He should have never let her get on that train. It was something he regretted every day since and would regret every day that was to come. It was just some silly argument that kept him away that day. He didn't even remember what it was about now. He did remember that if he had not been so damn stubborn he would have known the reason that she was leaving on that train. She had tried to tell him but he wouldn't talk to her. Then she left and he found out too late that she was not coming back. He didn't even get to say goodbye or tell her that there was something there that was worth staying for.
They had always been together, played together, laughed together, grown together. It was always Tucker and Maggie. He had never imagined there would be a time when they weren't together. That was why he didn't come after her at the station. To him, she would not be gone for long - it was a vacation, she would return and they could make up and things would be as they always were. But that was before his mother told him why she was leaving.
They were eighteen and fresh out of high school and well into their first summer of adulthood. They fought all the time so it was nothing for them to go a week or two without speaking, but that one week was different. They were not speaking and when he received a text from her, he ignored it because he was not done being mad yet. He remembered that Saturday clearly. He was getting ready to go to work at the movie theater when his mother knocked on his door.
"I thought you asked off of work today," was the first thing she said. Her face was drawn and pale. She looked sad. It was the first time Tucker had really looked at his mother in a few days because he had been busy practicing his guitar and hanging out with the guys.
His mother's face worried him. He did not like seeing her look so defeated. "Are you feeling alright? Should I not go into work today?"
"Maggie didn't tell you? You haven't heard? She is leaving today on the four o'clock train. I thought you would at least want to say goodbye."
He put his uniform-required hat on his head and pulled on his sticky work shoes. "We had a fight a few days ago and aren't talking. Besides she'll be back soon enough, I'm sure. I can talk to her then." Maggie was always going places with her father for business. She rarely went very far away and was always back in a few days.
His mother fully stepped into his room and laid a hand on his arm. He stopped getting ready for work and was taken aback by the sudden appearance of tears in his mother's eyes. "Maggie isn't coming back this time. Have you really not heard? Luke and Mary were in a car accident. Maggie is going to stay with her aunt and uncle in Florida."
Tucker jumped to his feet and looked at the clock. It was almost four now. His best friend in the entire world was leaving forever and he wasn't even there. She had to be going through hell and he wasn't there. Right now was when she needed him the most and where was he? Getting ready for work as if it was a normal day. The train station was across town and there was no way he could make it in time. Still he had to try. He cursed himself for not having at least responded to that text. He could not imagine the pain she must have been in and then he had to be a prat and ignore her.
Tucker ignored signs and speed limits as he drove to the train station. He arrived in the parking lot just in time to hear the whistle and see the receding train in the distance. That was it. He had lost his best friend forever and his best friend had lost even more than that. He wasn't there for her and would never have the chance to be there for her ever again. Tucker was too late and the regret almost ate him alive.