When you’re having a good time with friends or family, that’s all you think about in the moment. You’re having fun; you’re having a great day. You never realize that you’re actually making memories.
Sophia stood in the middle of the cemetery wearing her black dress, the same outfit she wore just a year ago to Camille’s funeral. She held onto her black clutch with her arms down in front of her. Her head was bowed as though she was saying a silent, sweet prayer, but she wasn’t thinking about anything at all. Sophia just read the gravestone over and over again in her head.
Camille Maria Andrews, 1990-2010. A loving daughter, sister, and friend.
Sophia shook her head at the dates. They were having a wonderful time that night, but neither one of them had any idea that one of them would wind up six feet under. They were young and stupid… Really stupid.
Sophia blamed herself for what happened. Her other friends and her family tried to convince her otherwise, but she knew they were just trying to be nice. They pitied her and didn’t want herself to go through life believing she had killed her best friend since kindergarten. Even though Sophia didn’t directly kill Camille, she might as well have. She just only wished that it had been her because Camille didn’t do anything wrong.
Being a year older than Camille, Sophia had turned 21 excited that she was able to legally drink. Neither one of them had ever taken a sip of alcohol underage before. When Sophia had her first taste of a cold beer, she licked her lips not believing that she had been missing out on so much for the first 21 years of her life.
She wanted to go out and celebrate her birthday with friends, but Camille wasn’t allowed to drink. She didn’t want to drink, either. Camille knew it was a bad idea. She was patient enough to wait until she was 21.
“But I can’t celebrate my birthday without you!” Sophia had whined.
“You and I will go out together this weekend. It’s not a big deal.” Camille had said.
“It is a big deal. I’m 21-years-old now. I’m an adult. I can drink. This is a big one and you should be there with me.” Sophia had continued to argue and whine causing a few eye rolls from Camille.
“Fine, but I’m not going to stay late.” Camille had finally given in, like she usually did whenever Sophia complained.
Sophia cheered and handed Camille a fake ID. She had already contacted a guy from their high school and had one made for her. Camille was angry with Sophia for doing that. She didn’t want to break any laws.
“I’ll go to the bar with you, but I’ll just order a soda. I don’t need that.” Camille shoved the identification back at Sophia and turned to walk away.
Sophia tucked the card into her purse. She respected Camille’s wishes, but she wasn’t about to leave it behind. Just in case.
Camille was the designated driver for herself and Sophia since she wasn’t allowed to drink and therefore didn’t plan on drinking. Yet, Sophia took it upon herself to order two beers when Camille went off to the ladies room to freshen up.
When Camille came back, Sophia pushed one of the bottles towards her.
“I’ll drink both, but please just have a sip. You won’t regret it, I promise.” Sophia had explained.
Camille rolled her eyes. “Only because it’s your birthday. But if you drink both of these beers, that would make three for you. So you’re all done after these two, okay?”
Sophia nodded eagerly. She had been willing to make any kind of deal with Camille since Camilla had been willing to come out to the bar with her and to even take a sip of beer.
Of course, Camille loved the taste so much that she ended up drinking the whole bottle herself. Before she or Sophia knew it, they had both drunk a lot. Camille was confident that she was sober enough to drive the both of them. Sophia kept getting sick and couldn’t tell the difference between up and down, so she definitely couldn’t drive let alone be able to tell Camille that she too was too drunk to drive.
So they left the bar with an underage drunken Camille behind the wheel. Neither one of them ever saw that guardrail on the side of the road coming.
Sophia closed her eyes and thought back to that moment, but she couldn’t remember it. She only knew what the nurses and police officers had told her. Sophia tried to remember, but all she could think about was when she woke up in the hospital two days after the accident. Camille had already been pronounced dead.
Swallowing a lump in her throat, Sophia sniffed back some tears. She couldn’t believe that it had already been a year. As she stood in front of Camille’s grave, she had no idea what to say. She wanted to apologize, wanted to talk about what has been going on since she’s been gone, wanted to let Camille know that she missed her dearly. But no words would come out.
She didn’t like her birthday anymore now that could barely remember her 21st birthday. The only thing she remembered from it was that her best friend died.
“Happy birthday to me,” Sophia muttered. She dreaded this birthday since it marked a year and Sophia knew that she would dread her birthday every year for the rest of her life.
She blew a kiss to Camille gravestone and headed back to her car with her head bowed.
Sophia had never had anything else to drink after that day. It didn’t feel right since it was the cause of her friend’s death all because of her.
She didn’t think it was fair if she continued to drink and live while Camille would never get the chance to turn 21.
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