Living on

I looked at myself in the mirror and felt tears come to my eyes. I saw a hypocrite, a horrible best friend, a broken-hearted teen, but mostly a guilty person. After all it was MY fault that my BEST friend in the whole world was…dead.

I'm the one who got drunk, at her party, the party I couldn't sleep over at. I had to visit my aunt and uncle in the morning, so I couldn't stay yet I still drank. Sure I was responsible enough not to drive and I got her to drive me home, but because of that she died…

"Mary, Mom and Dad said you should hurry up since you should be there early," my brother, Oliver said. I looked at him for a minute. He had the same brown hair as me, but messy and not nearly as long.

"Okay," I said, trying my hardest to give a smile he saw it was hard so he came over and gave me a hug.

"It'll be okay. I know it doesn't seem that way, right now, but it will," Oliver told me, giving me a tight hug, and couldn't help the tears that spilled out of my eyes. He was such a good brother.

"I know, but I have no one…she was everything," I said, feeling so completely broken.

"You'll always have me, and Mom, and Dad. And Nathan, you guys were friends,"

"Yeah, but best friends…there's just no replacement,"

"I know,"

This was my brother. Always supportive, even when I didn't deserve it. I don't deserve this care, or this love.

"Alright, let's go," I said, knowing I had to pull myself together and go to the house, to give them my support, and love.

I stopped looking at myself in the mirror and wiped my tears away, I had to go, and I had to be strong. Lily would have been strong. I'm going to do this for her.

The walk felt like the longest walk of my life. I'm just happy my brother was walking me to the house. I don't think I could have handled this walk alone.

He had put his arm around me and was hugging me, making it hard to walk, but I felt so comfortable and warm, that I wasn't going to tell him that it was hard to walk.

I couldn't help but let my thoughts wander. My thoughts always going back to Lily, no matter what I did. Everything reminded me of her, and everything reminded me of that night.

When I looked at a car, I couldn't help but think of the car that she was driving that got completely wrecked. There was no way to save her life, when the pictures of the damage were shown, and I saw the car, I knew instantly. There was no way she had survived. When I saw a car I thought about the news…how my parents woke me in the middle of the night, telling me that I had to see the news, and that we weren't going to see my aunt and uncle that day. I would always remember how confused I was, and how I wanted it to all be a bad dream. But it wasn't.

I wish I hadn't gotten drunk. I wish I stuck to my promise. I remember how upset she was with me when I asked her to bring me home. She told me I had to stop abusing her friendship; she was so pissed off at me. That's what I regret the most, that she was upset with me. I wasn't abusing her friendship. I would never have done that. It's just that I wasn't thinking, and that's the problem with me. I don't think. I don't think of the consequences before I do something, and I'm going to change that.

"Mary, are you okay?" my brother asked once we got to the doors of Lily's house.

"I'll be okay…once I talk to them. Maybe not okay…but better, I hope," I said, taking a deep breath and wiping my eyes. I knocked on the door, and squeezed my brother's hand.

He gave me an encouraging smile. It made me feel better.

"It's good that you came, Mary," Lily's dad said, as he opened the door and led me to the living room. I turned towards my brother and gave him a small hug before he started his walk home.

"Where's Nathan?" I asked, looking around. I needed him. It felt awkward with her parents, without him or her. Not that I hadn't talked to them alone before, but it just felt awkward, because it's after Lily's death.

"He'll be down in a minute," his father said, as I saw him coming down the stairs.

"Mary!" he exclaimed, as soon as he saw me. I ran over to him to give him a tight hug, because I could see it in his face how bad he felt.

"Nathan, I am so sorry. None of you deserve to have lost her. Everything is my entire fault. It's my fault you look so sad and miserable. It's my fault that Lily's dead, it's my fault," I broke down, and it felt wrong. I felt like I was taking the attention from Lily, but I couldn't not tell someone how I felt. They deserved to know, that I'm the reason Lily is dead.

"What do you mean? You aren't the one who hit her," Nathan said pulling away, and looking at me with eyes that told me none of it was my fault.

"But I'm the one who got drunk and she's the one who had to drive me home. If she hadn't had to drive me home, she would still be alive," I choked out.

"None of this is your fault, and you cannot blame yourself. The guilt will eat you alive," Lily's mom told me, as she walked into the room.

"How can you not blame me?" I asked.

"Because, people make mistakes. You didn't do anything wrong, you're not the one who killed her. She was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and you didn't cause that to happen," Nathan said, and I could tell he meant it.

