My phone rang, and I answered, shooting Sylvie a silent look. It was Asher's mother.
Did this mean it was all over?
My heart sank. This was going to be rough on Molly.
"Hello? Bennet? I think you need to go find Molly, honey. She just drove off and I'm afraid she's very upset. She shouldn't be alone right now. He's not doing well."
So Asher was still alive. She was right, though. If Molly wasn't with him, she must be hurting awfully. She rarely left his side, I knew. She only left when she was breaking down, when she needed to hide her pain from Asher. She didn't want him suffering along with her.
I hung up and gave Sylvie a quick parting kiss before running out into the rain and getting into my car.
I went to Molly's house first, but she wasn't there. Fletcher couldn't tell me where she was. When I tried calling her, I found that her phone was off. Great. How was I supposed to help her when I couldn't even get into contact with her?
The next place to look was Crescent Falls. I knew how she loved that place. I drove there, faster than was wise. She was my best friend, and she needed me. I knew I hadn't been there enough for her lately, not since I'd started dating Sylvie.
Just as I pulled around the curve, I saw taillights disappearing over the edge of the cliff. My heart leaped into my throat. That couldn't be Molly. It just couldn't be.
But some part of me knew. I pulled over got out of my car, then slid down the cliff, using trees for leverage where I could, but mostly I just fell down a lot. I didn't care. I could see the car through the rain, and it looked like Molly's. I pulled out my phone and called 911 as I approached, cursing myself for not doing it sooner.
Molly needed medical help, and fast, if she was going to survive this. If she could still survive. If it wasn't already too late.
"Molly" I called. There was no answer. Her car was upside down and I could see her lying outside of it, crumpled on the ground.
"Mols?" I whispered. My voice cracked in that one syllable, and I was glad no one else was there. I ran to her, but there was nothing I could do. She was gone.
I sat on the ground and pulled her onto my lap, hugging her against my chest and weeping like a baby. It took me a long time to move. There was a squad of ambulance workers swarming the scene, but I still held on to her. One finally came to take her out of my arms, though I was still clinging to her and sobbing. It took every ounce of willpower I had to force myself to let go.
There was nothing I could do.
My best friend, my oldest friend, gone. Her light had gone out. She wasn't coming back.
I was too late.
But how could she do this to me? How could she leave me here? Hadn't she known it was too dangerous to drive? Why didn't she bother calling me?
Every question was its own separate agony.
Sylvie came, and I was still crouched in the mud, no longer crying. This pain was too great for that. I felt like every part of me was frozen, except for my heart, which an invisible hand was squeezing, tighter and tighter until I thought I couldn't take it anymore. It was agony. She put her arms around me and whispered in my ear. I don't know what she said, but just having her there helped.
"Maybe… this isn't so bad. She won't have to live without him." I looked at her, furious that she would even think that. Of course Molly wasn't better off dead! How could she suggest…
But then I thought about it. "But Asher… Poor guy, this is going to kill him." I almost laughed at that. Literally, this would kill him. But I didn't have the energy to laugh and it really wasn't funny.
Sylvie shook her head. "Didn't you hear? He died soon after his mum called you. Maybe some part of him knew about…"
Besides, it helped, picturing them standing, hand in hand, at the pearly gates of Heaven. Who knows? Maybe they're both there, together, and blissfully happy. Picturing that was a balm to the wound Molly tore in my heart when she left.
I dried my eyes. I didn't want to cry any more, not now. I had years for that. And I had Sylvie to help me through it.
I took her hand, and we went to my house, where I told her stories about growing up with Molly. I told her about the girl who would always be my best friend, and I didn't cry. I would never forget her, but with Sylvie's help, I could see that the tragedy of her death, the death that happened way too soon and to the kindest girl in the world, shouldn't overshadow the brightness of her life. It was hard, but I had to remember her the way she had been, before. That's what she would have wanted.
Even so, I took a little time off of school, just a few days. I spent them at Crescent Falls, in honor of Molly. I knew that if I didn't face that place soon, the one that held the memory of my darkest grief, I would regret it. For Molly, it had been a place of healing and joy. It shouldn't be marred by her passing.
When I got back to school, we were studying poetry. I sat in Molly's seat and followed along with the class. We were reading 'Do not go Gentle into That Good' Night by Dylan Thomas, but I missed a lot of it, because certain lines were jumping out at me.
Do not go gentle into that good night. Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
I thought to myself, if anyone had raged against her passing, it was me. If anyone had shed 'fierce tears', it had been me. Molly, though, was truly spectacular.
Molly went gently.
[b]A heartfelt thank you to all reviewers and readers. You inspire me. I would thank you specifically, but I upload so far in advance that it's just not practical. You've all been wonderful.