Once upon a time, there was a girl named Amanda. Amanda was my friend. We did a lot together. In fact, we did almost everything together. Our families called us Amiana. We met in fourth grade, when I first moved to California from New York. She was my first friend and I thought we would be friends forever. That wasn’t to be the case. We were friends until that fateful night when we were juniors in high school. We had drifted apart a bit, as sometimes happens when boys enter the picture. Amanda met a boy, Donovan. According to Amanda, he was the love of her life. I didn’t like Donovan. Yes, part of the reason I didn’t like Donovan was because he was taking my best friend away from me. But a bigger part was because I just didn’t trust him. He was a senior and had a reputation for being “big man on campus.”
One night, there was a party at someone’s house. I don’t even remember whose house it was, just another kid whose parents were away. The party started out fun. There was music the way I liked it (the louder and harder the better). There was no alcohol (I didn’t drink in school, still don’t drink a lot, to be quite honest). There was a boy I liked (who also barely drank and liked his music loud and hard). I had promised myself I would keep an eye on Amanda, since she had a habit of doing whatever Donovan wanted, regardless of the potential consequences. But I didn’t. I started talking to Gabriel (the boy I liked) and I lost sight of Amanda. I asked around, and was told that she had gone to another party with Donovan. This one was too tame for him. I was worried, but I shrugged it off, after all, there was no drinking at this party, so neither Amanda nor Donovan was drunk when they left.
About two hours later, I was sitting in back of the house with Gabriel and some other people, talking about music, when we heard a crash. We all ran out to the front of the house and there was Donovan’s car, flipped over right outside the house. Donovan was standing outside of the car, bleeding from his head and arm. He was laughing. I will never forget that he was laughing. He was also drunk and I found out later had cocaine in his system. And still in the car, not moving, was Amanda. Amanda never moved again. She was pronounced dead on the scene.
Intellectually, I knew that it wasn’t my fault. She would have gone with Donovan regardless of what I said. And she would have listened to what he said over what I said. But I regret not having kept an eye on her, not having been the voice in her head saying “don’t go with him, stay with us. Be safe.” I regret that our friendship had weakened because of a boy. And I regret the tragic end of Amiana.