The class sat around me at the table while Mr. Burns stood at the board. He was in the middle of a sentence when the bell cut him short. "All right class, that's it for today. Have a nice holiday.", he said. The class gathered their books and headed for lunch. But I, sat at a table outside the lunch room. Alone.
Today was December 7th, 2011. A year after my best friend, Tiffany, died. I couldn't help but blame myself for what happened to her. I pulled out my phone. The back round was of me and her. Her hair was brown, mine was blond. She has blue eyes, and I had green. I bit the inside of my cheek to stop from crying. It didn't help. A single tear ran down my cheek and fell onto the table. "Not headed to lunch today, Ally?", Mr. Burns asked as he came out the door to his room. "Uh, No I-I brought my own today.", I told him. He walked through the lunch room doors, and I pulled out the brown paper bag that contained my lunch out of my book bag.
A ham and cheese sandwich. Tiffany's favorite. I couldn't even eat it. So I left it there and stared at my phone. I looked up and seen a girl with brown hair staring at me down the hallway. I slowly got out of my chair and started to go towards her. When I got close, she turned around and started walking. Who was she? Where was she going? These questions didn't matter to me. She seemed too familiar. She led me outside on the football field. I ran to catch up to her. The closer I got, the farther away she seemed to be.
She led me to the parking lot, which was completely empty. She was nowhere to be found. It was like she just.. vanished. I ran to get into my car. Sobs started escaping through my lips before I could stop them. I put my hands on my head and leaned against the steering wheel. Why did I let her get into that car? I wondered. I lifted my head up and seen a few pieces of paper and a pen sitting next to me. I started writing, and the words just flowed out of me and I coudn't stop. I was writing a letter to my dead best friend. It said:
You used to love this time of year. You loved the cold and feeling that when it got cold, there was always somewhere warm to go. We used to spend hours in front of my fireplace in the winter, just talking about life and how you could never figure out why you were here. Its funny how some questions seem to answer themselves.
That night started like any other night, but ended unlike any other. I took you to your favorite restaurant. I know how you loved the atmosphere and it made you feel like you were a part of something. All the sushi and the woody pop culture wall hangings in the world couldn't have satisfied you that night. I remember what you said to me. You wanted that night to be unforgettable. Well, it was.
I remember getting the text at 9. You wanted so desperately to go with me. You said you wanted to do something different for a change, and that party was the perfect opportunity. I don't remember how I said no to you but I do remember your reaction. You told me that I never wanted to do anything fun and that I was boring. The words hurt more than you could have imagined. All this time I thought that we had fun together and that I was fun to be around. But now it was apparent that all I was doing was holding you back. Oh, I wish I could have.
I went home and you went to Tyler's party. It was 2 hours after I gathered the courage to go. I decided that just for one night, I was going to be the friend that you apparently wished you had. But by the time I got there, it was too late. You were long gone. You'd already had one to many and even the boys you started to cling so desperately to started to be put off by your behavior.
The night was winding down anyway so you decided to leave. Not before I confronted you. I told you that you were too drunk to drive home but the Tiffany I was talking to wasn't the Tiffany that sat with me in front of the fireplace or the Tiffany that used to build forts with me when we was little. She wasn't even the Tiffany that helped me through my parents divorce. To be honest, I didn't know who I was talking to. You brushed me off and told me it wasn't my decision to make. I told you that it was since I was your friend. The next words you said to me, I dream about to this day. I know it wasn't you talking but I knew the thought must have been planted somewhere inside your head for you to say it. You told me that we hadn't been friends since sophomore year, that we've just grown apart and that I should just accept that. The enormity you had just said to me didn't hit me until you were half was across that front lawn. I should have stopped you there put at the time, I just didn't see the point.
I swore I've never cried so much in my life. That is, until I got the call the next morning. It was one of those mornings where everything was so clear, yet so cold. I thought that I could see miles out the window through leafless trees. That's where I was when my mom came into the room, carrying the words that will never leave me. I don't believe telling you I'm sorry can make up for not stopping you that night. Even if I tell you I'm sorry everyday for the rest of my life. Letting you get behind the wheel of your car that night, I essentially killed you. I killed my best friend and nothing will happen to me that will make it easier to accept. I know you didn't mean the last words you said to me so there's no need to feel sorry. In fact, I'm writing you this letter to say thank you.
I can't say that I'm religious, but I believe somehow you were sent to me, to make an indelible imprint on my life. Because of you, Ive been changed for the better. I'm stronger now then I was then. And silly things like wondering about what others think about me don't seem like a big problem anymore.
One year ago, both of our lives changed. Yours ended and mine began. No longer am I the silent girl that just wants to be liked. You showed me that standing up for a friend, isn't always protecting them from others. Sometimes you have to protect them from their selves. I felt like i was preserving our friendship by letting you do what you wanted that night, but really I was just killing it.
I failed my job as a friend by not stopping you, and for that, I am sorry. Where ever you are now, If that be in a next life or 6 feet below the surface by Saint Johns, I offer you this letter both to a toned what I did or in my case, didn't do. And to tell you that you never doubtly helped me grow. But most importantly this letter is to tell you that I love you. I don't care what you said or thought of me because I.. Love.. You. Take care now. And I hope that the fire wherever you are is just as warm as it is in my house on this winter night. Tonight the fire burns for you, Tiffany. Feel its warmth.
I folded the letter into an envelope and layed it by the tree with the pink ribbon tied around it. This is where she had wrecked. Its funny how a little tree, can do so much damage. A single tear dropped onto the letter and I got up and walked away. As I was walking, I felt something cold wrap around my hand. It was Tiffany. I know it was.