Journey

I wrote this story back in 2005 (or so) as a procrastination attempt because I did not want to study for exams. It was a sort of tribute to a friend. I put it up on different sites and received good reviews before I took it off. I thought it was about time I put it up here.

I would appreciate feedback on the story. However, please know that I wrote this when I was 16 and it may seem cheesy and immature. Also, while I would like to change a lot in the story (upon proofreading, it has called forth my inner perfectionist), I am posting this in its original form, as it was written and presented in 2005.

I hope you enjoy it.

Synopsis: A man reminisces about an old friend.

JOURNEY

Dedicated to a dear friend Sara B.

A misty morning it was, with a dark cloud overhead. The smell of the morning dew filling the senses of all those gathered there, remembering, wishing, and praying with the soft sobs adding to the atmosphere.

And as the coffin finally touched the ground, a silent tear caressed the creasing face, a tear for all the memories, for a prayer, for gratefulness.

As the mass dispersed, the dark, weak figure also turned, controlling the shooting pain that now gripped his heart. Shifting his balance to the glossed cane in his hand, he made his way away from the pain.

“Excuse me, Sir.”

It was that voice again…the same voice he tried to get away from; the same voice that returned the pain and sorrow full-force.

The feeble man turned to face a fairly familiar face; a face which brought back some of the best memories.

“Hello, I am Kelly Steel,” said the beautiful girl before him. “I saw you during the funeral service; I am sorry, I believe we have never been introduced”

“I am afraid not, my dear girl.” The aged, weary voice replied. “I am Richard Black.”

Anticipation lighted up her eyes, as she was introduced to the familiar stranger.

“Mr. Black, my mother told me about you. She used to think very highly of you.” Kelly said solemnly.

“As I think of her.” Richard replied sadly as he moved towards a nearby bench.

“I wanted to ask her…but now I guess I should ask you; did you date her?” Kelly asked, as Richard sat on the bench, sitting by him.

“Oh no, dear child…she was a friend…a very special friend.” Richard replied sighing, inclining his umbrella against the bench and taking off his glasses.

“Will you tell me about you friendship?” Kelly requested, anticipation filling her eyes. “My mother truly cherished you as her friend.” She added, sadness filling her voice.

Through tearful eyes, Richard looked at the tombstone so close to him.

Anne Steel.

He sighed as memories flooded him, taking him back to the day it all started…

“They were the last two years of my school,” he began. “And it was a new school for me. I didn’t know anybody…felt so alienated among so many old friends. But it was a week from my first day…the day she entered the class. She was smart, and cheerful, a person full of energy, one of the few new friends I made.”

“Over the next few days, we spent some time together, we talked and played together…and she was just as I thought of her; kind, cheerful, smart…but then there was this little feeling I had about her, a feeling that was in fact completely wrong. I felt she was a person, who was friendly surely, but was not enthusiastic about making new friends. I felt she was a person, just like so many others, who were not keen on making a new friend over old ones.”

“So it was then when our small talks stopped. She went with her friends and I made new friends and went with them. We didn’t talk much after that, we were just two acquaintances…and so it was for the coming months.”

“Until three months before we were to finish school. We reintroduced ourselves to each other…it was as if we were meeting for the first time. It was after school, there was no one else save the two of us, and so we kept each other’s company.”

“It is hard to say when our friendship was started, but soon we became each other’s support. We would help each other out, cheer each other up…it was an unforgettable time. But I think it was when she told me that she trusted me a lot…when I actually realized that I trusted her the same way.”

“She was upset during those days, having troubles with her other friends. She felt betrayed, and hurt with the way her friends were treating her, so she confided in me, asked for my advice, and trusted me with her problems and her secrets. I guess it was then when I realized what a strong bond we have developed. We were quite similar in many ways, both betrayed at one point of our lives, both trying to hold on to those friends we dearly loved…and it was then when I saw her in a new light.”

“She was the most loyal and loving person I had met in my life. She was honest, truthful, and caring. She would’ve given her life for those she loved. She was a person who just gave expecting only honesty and loyalty in return…a person very hard to find in the world…a diamond in the rough.”

“I admired her for her strong feelings towards friendship, and in the next few weeks we became very close. We would share anything, help each other out, cheer each other up, and our friendship was becoming stronger by the moment.”

“But then that last day came, the day we would go our separate ways. We knew we didn’t have much of a chance for meeting again…but we promised we would try to keep in touch as much as we could. That was the last time I saw her…until now….”

Tears caressed the wrinkled face, as Richard returned from his journey to the past.

“Do you have any regrets about your relationship with my mother?” Kelly asked meekly after a brief period of silence, tears running down her face.

“Regrets…oh certainly.” Richard replied sighing. “I regret not trying to befriend her in the two years that I spent with her. I regret not trying to get to know her better…I regret wasting those precious few months that would have contributed greatly to my memories…but I cherish all those memories that I have with her…I have never met another person like her…a person who had such a deep impact on my heart…a person who has been such good and memorable friend.”

He wiped off his eyes putting his glasses back on, and shifting his balance on the cane, he stood up.

“Well I believe we should be leaving now…it appears that a storm is approaching.” Richard said looking at Kelly. “And might I say how much you look like your mother…Take care, dear child….Goodbye.” He finished in a kind, loving voice, picking up his umbrella.

“Goodbye Mr. Black…it was a pleasure meeting you.” Kelly said, smiling through her tears.

Richard watched with a soft smile as Kelly left the graveyard, and standing for the last time in front of his friend’s grave, he said his final prayers.

As he approached the gate to the graveyard, a soft breeze flew, bringing a note him as if from Heaven above. On it was written something he had said to Anne years ago:

What is done has been done for the best
Though the mist in my eyes might suggest
Just a little confusion about what I’d lose
Girl if I started over
I’d know I would choose

The same joy, the same sadness
Each step of the way
That fought me and taught me
That friends never say Goodbye.

Folding the paper, he looked at the Heaven above, and with a soft smile, whispered, “I would never say goodbye…”

And the raindrops fell from the sky above, as Richard Black walked away from his dear friend for the last time in his life.

THE END

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