Third and final part. Continued from Long Gone.
The tears didn’t bring Whit back. The tears didn’t tell Sam she was sorry. The tears didn’t do her tired body any good. But the tears were warm, and she let them flow. She needed time.
Elle knew that enough wrong had already happened, and that she had to bring back together all that was left. She had to bring Sam back, she had to cleanse Whit’s memory, and she had to prepare for her burial. She had to tell Whit’s family in the best way possible that Whit died trying to escape from the drugs, and she had to accept that her best friend… was gone.
Elle fingered the green envelope. This was the last time Whit had tried to communicate with someone she realised. And then Elle remembered the other envelope inside. She ripped the tape away, and peeked inside.
She felt inside, her fingers struggling to hold the tiny thread she had seen. When she finally pulled it out, it turned out to be the charm Whit had made Elle for Friendship Day in fourth grade, but had had to take it back because Sam had protested that he hadn’t got one.
The tears had dried. Elle picked up the phone, rubbed her very swollen eyes, and dialed a number she never had to look up.
“You’ve reached Sam. Leave a message after the beep!”
“Hey Sam. It’s me. I want to talk so whenever you’re back-”
He was there after all. She had wondered for a moment where he would have gone the day after Whit’s death. He’d probably be venting with soda. All alone.
“Hey. Sam. Uhh… Whit died.”
“Umm… yeah, I told you that yesterday.”
“No, she died fighting it.”
Elle breathed out. She told him about the letter, and about the charm, and how she wanted to make things right again.
“This really sucks you realise that? She was at it for months! And she survived every dangerous night in the hospital! And then , when she wants to change, she… Damn it!”
“Hey. I know. I just wish we had been there for her.”
“Oh I was there.I went over cause she said she couldn’t sleep,and she did soon after, while I was there, and I realised she wasn’t… breathing… when I tripped over her foot and she didn’t… I was there.”
Elle didn’t know what to say. So in Whit’s final moments, Elle had left her best friends and been busy where? Sleeping?
“Okay. When is the funeral?”
Elle hoped against all hopes that she had at least not missed out that.
“I’m still planning it. There’s her family to talk to and frankly, I don’t know how I’ll-”
“I’ll do it. I’ll do all of it.”
“Okay El.” She heard a smile in his voice, and she felt better herself.
“Oh and where are we meeting then? Coffee shop?”
Elle smiled as she replied, “Yeah. In ten.”
“Okay. And don’t forget to bring the flowers and stuff. To say sorry.”
“Yeah. I’m sorry Sam.”
“Forgiven. See you in ten.”
And the line clicked.
Elle had just got up to change, when the phone rang.
“Oh and one more thing El.”
“Bring the key.”
“Yeah. I will.”