I walk slowly through the empty streets. They are empty but still breathtaking. I just loved winter. The black roads are covered in a dusting of snow and bare trees with white lights stringing between the intricate branches. The midnight sky hovers above with its full moon and stars that give off a radiant glow. I pull my scarf away from my neck again. It’s like no matter how you wear a scarf it tries to choke you. I keep walking leave light footprints in the snow. I watch my breath condense and turn into little clouds. I can’t get our fight out of my head. It was actually bothering me. I shouldn’t have walked out like that. I was just so angry.
Tomorrow is going to be a long day. I have to think of a way to apologize. I know I hurt her with what I had said. Her mother was off limits and I knew it. I knew how she treasured her mother and after she disappeared, it hurt her greatly. So I really shouldn’t have said that her mother had left because of her. I don’t know how I am ever going to fix this. I want to fix it right now. I just want to run to her apartment and tell her how much I love her and that I didn’t mean it.
I walk into the only coffee shop that is open at this hour. I sit at one of the tables and sip my coffee. God, I forgot how good this coffee was. Okay, that was a lie I was here every day. Jenna, the blonde barista, noticed my expression. I was stupid enough to think that she wouldn’t notice. She notices everything.
“Did you and Carrie get in a fight again, Will?” she looks at me with her hand on her hip. I sigh knowing that if I didn’t tell her she would just ask Carrie tomorrow. It’s kind of cliché but we meet here in this very coffee shop. She was so unbelievably gorgeous that I had almost dropped my coffee. Her long auburn hair was pulled into a messy side braid that day; she didn’t look like she had any make-up on either. It was okay though, she didn’t need anyways. What captivated me the most were her eyes, her vibrant green eyes. I couldn’t help but stare. Those eyes, they held the future in them. I know that sounds cheesy but they did. She walked up to me that day and just smiled. That day I knew I was a goner.
“Yeah, I walked out and I said something about her mother. I am a horrible person.” I say glumly as I hear Jenna gasp. I knew that reaction was coming. Even Jenna knew how she felt about her mother.
“You didn’t.” she just looks at me. I nod my head. I felt like the guiltiest person alive. How could I do that to her?
“Jenna, what am I going to do? I messed up. Bad.” I look up from my warm coffee. She looks at me dumbfounded, like I was an idiot.
“Well, you apologize, Will.” She smacks my arm. I look at her through slanted eyes.
“I knew that Jenna, but HOW is the question.” I emphasize the how.
“Oh.” She blushed a little. It was cute, the red clashed nicely with her fair skin. This girl made me laugh sometimes; she was the closes thing I had to a sister. Even though she was embarrassed I couldn’t suppress my laugh, so she started to giggle with me.
“Hmm, I guess you just go with your heart. What does it tell you to do? I know you love her and don’t want to lose her, but what you said probably hurt her very deeply. So I would do what you heart tells you too. Only you can make this right.” She said with the sincerest look in her eye. This girl has been through so much. Her younger sister died in a car accident 3 years ago and not even a year ago her brother died of cancer, yet she was still smiling. I don’t know how she does it. I wouldn’t have been able to smile like that. She is like a mother to all of us regulars in the coffee shop.
“Jenna, I love you so much. Thank you for the amazing advice.” I hug her tightly. She pats my head in return.
“I guess I will figure out a way to apologize tomorrow morning. Jenna, what time do you close today?”
“About an hour” she hummed from behind the counter. I shrug and settle into me seat. I won’t hurt me to keep her company for an hour. We chitchat about our days and relationships. I can still remember the day she told me she was dating someone. I didn’t think I would approve but when I met him I got proved wrong. He treated her with all the respect she deserved. I was happy for her. The smile he put on her face made it all worth it.
“Ha-ha, Do you rem- BANG BANG” she stops and looks at me worriedly.
“That sounded like gunshots. Jenna go in the back. I am going to go check it out. I’ll be back I promise.” I stand up she looks at me with worried eyes, but she complies. I walk out the front door and head towards the way the gunshots sounded like they were coming from. I race down all the alley ways. I finally hear a whimper.
“Hello? Is someone there?” I state, looking around furiously.
“Please, please help me.” The voice whimpered. I followed the voice. The sight I found instantly found tears to my eyes. This couldn’t be happening.
“CARRIE!” I scream as I rush to her side. I can see the red slowly begin to consume her white shirt. The hole in her shirt was just below the ribcage. This is bad. I pick her up, one arm under her back and the other under her knees. I sprint back to the coffee shop.
“Jenna Call the Ambulance!” I scream at her. She looks at me and the tears well up in her eyes as she runs to the phone. I set Carrie and the couch in the shop. Jenna runs toward me with as many napkins that she could carry. She hand them to me. I pull up Carrie shirt to see how bad the bleeding is. I press as hard as I could. I feel something grabbing my arm. I look at Carrie’s face and she just smiles at me. My tears are already pouring down my face. How can she be smiling at me of all people? Jenna takes over holding her wound so I can hold her hands. She whispers something in my ear that devastates me.
“The closest ambulance Is 30 minutes away. I don’t think she’ll make it that long.” I hear her trying to contain the sobs that are wracking her body. The tears stream down even faster as my eyes widen. No. This can’t be happening. I was supposed to go home and make a plan for tomorrow and apologize, so why am I watching the love of my life bleed out in front of me?
“I’m sorry. I am so sorry for what I said earlier. I didn’t mean it. I love you until the ends of the earth. I don’t know what I would do without you.” I say sobbing. She does the weirdest thing. She smiles at me.
“I know you didn’t mean it. You mean the world to mean I could never live without you. I never want to leave you. I couldn’t stay mad at you if I wanted to.” She says with tears starting to prick her eyes.
“I’m right here, I am not going to go anywhere without you. See here is my hand. Right where it belongs, in yours.” I flash her a smile. She smiles weakly back at me.
“Will, I’m tired I am going to take a nap, I’ll see you when I wake up.” She smiles as her eyes start to slide close.
“No, come on Carrie. Stay awake, talk to me more.” I plead, but it is useless her eyes have already closed. Her breathe in slowing and I can’t do anything about it. I watch as her chest rises and falls. Each attempt looked harder and harder. I heard the ambulance in the background causing me to look out the window. I tried to see the red and blue lights but no luck.
“See Carrie the Ambulance is almost he-,” I swing my head to her and it met with an unwanted sight, “Carrie?” I shake her and he arm falls out of my hand and hangs lifelessly off the couch. I shake her a few more times but I get no response. I hold her hand, refusing to let go. Jenna literally had to pry her hand out of mine when the medics finally got there. As they put the sheet over her face and left Jenna and I collapse on the ground and cry together. I take a good look at my hands. I couldn’t help but blame myself. She probably wanted the same thing I did. She was probably just coming to get a cup of coffee and some advice from Jenna.
This was all my fault. I picked myself up off the floor and ran out into the street. I just scream. I scream because it was unfair. I scream because I want her sweet smile back. I scream because I don't know what else to do. What could I do? Carrie, the love of my life was gone, stolen from me. That was the day I decided that I didn’t like winter anymore.