How could I know I was going to die at eighteen? How could I know...my best friend was going to be the one to kill me?
Hayley was my best friend. Since middle school, we did everything together. Sleepovers were a weekly occurrence, and we even planned matching outfits for school. Sure, things changed when we entered high school together. We hung in different groups, but when the last bell rang each day, we always came back together. I like to think of Hayley as my...soulmate.
At eighteen, we were both ready to be free from our childhood homes, and planned to embark on an adventure.
It was summer, and I had money to spend. Who cares that it was the money my mom had been saving from my Dad's death.
It's my money now. I wanted a motorcycle, and I always get what I want.
Let me start by saying, I'm not your typical girl. I wasn't a cheerleader. I hate those girls! Except Hayley, of course. I didn't paint my nails pink and write my name in hearts with a boys in my notebook. I like to consider myself...a rebel.
Oh boy. That sounds so lame.
Moving on. I like to play the guitar and collect comic books. I like adventure. Danger. I enjoy being different.
Out of everything I like on this planet, there is one thing I absolutely love more than anything. That just happens to be my best friend...Hayley. She doesn't know it, but I plan on telling her on our little camping trip.
So, I bought the motorcycle. Hayley and I packed a bag and hopped on, ready for adventure. The plan was to drive out to Charleston and camp out on the beach.
Mom doesn't care. She works as an ER doctor at the hospital. I never see her. Like I mentioned before, Dad is dead.
It's okay. I didn't know him. He died when I was eight months old. Killed by a thief who tried to steal his car.
Hayley's mom...well, she drinks a lot. I don't think she even knows that Hayley is gone half the time. Hayley pretty much lives with me. We eat dinner together. We share a bed. I get to fall asleep staring at her pretty blonde hair. It's the kind of blonde that has just a hint of bronze. She snores, but I don't mind.
Life is good.
"Gwen," Hayley shouts in my ear as we race down the highway, cutting in and out of traffic, without a care in the world.
I enjoy the feel of her arms wrapped around my waist. I've been smiling for an hour now. My cheeks hurt.
"Can we stop? I have to pee."
I nod. "Sure."
I notice a sign that says that there is a rest area coming up and veer into the far right lane. As the sun begins to set and as we approach a small town called, Fort Mill, there isn't much traffic anymore. I exit the highway and pull into a parking spot at the rest area.
Hayley hops off and stretches her legs. It hasn't been but an hour since we drove out of Concord, North Carolina, but she looks cramped already.
I watch her stretch her legs and pull my helmet off. Black hair falls free and softly brushes my elbows. Hayley makes a face and smirks as she looks at me.
I raise an eyebrow. "What?"
She giggles. Oh how I love her giggle.
"You know, you look kind of badass right now?"
I try to play it cool and suppress my beaming smile. Instead, I shrug. "Tell my mom that sometime. She thinks the piercings make me look like a juvenile delinquent."
Hayley laughed. "Oh my gosh. Did she really say that?"
I nod. "Yes. Like we live in some 90's movie or something."
She laughs again and looks past me at the one story building that housed the public restrooms and vending machines.
"I'm just going to run and pee. I'll be right back."
I nod and lean against my shiny, new, Harley. "Don't sit on the seat!" I shout over my shoulder. I suppose my moms germa phobia has rubbed off on me over the years.
It's quiet as I stare out at the large empty parking lot. It's surprising that no one is there. I put my earbud back in my ear and turn my iPod back on. Flogging Molly shouts in my ears. Irish music always gets me pumped.
I check the time, and cry out as someone hits me in the head and I fall, face first, into the asphalt...
(More next week...)- K.N. Lee