Her biggest fear always had been to die, leaving some things unsaid. It wasn't that she feared death, but she didn't want to die before she was ready; she didn't want to die leaving things unfinished. She was always the girl to tell a guy that she liked him, even if she knew he didn't like her back; what if something happened, and she never got the chance to tell him? Yet there was one guy that she could never fully tell the truth to. He was one of her best friends, and if the fact that she liked him made him uncomfortable, and possibly ruined their friendship, she didn't know what she'd do. His eyes, the way they always looked only at her when they talked, made her feel so special, so safe. If she ever lost that, she would be lost herself. She couldn't tell him that she liked him, so she left it unsaid. That was her biggest mistake.
When Brendan heard that Amber was in the hospital, he froze in shock. He had been sitting at the computer, surfing the net while waiting for her to get on Instant Messenger for their daily talk on the computer. How could Amber, such an innocent person, have been the victim of a drunk driver? How was it possible? She hadn't done anything wrong. She didn't deserve it. As he drove to the hospital, all he could do was hope that she was going to be all right, and if she wasn't going to be, she would hold out long enough for him to say good bye one last time.
By the time he had made it to her room, 293, it was almost too late. She only had a few minutes left to live. Her eyelids slowly fluttered open as he sat beside her bed. His brown eyes stared into her gray ones, bright from unshed tears. As he saw her, lying so helplessly on the hospital bed, he couldn't pretend anymore. This was real; one of his best friends was really about to die, right in front of him.
Her lips curled upwards slightly on one side, as she tried to give him a reassuring smile.
"I'm sorry," she whispered.
A lump formed in Brendan's throat as she said this. Amber was always the one who was sorry, even if it wasn't her fault. She was sorry for almost everything she did, even though she was such a good person.
"It's… this isn't your fault. You have nothing to be sorry for. Be strong, Amber… Don't leave. Stay with me," he pleaded, holding on to her hand.
"I never told you… I'm so sorry," she managed to say, as her eyelids became too heavy to hold up.
The last thing she ever saw before she died was Brendan sitting beside her, his eyes filled with so much pain.
For a few minutes, he just sat there, stroking her lifeless hand gently with his thumb. It wouldn't register in his mind that she was really gone. Then, just before Lauren, Amber's other best friend, ran into the room, he broke down. He kneeled beside the bed, his head resting on the bed beside her bare arm.
"Oh, no…" Lauren gasped upon entering the room. "She… she's gone?"
Her blue eyes looked lost, as if she wasn't sure what was happening. Brendan lifted his tear streaked face slightly and nodded. She kneeled beside him and hugged him, tears falling from her own eyes, now. For a little while, the two just stayed there, glad to know that someone else understood how they felt inside.
"She would have wanted… me to tell you," Lauren said, looking at Brendan as if she wasn't really seeing him. "She… she liked you for years, as more than just a friend. I just thought you should know."
She stood up and reached out a hand to help him up. Brendan stared at it for a second, still digesting what she had just told him, before grabbing it and allowing her to pull him to his feet.
He smiled weakly at Lauren. She was the type to be as strong as possible in public, though when she got home she would spend hours crying, looking at old pictures, and writing. He didn't really know what he was going to do, himself, but he couldn't stand staying in the hospital any longer.
After getting out of the building, and avoiding the apologetic looks of many of the doctors, he got into his car. His eyes watered up again as he thought about how Amber had been sitting exactly as he was when the car had hit her. Her pale, slender hands would be gripping the steering wheel in the same spot that his was, since he had helped to teach her how to drive and she liked to mimic people to make sure she was doing things correctly. Her right foot, comfortably covered by a black Vans shoe, would be placed right where his was on the gas pedal, though it would be pushed down slightly since she was driving, not in a parking lot.
An idea hit him all of a sudden, and he started his car and began driving to their favorite place to hang out. They always used to lean against the old bridge, looking at the river and just talking about anything that came to mind. No cars ever came by, since a new bridge had been built a mile down the river, and the roads leading to the one they went to were all made of dirt.
As his car reached the end of the long, straight road, he asked himself one last time if he really wanted to do this. Amber's face came into his mind, and he looked at the road with a newfound determination while opening the window beside him as much as he could. His car flew down the road, gathering more and more speed, until he reached the old bridge. He turned the wheel sharply to the left, and flew off the bridge into the river. Water rushed into his car through the open window, and right before he died, he saw her face in his mind for the last time.
He had never told her how he had felt, either. The two best friends had liked each other for years, and neither had been able to get the courage to tell the other.