"Hey there! Who are you?" I looked at the boy sitting on his front porch, crying. When he heard me, he looked up and stared, shocked that someone was talking to him.
"I-I fell and scraped my knee." He cried, tears coming down at a rapid rate. He wiped the tears off while I tried not to create new ones.
"Please, don't cry-" I sobbed, I always cry whenever anyone else was crying.
I sat down next to the boy, crying into my knees. He was surprised, but kept crying with me.
"We should go find your mommy. She will make this better."
"Yea, shes awesome." He sniffed. We sat there, crying our eyes out, until my sister, Mia, came running.
"Juilàn! There you are! It's time for dinner." She looked at us, confused. We looked at her, eyes red and puffy, noses running and hiccups constantly erupting from our mouths.
"What is going on?" She sighed.
"He was cheering me up." The boy smiled/sniffed.
"Ooookay. Juilán, Come on, mom and dad are waiting." I looked at the boy, he looked better. He wiped all the snot off his face, smiled and gave a little nod.
I smiled and started walking away, but the boy grabbed my arm.
"My name is Ester. What's your's?" I looked at him and smiled again.
"Juilán!" Someone called my name, snapping me back to reality.
"Do you have what you wanted?" I looked at Mia, than down at the open book in my hand. I suddenly remembered where we were and why we were there. We were at our favorite bookstore, so that I could get inspiration for another story I had in my mind. I noticed, when I would read some of my favorite books, stories popped into my head, whenever this happened I wrote them down. The notes function on my phone is filled with stories, stories lists of anime and books I need to look into and more stories. I basically write fanfiction, not the creepy kind. The “and so the story continues” kind. A lot of people seem to like them and give me positive feedback. So, I write my “the story continues” fanfiction while keeping it a secret, since it seems to be frowned upon, only a few people know. The first person who knew was Ester.
"Earth to Juilán! Do. You. Want. That. Book?! Sawyer is probably wondering if we got eaten by zombies by now"
"Huh? Oh Yea, sure."
"Super." She grabbed the book and we walked over to Ester. He often read my stories and would give me advice about the possibilities of where the plot could go.
"Juilán got what he wanted, are you ready to go?"
"Whats up buddy?" I looked at the book he was reading, the seventh Harry Potter book, by J.K. Rowling, oh the classics. He discovered the Harry Potter series only recently, and read all of the other books within a matter of days. Only one book left and that was in his hands. However I saw the price for the book, $29?
"Ester, do you have enough money to buy this book?"
"Of course." He smiled. We both raised eyebrows at the same time. Ester had a talent for biting off more than he could chew. This, unfortunately, has happened more than once. Like the time he agreed to help that one jock with his homework, but ended up just doing the homework for him. And that time when he was left to put up every piece of decoration for the 8th grade graduation. The list goes on.
"Okay, give me that." Mia snatched the book out of his hand and ran to the cashier.
"Mia! Get back here! I can pay for it, I just need $10 more!" Ester ran after her but running was not his speciality. While they ran around the store like maniacs, I walked behind them and laughed, the only thing these two have in common was their childish spirits.
We paid (against Ester’s protests) for each of the books and walked outside. We then proceeded to stand there and soak in the sunlight.
“Winter’s over! School’s over! Everything is amazing at this current moment!” Mia beamed. We all breathed in the afternoon air and sighed happily. After we breathed in and out simultaneously for several minutes, we started the journey to our next stop, Sawyer’s house! A new family moved into the neighborhood we three live in and they have a kid named Sawyer, who we learned later, shared our same interests in anime, books, movies, you name it! Me, Mia and Ester have been an inseparable trio but when we met Sawyer, we knew our posy was getting a new member. We walking along merrily until Mia brought up a strange subject, girls.
“Sooo, anybody in your class ask you out yet Ester? You're quite popular with the ladies you know.” she winked. “The girls in my class practically drool over you. You are quite the ladies man!” Ester averted his eyes to the ground and blushed.
“No, no one has asked me and I’m not a ‘ladies man’.”
“Ahh, so noble, so modest.” I chimed in, a grin spreading across my face.
“And he’s cute and he’s quiet and nice and…. and….”
“A book lover!” Mia helped out. He continued to fixate his stare to the ground.
“Please stop.” His shaggy strawberry blonde hair fell, slightly covering his eyes.
“Oh I forgot, he already has his eyes on someone!” I realized. Ester’s head shot up and turned to me, giving me a glare that read “Not helping!”
“Oh really now?” She threw an arm around Ester. “I had absolutely no idea! So, who's the lucky-” She didn’t finish her sentence because Ester took off running, but tripped on a crack in the side walk. We ran to his care, giggling along the way.
“Ester sorry! Are you okay?” I asked as he got up.
“Yea, no, I’m fine.” He got up and brushed the dust off of himself.
“Okay, never poke fun at Ester again. But seriously who's the girl?” Mia said, however Ester took off running again.
“Oh come on Ester! Twas a joke!” He kept going, taking a sharp right turn, onto a busy street.
“Ester! Stop!” Mia shouted, but I saw what he was doing. Two kids were waddling across the street, not minding or caring where they exactly were. The light was green, cars were starting to close in. Ester got there to push the kids out of the way in time. They made it out okay. Ester however….
I stood there not believing my eyes, my best friend, who had no allergies and has never broken a bone, was lying in the road, not getting up or brushing this off like he normally does.
