Twelve years ago this Monday, my friend was killed by a drunk driver. She was walking home on a sidewalk on a Sunday evening (it was Mother’s Day) when a car crossed over, jumped the curve, and hit a fifteen year old girl. After all these years, my heart constricts when I write these words. She was fifteen. And she was, in my eyes, murdered. She was taken from her friends and family. Twelve years later and my heart still breaks at the memories. Time doesn’t heal all wounds. It dulls the pain.
This year, I am handing this week a lot better than the previous years. Last night was the first time I started crying uncontrollably. All because of a stupid movie. She got on these movie kicks, where she would only want to watch one movie over and over and over again. I haven’t watched The Ring since I watched the movie with her it seems about five times in a weekend. There are some movies I just can’t bring myself to watch again. Like Fried Green Tomatoes. I watched this movie that Sunday she was taken from me. Then, the next morning when I heard the news, I put it in again. I don’t know why I stuck the DVD in for background noise. I remember my mom walking up the stairs, seeing what was on the TV and very sternly said: Laura, turn it off now. My two best friends staring at me like I had lost my mind (which they could have been looking at me with concern…I don’t remember, but it was basically the same thing).
Her memories come to me out of no where throughout the year. But they seem to come more around the week leading up to the anniversary of her death and the week leading up to her birthday. They used to break me…twist me into a ball of tears and pain and love. All these years later, the love remains. The tears have lessened, the pain (for the most part) is a dull ache. The questions remained. The unanswerable questions. Why? What would she be like now? Would we still be friends after all these years if she were alive? What would our lives be like now?
I hate it when these questions plague my mind. It opens my heart to a fresh wave of pain. So I just take a deep breath and let it in. I have learned not to push the pain and ache away. Because with the pain come the memories. If I push those away I may forget and I don’t want to forget. I don’t ever want to forget the annoying way she would wake me up in the mornings after a sleepover by being inches away from my face staring at me until I woke up in a panic. I don’t want to forget the way she would call and say “I’m bored.” And we would end up walking around the neighborhood. The time when we played soccer and I took the ball away from her and scored a point…the look on her face (she was very good at soccer…I was good at reading). These are worth whatever ache I feel at missing her.
Twelve years later…I still miss you. And I always will. Time won’t heal me, but it will lessen the pain.