The dream

can you truly save someone if they are already doomed

The dream

Content warning: The story you are about to read was inspired by true events. For privacy reasons, the names and locations have been changed.

How many years have we stood by each other? How many times have we almost taken that extra step and stopped out of fear? Neither of us was confident that we could really be what the other needed. Only staying in the realm of childhood friends. Funny how bitter this has left us now.

You're really mad at me now because I can't stand there and hold your hand right now? I understand that your parents are getting a divorce and you're hurt and need someone. I understand that you need me, but why can't you see I need you too? My mom only died two weeks ago. I can't help anyone right now. I can't even get my own father to look at me! All he does is sit there at the window like he's waiting for her to come home. I'm shattered and can't put myself together enough for you. Our last conversation didn't help either.

"I swear to god I don't know why the fuck I keep putting up with you!"

"Fuck you, Eric! I'm sorry I can't fucking babysit you while you talk to your dad!"

"Oh let me guess it's the stupid at least he's alive speech again!"

"What the hell is wrong with you? My mom died less than a month ago! I have a dad that's falling apart and a house crumbling down around me! It would help if my best friend could be there for me too!"

"I'm not going to put everything aside so you can sit there and cry!"

"Like you're asking me to do? Fuck you, fuck this, and fuck our friendship I'm done."

I honestly thought you would call me that night and we could hash it out like we always did. Sadly though, my cell never rang. Now it's been five days and you won't even look at me during school. I hate that it's Saturday already. I'm only alone with dad. I laid there on my bed and drifted away begging for a small escape.

I knew I was in the dream because I was suddenly in a car. I looked over and o was in the backseat with you. I looked around and saw your sister and her boyfriend and someone I didn't recognize. Everyone smelled like booze and the fog of weed smoke hung in the air of the small space. I looked over and your eyes were red. Just as I opened my mouth to speak the car jerked violently. I flew back against the window and looked at the driver. He was swerving all over the road and could barely keep his head up! Everyone screamed as the car hit the gravel and flipped off the road. The last thing I remember was screaming "Eric!"

I woke up in my room covered in sweat and feeling sore. Something in my gut told me it was more than a dream. I needed to warn Eric not to go! I grabbed my phone and punched in his number. The phone rang for what felt like forever. There was no answer, only your voicemail.

"Eric, why aren't you answering? Look, it's Beth. I know you might still be mad at me because of our fight but I need you to call me it's super important!"

I waited for you to call or text me, but nothing. It was starting to get dark and with every passing minute, it got harder to breathe. I couldn't take it! I called his mother and prayed he was still at home. She only confirmed my fear that he was out with friends. I begged her to call him and make him come home. I told her that I had a bad feeling something was going to happen. She must have thought I was crazy.

Still, the hours passed by and nothing. My dad was annoyed with me pacing all over the house and said he was going out to go find some dinner. I couldn't eat. Every minute I didn't know if you were okay made me feel sick to my stomach. Where were you? Please be safe! These were the only thoughts that filled my head. I called you one last time.

" Eric please I need you! I'm so sorry we fought but I don't want anything to happen to you! I know I sound crazy right now but I need you to trust me!" This was my last message.

I hugged my phone to my chest. It was a lifeline I couldn't let go of. All our memories together. The good and the bad. The funny things you did and the stupid things you said. Our fear of getting closer seemed silly now. I love you. I just want the chance to say it! Even if you don't say it back! Then, the phone rang.

"Eric where have you been!"

"It's not Eric babe it's Anna. Have you been online yet?"

My heart sank into my stomach. Why was she calling me so late? It was almost 1 in the morning. Why was her voice shaking?

"No, I haven't. What's going on?"

" I'm so sorry babe! Eric and his sister died in a car crash earlier tonight! Apparently her boyfriend was drunk and lost control! He's been taken into surgery and they don't know if he'll make it."

I dropped the phone at that point. I could hear her voice yelling through the phone but I couldn't make out the words. I could only see him. Not the angry him that fought with me a few days ago. The man that hugged me on my birthday. Him that made that goofy smile that was contagious. The man that I had fallen in love with almost instantly. The man I would never see again.

I grabbed my chest and screamed. I couldn't stop screaming and crying! I could have been there! Why did I even fight with you? Why didn't I hug you and tell you it was alright? Why did you leave me? I felt like my body was going to shatter. My dad came running into my room and saw me crying on the floor. He didn't ask questions or say comforting words. He knew there was none. I didn't know it then, but he had seen the news. He just knelt down and held me as I cried.

It's been 2 years since that night. You should be eighteen now and sitting next to me at graduation. You should be smiling and walking up to get your diploma. Instead only your picture sits next to me, with that stupid and goofy smile that I love so much.

Read next: 'Chocolate Kisses'
Georgene Tenorio
See all posts by Georgene Tenorio