I am posting my short story NOT ALONE from the anthology FOREVER FRIENDS in 4 installments beginning Aug 22. (by the way, if you are impatient, sign up on my ChelleWrites Yahoo Group mail list and download it in its entirety)
Not Alone – part 3 of 4
Jordan looked unsure and then he just shrugged and allowed me to enter. He slowly closed the door behind us as I walked into his living room. I sat and he stood where he was. There was a photograph of the three of us lying on the coffee table. I picked up the picture; he came closer and looked like he was ready to snatch it back. But he didn’t. There were a series of indescribable emotions that flitted across his expressive eyes.
“How are you doing Jordan?”
“I’m still alive… I don’t know why, but I am.”
“Thank God.” I meant it.
He guffawed scornfully. “You don’t have to lie.”
“But I’m not, Jordan. I’m glad that you survived. It was hard enough to bury one friend…”
He sat heavily on the couch near me. “It should have been me.” Jordan looked directly at me, his eyes were moist. “I swear, I would give my life if it would bring her back. I would give my life if I thought it would just ease the pain for her parents and her friends. Trust me, I wish that I were dead.”
“Please don’t say that Jordan. We need you. I need you.” He simply shook his head sadly. “Tell me what happened?”
“I… I don’t really remember.” He looked haunted. “I can remember going to take Kimmie home. She drank too much and she got sick in the car. I glanced over at her. When I looked back again, a car was passing me and it pulled into my lane. I know that it caught my fender. I don’t remember what happened after that.”
I had heard that he told a police officer at the scene that he didn’t know what happened just before he passed out. “You were hurt, too. And everything happened so fast…”
He looked suspiciously at me. “Why are you so curious all of a sudden? Did her parents put you up to this?”
“Did her parents…?” I shook my head and was confused. “No, why would they?”
“Come on. Are you going to try telling me that you don’t know about the lawsuit?”
“What law suit?”
“Kimmie’s parents are suing me for wrongful death. They’re claiming that I killed their daughter.” He paused. “Actually I agree with them.” The police hadn’t filed criminal charges.
“It was an accident Jordan.”
“I figured she was too drunk to get herself home safely. I thought I could drive her home and she could sleep it off. But somehow I let that car get in my way.”
“You were trying to keep Kimmie safe. You did the right thing.”
“And I got her killed.” Jordan stood and paced. “What I don’t under-stand is why you’re here.”
“Jordan, you’re my friend too. Don’t you remember when I came to visit you in the hospital?” I never went back after that first day. “I was worried about you.”
He sat down next to me again and braced his arm against the back of the couch. Jordan leaned towards me. “So where were you since then?”
I couldn’t help it; the tears flowed. “I’m sorry Jordan. I had to think. I was angry that Kimmie was dead …”
“And you blamed me?”
“No … yes. I’m not sure.” I tried not to cry and I sniffled. “I didn’t know what to think. It’s only just beginning to sink in now. I woke up this morning and I really realized that she’s gone … but you aren’t. I … I didn’t want to lose you too.”
He was surprised by what I had just said.
“Jordan, tell me what happened that night. I need to hear.”