. Everyone else at these parties get hammered, including Callie. I’ve tried getting her to stop drinking so much but she can’t. She said that it’s a habit that she can’t break.
I sat down on the bed and patted Callie on the back, “Promise me that you will drink slim to none tonight. Softball is about to start and I don’t want you to get in trouble and not be able to play your senior year. I am not being rude, I am just looking out for you,”
She sighed, “I promise.. Pinky swear?” She held up her right pinky finger and I held up mine. Our pinkies interlocked and I felt a bit less worried.
I grabbed the keys to my car and looked into the mirror one last time, fixing my denim skinny jeans at the end. I looked away from the mirror and asked, “Are you ready?” Callie smiled and nodded her head as she opened my bedroom door.
We marched down the stairs and into the living room. My mom was standing in the kitchen cleaning while my dad was sitting on the couch. We exchanged ‘I love you’ and before I knew it we were out the door and on our way to Colin Baker’s house. In the car, Callie and I blast country music. My mom yells at me for it all the time because supposedly it’s a “distraction”, but I could care less. I want to live my life in the moment and be glad that I made lots of memories in high school.
Callie reached back into the cooler and grabbed two Bud Lights, one for me, and one for her. She opened the lids and said, “Cheers to having one last memory before we are off to college! Let’s make this a night to remember! Well.. If I get drunk.. I guess I won’t remember this. Oh well.” She made an evil face and took a drink. She handed me one and yelled “Chug it!” I took a drink and then shook my head. “Oh come on, what happened to ‘living in the moment’?” she asked as she took a chug of her drink.
“No Callie! I am not chugging it!” I yelled. I always have to yell at Callie in order for her to be quiet and I always end up feeling bad afterwards.
It was silent in the vehicle for a couple minutes until I heard a phone buzz. I looked down at my phone and realized it was a facebook message from someone I requested clothes from awhile ago. I picked my cellphone out of my lap and started typing.
When I opened my eyes, I saw nothing but blur. It took a couple seconds but then my vision cleared. I looked around noticing that I was in the middle of a field of dirt. Why am I outside? Why am I bleeding? Why am I even here? I tried standing up but my entire leg was throbbing, so I just sat back down. Wait.. Wasn’t I just with Callie? “Callie!” I screamed. Nothing. I heard absolutely nothing. With tears in my eyes, I slowly turned around and saw a smashed car on its top. “Callie!” I kept shouting, hoping to hear something.
I crawled over to the car in lots of pain. I grunted with every move I made. I looked in the car and saw Callie. Motionless. I could barely recognise her with all of the cuts, bruises, and glass on her face. “Wake up, wake up,” I said in tears while shaking her shoulder. “Please wake up!”
“We have a car accident on Century Road,” I heard someone say into a walkie-talkie sort of device. Suddenly EMTs lifted me onto a stretcher and carried me into a helicopter. All kinds of people were hooking up IVs other medical stuff onto Callie and I. The light dimmed and my mind slowly drifted away.
I felt numb, I couldn’t feel a thing. I slowly moved my head to the left and asked “Callie, is that you? Callie!” I tried getting up but EMTs held me down before I could do anything else. “Is she dead?!” I shouted.
“Calm down honey, it’s going to be okay. I’ll tell you everything when we get to the hospital. For right now, I want you to lay down and relax,” a women said.
I looked at her and said, “That girl right there is my best friend. We have been friends since we were seven years old. I can’t lose her. If I lose her, I don’t know if I’d even want to be alive anymore,” I exclaimed, “This is all my fault. Please make sure she doesn’t die. Do all you can. Please.” Several tears slipped from my eyes and it stung the cuts on my face.
“Sweetie, we are doing everything we can. Here, just tell me about the things that make you happy, it will make you feel better.” she said with a beam.
Even though my face was swollen, I managed to put up a fake smile and ask, “How am I supposed to talk about what makes me happy, when she is laying in a stretcher dying next to me?”
The women turned away because she couldn’t hold in the tears anymore. She cried loudly and walked to a different section.
I glanced up at the ceiling of the helicopter and slowly shut my eyes. I imagined that if none of this
was real, I’d be at home with Callie and everything would be alright. Tears slipped from my eyes and I couldn’t help but feel guilty for all of this. I thought for a long time, but I slowly passed out and didn’t even realize it.
A couple hours later, I woke up in a hospital bed. My leg was hanging in a sling, my right arm was in a cast, and a large bandage was wrapped around my head. My mom was sitting on the left side of my bed holding my hand and my little sister Rylee was sitting on her lap. She was bawling her eyes out. She calmed herself down to the point where she could talk and asked, “How are you feeling?”
I let out a huge puff of air and thought for a moment about Callie. “Where’s Callie?” Right as I asked a doctor walked into my room and pulled my mother out into the hallway. “Mom! Where’s Callie?” She was out of the room before I could say anything else.
In a couple minutes, my mom walked back into the room, holding her face in her hands. The doctor was following behind her. “I am here to inform you that the fatality of Callie was caused by Epidural Hematoma, a head injury. We weren’t at the scene in time to stop the bleeding. I am very sorry for your loss.”
My best friend died that day, and it was all because of one choice. It was a stupid choice, and I will regret it for the rest of my life.
When I tell people the story of how I killed my best friend, I always remind them that when you’re texting and driving or drinking and driving, you are putting other’s lives and your own life in danger. There’s a different time and place for your cell phone and alcohol. One text or drink can change your entire life.
It can wait. Make the right choice.