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by Estrella Almazan

          We met by chance in high school. I used to think that it was fate he found me. I was in a storage room crying holding onto my rejection letter. It’s funny how a piece of paper can make or break your life. 

          My whole life I had worked my ass off to one day attend my dream college. I had given up my teen years for nothing. While my friends went out to watch movies, I was in my room studying trigonometry. While my friends went out to parties, I would sleep to wake up early and study.  

          That day I was drowning in despair. I feared my parents' reaction when they found out their child was a failure. Everything was crumbling down around me, and I saw no reason to keep going.  

          The door to the storage room opened abruptly. I looked up to see a guy with short brown hair. He crouched down to my level and asked, "What's wrong?" 

          That simple question for some reason made me cry even harder. Without another word he slowly pulled me into a hug. His hug was strangely comforting. I clung to him as if my life depended on it. 

          We stayed in that room for a long time. He asked if I wanted to talk and before I knew it I was telling him my life story. He listened intently, not once interrupting me. 

          "Thank you for listening to me," I said, now calmer. 

          He smiled and said, "You're welcome and if you ever need to talk just come find me. My name is Liam. What's yours?" 


          After that day, I found out that Liam was part of the popular crowd. I took this as a sign that I would never get a chance to speak to him. Much to my surprise, I had been wrong. 

          Liam would go out of his way to talk to me. At first, I didn't want to associate with him. Being friends with someone like him would only bring attention to me. When Liam talked to me, I would give him short responses. After weeks of trying to talk to me and failing, I thought he would give up, but he didn’t. He was a persistent fellow. I found him annoying at first, but at some point I began to enjoy his company. It became a routine for him to come find me during lunch and talk endlessly.  

          “He cheated-chew-so I hit him! Then he got mad-chew-and hit me.  

We got into a little fight and-chew-I of course won!” Liam said. 

          “Stop talking with your mouth full. You’re going to choke!” I said. 

          Liam swallowed and said, “Aww, are you worried about me?” 

         “Why would I be worried about you? I just don’t want to deal with paperwork if you die.” 

         “Wow, so harsh. Your words hurt your best friend!” Liam said, wiping away fake tears. 

         “We are not friends.” 

         “Aww, don’t be embarrassed! I know you love me!” 

         We were part of different social circles and yet we were drawn to one another. Even though I refuse to acknowledge him as a friend, he kept coming around and insisting we were friends. 

         As the weeks passed, I began to spend more time with him. He would invite me to the movies, to the arcade and even to the library. He hated the library but still took me there because he knew I liked it. 

         Eventually, my parents found out about my outings with Liam. They demanded to meet him, but I refused. If they met him they would surely tell me to cut all ties with him.  

         As I spent more time with Liam, my grades began slipping. I went from all A's to B's. When my parents found out, they freaked out and immediately began blaming Liam. 

         For the first time in my life, I rebelled against them. When they told me to stop spending time with him, I told them I wouldn't. When they grounded me, I snuck out for the first time.  

         I had so much fun, and even though I didn't end up in my dream college, I still went to a great college. The years I spent with Liam were some of my best. We became best friends, though I wouldn't ever say that out loud.

         I thought we would be together forever, but nothing lasts forever. Liam Pierce died on April 19, 2015. I was in class when I got the news. A drunk driver had hit him and killed him on impact. 

         I found myself walking to a storage closet where I sat down. I held my phone tightly as the tears began to fall. I stayed in that small room for a long time. I didn't want to believe what happened. I stayed in that room hoping Liam would come and find me, but he never did. 

         A security guard found me and called my parents. They didn't care and told me to just get over it. Desperate, I called his parents and they took me in. We were all grieving but his mother made sure I was okay. She is a very kind woman who puts others before herself. His father remained strong although, deep down, he felt like breaking down. 

         The days passed in a blur. I helped his mother with the funeral. I don't remember much except the sorrow we felt. 

         When the day of the funeral arrived, everything became much more real. I realized that he was gone and would never come back. I would never hear his voice and see his bright eyes. 

         I have a lot of regrets, and one of them was having never told him how much he meant to me. I owe a lot to Liam, and I wish I had a chance to thank him. He took my dull and boring life and turned it into something amazing. He was gone but I would make sure he was never forgotten.  

         We were polar opposites and yet we became connected for life. Our friendship was the connection every human wishes they had. I will treasure this special bond until the day I die. 


Liam, thank you for everything!  

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