Forgive and Forget
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“So, where to next?” asked Mandy, sitting on her bike seat using her legs to keep the bike from tipping to the side. Her brown hair flapped annoyingly in the wind, so she took out a rubber band from her backpack, tying her hair back.
“I don’t know. How about ice cream?” Jillian asked, smiling as her eyes grew wide. She pictured the rows of ice creams and toppings and her taste buds offered to bike there themselves. “Oh…that sounds really good right about now.”
“Good by me,” said Mandy. “I can taste the mint chocolate chip now.” Jillian biked over to the crosswalk and Mandy followed, both girls stopping as the green light clicked itself on and the cars started down the road.
Mandy and Jillian were best friends and had been for five solid years. They had so much in common, the face that they both loved to read, hated math, loved English, had the same taste in guys, and yet they were completely different. Jillian was the completely organized one, always on time, and Mandy was always late and forgetting things.
“What are you getting?” asked Mandy. “Let me guess. Chocolate with chocolate chips, hot fudge and whipped cream. And two cherries.”
“You know me well,” said Jillian.
“How could I forget?” asked Mandy.
The girls loved to go out for ice cream and were practically best friends with the man who owned the store. Because it was well into April, the weather was already getting hotter, and ice cream was the one solution.
The light turned red and the cars stopped. The girls crossed the street to the TCBY and dug out their last bits of change. Mandy had to loan Jillian a quarter, which she swore to pay back. Mandy just rolled her eyes, knowing that Jillian would make sure that she would as soon as she was physically able. They got their ice creams, savoring every bite. Jillian wiped the excess hot fudge off of her mouth and put her empty cup in the garbage.
“Ok, so you want to come over to my house?” asked Mandy, wiping her hands carelessly on her jeans. The excess ice cream clung to the fabric. “We can play Monopoly.”
“Sure,” said Jillian. They both went back outside and grabbed their bikes, riding the short distance to the crosswalk. The light clicked to red and Jillian walked in front of Mandy, crossing the street along the faded white crosswalk line. They went along the sidewalk of the side street and stopped at the next crosswalk, waiting for the red light and then walking across the road.
Suddenly, a red BMW came racing down the road, making no sign of stopping. Jillian, almost across the street, screamed and bolted to the curb, dropping her bike. She tripped and landed on the grass on her stomach, the air forced out of her lungs in a split second.
Mandy dropped her bike and ran toward the curb also, but a split second too late, hesitating from the fear that had paralyzed her body momentarily as she saw the speeding car. The whole world stopped. Mandy saw the car. She knew she had to move. But she didn’t. She knew she couldn’t. There wasn’t time. Only one second until the car collided with her. But so many thoughts came within that second.
Oh God. I’m going to die. What about Kathy? My little sister is going to be so upset. I just spent money on ice cream. I shouldn’t have done that. And my room’s really messy. I should have cleaned it. I should have asked Alex out. I should have bought those shoes. I should have done last night’s math homework. Why didn’t I?
The car screeched on its brakes as it saw Mandy and she screamed. The scream was cut short when the car hit her, sending her 5 yards through the air. The car smashed into Mandy’s bike on an angle, which sent it flying to the left and onto the curb, and Mandy hit the pavement, rolling a few feet.
The car, with a new dent in the front, did a quick U-turn and raced away. Jillian sat up a few moments later and turned around only to see her best friend lying motionless on the street.
“Oh my God. Mandy! Mandy!” Jillian screamed, running over to her. She felt herself go into panic mode as her adrenaline kicked into high-gear. Tears started streaming down her face. Jillian put two fingers to the side of Mandy’s neck and felt the pulse still beating faintly. She saw blood on the pavement and gently turned Mandy’s head, gasping and bringing her hand back, putting it over her pounding heart.
The deep cut on Amanda’s head was completely heart-wrenching. Jillian reached for it, but then recoiled her arm as if she had almost tipped over a million dollar vase. Jillian knew that Mandy should have been wearing her helmet.
“Oh God, oh God,” Jillian repeated. “Mandy? Mandy, can you hear me? Please…please say something.” She thought fast and picked up her friend under her knees and arms, carrying her slowly to the curb so they both wouldn’t get run over, and put her down on the soft grass.
Jillian knew that you weren’t supposed to move a possibly injured person, but she didn’t have any flashing street lights or road blocks in her back pocket. Her shaky hands fumbled with her cell phone, dialing 911. She looked around the silent side street corner and saw the two signs, ‘Samson St.’ and ‘Jones Drive’.
“911 emergency,” the operator said. Tears slipped down Jillian’s face as she took quick, deep breaths.
“It-it’s my friend. She-she’s been hit by a car. It was a hit and run,” Jillian stuttered, trying desperately to get the correct words out.
“Please stay calm, miss. Where are you located?” asked the operator.
“At the corner of Samson Street and Jones Drive,” said Jillian. “S-she barely has a pulse.”
“An ambulance will be sent right away,” Jillian heard from the other line.
“Please, hurry,” she whispered. Jillian she hung up and looked around. Her hand flew to her mouth as she spotted Mandy’s bike. It was a complete junk pile, and it looked like it had been hit by a Mac truck rather than a speeding BMW.
Jillian sat, cross legged waiting for the ambulance for what seemed like hours, gently holding Mandy’s hand. Finally, Jillian heard a siren and the ambulance pulled up several moments later, putting Mandy on a stretcher. A police car, which had been following the ambulance because of Jillian’s report of a hit and run, picked her up.
Once they were all at the hospital, a policeman called Mandy’s house after Jillian told him the phone number she had engraved in her memory. Mandy’s mom answered and they said she had nearly fainted. She told her husband what had happened, and they drove over.
As Jillian sat in the hospital, waiting in the lobby, her eyes and the low ‘ding’ of each elevator were synchronized. She waited numbly for Mandy’s parents to appear out of the doors. Mandy’s mom and dad arrived in record time, demanding to see their daughter, and Jillian called them over.
She noticed that Kathy, Mandy’s little sister wasn’t there, and realized that it would probably be too much for her, because she was only 7. She figured that her parents had left her with a neighbor.
“What happened? Where is she?” her mom pleaded.
“Mandy’s in room 205, that way. She’s stabilized, but she can’t hear you,” Jillian replied numbly, motioning to a room down the hall. She stared at her feet and her blonde hair shielded Mandy’s parents from seeing her tears. “She had surgery because she broke 2 ribs. Also, Mandy already had stitches on her head.”
“Wasn’t she wearing her helmet?” her dad asked. Jillian shook her head.
“She was in a hurry and she forgot it,” Jillian murmured. Mandy’s mom ran over to Mandy’s room and Mandy’s dad followed. As soon as she saw her daughter, she collapsed into a chair, crying. Mandy’s dad came over and sat in the seat next to his wife’s and put his arms around her.
Jillian wiped her tears and followed them into the room and stood next to the doorway, hoping that she could get more information with Mandy’s parents around. Just then, a doctor came into the room.