I reached for the small rock that I had been using to mark the red brick wall.
A week has already passed. 7 short vertical lines left tiny indents in the worn down brick. The wall had been there practically forever. It didn’t serve an actual purpose but it did give us a place to sit. I came here everyday after it happened to mark the days she was gone. It wasn’t fair but there was nothing I could do about it. She didn’t deserve to take her final breaths against a dirty wall.
It was hot, we were only outside for barely 20 minutes. We were about to go inside after our skin got sticky from the sweat that dripped down our backs. One car two shots, one for her and the other for me. Mine got stuck in my leg, I was considered lucky because I was standing when the guns were fired. Hers got stuck in her chest slightly missing her heart. It didn’t matter if the bullet didn’t tear her heart, the shot was still fatal.
She died in my arms taking her final short breaths as I laid her head down. It happened so quickly I didn’t even scream. I just stood there helpless as my friend bled in my arms. What could I have done? I couldn’t fish out the bullet that would have hurt her. It could’ve helped but what if it didn’t. I didn’t want to hurt her but I didn’t want to watch her die.
I came to the wall everyday hoping for something. Hoping that someone or something could bring her back. She was my best friend. Maybe I was hoping that a bullet would leave me dead on the dry concrete as it did her so we could be reunited. It was stupid to think that but she was my only friend. She was gone now but I refused to accept that so I came back to this wall everyday to see if she would come back.
I was back at home but didn’t remember walking back. My memory was becoming a fuzzy mess and I couldn’t remember simple things like I used to. I was too busy thinking about what I could have done differently. I felt guilt for not being able to help her for not even trying. I felt guilty even if I knew I couldn’t have done anything. I was in my room staring at my ceiling when I heard my parents call me down to eat dinner. The rest of the night was a blur and I woke up the next day.
8 days. I overheard my parents talking about moving when I was in the hospital recovering from my leg wound. I remember them saying it was for the best. That it would be better for me if I wasn’t constantly reminded of what had happened. They probably were right but moving would have proven to be ineffective. Everything I saw reminded me of her. The crack in the sidewalk reminded me of the time I had tripped and she laughed at me for it. The turn around the corner reminded me of the time she almost ran into after trying to catch up with me. Everywhere I turned everything I looked at was a reminder that she was gone and I would never see her again.
It's been two months since she was murdered; we never did find out who killed her. As I was walking to the old red brick wall I saw something. It wasn’t there anymore, it was just gone. There was no evidence to say that it had been destroyed; it was just taken. Another thing that was gone forever leaving behind only a subtle sign that it had ever been there in the first place. It left a faint shadow in the ground where it used to be. The last place she had been was taken from me just like she was. All of the marks just disappeared. They were just marks that would’ve seemed insignificant to anyone else but they represented the days she was gone.
They made sure that I didn’t forget she was ever there. Her family moved away after removing all of her things. I wanted something of hers but couldn’t have it so I used the wall. Now that was gone and it was just another thing I had to move on from.
I never understood why my parents wanted me to move on so quickly. Wouldn’t it be better if I dealt with her death rather than forget it. Even if I tried to forget her I wouldn’t be able to. I wouldn’t want to forget the only person that truly understood me. Since the first day we met each other it felt like we were connected. Like there was an invisible string that connected us to each other like we were meant to be in a way. The day she died was the day someone cut the string between us. It was like someone took away a part of me. She was my everything and I was her now I was nothing. I couldn’t move on from that I couldn’t just forget so I forced myself to remember. I went to the wall every day to remember her now the wall was gone.
No wall meant she couldn’t be remembered. Sure there were other ways to remember her happier ways but I had to go there. It was like I was torturing myself for not saving her for not giving my life in exchange for hers. Now my torture device was gone. Part of me wanted it to be gone. I wanted to destroy the wall myself to end my own suffering. The other part of me wanted the wall to stay forever just as a reminder that I had failed.
That I had failed her.
Now the only thing left to remind me of her was the faint sound of two gunshots that constantly played in the back of my mind.
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Beautiful story Alana, great job! :)
Thank you :)