I stared at the bright computer screen. It was blinding compared to the darkness that surrounded me. I flipped through many tabs on the computer. This obsession had been the reason that I was sent to countless therapists but I still couldn’t get over it. My parents yelled from the other room “We are having dinner do you want to come join us.”
I shouted back my usual response “I will be down later.”
As I turned back to the screen a flash back overcame me and I was thrown in to the past. The sidewalks and roads were as usual on a Monday morning full of people of people bustling around. I was walking with my best friend Clara to our school Tompkins Square Middle School. I couldn’t wait to show her the end of my project that I had been working on all night. My excitement was short lived as I crossed the busy street to school. I heard Clara’s remakes too late “Hey, Stop Marie.”
I had turned right as the car headed towards, I had seen the bright lights overcoming my vision, and time had slowed down then when I should have felt some pain I felt someone push me out of the way later realizing that it was Clara who pushed me out of the way and took the hit for me. I sat up dazed and saw first thing I had seen was a red car turn the corner and disappear. I yelled at the car to stop but it was gone than I had looked over my friends pale body lying on the road anguish and pain filled me up like a great balloon until I was almost ready to pop. I quickly made my way toward her stumbling countless times. Finally I reached her and I held her close to me and whispered “Hang in there.”
The only reply I got was silence, I quickly reached for my phone that was somehow still in my pocket I quickly dialing 911, ignoring the whispering I heard all around me . I heard a women’s voice. “Hello you dialed 911 what is your emergency?”
I could hardly get the words out but managed to say “Friend … hurt…car…help.”
“Okay,” she started “Will be right there.”
There were people that gather around the sidewalk and streets. they were acting like curious children to see what was going on. I heard one whisper “Oh that poor girl.”
I was wondering why no one was helping her. The blood that surrounds her and dripped on to my clothes was hard to ignore. Why couldn’t they see that? Finally after what felt like the longest time I heard the sirens coming quickly towards Clara and I and the ambulance pulled up and loaded Clara in to the ambulance. I had stayed by her side the whole entire time holding back tears.
Once we reached the hospital they rushed Clara past many doors. I struggled to keep up with them but finally we had reached the room number twenty three. A nurse came to me blocking my path towards Clara and she said sadly “You are going to have to wait in the waiting room, we will keep you updated and someone will be in the room shortly to ask you questions.”
After much protest I had ended up in the waiting room, talking to a police man, whom asked many questions. When I was walking in he observed me, probably taking into account the blood of navy blue school uniform.
The first question he asked completely void of emotion was “what was your friend’s name.”
I quickly corrected him getting angry with his lack of sincerity “her name is Clara Hale.”
He stopped as he noticed his mistake and quickly said sorry letting a little emotion into his apology. He stated his last question “Can you state exactly what happen.”
I had told him what happened, the car color and how she took the hit for me. When I finished the same nurse ran in and said “I am so sorry she did not make it, your parents and hers are waiting outside for you I am sorry again.”
She walked away and soon the police followed right after. I had sat there the grief overwhelmed me when I realized that she died for me. My eyes burned but I refused to let my tears fall. It had taken me a long time to actually stand up and walk towards the front door. My backpack weighed heavily as I passed the room twenty three. Finally I had made it to the outside where Clara’s parents and mine where waiting outside for me. I could see that they had recently been crying. When they noticed me they started to cry all over again.
I had followed my parents’ home, I had not been able to talk to Clara’s parents not when I was the reason that she died but I had not seen any hate in her eyes only sadness. The funeral happened two weeks later but I still did not shed a tear. Good byes had past the speeches where done and that was when I figured out that I needed to find out who was in that car. I was the last to leave; Clara’s black coffin was being lowered into the earth never to been seen by light again.
Once I arrived I emptied the contents in my back pack. The first thing I noticed was the tiny flash drive that held the project that I wanted to show Clara so bad. I plugged it in viciously as if it was the reason Clara had died the computer illuminated to life. The PowerPoint had started and I watched the screen flicker from one slide to the next until I reached the end that had a picture of me and Clara was holding hands and smiling. My mom had walked in and saw me watching the power point.
“I cannot imagine how you are felling right now but we are here for you, it is not your fault that she died.” my mom said sadly
I wanted to shout that it was my fault; she had died because of me. But instead I just said “I know you guys are here for me but I just need some time alone.”
My mom nodded and walked out of my room. I pulled out the flash drive and threw it across the room. Anger and despair swirled around me like a mini tornado. I remembered then that finding this person would be the only way to feel at peace about her death.
The computer came back into focus and was hit with a sudden realization I was not going to find this guy. I turned my computer of and finally stopped my impossible hunt for this mysterious man. I figured that the best way to respect Clara was to share her memory not to be locked up in a room on a mission that had no end and finally after three months I finally shed tears about her death.