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Hello

A short story

Hello. It's a word you hear all the time. When you see someone new or when you meet up with a friend. When you smile at someone and when you say hello to them. Hello is a common word, something you expect to hear, but sometimes, the way it's said, can be quite unexpected. From time to time, hello can imply so much and yet so little. Sometimes, the person doesn't want to say hello or they're just too eager. Occasionally, hello can be the last thing you hear before you die. Or, it can be the last thing you hear before they die.

When you're young, hello is just an introduction. That's all you need to say. When you're new at school, you simply say hello. When you see a friend, you say hello and when you wave, you mean hello. There are no other words needed and there's no secondary meaning. Hello is just hello. But, sometimes, when you're young, incidents can happen that warp your interpretation of the word hello. Sometimes, something bad follows or something bad has already happened. Every so often, one young person has their world changed and their view of the word hello severely warped. I was one of those young people.

I was fifteen at the time. An innocent age. An age when I didn't realise anything about the outside world. An age when I thought the universe revolves around me, only me...

My best friend, Gabby, and I were simply walking along the streets of our hometown, Brisbane. Not the best hometown, because it's so crowded, but it was our home. We had been travelling with our parents for three months, going from country to country. It was lots of fun, but we missed our home and our friends a lot. So, when we got back, the first thing we did was run outside and walk down the streets, searching for our friends among the crowds of people. We couldn't find any anywhere! We searched and scanned the streets, but it was like they were suddenly invisible!

At first, we weren't too worried. Brisbane was very crowded, so naturally we weren't going to find them that fast. But no matter how hard we searched, they still didn't turn up. That was when we started to get worried! We just wanted to say hello and hug, like we'd been craving to do for three months! Hello, was all we wanted to say... It wasn't until we were crossing the street when we heard someone yell, "HELLO!" and stupidly enough we stopped and turned around to see one of our friends, Jason, waving from down the street. His expression was one of excitement, for a few seconds... then it turned into complete fear. Gabby and I turned to face a massive truck and then, everything vanished from my sight.

I awoke in the hospital several weeks later, to a doctor smiling and saying, "hello". I flinched as he said that, that was the word Jason had called out... before the truck hit. I asked about Gabby, but no one ever responded. I wanted to know where she was, what had happened, but every time I asked, they changed the topic, generally saying, "Your friend is here to say hello." I was starting to hate that word. I slowly recovered, but I never say Gabby. I had a hunch that something worse had happened to her, but no one told me. Not until I throw a temper tantrum like a baby and demanded to be told what happened to Gabby... that's when I heard the bad news.

I never took the word hello the same way again. Jason called out hello and because of that... Gabby was dead. He'd innocently called out hello, and now my life was never going to be the same. Hello, seems so innocent, so friendly and kind... but at the wrong moment, the word can turn your life upside down... and kill someone you treasure. I don't like the word hello anymore; I can't handle people saying it and I doubt I ever well. Every time I hear someone saying hello, all I think of is Gabby... and how Jason's cry was the last thing she would ever hear.

fact or fiction
Emilie Turner
Emilie Turner
Read next: 'Chocolate Kisses'
Emilie Turner

I’m an author who wants to spend all her days writing! I’d love to be able to make money off my writing and live my creative life!

I have a blog at emilieturner.com and I’ll keep posting here to satisfy my writing needs!

See all posts by Emilie Turner

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