Never Forget

By Sarah Manning

I still remember it as if it were yesterday. The day I ended the life of my best friend. The sound of her voice begging me to slow down will haunt me until the day I die, but after what I did, I can truly say that I deserve that and more. I'll never forgive myself.


"Jesse, slow down, we're going too fast!"

"It's all right, Amber, I can handle it. You know I would never do anything to hurt you."

"Jesse, please stop. I'm scared," she cried.

"I won't let anything happen to you."

-End of flashback-

But I did hurt her. I was drunk and didn't notice how fast I was going. A kid, that's all I was. A sixteen-year-old boy who thought he could handle anything. I used to be so happy. I had the perfect life, and now I get to cry myself to sleep every night thinking about how I hurt the only girl I ever loved and will ever love.

-One year earlier-

"Come on, Amber, no one cares about what you wear."

"Speak for yourself! What about this shirt, Jess?"

"It's fine, now can we go?"

"I'll be there in a minute."

"Girls," Jesse mumbled, rolling his eyes.

"I heard that!" Amber called from her bathroom.

To her, I was just like a brother. It was the same for me until three years ago. I don't know what happened to me. One second she was like my sister, and the next I had fallen in love with her. Every one knows how I feel except for Amber. Now, she's the love of my life, the only one for me, but of course I haven't told her yet. I will someday, but not right now. When we're older and she's ready to hear it, I'll tell her.

We were finally on our way to the party. We had the music blasting, and we were talking, laughing and singing like we always did. I had finally convinced her parents to let me take her. I promised to take care of her. They knew I would die for her if it came to that, and she would do the same for me. We've been friends since the day we were born. Same day, same hospital and two hours apart, me being the oldest. Our parents had been old friends from high school. The four of them had been inseparable just like Amber and I. As I parked my car a few houses away from the party, Amber started getting a little nervous seeing as she had never been to a party like this before. I took her hand and gently pulled her to the door.

Inside, we met some friends and decided to dance when Terry, a guy from our school, offered me a beer. Amber told me not to, but I told her that I would only have one, so she let me. The only problem was that one turned into two and two turned into three. We were still dancing by then, and I started to get dizzy. Amber noticed.

"Jess, come sit down a bit. I think you've had enough to drink," she said, removing the bottle of beer from my hand and replacing it with a bottle of water instead. I never did have a high tolerance for alcohol. Feeling a little queasy, I laid my head on Amber's shoulder since she had seated herself next to me. About a half-hour later, I removed my head from Amber's shoulder. When I stood up to go back to the dance floor, my head felt as if someone had hit it a few times, but I told Amber I was fine because I didn't want to worry her.

When Amber left to go to the washroom, I decided to have another beer. That was a big mistake. When she got back and saw that I could barely stand on my own two feet, she knew right away what I had done.

"Jesse! Don't tell me you had another drink!" I had never seen her so mad at me before.

"Okay then, I won't." I replied.

"Don't you get smart with me!"

"Jeez, now you sound like my mother."

"I'm going to go call Brady so that he can pick us up."

"Don't bother your brother. I'll be fine." With that I headed out the door and to my car. After managing to open the door, I got in and rested my head on the steering wheel. When Amber banged on the window, I jumped.

"What the hell did you do that for!?"

"Jesse, open this door right now! You know you can't drive like this."

"I'll be fine, Amber." I insisted. "Are you coming or catching a ride with someone else?" I asked. We both knew her parents would be mad if she came home with anyone other than me.

"I'm coming with you. There's no way you're going alone," she said as she got into the car. She tried to grab the car keys, but the second her door had closed I drove off. I started off at 100 km per hour and quickly reached 160.

"Jesse, pull over, and we'll call my brother. You can come get your car tomorrow."

"It's okay. I'm fine."

"Jesse, slow down we're going too fast."

"No we're not."

"What do you mean! You're doing 160!" she shouted.

"It's all right, Amber, I can handle it. You know I would never do anything to hurt you. There's not a car in sight."

"Jesse, please stop, I'm scared." She started crying.

"I promise I won't let anything happen to you."

"JESSE! WATCH-" I turned my attention to the road when I saw another car slam into mine. I threw myself on Amber, but her head hit and smashed the window of her door.

I woke up a few hours later in the hospital with a few scrapes, scratches and bruises.

"Amber!" I yelled. A nurse came running in.

"Where's Amber? Tell me!" I yelled louder.

"Calm down, young man," the nurse said as she attempted to take my pulse.

"No! I want to see her!" I insisted, getting out of bed. The nurse desperately tried to push me back into bed, but I was stronger, so she gave up and told me where I would find Amber. With my whole body aching, I made my way to her room. When I entered, I saw Amber lying in a bed with machines plugged all around her. It was as if someone had just stabbed me in the heart.

Then I saw her parents by her side, crying.

They looked up and saw me. "I'm sorry, " I said crying " I... I..." I couldn't speak.

Her mother ran over to me, and instead of hitting me or yelling at me like I expected her to, she took me in her arms and held me tight. Her father did the same. I knew they forgave me, but I could never forgive myself. I sat myself in the chair next to her bed and took her soft and gentle hand into mine. I refused to move until she came back to me. Everybody told me to get some rest, but I didn't care about myself. So they just left me by her side.

Two days later, as I still sat next to Amber's bed, she started to wake up. I was about to call a doctor, but she told me not to.

"You're awake!" I practically yelled, crying.

"You're ok," she said quietly, smiling.

"Yeah, but I would trade places with you in a heartbeat. Do you know how much it hurts me too see you like this?"


"Yes?" Something in her voice worried me.

"I love you."

"I love you too but-"

"Tell my parents and Brady I love them, and promise you'll never forget me. It's too hard to keep fighting.too tired," she said softly, crying.

"WHAT? NO! YOU CAN'T LEAVE ME!" I screamed crying.

"I love you, Jess," she whispered as she closed her eyes.

"NO! DON'T GO!" I yelled louder. Her dad ran in when he heard me as the heart monitor went flat. I ran out of the way and into his arms as doctors and nurses rushed to Amber's side.

-One year later-

The doctors did everything they could that day to save Amber, but it was hopeless. We had lost her forever. She was gone and would never come back. To this day, people still tiptoe around me, scared of what I might do if they mention her name and to tell you the truth, I don't blame them. It's exactly one year today since Amber died, so I lay here on my bed, tears rolling down my cheeks while I look at a picture of Amber and I. A song on the radio catches my attention.

Although you're so many miles from me

I just want you to know I could never forget you...

Sitting here in my room alone

Got the radio on

And it's playing our song

I keep your picture beside my bed

And as I hold it so close

I keep hearing you saying

"I love you, and wherever I am, I'm thinking of you"

So until you come back to me...

I'll send my love to you straight from the heart

Baby, I miss you, baby, I miss you

I feel you so near though we're so far apart

Baby, I miss you, baby, I miss you

Tears like rain falling from my eyes

As we said our good-byes

I could feel my heart break

Only emptiness filled my soul

I was half not whole


I promised her that I wouldn't let anything happen to her, and I broke that promise. But one promise I'll never break is the one of never forgetting her because she's the one person I'll never forget.


Song lyrics: I Miss You by Dream Street

Copyright 2006 Sarah Manning

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