A Story by lrigD

What happened to her friend that night? Short story I wrote for a contest with the theme Friendship.


They had never talked about that fateful night. It wasn't that they refused to acknowledge it had happened; rather, they had a silent agreement not to discuss it.

That didn't mean she could erase the images from her mind. Seeing Shana on the dirty alley ground was something permanently burnt in her brain. It sometimes appeared in her dreams, and often when she was awake, thinking about her friend, how she had changed.

They had never talked about it; she had taken Shana back to her home, where Shana had been sleeping over; had put her in bed and then laid down in her own bed, listening to her friend's breathing, slowly evening out; only then, satisfied in the knowledge that Shana was asleep, she had allowed herself to close her eyes.

In the morning, Shana had acted like nothing had changed; the same, happy-go-lucky Shana greeted her parents and sipped her orange juice. But she had noticed a change in her eyes; Shana's natural cheerfulness had been replaced by a forced one, like she felt it was her duty to be chipper.

As the weeks passed, she had noticed other changes. Shana was the same outgoing person, but she was withdrawn more often; staring ahead of her with unseeing eyes, picturing something only she knew.

Often she had wondered if she should do something. Should have done something during that night. But she never knew what. In the darkness of the night, she had panicked, and somehow her instinct had taken over and taken the necessary steps.

But she could not shake the thought. I should have been there. Why had Shana gone outside in the first place? It wasn't like her; though she was spontaneous, she didn't risk her own safety. So what exactly had moved her to go outside? And, more importantly, what exactly had happened in that alley? After all, she only knew the outcome; she had only seen the ending. It was like watching the final scenes of a movie and picturing what had happened earlier on; that was the only thing she could do.

It came as no surprise that Shana never even mentioned it; never made any indication. Not to anyone. She had carefully inquired with Shana's mother, but even she knew nothing. The only thing that seemed to have changed more than usual was Shana's demeanour with boys and men; but she was not even sure if that was because of that night, or because of a general sudden lack of interest.

-- -- --

Putting the final touches of her make-up on, Carmen looked at the clock impatiently. It was already past eight; they needed to hurry if they wanted to make it in time. After all, Metallica wouldn't wait for them.

"Shana, hurry up!" Shana was still showering; Carmen heard the water running. Shana had wanted to freshen up before leaving. Thinking Shana would only take a few minutes, she had agreed. But she'd been showering for half an hour now; she began to worry. In the back of her mind, a nagging voice told her to be careful: was it finally coming out?

"Shana?" She knocked on the bathroom door. No answer. She experimentally twisted the door knob; it was unlocked. Another remainder of that night after which Shana had never locked a door again.

Taking a deep breath, she entered. The mirror was foggy and the walls around the shower were slid shut, but Carmen could distinguish a form.

"Shana?" She knocked on the shower door, but there was still no reply. Picturing her friend in a pool of bloody water, she slid open the doors, terrified of what she'd find.

Shana was curled up on the floor, her head resting on her knees with her arms drawn around them. She didn't look up, but even through the running water Carmen could see her friend was sobbing desperately; her shoulders shook and her hair was dishevelled.

"Shana..." Kneeling beside her, Carmen yelped as the cold water hit her. Reaching upwards, she quickly turned the water off; only now could she actually hear her friend, and it broke her heart.

"Hey, come here." She drew her friend against her, leaning against the bathroom wall, awkwardly stroking her bare back. They had never been very touchy with each other.

Shana's skin was wet and cold. Shivering, Carmen wrapped her arms around her, holding her tightly in hopes of warming her up.

Whatever had happened that night had finally broken Shana down and now it came pouring out, the beginning of the healing. Maybe the pain had become too much; maybe her subconscious had decided she needed to process it; whatever it was, the results had appeared in the form of a shaking girl, soaking her friend in tears as she cried hysterically.

Carmen didn't know how long they had been sitting there on the cold bathroom floor. She was whispering soft consolations in Shana's ears, little words that meant nothing but came out of her mouth automatically: "Shhh... it's going to be fine, you're okay, it's okay..." At one point, she became aware she was rocking back and forth in a lulling motion, and right then she noticed Shana wasn't crying as hard anymore, mostly hiccuping as she leaned with her head against Carmen's shoulder.

"Come on, we need to get you into something warm," she said softly, standing up carefully. Taking her friend with her, she grabbed a towel and wrapped Shana around it, tucking her in tightly.

As she guided Shana to her bed, they were both silent, acknowledging the fact that the truth was out now, or part of it.

She smoothed the blankets over Shana's body and watched as Shana's eyes grew heavy from exhaustion, until they fell close and she fell into a fitful sleep.

It was reminiscent of a night not so long ago. But somehow, she knew it was the beginning of something new.

© 2010 lrigD

Author's Note

Wrote this a while back for a contest (never heard of it again). I like the strong friendship...

My Review

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I really liked how you focused on the characters, their relationship and how it affected them rather than on the actual event.

Posted 2 Years Ago

This is very good. I don't really like these type of stories but the way you made this your own is very good. The characters are well developed even if this is a short story. Great job.

Posted 9 Years Ago

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2 Reviews
Added on September 6, 2010
Last Updated on September 6, 2010
Tags: friendship, love, women, sadness, force, attack, mystery, men




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