“Jessica was my best friend. We did everything together. Shopping, school, work, movies. Everything. She was the exact opposite than me. She was outgoing, courageous and bold. I still think she would have made a great marine sergeant.” The audience I was in front of, laughed. “I don’t know what I’ll do with out her. She was my other half. And I was her other half. She was the bestest friend anyone could have. I hope she’s in a happier and better place. I’ll miss her.” I turned around and placed a hot pink rose (I had it specially dyed for her) on her cherry wood coffin. I smiled as a few tears dripped down my cheeks. I slowly walk towards the edge of the people surrounding her newly dug grave. I wrapped my arm around a weeping Cameron and whispered, “It’ll be Ok” knowing that the advice wouldn’t help him at all. He was pretty sure it had been his fault she had died.
It had been a freak accident in the busy streets of Sydney, Australia. They had just arrived and were walking over to their hotel on the bay. They were both irritated and tired, so when a topic of who knows what (Cameron refused to tell anybody what they had been arguing about) came up, they started bickering. Now this is where it gets fuzzy because Cameron won’t tell us all the details so we have to guess what really happened. Jessica started backing away, towards the street so she could stomp away in her drama-queen way. But she didn’t realize how close the street was actually was to her, so she tripped over the curb and stumbled backwards into the busy street. Cameron tried to grab her, but a car speeding through the red light hit her. Cameron grabbed her before any other cars could hit her and dragged her onto the sidewalk. By then, she was bleeding badly and was causing a commotion. Somebody called what ever the emergency number in Austrailia is and an ambulance arrived not long after. But Jessica didn’t make it to the hospital; she died on the way there, in Cameron’s arms. Because Cameron had refused to let go of her, no matter what the EMTs told him.
I know Cameron was taking the blame. But it could have happened to anyone.
A few other people took turns saying nice things about Jessica. I held Cameron’s hand. I looked up at his dashing blue eyes, but he wasn’t there. He was faraway. Probably back at his perfect, fairy-tale wedding. Anyplace but here. Looking at his new wife being placed in her grave.
Finally, the wedding was over and I led Cameron to my car. He got in without a protest. I would not have of let him drive home because he looked just terrible. His usually clear blue eyes were clouded and dull. I had a feeling the would stay that way until he forgave himself.
I drove us to our favorite café and led him to our spot in the back. It was a little booth away from the rest of the usually bustling café. He collapsed into it and I placed my coat and purse on the seat across from him. I grabbed my wallet and headed towards the register so I could order.
When it was my turn, I said, “Hi, could I have a large decaf coffee with a little cream and…” The person taking orders cut me short.
“Emily, you have been coming here since we opened. I think I would know what you and Cameron want.” She smiled at me, her thick southern accent hanging in the air.
I laughed and said, “I guess you would.” I paid the usual $9.15 for both our drinks and got out of line to wait for them to be made. When they were done, I grabbed them and headed towards the back. I stopped when I saw Cameron. His face looked like he was a hundred years old and extremly tired. His normally blue eyes were ashen and pale. He was leaning back and looking straight ahead. He wasn’t looking at anything particular. I felt sorry for him. I started towards him. I slid into the seat across form him. I pushed his large decaf towards him. He reached out and pulled it towards him, like he needed the soft heat coming from the cup to brighten his face. I gave him a soft smile and sipped my peppermint mocha. We just sat there in silence, thinking about Jessica.
I didn’t realize how long we had been sitting there until I happened to glance up at the clock. It was almost 3 in the afternoon. The funereal had ended at noon and we had arrived here around 12:30. I looked at Cameron’s beautiful face and mine filled with pity. I got up out of my seat and sat next to him. He leaned over and placed his head on my shoulder. I smiled in spite of myself. Just like the old college days.
“It’s all my fault Emily. I was the one who brought up the topic. It’s my fault.” He whispered. I leaned my head on his and wrapped my arms around him.
“Cameron, It’s not your fault. It never will be and it never was.”
“But I was the one who brought up the topic. I was the one who made her mad.”
“What topic was it that made her so mad?” I asked, knowing that he would never tell me the topic. I had asked him over and over but he had refused evry single time.
“You.” “What?” I looked down at him, suprised
“You. The subject was you.”
“Why would that make her so mad?” I asked still suprised he had told me the topic and even more surprised at the topic.
“Because she knew something about you that I didn’t, and she wouldn’t tell me.” His tears kept falling.
“But did you find out what it was?”
“No. AS she was backing away towards the street, she did say something though.”
I looked back down at him and said, “What? What did she say?” I asked. I was sure Jessica knew that I loved him. Was that what she had been talking about?
“I only heard, ‘Emily’ and ‘love you’.” I gasped. He looked up at the sharp intake of my breath. “That’s why I’m so sad. She backed into the street on purpose. She was telling me to tell you that she loved you.” He burst back into tears.
I sighed, he hadn’t put the words together in the right way. I’m pretty sure she had meant to say ‘Emily loves you.’ But he wouldn’t put them together that way ever. I’m just a really good friend. Nothing more, nothing less.
I sighed and leaned my chin on the top of his head. "Jessica did not commit suiced. She loved you too much to even think about that." I wiped some of his tears away. He just cried some more.
He cried while I held him for another hour and a half. I just sat there wondering what would happen now. Would he ever realize that I could take care of him better than Jessica could? Would he ever realize that I’m the one for him? Was I ever going to be more than a shoulder to cry on to him?“OK, I’m taking you home and making you dinner.” I pulled him out of the booth and grabbed our belongings and practically carried him to the car.