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Caused by a Car

By @ColorfulAlpaca

(Happy?) Birthday, Corbin

“What?” I asked, for the fifth time, but this time out loud. Corbin looked up. “Nothing.” I shook my head and smiled. “I must have misheard you… open your gift,” I said, changing the subject. He reached into the bag and pulled out the present. Almost immediately, Corbin’s eyes began filling up. It was a collage of pictures, full of moments and memories, all before my coma. “Ava…” He put the frames down and wiped his eyes. “Thank you,” He said. “For coming, for the gift, for remembering my birthday…” he cocked his head and our eyes locked. “How did you remember? After the coma? I never mentioned it again.” I smiled. “Some things were too important to forget,” I replied. “Or, maybe it’s magic. You’ll never know.” Corbin smiled back, and for that moment, that beautiful moment, I forgot. Forgot about the coma, forgot I ever lost a piece of our friendship, forgot that there’s anyone else in this tiny world. And then, all that broke. Corbin’s smile disappeared, his voice turned to stone. “I’m still not that boy,” he said. “the boy who befriended you, who called to you, who did everything in his power to stop what followed that car.” I shook my head. “Corbin, you ARE, you are.” I stared into his eyes, willing him to keep talking. What he said next broke me into millions of pieces. “You have no idea who I am…” The words shattered my heart. “Do you? And you never will.” My eyes filled up. “Shut up, Corbin. You know that’s not true,” I said. “I know who you are.” Corbin turned away and lifted a few of the pictures. “No,” He replied. “you know who I used to be. Not who I am.” I turned his face with my hand, forcing him to look at me with his pale eyes. “I know who you are,” I repeated. “You’re the one who tried to save me, you’re the one who came to the hospital, even though it hurt you, you’re the one who waited, so I could see you again before you left, and most importantly, Corbin…” Finally, he lifts his eyes to mine. “most importantly, you’re my best friend.” A small smile appeared on his face. “You’re right,” He said. “I must be pretty awesome if someone like you calls me your best friend.” I shook my head and wiped my eyes. “No, I’m the lucky one.” Corbin shook his head too, and pushed me out of the way. “You’re not,” He said. “I’m horrible, and you shouldn’t have come.”

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