Mia was the first to react, rushing to his care. She turned to see me not moving and came back to drag me along the way. I couldn’t move, I felt numb and sick. We got to him as fast as we could and tried feeling a pulse, breathing, any signs of life. I saw the two kids standing there looking devastated, that they’re hero was now unconscious, and confused about what they should do. I tried but couldn’t smile, I motioned for them to go home, that everything was alright. they reluctantly left.
“I have a pulse.” I turned my attention back to the situation at hand.
“Is he okay?” A man rushed up to us. I looked and saw the car that ran Ester over was now parked on the side of the road and this was the driver running up to us. The driver that sealed Ester’s fate.
“Call an ambulance!” Mia snapped, her voice so fierce, it made the man flinch. She must have figured it out earlier than I did.
“Now!” The man hesitated then fished out his cell phone and call 911, explaining the situation. I always imagined in this scenario, I would be the first person to call for help. I guess this whole situation proved me wrong though. The ambulance soon pulled in and hospital attendants burst out of the vehicle and rushed to Ester’s care. He was placed carefully in a stretcher and rushed into the ambulance. We were about to climb in when an attendant stopped us.
“Sorry, we only have room for one more person.” Mia shoved me into the vehicle.
“You go! I’ll tell everyone and meet you at the hospital.” The attendant helped me into the vehicle before I could really process what was happening at the moment. The doors closed and we zoomed off. I watched Mia’s figure get smaller, than race in the direction of our neighborhood. I spent the trip to the hospital gripping my jeans and staring down into my lap, trying my best not to cry.
What if he never wakes up?!
No, stop it mind! He’s Ester! He’ll be fine.
He just got hit by a car going at least 45 miles per hour. You can’t sit there thinking everything will be fine! Life doesn’t have a happy ending Julian!
Mind…. I’m warning you shut up!
You know you can’t shut off your own mind!
Shut up! Leave me to my thoughts!
These ARE your thoughts idiot! It’s all your fault! If you were more observant, you could have saved those kids instead of Ester! You know about his current grade in gym!
Tears welled in my eyes and one by one, rolled down my cheeks. I started flashing back to when I was younger, how I couldn’t conceal the fact that I was sad. As I got older, I could hide it better, except in really bad situations. This, was a bad one, a terrible scenario if I’ve ever seen one. Tears were falling continuously, leaving stains on my jeans as well as my face. I plucked off my glasses and wiped off the extra tears with my sleeve. Not that it did any good. We finally got to the hospital and I ran along side the attendants, rushing Ester to a room. They entered a room and instructed me to stay here. I stared at the closed door in disbelief. Than, without much to do, I sat down, wallowing in my guilt once again. Mia came not too long after I got there, she brought along with her Sawyer, mom, dad, and Jason and Lila, Ester’s parents. I looked up at them, only to have Mia force me into a hug. If she had done this at any other time, I would have shrugged her off. She would have only hugged me if she wanted something. But this time, I let her hug me. When she let go, I saw her own face, eyes red and her cheeks stained with tears. Sawyer and Ester’s parents looked as if they were about to break. I could practically see an almost physical/metaphorical cloud of sadness hanging over them. I think I’m starting to lose it. We waited…. And waited…. And waited….. As we waited. A doctor came out and said the words.
“He will be okay.” The tension that awkwardly hung around the room was immediately lifted. Until the doctor said “I think.”
“What do you mean you ‘think’?!” Lila demanded.
“He will live, but he has some bad injuries and I’m not quite sure yet how they will affect him. He will have to stay here for a while.” He talked to Jason and Lila to get all of Ester’s health information. I held my elbiws and sighed sadly, feeling a hand on my shoulder.
“He’s going to be fine. He’s Ester.” I turned to see Sawyer, smiling and blowing that one piece of blonde hair out of the way of sight.
“I can’t help but feel like I’m too blame.”
“Well, I wasn’t there but, from what Mia was telling us, I can tell you with confidence.” Sawyer grabbed my shoulders and looked into my eyes.
“It’s not your fault. And anyone who tells you differently is wrong.”
“Funny, my own mind is telling me different.” I kinda chuckled. Sawyer looked a little worried but went to comfort Mia, who was most likely muttering swear words under her breath. I looked into the room Ester was currently in. He was sitting upright and looking around. My eyes widened as I walked to the room.
“Julián?!” I entered as everyone saw what I was seeing. A very much alive and well looking Ester! Everyone filed into the room and me, Mia and Sawyer hugged him.
“Dude, never do that ever again. You almost scared me half to death.” Mia giggled.
“For me, theres no ‘half to death’ you scared me to death period. Never do that again….” We could suddenly feel that he wasn’t hugging us back. In fact he was squirming. As if he was trying to get out of the hug. We released and stared in shock at our friend who stared back at us in confusion.
“.....Ester? You okay buddy?” He tilted his head then asked
“Ester? Whose Ester?” Silence. All eyes locked on him.
“You are. Your name is Ester.” He tilted his head.
“Is it? I feel more like a Felix.” A devastating cry bursted out of Lila behind me. I turned to see her bury her face into her husband’s chest, who also couldn’t hold back the tears anymore and were now streaming down his face. I turned back to give Ester my “you're joking right?” face which he paid no mind to and was focused on the crying couple who couldn’t look at their son.
“Who are they?” He asked me, noticing my own puffy eye, tear stained, all around sad face.
“Your parents.” I responded.
Life doesn’t have a happy ending Julián.