She was my best friend.
I didn’t need the words said out loud to know it to be true. I’ve only known this girl for a few days and already I felt like we’ve been best friends for a lifetime. She gets so much of my life and I get hers too.
That’s why when I saw the medication, I silently freaked out.
The pain and suffering she must have gone through when her dad left made her vulnerable and weak. Her anxiety defined her and I knew that was not how she wanted her life to be.
I had a similar heartache on my heart as well. Except I didn’t lose my dad because he didn’t want to be a part of my life, but only by a tragic accident that should have never happened in the first place.
I really gave props to Cecilia, because despite feeling unwanted by her father, she managed to live her life as best as she could. She still walked around with a smile and while her anxiety sometimes got the best of her, she never let it slow her down.
It’s after midnight now and I was still up wondering why my brother hasn’t been home yet. I stayed up because I had planned to give him an ear full for how he treated Cecilia at school today. I couldn’t believe it when she told me the things he said to her. It was so unlike Eric. At our old school, he never used to care about what other people thought of him. Maybe it was the fact that this was a fresh start, and he wanted to be liked by all the “right” people. Still, he could have been a little nicer.
My eyes were just starting to close on themselves, when I heard the back door creek open from downstairs. I shot right up and walked outside of my bedroom door. I stood right at the top of the stairs so I would be the first thing he seen as he tried to sneak his way into his room.
As soon as he saw me, he let out a grunt.
“What do you want?” He asked, trying to push past me.
“You know what I want. I want an explanation. How could you do that to her? She really likes you, you idiot! You probably just blew your only chance.” I was trying to whisper so our parents wouldn’t wake up, but it was a little hard to do so when I could feel the smoke coming from my ears. I really wanted to know his reasoning.
He grabbed me by the wrist and pulled me into his room so we could finish the discussion without waking up the entire house.
“Don’t you think I know that Layla? I already feel like shit, do you have to remind me of what happened?” I could tell he was sorry, his face was filled with regret and he looked really tired.
“Well what do you expect me to do? Of course I’m going to confront you about it. She’s my friend for crying out loud. You just completely blew her off and made her look like an idiot in front of your dumb friends. Which by the way, you only just met!” My voice kept growing louder and I wanted to slap some sense into him.
“Shut up, okay! Why do you think I’m just now getting home? I was at the tracks all night waiting for her and she never showed or answered any of my texts!”
“Wait, what tracks?” This was the first I’ve heard about them.
“You don’t know? There are these old railroad tracks out behind the quickie mart not too far from her house. She always goes there whenever she’s having a bad day. I thought she would go there tonight because of what happened, but she didn’t.”
Why hasn’t Cecilia told me about the tracks yet? I must have been thinking out loud, because Eric answered the question before it left my lips.
“She probably didn’t tell you, because it’s her private place. I only found it by accident one night cause I followed her.”
“Stalker.” I said with a grin.
“It’s not like that! I was just trying to mess with her, and we ended up hanging out for a while listening to music.” He looked really sad. His eyes lit up when he spoke of her, but his face showed sorrow.
“You um... really like her, don’t you?” I asked, a little calmer now.
“Yes. I feel terrible. I don’t know what came over me today, I just didn’t want to hear any crap from the guys. I know that’s not exactly a great excuse, so please spare me the lecture.” He hung his head down and looked at his lifeless phone.
“I just wish she would let me apologize.”
“Maybe I can help with that.”
His head instantly perked up as a smile began to take over his face.
“Yeah, I mean... I am her best friend. Maybe I can convince her that you were just being a stupid boy and I can get her to talk to you.”
“You’re the best sister ever, you know that?” He jumped up and starting hugging me.
“Okay, ew.” I pushed him off.
“But Eric, you have to really give her a good apology. Don’t half-ass it. You need to make her trust you again.”
“I’ll do whatever it takes.”
I smiled and nodded my head. I turned around, ready to head for bed, when he grabbed my arm.
“Hey, Layla?” He had a sincere look on his face.
“Would it be weird if... If I asked her to be my girlfriend?” His face turned a rosy, red color and I laughed at his awkwardness.
“Maybe a little. But I know it would make both of you happy. Plus, it would be awesome to have her as a sister-in-law.” I winked and nudged his arm.
His eyes bulged out of his head at the mention of a future wedding.
I couldn’t help but laugh as I began walking toward my room.