My name is Bill Warn. I'm 19 years old and go to Stanford University in California. I learned a big lesson when I was 17 years old. A lesson that cost me the love of my life.
2 YEARS AGO, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES
I woke up as usual at 6 in the morning, ready to do my boring task of going to school. It was extremely boring, they teach you uninteresting things that you won't even use in the future, never. I've heard about college, I knew that only there you'd learn things that had to do with your future, why can't school be like that? Honestly, I just went to school to get it done, for my friends, and for... her. I was desperate to go to college, me and my friends even had planned to go to the same one, seeing as that one teaches everything we're interested in, so... why not?
By staying daydreaming it got late for me to get ready. I got up quickly out of the bed before my mom decided to come to my room and smack me for getting up late. I took my towel and headed to the bathroom and showered with warm water. Once finished, I brushed my teeth. After that, I headed back to my room and put on my school uniform, which made me look like a little kid even though I was already on my last year.
When I went down the stairs my mom was there on the kitchen, furious because I took longer than usual. My breakfast was there too, cold, and the milk warm.
– Why did you take so long this time?
– Sorry mom, I was doing some stuff.
Mom was doubtful, it was clear on her face, after that she went to the stove to take her coffee. I went to the kitchen table and sat down, starting to eat my breakfast as fast as possible since I was quite late for school. When I finished, I went to the door and said goodbye to my mom. Outside, as usual, she... she was waiting for me.
– Billy! You took too long... again!
– S-sorry, Amanda.
– You'll never gonna change, huh?
Amanda Miller, my neighbor and childhood best friend. We've always gone to school together, since we were little babies. She tells me everything, I tell her everything, we were like siblings... at least for her.
I liked her.
I've liked her for years, but never dared to tell her, never had the guts for it, and I didn't even know if she liked me back, in all these years she's never told me if she had liked any other guys, so I didn't know if that was a good thing or not.
– Billy? Are you listening? I'm talking to you!
– Huh? Ah!
In that moment, Amanda lightly punched me in the shoulder.
– Man, what are you thinking about? You're really distracted. Could it be... could it be that you finally like someone?
– H-huh? N-no! What are you talking about?
I got nervous, how could she dare to ask me that if SHE was the one I liked?
– Oooh, little Billy finally has someone he likes? I'm so proud of my baby! I'll finally have a sister-in-law, it was time.
– A-Amanda, you're making stuff up.
– Who is it? How's she? Where did you meet?
Amanda got closer to me with a spark on her eyes I've never seen before, it looked like she was really curious to know who was the person that I liked. But I couldn't tell her, not yet.
– Amanda, we're late, shouldn't we go now? —I laughed a little nervous after asking that question—.
– 'Kay, you'll tell me later.
Amanda kept going in front of me with a big smile on her face, the same smile that I've loved for years.
We arrived at school rather quick, since we spent the whole way talking about everything and anything. Once there, right in the entry was Jefferson. He was like a brother to me, he was my partner in crime, always together in tough times.
– Heeeeeeeey, guuuuuuuuuuuys. —Jefferson smiled brightly and walked towards us, and when he was close enough, he threw himself at me—.
– J-Jefferson... what are you doing?
– I missed you, honey, how could you leave me like that?
– Jefferson is the one you like? I knew it! It was soooooo ooooobvious. You two are like soulmates.
– Gimme a kiss, love. —Jefferson puckered his lips and tried to get closer to my face, as if he was trying to kiss me—.
I sighed. We were the same as always, so I just went on with the joke.
– We can't here, there's kids.
– Eeeeeh, I don't care about kids.
– Uhm, guys, sorry to interrupt your romance buuuuut, we're late for class my friends.
After Amanda spoke, we went to our classroom and sat down. I sat down right next to the window, I loved looking out while the boring classes took place, it distracted me. Amanda was seated in front of me and Jefferson on my other side, an almost perfect triangle in the corner of the room.
The classes started to go on and on, one after another. The first one was math, you can only imagine the torture it was to have math first thing in the morning on a Monday, when you couldn't even get enough rest on the weekend. To make it worst, it was two whole hours, two damned hours of numbers that didn't make any sense. After that it didn't get better, next was history. The teacher's voice was like listening to the most boring recital ever, I was almost falling asleep.
After hours of torture it was finally recess, the student's most waited hour. Amanda, Jefferson and I headed to our favorite spot: under a tree that was a bit isolated, it was perfect. Shadows, peace and fresh air. It was excellent for letting our brains rest.
After sitting down, almost immediately, Amanda let her beautiful voice be heard by saying:
– Hey guys! What if we go bowling tonight? Wouldn't that be fun? I've never done it.
– Huh? Bowling? —said Jefferson, opening up one of his eyes since he was laying down under the tree—. Never played it either, I think that's a good idea, what do you think, Billy?
– Hmm? Oh yeah, I think we should go.
– Excellent! It's gonna be so much fun!
Amanda said, sitting between us and hugging us by the neck. Jefferson and I just laughed at that and kept on talking. After a few minutes, the bell rang and we went back to the classroom.
