“Claire, come on.”
Hailey had already reached the sea and was shouting to Claire to hurry up. Finally, Claire caught up with her and said, “Hey, you have always been a faster runner than me then why don’t you slow down a little when you are with me?”
Hailey laughed and said, “I want to be ahead of you so I can look out for you. The danger is ahead not behind. And you got my back. How would you have my back otherwise?”
“Yeah, but next time try to walk beside me and be with me.”
“Okay Claire, as you wish. Happy? Now let’s get in the water.”
And they had a good time. Claire and Hailey had known each other since they were eight years old and now they were sixteen. Since the first day they met, they knew that they were perfect for each other and they became best friends. Not a thing or a person was ever able to break them.
On their way home, Claire found a tree. She picked a hard rock with a pointed tip, with it she wrote their names on the tree and made a heart around them. Hailey was also watching this, she took the rock from her and wrote “BFF” under their names. Then she said, “I don’t know about you but you are going to be my best friend forever!” Claire gave her a big hug and then they raced back to their homes.
Next day, they were coming back from school, in their bus. Everyone was singing and making a lot of noise. Hailey was dancing along with the singing while Claire was enjoying all this from her seat. Suddenly, the bus driver applied the brakes; Hailey almost fell over but Claire grabbed her. Fear was pretty apparent on both of their faces. Before they had their chance to laugh it off, their bus crashed into another oncoming bus. And then everything went black.
The next day, Claire woke up in a hospital. The whole scene of the ‘bus accident’ flashed before her eyes and the first thought was that of Hailey. She got up with a start and looked everywhere. No Hailey. As she tried to get up, a nurse came in and told her to lie down but she resisted. All she was able to think about was, Hailey. She asked the nurse about her too. But she didn’t reply. Claire started yelling and then her mother entered. She tried to calm her down but Claire just wanted to know about Hailey. Why was no one answering her?
Finally, her mother looked at her and that look told her everything. Hailey was gone and there was nothing Claire could do to get her back. She fell into unconsciousness. For days, she remained in that condition. On sixth day after the incident, she finally regained her consciousness.
Claire was discharged and allowed to go home as she was better now. The only thing she was lacking was to get over Hailey’s death. She went into a trance, no matter how much anyone talked or tried to make her laugh, she kept her silence. Her family gave her time to accept the bitter truth, but they were also worried about her condition. One day when she was able to walk around, she went out for a walk. As she was walking, she came across that tree where she had written their names, and Hailey had added ‘BFF’.
She touched the letters and said, “What about your forever, Hailey?”
A tear dropped from her eye and rolled down her face. Then she turned back and went home, ran straight to her room, where she cried her eyes out.
Days went by and Claire was getting better, physically. She was a cheerful person, but now, she was more like a sad soul, who hardly ever smiled.
One night, she was getting ready to sleep. Two months had passed since Hailey’s death. As Claire was getting into bed she heard a voice. She couldn’t believe her ears, because the voice resembled Hailey’s. She listened again carefully and there it was again. She jumped out of bed and was about to switch on the light when the voice came again and it was calling Claire. Without turning on the light, Claire turned around and saw Hailey, in the ray of her bed-light. For a second, she just stared at her, then she uttered, “Are you real?”
“Just listen to me clearly.”
“I am here to tell you that you got to get a grip on your life. You need to move on, Claire.”
“But I lost my best friend.” Tears started welling up in her eyes.
“I understand. The pain of losing someone dear to your heart is a terrible thing and the pain never really goes away…But you are among the living, not the dead. If you continue living like that, then what about your dear parents and others who care for you.”
“But what about my pain?”
“Nothing can erase that pain but you just have to be strong, dear. You have to be strong for your parents. You need to return back to life. Just look at it this way, wouldn’t it hurt your loved ones that you are destroying your life.”
Wiping her tears, Claire muttered, “What you want?”
“I want you to be happy. I am not asking you to forget me. Just want you to be happy and always remember I will always be in your heart. After all we are best friends forever.” And with this Hailey smiled and disappeared.
Claire woke up with a start. It was all a dream. A very vivid dream. She thought back on Hailey’s words and they made sense.
“Oh God! What I have put my family through? I need to get my life back on track, for them, for myself…, for Hailey.”
As she placed her head on the pillow, and tried to sleep, Claire made a promise to herself and to Hailey that from tomorrow, she is going to turn her life, for better.
Life is full of ups and downs, lows and highs, smiles and tears, pain and gain, and the list can go on. But this is life. You cannot be happy for eternity, without any bumps, here and there. The trick to having a control on life is that, you need to function as normal with both happiness and sadness in your life. You need to accept some things as they are.
There are some things like the death of someone dear, that can break you. And it is quite tough to get over something like this. And in most cases, one never does. But they master the trick of having a little control over their emotions. One has to learn that trick to move on with life for their loved ones who are still alive, and even for the ones who are gone (they would never want you to just throw your lives away).