"This was really, just a tragic accident that could have been avoided, but not because of you. That man was drunk. He was the one who did not take the responsibility to get someone else to drive him. You did," His mom said adamantly.

"I shouldn't have gotten drunk. I made a decision walking here, that I would stop making bad decisions and not thinking about the consequences before I do it," I said, with conviction.

"Lily would never have wanted you to blame yourself. If she was here right now, she'd yell at you for even thinking this. She would hate to know her best friend is blaming herself for something that was out of her control," Nathan told me, staring into my eyes, almost like he was burning this into my mind.

"You can think about the consequences before you do things, but you can never let yourself feel like it's your fault. There are videos from when you and Lily were younger. I watch them, and I feel better. She would never want this, she would never want you feeling so miserable about something you didn't cause," her dad told me.

"Here, these are videos, I made copies. Keep them, when you're feeling low, and like it's your fault, watch them. And remember: if Lily were here, she would yell some sense into you," Lily's mom said as she handed me the videos.

"Thank you, I'll try," I said, feeling the tears fall again, I knew Lily would never want me to blame myself.

"Good, because Lily would never have wanted you to feel miserable about this, she'd hate this side of you. She'd want the happy you back, who lives life to the fullest, who isn't afraid of anything, who always watches out for her friends," Nathan said, while he was talking his parents had left the room to go to the kitchen.

"I know, but it's so hard. We had a fight, I never got to say goodbye…or how much I valued her friendship, no, instead she thought I took advantage of her friendship," I said, even though I felt a little better, couldn't feel completely better, not now, maybe not ever.

"She was just mad at you, she didn't really think that. She would never really think that, I know it must suck that she wasn't happy with you when she died, but that doesn't mean she didn't know how much you cared about her. She knew. She loved you like a sister, and she'll always be in your heart," he said, giving me a tight hug.

"You're right, but that doesn't mean, I'll feel better anytime soon," I said, I didn't want to pull away from the hug, he was Lily's brother, her best friend, other than me, he was the closest thing I had to her now.

"I know, and you know what? None of us really will be, but we all have each other, and that's enough to get us through. It'll obviously be a day to day thing, but in the end, we'll make it through, sure we'll miss her every day, and we'll never forget her, but little by little, the ache you feel in your heart, the brokenness we all feel without her here, it will dull down. One day you'll wake up, and when you remember she's not here, you won't want to burst into tears, sure you'll miss her, sure you'll want her back, but the ache you feel, will be dulled, and that's when you'll know you're finally getting better. It's not bad for the pain to eventually disappear," he was going on a rant sort of thing, and it was actually really comforting.

"I know, right now, we're all holding on as tight as we possibly can. I think it's because we're afraid that if we let go of her memory, if we force ourselves to stop thinking about her every second of every day, it's like we're forgetting her. And we don't want to feel like we're forgetting her. But she'll always have a place in our hearts, always there, when we're feeling our loneliest. We had matching lockets, in hers was a picture of me, in mine a picture of hers, do you think…I could get that locket?" I asked, somewhat hesitantly, afraid he'd say no.

"Of course, I know that locket too, I made sure to the police gave it to me. She always told me, that it meant more to her than any of her possessions. When I found out she died, I knew you had to have it, it was all she ever talked about when she felt sad, because that locket reminded her, that she always had you, maybe not in person, but always in heart. So it belongs to you, I think. It's in my room, I'll get it for you later," he told me, pulling away from the hug. It was a long hug, that wasn't long enough.

"Thank you, I want to wear both around my neck, it'll be something that I always have. It was something that was hers and my thing, and it feels right…" I said.

"You'll be okay, you're strong," he said, I nodded, giving a small smile. Strong or not, it still hurt, and I know I'll be okay, just at the moment, it feels like my whole world, is falling apart. Too fast.

"You've always been my best friend, after Lily of course," I said, absentmindedly.

"Same to you."

"I love you, and I'm glad that even though Lily is gone, that I still have you at least."

"I love you too Mary. If you ever need to talk about her, you can. And you can talk to me about everything you talked about with Lily, even boys, for the next couple months anyway," he said, smiling, I smiled back and gave him a tight hug.

author's note: soo i hope it's good! i think i got like a 78 on it for my class :/ but yeahh. umm, I forgot what i was going to say. OH yeah, we were supposed to write a short story, and for life of me i can't remember what the word was called...OH a coming of age short story, so i did wrote mine about a girl who's best friend died, and she had to learn to live with it and that none of it was her fault. not as long i would of liked it to be...but i hope it's good