Five minutes. What can happen in five minutes? You can heat up your food in under five minutes. You can brush your teeth in under that allotted amount of time. It can take five minutes for your whole life to change. Or it can take five minutes to drive away from my house and to the stop sign at the end of the road. Five minutes. That’s all it takes. Just five minutes. It took just five minutes for my best friend to leave my house and come to the crossroads, where she would meet her untimely demise.
Now, I can’t tell you much from our time together that day. Quite frankly, I don’t remember what we sat on my couch and talked about for hours. I do remember, however, the way she walked into the house with one of the biggest smiles. She said something about my hair, because I had just had it done and she liked it. I also remember what was on the television behind us as we talked. It was the TV show that I introduced to her and that she ended up loving. The only other thing I remember about our time together that day is walking to her car as she was getting ready to go. I remember talking about her mom’s car, which she was driving, and the car that I was going to have—almost an exact replica. Then we said a few other words before she got in her car and started it up. I had already gone up the steps to my house ready to go in, but I turned back around and there she was. Through the tinted window, I saw her waving at me with a big smile on her face. I smiled and waved back before going directly inside.
It took me ninety-five minutes before I figured out that she was gone. What was I doing? I was joking around with my sister and my mom. I was also looking up different things that went toward my dream. All of this I planned to tell her when she texted me that night. It was then as I was looking more into my dream that I got a phone call from an unknown number.
“Hey. Is this Brianna?” I answered. “Where is my sister? Is she still with you?” With this question, I could feel the rapid beating of my heart as I searched for an answer. It was as if someone had knocked the breath from me.
“I thought she was with you. She left to go pick up her sister.” My sister who was near heard this and was now looking at me trying to figure out what I was talking about.
“Yeah this is the sister. She never showed up.”
“She’s not here.” That’s all I could manage to say.
“Well could you give me your address? We are going to go look for her.” I gave her the address and she ended the call. After that, I ran around the house trying to find my shoes and my keys. I wasn’t just going to sit here and wait for answers. I was going to look too. Or so I thought. As I had gathered my things, about to walk out, my mom and stepdad walked in.
Completely panicked, “Stancil didn’t show up to get her sister. They don’t know where she is. I need to go find her.” My mom’s eyes grew wide.
“You’re not driving. I’m coming with you.” She began to look for her keys and our neighbor, who is a detective, pulled into his yard. My stepdad stopped us in our tracks and told us not to go. By this time, we were all gathered in the kitchen. Well, all except my brother. Me, well, I was trying to hold back my own tears. I knew what had already happened without having to physically know. Just then, my brother walked in the door.
“There’s cops all around the crossroads.” With that statement, I attempted to dart out the door once more only to be stopped by my mom.
“I’ll call the neighbor. He just came back.” My mom said. As she was on the phone with him, she dropped back leaning on the freezer for support. Then they ended the call and she began talking.
“There was a bad wreck,” she inched toward me. “Stancil was involved in it.” A hint of optimism seeped through my mind. What hospital was she in? Why are we still standing here? I have to go be with her. I have to make sure she is okay. These were all of my thoughts. “She didn’t make it.” And as to reiterate, just in case I hadn’t heard the first time, “She’s gone.” I wanted to run down to the intersection. I wanted to do something, anything. How could I make this right? How could I save her? But instead I stood there in the corner of our kitchen—frozen. My mom pulled me into a hug. One that was not returned. How could this be? She was just here and now she’s not. Just like that. She is gone, forever. I murmured lost words to my mother as I tried to make sense of it, but nothing would make sense. Not to me. I had just lost my only friend. How were things supposed to make sense now when the only thing that made sense was being friends with her?
So now you see how I am stuck at the crossroad—literally and figuratively. I wish there was something other I could say than there is no answer on how to deal with this. Not yet. Not for me. There is a light in all things, like there was in her. However, I just haven’t found the light in this yet. And I’m not sure when I will.