I am an ordinary kid. At least in the inside. I like ice cream like all other kids. I like riding my bike with my other friends. That was when I at least had friends. But last week, everything changed. It started like any normal day when I woke up from the ring of my alarm clock. Then I sprinted down the stairs to a delicious breakfast. But that is where the normal ended. As I ran to catch the bus, I didn’t see the car coming. I didn’t see anything at all except the bus. And the driver of the car didn’t see anything, just the green light in front of him.
The next thing I know I feel numb with pain, everything hurts, and I try to sit up. The bus driver’s head is swimming before my eyes. Then I hear the siren of the ambulance. I feel two people lifting me onto a bed that seem much softer than the ground. I hear my mom whisper in my ear that everything will be alright. Then, I black out.
I wake up to the sound of beeping above me. I open my eyes and see my mom peering down at me. I sit up and realize that my body does not hurt as much anymore. In fact, it almost doesn’t. I look down and see that both my legs and my right knee are in a cast of thick, hard white plastic. Then everything comes back to me. The car, the bus, and how normal the day had felt before this big accident. My mom and dad come visit me every day, but my best friend doesn’t. I reassure myself that school is still in session and that is the reason, but deep down I know that really in the small corner of my mind that actually they don’t want to come and visit. But I decide not to care, but I really do. We used to do everything together, but now she does not even want to see me. In my mind, I wish that this was just a dream.
After a few days, I am finally allowed to go home. The sad news though is that my knee and right foot will have to be in a brace for at least a few years. After a few days, I finally get the hang of it, and I can be left alone again without needing someone’s help. I am proud to be able to be left alone again. I just feel empty inside. I decide to call my best friend Annabelle. On the second ring, she picks up.
Ellie and I have been friends since we were in diapers. Our moms met each other when they both were pregnant at the supermarket. After that, they became fast friends, and when Ellie and I were born, they brought us to the park together, to each other’s houses, and to the baby group they were both a part of. Ellie and I were each other’s company day after day. I am not saying that I didn’t like it. I loved it. Every year when our birthdays rolled around, we always made our wishes together on each birthday cake. Even though we never told each other what we wished for, we always knew that the other person was always wishing that they would stay friends for the year to come. We didn’t have to tell because we always knew that we were Annabelle and Ellie, Ellie and Annabelle. Like two peas in a pod. I remember that we always cried together if one of us was hurt, and we always laughed together if someone said something funny. Always together, Annabelle and Ellie, Ellie and Annabelle.
But that all changed a few days ago. I remember it clearly because I was there. But of course not really. I saw the car coming, and I heard the tires squeal on the pavement. Then, the bus driver hearded the rest of the kids, including me, on the bus and drove to the side. The rest I didn’t see. Nervously, I sat on cool leather bench of the bus chewing my fingernails. After a few minutes, the bus driver came into the bus. He searched all the faces until he saw me and pulled me to the side. He said that Ellie had been hit with a car and that her parents and the ambulance were taking her to the hospital. Then, he patted me on the head and said that everything was going to be fine. But then I knew it was the first time anyone had ever lied to me. He walked up to the driver’s seat and started to engine. The force pushed me into my own seat. And just like that it was over. It was the same normal day that it had been before the accident. But it was not. Everything had changed. Maybe if Ellie didn’t know it yet, I did. I had enough of it, and it had to change. I wanted other friends, not just Ellie. The accident showed me that if you only had one friend, that friend could just be taken away from you in a snap. Then you have no one. The accident was way too hard to still be friends with Ellie.
I knew that some girls just didn’t like Ellie, but those girls were also the popular ones. And after the big accident, Ellie would just get more clingy, and I had really had enough. For example, I had been at her house, and we had been playing Monopoly. I had said that I wanted to go downstairs because I thought I heard my mom call me for something. As soon as I stepped out of the room and was on the top step of the stairs, Ellie had followed me and was waiting for me to go down the stairs. She was always with me anywhere I went. But when I said this to her, she could not get over that. I tried telling her, but it never worked. I think that Ellie does not even realize that she just changes the topic. I think that it just hurts too much to think that I do not want her. But that is not true. I swear that I am not a mean person! I just wanted a change.
A few days after the accident, my phone rings. I answer and hear Ellie’s voice on the phone. We talk for a few minutes, then I hang up. It was then I knew it was the last time Ellie could call me her best friend. Friends? Sure, but best friends never again. Because if I wanted to make it to the popular girls circle at school, I wouldn’t need Ellie or anybody else. Just me without Ellie.
“Hello? Who is this?” Annabelle asked.
“Hi, it’s me, Ellie.”
“What do you want?”
“Well, I was going to tell that I am coming back to school tomorrow!”
“I was also going to ask if you wanted to meet up after school maybe?”
“Uh, sorry but no can do. I am meeting some friends after school. For um, homework.”
“Okay. I guess, see you tomorrow.”
As Ellie hangs up, she replays the conversation in her head. Something was up with Annabelle, and she had no idea what. Maybe something had happened at school when she was not there? Ellie decided that she would give it one more try to find out what was wrong with Annabelle. She would have a sleepover the following night. This sleepover would determine if their friendship was doomed or if she could save it from like coal from a burning fire. In truth, Ellie was really excited for the sleepover.
After dinner and playing board games and watching movies and eating popcorn, they were in their pajamas, and they started gossiping. Ellie knew that for every sleepover it was vital to gossip with one another. Tonight the topic was: crushes. As at every sleepover, they talked about who the liked and who they think liked them.
Ellie started by shyly saying, “I think that Henry really likes me.”
“Yes, duh,” Annabelle replied, smiling like a cat.
