To Late

                Throughout our entire lives we had been best friends no matter what had come between us.  I remember the first time I realized I even had a best friend. I skinned my knee by falling off of my bike when I was 13 years old. Just around the age when I started looking at girls a little more than just a friend. Just when I started to notice how some girls had really pretty eyes, and others tended to look at me just a little bit longer. Not Jerry though, she was always my friend and I never really wanted anything more. Though the reason I fell that day was because I was looking at a girl. The prettiest girl in our class. Emma Carbobiak. Terrible last name I know, but she had long blonde hair and amazing green eyes. I was most definitely looking her a little bit longer every time I saw her. A little longer than I should have that time I must admit.

                I turned the corner just looking at her as she was walking on the sidewalk and bam just slid off my bike and onto the ground. Jerry ran over to Emma and started talking to her the minute I fell. Why on earth would she do that you ask? She made sure to distract Emma long enough for me to get back on my bike and pretend like nothing happened. That’s when I knew I had a best friend. I never really doubted it again until very recently. It’s very hard to imagine the little red headed girl who distracted Emma is the same girl I know today.

                My mom was in an accident recently. She was leaving work one night, she was working 2nd shift at the time, and they were working extended hours so she didn’t get off work that night until three in the morning. The factory she was working at, the parking lot is across from the actually building. She was always the last to leave because she always took so much stuff to work with her and it just took her that long to walk. While crossing the street she was hit by a drunk driver. I say that and not what the papers say because I know damn well he was drinking.

                They didn’t run away like most drunk drivers do. They stuck around. They managed to get out of it by saying that he wasn’t driving. Fred Manginy was his name. I’ll never forget it. Bastard took a lot away from me. His girlfriend said she was driving. Granted she still got in trouble. They were able to pull it off as an accident because of the supposed under light street.

                My mother has been in the hospital ever since. She apparently had a stroke due to the accident. Her body was not harmed to much she only suffered mild bodily injuries. She was in a coma for the longest time and only recently woke up from it. Ever since then she has been very slow to recover. Sometimes she doesn’t know who I am. Sometimes she doesn’t know who anyone are. It’s a long process.

                Jerry who was always close with my mother never once made it up to the hospital. Her boyfriend of 5 years had recently broke up with her and she just couldn’t find the time to be my friend anymore. I did what I could to try and keep our friendship together, but after a while there were just more important things in life. I decided I should be there for my mother instead of trying to figure out why Jerry no longer wanted to be my friend.

                I remember one Saturday morning specifically. Very specifically. It turned out being a very sad and important day in all of our lives.

                “Owen,” I heard my mom whisper.

                She had hardly ever spoken and it had been so clear and coherent. She knew exactly who I was and seemed to know exactly what was going on.

                “Owen, where’s Jerry?” she asked me her voice seemingly amazing clear.

                I told her, “Jerry couldn’t make it up here today Mom. She has a lot going on and she had to work later today and wanted to make sure she made it on time. She’s been praying for you though Mom.”

                “She’s never come to see me,” she said matter of factly.

                She knew.

                “I,” I began and paused, “I don’t know what to say mom, she’s been going through a rough time, but she is worried about you, we all are.”

                “You should make up with her,” she looked over at me with tears in her eyes as she told me this.

 

                “I will Mom,” I promised her, “I swear I will, she will come up to see you with me later tonight.”

                She smiled, “Good, I’d like to see her.”

                She rolled over and went back to sleep.

                I kissed her on the forehead and left the hospital. On my way out I called Jerry and to my surprise she answered.

                “Jerry,” I began as calmly as I possibly could, “Look I just need you to listen to me, I know you are going through a lot, and I know it’s hard for you to make time to come up here, but my Mom spoke today and she was asking about you. She knows you haven’t been up here to see, I don’t know how but she knows. Just please try and make time to come up here tonight. I’ll go with you. Or not if you would rather it be that way. Just please.”

                “Owen, I have a date tonight, I’ve got to go,” was all she said.

                Three a.m. that night my phone rings and Jerrys name pops up on the caller Id.

                “Jerry, it’s late it’s,” was all I could get out before I heard a loud crash and then silence.

                I stayed on the line, not knowing exactly what was going on. I yelled her name into the phone over and over again. Probably a hundred times, before I heard his voice again. I would never forget his voice.

                “Shit,” he screamed, “we have to get out of here Steven she’s dead man, she’s gone!”

                Fred Manginy.

                I ran to put on my clothes and go see what I could find out. I had to tell the police, I had to do something. That son of a bitch had killed her. He wasn’t going to get away with it this time. I knew he was drunk. I knew it.

                My heart sank when my phone rang again and I saw my Dads name pop up on the caller id.

                Through his tears I made out what he was trying to say.

                “Your mother,”he cried, “She passed about an hour ago, they don’t know exactly why, but she’s gone Owen. She’s gone.”

                I lay back down on my bed and cried. I haven’t been able to cry since my mother had her accident. I tried so very hard. I cried that night. I don’t think I have ever stopped.

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