I Live to the End

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"I took my photo albums out of my closet to remind myself that Noah had existed. He was my twin brother. He was 18. He died on New Years. I should have tried harder to stop him. I was partially responsible for his death. I deserved to die just as much as he did." What happens in this story? The worst event of my life. The details don't matter right now. All that matters is I'm here to tell this story. I live to the end.

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“Liz, where are the keys?” My twin brother Noah asked me.

We were at our friend Mia’s house for new years, but Noah planned on leaving to go across our small town to his friend Duncan’s party. It was nearing midnight and the snow had only started coming down harder than when we had driven here a few hours ago. I could barely see the road 20 yards away from the front door.

“I left them in my coat, but do you really think it’s safe to drive out there?” I asked him.

If I could barely see the cars on the road there was no way other cars would be able to see him.

“It’s only two miles, relax,” he tried to reassure me.

I could see his tall frame and dark brown hair walking to the closet by the door where I had put my coat.

“Hey, Elizabeth,” I turned towards my classmate Lauren. “We’re gonna go sledding in the back yard, you in?” she asked.

Why we wanted to sled in this when most of us hadn’t brought snow gear, I don’t think I would ever know.

“Yeah, just let me get my coat and boots.”

I went to the same closet Noah was currently digging around in trying to find my coat. There weren’t enough people at Mia’s to call this a party, but it definitely wasn’t just a few people like we had told our dad would be here. Most of our class had gone to Duncan’s where Noah was going once he found the keys to the car we shared.

“Have you seriously not found my coat yet?” I asked when I was next to him.

Our identical gray eyes met as he glared at me.

“It’s not my fault that your coat looks like half the coats in here.”

I reached around him and pulled out my coat and handed him the keys from the front pocket.

“Be careful,” I told him before I went on my toes to kiss his cheek.

“Calm down, it’s a two-mile drive to Duncan’s that I’ve made a million times before with no problems. I’ll see you in the morning, love you,” he said before he left Mia’s.

I put my coat and boots on and joined the small group that had started forming at the back door. Mia was already outside getting the sleds while everyone that was sledding was getting ready to be out in the snow.

There was a hill behind Mia’s house that had always been perfect for sledding. It was steep, tall, and there was a lake at the bottom that froze over in the winter. We only went down the hill a few times because of how difficult it was to get back up before we decided to just slide around on the frozen lake. None of us had brought our ice skates, but our boots did just fine.

“Guys, the countdown is starting in a few minutes! Get your frozen asses in here!” Someone who had stayed in the house shouted.

In total there were 11 of us. 7 of us had gone sledding while the other 4 stayed inside. We all piled our boots and jackets by the back door and rushed into the living room where the 4 spots on the furniture were already taken, but that didn’t stop the rest of us from piling onto each other. There were a few people who had people to kiss at midnight, including Mia, but most of us just took a drink together instead.

We played a few card games until people slowly started either falling asleep or going home.

Around 1 am I got a call from Duncan.

“Hey, what’s up,” I said when I answered.

“Happy new year, tell your brother to get his ass over here. He missed midnight and a few people are upset they missed their eye candy for the night,” his deep voice said.

“He left Mia’s hours ago. Are you sure he didn’t just wander off somewhere? The party might’ve been too much for him.”

“He would have told me.”

“He’s been getting migraines a lot lately. Maybe he went home already, I’ll try calling him,” I suggested.

“I already tried, it goes straight to voicemail. Lizzie, the problem isn’t that I don’t see him right now, the problem is that I didn’t see him show up to begin with.”

The bad feeling I had felt in the pit of my stomach before he left came back. Twin telepathy didn’t exist, but I knew whatever reason Noah hadn’t shown up wasn’t good. I checked the weather and saw that it had only gotten worse outside. He’s your brother, he would go out there for you, a small part of my brain told me. It was right, no matter what, he would go looking for me if Mia called him the way Duncan had called me.

“Can you leave your party for a while?” I asked Duncan.

“Give me 10 minutes to kick everyone out and I’ll come pick you up. See if you can get Mia to come with too,” He said before he hung up.

I had gone upstairs to Mia’s room to talk to Duncan. When I came back down there was only Mia and the person she had taken an interest in left downstairs.

“Mia, Noah never showed up at Duncan’s. He’ll be here in a few minutes so we can go look for him,” I told her as I went to the closet for my coat.

“I’m sorry, Parker, but you need to go. We can talk in the morning and figure something out,” she told the guy she had kissed.

He left and Mia and I got our coats and boots on. Duncan pulled into Mia’s driveway a few minutes later.

“Do you think somethings wrong?” Mia asked me.

I took a deep breath then told her “I can’t think of any reason he wouldn’t go to Duncan’s and not tell anyone his change of plans. If he got a migraine he should have texted me or told dad to tell me, and dad would have texted me asking why he’s home but I’m not. If he broke down he would have called someone or walked into town for help. There’s no logical reason for this.”

We decided we should drive the way he would have driven to Duncan’s house. Noah always took a longer route than Duncan had taken to get here, but it was safer during this storm.

“What if he just got lost? With this storm he may have just gone down the wrong road and is still trying to find his way back,” Mia suggested.

“Thank you for trying to be optimistic, but it’s been two hours. He would have either stopped and called either me or Duncan for directions or would have found his way back,” I told her.

We were about halfway to Duncan’s house when I thought I saw something by the trees on the side of the road.

“Duncan, stop the car,” I told him.

He must have seen what I saw too because he didn’t question me and pulled just behind the car. I quickly ran out of the car but froze almost immediately. The car wasn’t on the side of the road to wait out the storm or look for directions, the front of the car was smashed into a tree.

Duncan was in a similar state next to me. Mia was the only one of us with enough sense to call an ambulance. Duncan took my hand and we slowly made our way to the front of the car.

Duncan saw it before I did. He tried to not let me see, but as soon as he blocked my view I started fighting against him. I wish I would have let him block it.

My twin brother hadn’t missed our calls because he chose not to answer, he couldn’t answer.

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