The Ride Home

The Ride Home

A Story by Melissa Theresa
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A story that was really emotionally difficult to write, about a wonderful girl's last night, and her friend who loves her.

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“No, we seriously have to go.”                                    
  Kristin was fifteen, and beautiful. She had big brown eyes, darkly tanned skin and dark brown hair. She was striking to whoever she met, not just because of her beauty, but because of the glow that radiated off of her. If Kristin was around, chances were you were going to be in a good mood, sometimes all she had to do was smile. She didn’t know any of this, though. Sure, she knew she was pretty, she owned a mirror, she’d lived her life enough to know that she was attractive. The important things, though, she had no idea of. She didn’t know that her mere presence could lighten up a room. That her smile, and her goofy faces could make a day. She didn’t know how unique she was.
     After her friend pleaded with her to stay, and urging her to have a drink and just relax, she shook her head. It was time to go. She had a curfew, and she was not about to get grounded. She waved to her friend and walked toward Janelle, who also needed to get to her house soon. Janelle was tall and blond and pretty much the opposite of everything Kristin was. But they’d been friends since childhood. Amanda was with Janelle, she told them that she got them a different ride home.
“Why?” Kristin asked. This ride home had been planned for awhile, as long as they were home by eleven they were fine.
“It’s James. Let’s just go, come on.”
Kristin conceded, a ride was a ride, she said goodbye to some friends and when she went to walk out of the door, Amanda had already gone outside. Kristin walked out the door and down the driveway with Janelle at her side. She spotted the car with Amanda in the passenger seat, her friend James in the driver’s seat.
“Do you know him?” Kristin asked Janelle, wondering if perhaps he was Amanda’s new boyfriend. That’d explain the sudden change in transportation.
“Sort of, met him a few times,” Janelle began “tonight was fun, don’t you think?”
Kristin smiled “Yeah it was.” She had a great time, she had great summer, and it was coming to an end. Although she was actually kind of excited about starting school, seeing friends, though she wouldn’t have admitted it aloud.  
They hurried into the back of the car, Amanda was hand motioning that they hurry up. She was right, it was cutting it close. She didn’t need a fight with her mom.
     They pulled out, finally on their way home. Kristin heard something about James wanting to stop at the packie first.
“We really need to get home now, can’t you go after?”
She didn’t get an answer. The car started speeding. A little fast for her, but she thought it was nice that he wanted to get her home in time, if he listened to her, which most people do"after knowing her for a bit.
    They started swerving. “Okay relax.” Kristin said.
“Yeah you’re going to get pulled over.” Janelle urged.
The swerving didn’t stop, and the car began going a bit faster, Kristin looked out the window at the church coming up. Amanda was laughing in the front seat. This wasn’t really funny to her.
“Cool it, please. Stop doing that!” Kristin yelled.
Then things slowed down, and at the same time sped up. She became terrified, and knew something was going very wrong, very quickly. Kristin saw a cemetery, and a picket fence and heard the loudest noise she’d ever heard. They’d crashed. Probably into the telephone line, or maybe it was the fence of the cemetery. Everything hurt. She said a prayer. She asked God to let everyone be okay, for this not to be real. And then she slipped away, in and out of consciousness. There were lights when she woke up, red lights, people yelling. What had happened? Why were they all yelling? What was going on.
    “NORWELL CENTER, CAR WRECK” She heard over all of the other yelling. She had been in a car accident, they were calling for help, or they were coming for her. The red lights were there already. The red lights meant something. She couldn’t move, except for her eyes, she saw Janelle. She was covered in blood, there was something wrong with the way her neck was holding up her body….
   She was horrified for her friends and herself, what is happening? What’s going to happen to them?
    God, please. God save us. God help us, please. Then there was darkness.

    That’s how I imagined it might have been. From what I learned about that night, and from what I know of her, those are the moments I see in my mind. I pray that there wasn’t much pain or fear.
I wasn’t there that night, but Amanda lived, and so did James. I’ve listened to their accounts of that ride, holding my breath until they’re finished giving me facts about the hours that turned my world upside-down. I try to remember her in life, my friend, a best friend, happy and alive. Though my feelings of loss and love bring me back to that night, putting things together, wondering what her last thoughts were. I’ve thought about this night so many times, I think about her all the time. There are reminders everywhere.
    Here though, this is a place that I’m supposed to think about these things. I run my hands over the “K” in Kristin carved on the gravestone. It’s so surreal to see that name on this stone, even now. I used to hate graveyards. I still do, but I also find peace here. Starting a year after her death, I’ve found myself walking to this cemetery and standing, or sitting by her grave a lot. I don’t think people usually visit graves so much after the first year, but I like to come here. I like to be alone with my thoughts of her, and my messages and prayers that a part of me believes she can hear. A lot of people would say that she is not here, her memory is in the places we used to hang out and in my memories. But this is a solid place, a place made for her, and for people to come and remember her, and miss her. A place to come and bring flowers, something to help keep neat and cared for.
    I have that familiar feeling now, that sadness. I never imagined my regular visits to Kristin would be in a graveyard. She’s here, surrounded by the old, the sick, and others like her"taken before their time. She’s just one of many here. She was never just one of many, blending in, in life. It doesn’t seem right that the only way to distinguish her place from the others is the name on the stone.
    Most times I’m here I don’t run into other people, only occasionally. This time there’s a woman about four graves over. When we make eye contact, we don’t say hello, or really smile. There’s a nod of acknowledgement, and I see the sadness in her eyes that I feel pulling at me. She puts balloons down next to a grave, I vaguely wonder who she lost, then turn my back on her to face Kristin’s name. 

© 2010 Melissa Theresa


Author's Note

Melissa Theresa
Any advice, any feedback would be really appreciated. I'd like to have so opinions from impartial readers. Would love to know what you think.
EDITED. I listened to the reviews, and added a paragraph near the end, as to make it clearer. Let me know if it helps..

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Jen
Who is the person at the end of the story? I think that would bring the reader in a little more to know who they are. Also, I would do a little more showing rather than telling in your story. it makes it seem more real to the reader. Great story though!

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Great story, it reads rather smoothly, and i can picture your characters in my mind. I assume the person at the end is Amanda but that is a bit confusing and stating who it is may help other readers understand more. Keep up the good work.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 10 Years Ago


The first paragraph is a really good introduction. I like it. The best first paragraph of a story introduction I have ever read I think. You're very good at making readers empathising with characters. I've favourited it. I rated it 100. I have also featured your story in my group as the best submission there. The "Real Life Depiction" group.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

[send message][befriend] Subscribe
Jen
Who is the person at the end of the story? I think that would bring the reader in a little more to know who they are. Also, I would do a little more showing rather than telling in your story. it makes it seem more real to the reader. Great story though!

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on May 20, 2010
Last Updated on May 31, 2010
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Melissa Theresa
Melissa Theresa

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I love a lot of things, but writing does something for me that nothing else can. I really love writing and I fancy myself a writer, but anyone can call themselves a writer. I don't write nearly as.. more..