I walk through the school hallway, eyes straying every few seconds to you. No one told me it would be this difficult. I watch you, noticing your slumped posture and tear-stained cheeks. Your eyes are red-rimmed and swimming with unshed tears. I watch in pain as you lean against the wall, arm stretched out to support you, and more tears spill out of your eyes that you are squeezing shut. I slowly walk over to your shaking body.
I try to wrap my arms around you, but they slide right through your body, as if passing through air. I had known it wouldn’t work, it hasn’t worked since I woke up to this life. I slide down against the wall, tears soaking my face.
I can’t take this anymore! What evil have I done to deserve this? I watch you again, you have slid down the wall, the exact position I'm in. I shift next to you. Even though you’ll never know I’m here, I still want to be close to you. You reach in your pocket and pull out a picture, faded in certain spots from tears.
I smile sadly at the picture. It’s the picture I gave him for his seventeenth birthday. One I took on my Polaroid camera. We are laughing, standing in front of the huge Christmas tree at the Anthem Outlets. I’m looking at the camera, a huge smile on my face. But he’s looking at me, his smile conveying a totally different meaning than mine. I look up at you and see a single tear roll down your cheek. I never meant for you to go through this. It isn’t right for you to go through this.
It happened so suddenly, even I was surprised. The truck came out of nowhere. I was on my way home from Carter’s. Our houses are so close we could walk to and from them. The light had just turned white, signaling for me to cross the street. I was smiling to myself, lost in my thoughts of my time at Carter’s house. That’s when the black truck came speeding towards me, running the red light. I don’t remember much except the pain when the truck hit me head-on. I could barely breathe. By the time the ambulance got there, it was too late.
The after-life is nothing like I thought it would be. I had always thought that I would fly up to Heaven right when I died. But as soon as my heart stopped, I basically floated out of my body and could see everything happening around me. I remember a middle-aged guy with a mustache, running over to me, seconds after it had happened. He’s the one who called the police. I might’ve survived if the force of the truck hitting me hadn’t flung me across the road. I can also pin-point the exact moment Carter got to the accident.
His face was a mask of horror and shock. He knelt down beside me, holding my limp hand. I could tell he knew it was too late, but he stayed there anyway. He’s the one who called my mother.
I wipe my tears away with the back of my hand and realize Carter’s left. The bell must’ve rung for the next period to start. I wish I could do something to help or comfort him. My death has really taken a toll on him. He’s strayed away from his other friends, not really talking to anyone. He barely eats and with one look at his eyes you can tell how much sleep he gets.
I just wish we’d had more time together. We’d barely even known each other. It seemed like we’d known each other forever though. I mean, basically, we had. We hadn’t always been close or even friends for that matter. Yes, we knew each other, since we lived so close, but there was just something about each other that we couldn’t stand. We would insult each other as we passed in the hallways, and we would shove the other over whenever insulted.
I think it was freshman year in high school that our cruel insults turned into playful jabs, we even stopped shoving each other. It was the middle of that year when we started talking and having actual conversations. The weird thing was that I actually enjoyed talking to him. We kept getting closer and closer after that until we started dating Junior year. It would’ve been a year since we started dating, tomorrow. It’s funny how the world works like that. You could hate someone with your whole heart one day, and the next be in love with them.
I stand up from against the wall. I sigh as I look at the empty halls. I always hated this place. It was where I was judged and scorned. But now, it seems like home. With all the kids acting normal, going about their days, it’s just comforting somehow.
I walk outside to the half-wall, where I always sit when school lets out. I can watch Carter from here without being in the way of everyone. It’s not like it would bother them, but there’s something unsettling about people passing through your body. I sit down, head resting on my hands. There’s about fifteen to thirty minutes before class lets out, but Carter always comes out early. It gives him time to think before the chaos of his friends coming out and talking and laughing. I hear the gym doors open and close a couple minutes later and I smile.
Carter walks out, backpack slung over one shoulder. He sets his stuff down on the table and sits on top of the table. He slumps over and puts his face in his hands. I imagine more tears are making their way down his face.
I frown when I hear the gym doors bang shut. No one’s usually out of class except for Carter. I watch as a girl I’ve never seen before walks up to Carter and does what I’ve been longing to do. She sits on the table, next to him, and puts an arm around his heaving shoulders. No words are said. She is about my height, and her hair is a short, curly brown, opposed to my super long deep black hair. She has a bit of a tan.
I sigh as he leans into her. There’s no use in being jealous. He’s finally being comforted, and I’m glad. I rise from where I’d been sitting, Carter doesn’t need me watching over him anymore. He is going to be okay. He’ll get through this just fine. And that moment is when I finally get taken to Heaven.