It just didn't seem right for it to be real.


No... She told me that coming home, she'd seen... well, some metal that may have been a car at some point in time. I didn't think much more about it after that besides a quick wish that anyone who was there was okay. We continued to talk about her boyfriend problems while I chatted with someone else on the side about the horrible history test we'd taken that day. You know, normal, average, every-day teenager stuff.

A phone rings. I pick up.



"That's me. What's up?"

"It's Nathan."

"What's Nathan?"

"That car-like thing by Allison? He's dead."

Stunned silence fills the room for no less than a minute. Icy fingers crawl through veins and gut, wrenching their way through my head. I'm not exactly sure I'm awake. I pinch myself. I am.


"Nathan's gone."

More silence.

"Thank you, Larah."

I hang up.

My first reaction: panic. Second? Nausea.

Nathan is gone.

My friend since childhood, wearer of unique t-shirts, Ken, Rachael's boyfriend, kayak man... The lovable pyro. Oh, was he a pyro... If it went boom, caused injuries, or was hot and flickery, he was there immediately.

Memories flood my head. The backyard swing, the constant jokes about his slicked-back hair, his insatiable need to show off his barrel-roll skills, band practice, football games where Joe would say, "Hey! Nathan's here! We couldn't have band without Nathan!", even when he was the worst trumpet player to grace the face the planet... oh, dear God...

I choke.

Nathan. Oh, God, not Nathan.

I kept thinking it wasn't real... that I would wake up the next morning, hop out of bed, go to town, find out that a joke (albeit a very cruel one) was played on me, see Nathan with his arm draped over my best friend's shoulder, and start beating people with blunt objects for being mean to me.

It was real. I started sobbing.

I went to bed, where a vain effort to sleep took place. I turned toward the window, where a fierce storm had been rampaging for hours. Lightning flashed in the sky, fire consuming the navy blanket above... Nathan was saying goodbye.