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Call my name, and I’ll Be There

By @UD_

I groan. Someone please save me from this miserable journey. It has been three long hours since my family and I departed from home, and we are not even close to arriving our destination yet. Suddenly, a familiar melody flow into my ears as I glimpse my big brother jab the play button.

“Call my name, and I’ll be there……”

I freeze. This song. A song I had once shared with someone named Mike; a song that had once belonged to us; a song that will always be a thorn in my heart. Mike. That name alone hit my face like a stone. I glance out of the window, fighting to keep my tears from falling as the stream of memories play before my eyes.

I met Mike when I was six and he had since been my closest friend. He was always there when I needed him most; always caring for me; always loving me. Once, he sang a song as a birthday gift for me; a song that had me crying and sobbing whenever I heard it; a song that had me yelling and shrieking his name, pleading with him to listen – to come back.

But he never did. And he never will.

It happened a few years ago, on my sixteenth birthday. It was nearly night time, and I was stomping down the street with Mike trailing behind me, calling after me and apologizing incessantly.

“Anna please, I’m sorry. I’ll treat you to your favorite chocolate cake, just come home with me.” I gazed at the street ahead and ignored him. Mike had refused to celebrate my birthday with me, claiming that he had a band practice to attend after school, though he had immediately dashed out the school gate as he realized I went the opposite way from home. He’d grabbed my hand and apologized, but I just shoved him away and continued down my path, just to make him worried and regretful.

“I hate you! Go away!” I whipped my head around and spat in his face. He seem so shocked that he froze in place, and pain flickered across his eyes, but I ignored that as well. I was so fuming that I didn’t hear Mike shouting a warning before a tall man suddenly revealed himself from the shadows and darted towards me. I was horrified as I glimpsed a sharp knife in his hand, the surface glinting as he placed his knife above my throat, threatening me to hand in my money. I was too stunned to reply; too busy trembling.

In a flash, Mike was behind the man and slammed a wooden block he had found nearby into the back of his head. The wood splintered and the man howled in pain as he released his grip on me. I immediately sprinted away from him and twirled my head just in time to see the man plunge his knife into Mike. My eyes widened in pure fear, and as if in slow motion, Mike fell to the floor with a thud.

I screamed. Screamed like I’ve never before; screamed until people came hurtling by; screamed until my voice broke. I raced towards Mike, lifting him onto my lap, my hands pressing onto his wound and wailing. And among the chaos that erupted as people started calling for ambulance and rushing to help, he started to sing.

His voice was hoarse and his face gets paler by every second, yet he struggled to finish the whole song. “Call my name, and I’ll be there……”, as he finished the last line, those sparkling, cerulean eyes filled with pain, sadness and regret focused on me.

They blinked once. Twice. And didn’t open again.

I had hollered until I fainted right onto his still-warm body, my hands still pressed on the gashing wound, and blood still spilling like rivers, staining my hands.

When I recovered, my mother sobbed and explained that it had been a surprise party planned by Mike. Hearing it was as if the walls were pressing on me; air being sucked out of my lungs. For a few years, I couldn’t touch anything that belongs to him; couldn’t allow anything to stir up the memories with him. Especially this song, where images of his last moments always flashed across my mind.

The world moves on, with or without him. But he was my light; my happiness; my best friend, so he will always stay deep down in my heart, because whenever I call his name, he will be there.

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