I twirled my phone in my hands and looked up at my ceiling. My pretty girl was running through my mind and I wondered how she was doing. I hated that she was hurting and there wasn’t much I could do. The last time I saw her, she cried in my arms and I kept telling her everything would be okay but she shook her head and told me she was slowly losing everything. I never asked her what she meant but after that night, I gave her the space I thought she needed. I haven’t talked to her in a few days and I know she’s pissed. Her mom’s funeral was tough for me to handle and I didn’t know what to say to her family. I gave them my condolences and held her while she cried but afterward I went home. She needed to be with her family. I’m only seventeen. Emotions and I didn’t go hand in hand. I sat up on my bed and opened my text messages.
Me: Hey pretty girl. How you holding up? Miss you.
Damn. I fucking missed her. I thought about her all the time. My brother, Connor, wanted me to tell her how I felt and I was going to but then her mom died. I couldn’t just go up to her and say, “Oh hey sorry about your mom but I love you and want you to be my girlfriend.” Real romantic. I looked at my phone and she hasn’t responded.
I got up from my bed and headed downstairs to the kitchen. When I opened the fridge, there was a box of garlic pizza waiting to be eaten. I took it out and sat down. Cold pizza was the best invention. Right as I was going to devour my food I heard my name.
“ADAM FRANKLIN SIMPSON!”
Shit Sophia? I dropped my pizza and walked outside. I smiled as I walked towards her. She looked beautiful as usual. Her long blonde hair was in soft curls and her blazing eyes made me weak. Tonight was the night. I was going to take her in my arms, tell her how much I missed her and that I wanted to be her boyfriend and best friend. “Pretty girl? I texted you.” Before I could say more, she came out me and started punching my chest.
She screamed and cried with each punch to my chest. “Why! Why! Where were you? I need you Adam! My mom just fucking died!”
I was shocked and didn’t know what to do or say. I thought that if I left her alone to be with her family would be the best thing. I hated seeing my pretty girl fall apart. We’ve been friends since we were babies. It was always us against the world and every memory I had was with her. How could you not have thought I was ignoring her? I hated that she was sad and broken. “Sophia, stop! I thought that you needed time with your family.” I stayed calm and stroked her arms like I used to do when she was sad. It usually calmed her down but this time there was a distance between her and I even though we were inches from one another.
She came close to my face. I smelled alcohol. Fuck, she was drunk. “You’re the worst person ever! Why didn’t you stay with me after the funeral? I needed you Adam. You’re supposed to be my best friend!”
I saw her hand raise up and the emptiness in her eyes. This wasn’t Sophia anymore; this was someone who was full of malice and hate.
She slapped me across the face.
What the hell was her deal? I looked at her with my mouth wide open. I was pissed and ready to walk away but when I saw how sad she was I couldn’t move. Sophia’s hold on me was undeniable. I would walk through the oceans and the depths of hell just to see that smile on her face. My hands were searching for her, to find her again. I felt her body twitching and it grew cold with each passing second. Everything was spiraling out of control and I felt my world crashing down.
I knew she was down and depressed. Her sister, Sarah, was letting me know how she was holding up. I moved closer to her and tried to comfort her to let her know she’s not alone. I just wanted to hold her in my arms and take the pain away. “Soph, I thought you wanted to be alone and be with your dad and Sarah. I’m sorry, but you need to calm down.” I tried touching her face but she slapped my hand away. “You are my best friend. I don’t know what else you want from me?”
She pushed me. “You’re such an asshole, Adam!” She punched me in the face and cried out loud how much she hated me. I touched my cheek and felt the throbbing. What the hell was her problem?
I threw my arms in the air and couldn’t contain my anger. “How am I being an asshole? I thought giving you some space to spend time with your family was the right thing to do. This is too much to handle Soph. You’re all over the place. One minute you’re happy and then you’re mad! What’s your problem? I didn’t do anything wrong to you! I gave you space and you should know that I would be here if you needed me. Stop being such a crazy bitch!”
Damn. I knew I’m going too far but she needed to calm down. This wasn’t my pretty girl and I was pissed. There was rage and uncontrolled emotions surging through my body. How was she blaming me for this shit?
“Sophia, stop pushing me.” I grabbed her hands and placed them on my chest. “We’re best friends, remember? I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you like I should have been, but, I’m here now.”
She pushed away from me and pointed a finger in my face. “See! Asshole.” She stayed close to my face. I looked down and saw her clenched fists. “You admit that you should have been there for me! I told you! I’m losing everything. I don’t have anyone Adam. Everyone is shunning me and no one wants to deal with me. Do you know that my fucking dad put me in therapy? No you didn’t because I couldn’t call you and tell you. What happened, Adam? All because I’m damaged and a hot mess you don’t want to deal with me, is that it?” Her eyes were on fire and her voice was demonic. I was speechless and wasn’t sure where all of the nonsense was coming from.