Jefferson and I saw that the teacher hasn’t arrived yet, so we took the chance to do one of our pranks. We went to the teacher’s chair and started unscrewing it, making it so that even with a little bit of force it would break and fall down. After finishing it, we went back fast to our seats and high fived each other. Mission accomplished.
Moments later, the spanish teacher entered the room and sat on his chair. Obviously, he wasn’t expecting our little prank and fell down, provoking the laughter of everyone in the room. After that the next hours went by fast, and before I knew it, it was already time to go home.
– Aaaaalright guys, we part ways here, I have something to do. Remember, bowling tonight, don’t leave me waiting!
– How could we do that to a lady? —said Jefferson, trying to sound serious—.
I just laughed. We said our goodbyes to her and Jefferson and I started our walk to my home. He decided to come with me, seeing as he said before that he had something “important” to tell me, I had no clue what could it be. The way back home was shorter, thanks to me and Jefferson never stopping talking when we’re together, we’re like talking machines. When we arrived home, we went in and I noticed that mom wasn’t there, which wasn’t weird, since she works till late.
We made our way to my room, and once there we threw our backpacks to the floor. I stretched for a bit since my backpack was quite heavy while Jefferson went straight to my bed, sitting on it with his legs crossed. He looked directly a me, I started to feel nervous.
– Wh-what do you want? You’re making me nervous.
– Just tell her that you like her, man.
– What are you talking about?
– Do you think it’s not obvious? Even she knows it!
– Know what? … Can you explain yourself?
– You should confess tonight, don’t you think?
– Yeah man! I know you like Amanda!
I froze, how did he know? Am I that obvious? What does he mean when he said that she also knows?
– H-how do you know?
– You have it written all over your face. Come on, do it tonight, ‘kay? Don’t waste any more time.
– B-but… I’m… not sure.
– Come on, we’ll buy flowers and a bracelet. She’ll surely like it.
– But what if she doesn’t like me?
– You think she doesn’t like you? You’ve spent all your lives together!
Jefferson was right, there was a big possibility that Amanda liked me too, but I was still a bit insecure. After a while of thinking, I decided to do what Jefferson said. I was going to confess to Amanda and ask her to be my girlfriend.
Once we had everything planned, we quickly got out of the house, lucky that I still had the allowance mom gives me sometimes, even more so that I had saved a bit, it was perfect. We headed to the plaza near home, it was brimming with shops, ideal for searching any type of gift needed. Minutes passed by walking till we found the perfect flowers and bracelet for Amanda. They were carnations, red carnations, a bright color just like her, attracting attention everywhere. The bracelet was simple, but beautiful, made of leather, perfect for her slim and delicate wrist. Will she like it? I kept asking to myself every second, likewise, I kept growing more and more nervous.
Time went by fast and we were a little late so we went directly to the bowling place as fast as we could, and when we arrived I hid the gifts behind a big piece of furniture, in which Jefferson and I decided to sit and wait, because to my luck, we arrived first, which is weird since she was a very punctual person, she always arrived before everyone else.
– Where could she be? —asked Jefferson—.
– Good question… oh well, let’s just wait.
Seconds and minutes passed by, eventually transforming into long hours. Every second that passed just made me even more nervous, but it wasn’t about if she liked or not my gifts anymore, it was worry. Did something happen to her? I looked around desperately and there was still no trace of Amanda. We decided to call to her house. Her mother picked up the phone, telling us that she went out hours ago, swallowing a lump down my throat I responded telling her that she still hasn’t arrived, hearing that, her tone changed drastically and started to sound nervous, a little desperate, and started to think that something must’ve happened too.
I got scared. I started to shake. To sweat. My breathing got heavier. What happened to Amanda? She got robbed? Kidnaped? Raped? Or…
The television that was in there cut off my thoughts, in that instant the transmission changed from a boring basketball game to an important news bulletin.
“Important news”. Just thinking about that, I breathed deep, hoping that it wasn’t anything too bad.
“—We interrupt this transmission to bring you an important news. Today, approximately an hour ago, a bus crashed against a phone booth. Regrettably, on the phone booth was a person. A last year student—”.
“—Thanks to the fact that they were carrying their student ID we could identify the body. The student name was Amanda Miller, of the central school of California. Apparently, Amanda went inside the booth to make a call, but the bus got out of control and crashed into it. It’s a shame but we wish our sincerest condolences to the student’s family. We’ll keep investigating the accident’s cause. Thanks for your attention—”.
Silence. Total silence.
Shock. Without noticing, tears began falling out of my eyes without stop, I couldn’t stop crying. Jefferson was as shocked as me and took me in his arms, trying to calm my tears that seemed to have no end.
My best friend, my soulmate, the one I’ve loved for my whole life… just died. She just died the same day I was going to ask her to be my girlfriend. The same day we’d seal our love forever. The day that… she was going to be mine.
What if we never had planned to come to the bowling place? Would she still be alive? I started to regret every single decision I made that day, I just wanted to go back in time to have her with me again.
Without noticing I fainted. I collapsed. I just wanted to end my life, she was my motivation to go out of my bed every day, to keep going. What am I going to do without her?
Amanda is gone forever, without knowing my feelings.
In that moment I learned that, time waits for no one.
Thank you for reading!