They always loved getting together like this. If she was even my friend still though, Ellie thought remorsefully while snuggling deeper into her bed. Right before they are both about to doze off, Ellie asks Annabelle if she wants to come home with her after school tomorrow. Annabelle ignores her and pretends to fall asleep. Ellie sighs and rolls over.
That night, long after she had heard Annabelle’s breath even out, she still couldn’t sleep. She thought about everything that Annabelle and she had gone through together, as friends. It hurt her so much to think that maybe Annabelle wouldn’t call Ellie her friend anymore. But the more she thought about it, the more it didn’t seem like a possibility anymore. She does not think that Annabelle would unfriend her after having a sleepover with Ellie. With that content thought in mind, she rolled over and fell fast asleep.
The next day was Ellie’s first day of school after so long! She could hardly wait! As she walked down the main hallway, she saw Annabelle whispering to Savannah, one person that they had never even dared to talk to before. She wondered why Annabelle was whispering to her, but she didn’t let her bother her as much. Then during lunch is where the big thing happened.
I sat at the popular table with my new friends: Savannah, Melanie, and Fiona. As soon as I sat down, the whole table applauded my choice.
“Finally! You decided to sit with us!” Savannah said.
I smiled inwardly, happy that I was being accepted into this new group.
“Hey, guys do you want to know a secret?” I said, doing something that I knew the old Annabelle would never do. “Ellie likes Henry!” I said, suppressing a giggle.
The rest of the table roared with laughter as they looked over at one of the boys tables where Henry sat and to the table where Ellie sat. All alone, eating her lunch quietly. For a second, I felt a little bit of regret as I saw her all alone. Just then, something weird happened. Melanie suddenly stood up on the bench that she had been sitting moments before and yelled out in a voice that carried through the whole lunchroom:
“Ellie and Henry kissing in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in a baby carriage!”
The whole lunchroom went dead silent. You could have heard a hairpin drop. Then, the whole boys table, except for Henry who stood red in the face, erupted with laughter. Then, all the boys started to make the kissing noise with their mouths and wrapping their arms around themselves as if they were kissing another person. Guiltily, I looked over to the table where Ellie was sitting and saw that her face was all red and there were tears starting to form beneath closed eyelids. She opened her eyes and saw me looking at her. She then gave me the dirtiest look she had ever given anyone and stormed out of the lunchroom. Meanwhile, the boys had stopped and were back to their annoying, obnoxious selves. The girls had also gone back to just talking quietly among themselves. It seemed like the teasing that had happened a few minutes before never even existed.
I ran from the lunchroom into the nearest girls bathroom and heard quiet sobbing coming from the stall the farthest away from the door. I stood in front of the door and saw Ellie’s feet. On one foot was a green converse shoe and on the other was the brace from her accident. Suddenly a wave of guilt washed over me as I saw the brace. The only thing I wanted right now was to hug Ellie, go back into the lunchroom, and sit at our normal table as if the last 15 minutes never even happened. But I know I can’t. I knock softly on the door.
“Who is it?” Ellie said quietly between sniffles.
“Me, Annabelle,” I say.
“What do you want?” she asks me rudely.
“I want to say that I am really sorry. I wanted to apologize. I don’t know what came over me. I hope you can forgive me,” I said, trying to stop myself from starting to cry.
She opened the door of the stall a little bit and peeked through the gap.
“Why did you do it?” she asked, looking at me questioningly.
“I really don’t know. I am still really sorry,” I whispered, still looking at her.
She opened the door a little more and stepped out.
“Well, I still don’t forgive you,” she said, still quietly.
I nodded and walked out of the bathroom. I walked into the lunchroom, but lunch had already ended and the grade below us was starting to eat their lunch. I walked back into the bathroom to see if Ellie was still there, but she left. I sat down on the floor and sighed. I just wished that the last 45 minutes of the day would just disappear.
After talking to Annabelle, she ran out of the girls bathroom and speed walked into the nurse’s office. She walked in and sat down. The nurse asked what was wrong, and Ellie said that she wanted to go home because she was not feeling well. While Ellie waited to get picked up, she sat in the chair thinking about how just a few nights ago during the sleepover Annabelle seemed like the old Annabelle not like the Annabelle that hurt her by telling her secret to the whole grade. She knew that Annabelle the girl who used to be her best friend but definitely not anymore. She knew that she could never trust her anymore like she and Annabelle used to not trust other girls like Savannah, Fiona, and Melanie and the rest of their clique. But now Annabelle was part of that group as well.
After school was out, I ran over to my bike and unlocked it. Then, I started to bike to Ellie’s house, determined to make peace between Ellie and I. As I pedaled as fast as I could, I practiced saying to repair our friendship. But deep down I knew that even if she accept my apology I knew that we would never be friends like we were before. But I still wanted to try to repair our friendship. I ring the doorbell and a second later Ellie comes in view. She looks surprised but invites me in.
“I know I don’t deserve to be your friend anymore… ”
“I know, you really don’t, but I still can’t call you my friend anymore. I’m sorry.”
Ellie sighed and turned around, making her face her back not her face. I then stood up and gave her a hug.
“I understand,” I said.
I left and walked out to my bike, unlocked it, and slowly started for home.
Ellie sat down on her bed in her room. She had been looking at the wall by her desk that had a bulletin board, and it was filled with pictures of her and Annabelle: at the beach together, at the bowling alley, at school, and many other places. She sighed and looked at her favorite pictures of them together. It was her and Annabelle standing together in front of the school on the first day of sixth grade. She was wearing coincidentally the same shirt that she had worn in that picture, but now the picture of the dolphin had faded and it looked more like a gray blur in the blue background. Will I ever have someone who I can trust? Like the Annabelle used to be? Ellie thought. A breeze fluttered through the room making the shadows of the pictures dance in the sunset. The picture fluttered to the floor. Ellie stood up and pinned it back on the wall.