“Sophia!” I tried to bring her in for a hug but she pushed my arms away.
“No! You do not have the right to touch me! I don’t have anyone. My mom is gone and you left me Adam!” I don’t see her fist until it was too late. She punched me hard on my cheek. I stumbled back and fell on my ass. She was crying so hard and I saw Connor running out of the house.
He picked up Sophia and walked her away from me. Sophia’s body was swaying all over as she tried to get out of his hold. “Connor what the fuck?”
Connor put her down and placed his hands on her shoulders. He looked at her for a few moments before talking. “Sophia, go home. You’re drunk and we didn’t do anything wrong.” Connor brought her into his arms and held her tight. “We’re supposed to all be friends, so why are you doing this?” His voice was soft and fragile. I knew he was hurting just as I was.
I got up from the ground and looked at her again. She was broken. My pretty girl wasn’t there anymore. It was like she was possessed by darkness. Nothing seemed right. How could I let go of seventeen years of friendship? She should’ve known that I never wanted to leave her side. I wanted to be there for her. She got out of Connor’s arms, looked at me and walked away. I couldn’t move from where I was standing. Seconds passed and I was about to run after her but Connor held me back.
“Dude, let it go. She’s so fucked up right now.” He put his arm around my shoulders and pulled me back in the kitchen. We sat down at the table. I slumped in my chair. How could I just let her walk away? “She’s been drinking a lot. Her dad found her in the bathroom passed out.”
“Connor, she fucking needs me!”
“Dude, stop. We’re leaving for Boston next month. Come on. You know I love Sophia just like you but what she did tonight was fucked up and you know it.” Connor took a slice of pizza and went to the microwave to warm it up. “Maybe one day we will all be friends again, but Adam come on. She went crazy on you.” He went to the freezer and threw me a bag of frozen peas.
“I should’ve been there. She was a mess at the funeral.” I looked down at my phone and I wanted to text her but something held me back. Sophia had too many issues and I couldn’t deal with it. All of the drama and childish games were stupid. Connor was right. I didn’t do anything wrong. She went crazy on me for what reason? I tried to be there for her but there was only so much I could do. I grabbed a bottle of vodka from the liqueur cabinet and twisted the bottle cap off. I brought the bottle to my lips and started chugging. The burning liquid went down my throat and into my stomach. I placed the bottle down on the counter and put my head down. I took my phone out again from my back pocket and brought up Sophia’s number. I looked at the keyboard on my phone but before I could figure out what I wanted to say, I threw my phone across the kitchen. It hit the wall and smashed into two pieces.
“Fuck!” I punched the counter and felt helpless.
Fuck, pretty girl-I will find my way back to you. One day.
*****“Ugh,” I moaned. My head was on fire. I slowly opened my eyes and was in a familiar place. The soft leather chairs were cool to my skin. The large windows poured the sunlight into the room. There were pictures of happy times all over. Pictures of beaches and the sunset. Family and friends. “Fuck.” I knew where I was.
“How ya doing, killer?”
I looked up and saw Sarah looking at me. Fuck. “Hey,” I say weakly. “Where’s Sophia?” Crap. What the fuck happened? Why am I here at Sophia’s?
I heard Sarah sigh. “She left an hour ago, babe.” Fuck again. “She, um, was a mess. Hung over much?”
I sat up on the couch and rubbed my face. “What happened?”
Sarah came over and sat next to me. She pulled her legs up and tucked them under her. “I guess you got really drunk and Sophia found you in your car. You hit a tree. My dad is at the shop now getting it fixed. Don’t worry, your parents don’t know.”
Fuck! Fuck! Why was this shit happening? “Sophia saved me?”
Sarah nodded. “She brought you back here and made sure you were okay. You guys are idiots! Fucking Sophia’s been crying every night and screaming your name in her sleep. Dude get your shit together!”
I took the pillow behind my back and chucked it across the room. She was right. My pretty girl was hurting but there was nothing I could do.
Doctor Burns pulled in with my car. I walked outside with my hands in my pockets.
“How are you feeling, son?” Doctor Burns shut my car door and walked towards me.
“Fine. Thank you, sir. I do appreciate your help.” I felt nothing but embarrassment. Ever since Mrs. Burns died, that happiness in his eyes died with her. He was always a happy and great man, but now, he looked defeated and tired.
I extended my hand out and we shook hands. “Anytime, son. Now just be careful, ya hear?”
“Understood sir. How much do I owe you?” I started going for my wallet but he stopped me.
“No worries, Adam.” He patted my shoulder and walked back into the house.
I turned around and gave the house one last look. Tomorrow I was on a plane to Boston.