This is a short story about love lost
Word Count: 1,835
I am sitting comfortably in my Adirondack chair, on the front porch, of my lakefront home. I can’t help but be mesmerized by the sudden change in lake’s rippling effect. I can feel it in my bones that a storm is brewing.
As the mist continues to roll over the lakeside water; a pair of eerie footsteps marches in tune with the environment’s fog. I can sense a presence grabbing for my hands. I try to fight this awkward feeling, although, my thinly-shaped body moves in the direction of a passionate kiss.
I utter, “Stop fooling around, Colton!” As I push my musician friend away. Flustered, I begin to walk in the direction of his red Porsche.
I ask, “Hey, I thought my boyfriend was going to drive me to the recording studio tonight?” Colton grabs for the car door handle, and says, “He beat us already. He’s has to redo his vocal tracks before we get there.” He laughs to himself, while closing the car door behind his best friend.
“Oh? That’s odd. I thought he would have told me, since I am his girlfriend.” With this news, Colton’s eyes widen. He pauses, smiles, and begins to secure himself with his seat belt. He turns on the ignition, looks both ways before driving into a steady stream of traffic.
I couldn’t resist, “Colton, what’s wrong? You’re awful quiet tonight?"
He looks away from the road, to mumble, “Nothing’s wrong. I’m just anxious to get to Little Mountain Sound Studio, so we can begin our musical collaboration for the kids.”
The fog has become thick. Hidden behind Colton’s blind spot, a white Lexus gains momentum on his car; the other vehicle looses control of his automobile. Silence is replaced by a chilling noise, which engulfs our atmosphere: Crash, bang, boom can be heard for miles
There’s a spooky stillness, which instantly fills our surroundings, I find myself face-to-face with my lifeless friend, who’s hunched over his steering wheel. I quickly rush to his side, “Are you alright, Colton?” No sound. No movement. No breath.
By now, I am frantic. I yell, “What do I do?” I want to remove my injured friend from the crashed car, but there’s blood everywhere. So, I try to make myself comfortable on the ground next to him, to say, “Colton, I’m going to call for help, please stay strong!”
Colton is still silent. I grab for my cell phone from my jean's back pocket. I dial 9-1-1.
The female operator says, “9-1-1, what’s your emergency?”
“There’s been an accident!” I reveal.
The operator asks, “Is anyone hurt?”
While looking at my friend, I say, “Yes! There’s blood everywhere.”
The operator inquires, “Miss, is he conscious?”
I pause to gather my thoughts. I lean over Colton, I slowly pass my shaky hand in front of his face; I cannot feel him breathing. I immediately grab for his left arm, searching for a pulse. In anguished, I say, “I feel a faint pulse.”
The operator asks, “Okay, Miss, you’re doing fine, can you please tell me where you are?”
By now, I feel disoriented, so I disclose, “We’re on the highway right before Exit 10. Please come quick….” Before I could finish my sentence, I could hear emergency vehicles in the distance. As I turned off the call, my heart felt secure.
I hear a slight movement coming from the drivers’ seat. I look at Colton trying to move his wounded body, he sees me and inquires, “What happened?”
Reluctantly I say, “There was this accident, and before I knew it, our car had swerved off the road and into a ditch. You’ll be alright, though. The ambulance it’s on its way, so hold on, okay! Actually, I can hear the sound getting close—wait, their here, yeah, their here!”
The ambulance parks their vehicle next to the accident site. Two men dressed in medical attire rush to Colton’s aid. They were able to safely remove him from the wreckage. The two men place him on their stretcher and roll him into the ambulance. Inside they continue to assist Colton’s injuries.
I ask, one of the men, “Can I ride with him?” The man nodded yes to me. I immediately jump into the back and unconsciously grasp for Colton’s hand. He tries to talk, “Can I ask you a question, Sydney?”
“Sure! You can ask me anything.”
In a half conscious state, Colton continues, “Am I going to die?”
In a shocked voice, I say, “No. You’re not going to die. Like God, I see the good in you—you’re worth saving! Remember that, so please don’t give up, okay!”
With a chuckle in my voice, I say, “Hey, Colton, you can’t just give up like this, because your fans will be angry with me, if I don’t at least try and save your sorry existence. Plus, you know, how dedicated they are to your career, and I’m in no mood to deal with their witch trial.”
Colton, difficulty breathing, looks straight into my brown eyes to say, “Yeah. You’re right, Sydney. You’re always right. That’s why I love you so much!”
Silence fills the vehicle. By now, the ambulance has pulled right up to the emergency room door. Once the ambulance is parked, the younger man swing opens the vehicle door, reaches for Colton’s stretcher, and then, rushes him into the hospital.
There is chaos everywhere. Nurses and doctors are all gathering around Colton. I can hear one doctor say, “Rush him into operating room one.”
One of the nurses, holding a clipboard, walks in my direction, she says while pointing to Colton, “Are you here with this gentleman?”
I look at her to declare, “Yes. Yes, I am.”
As she hands me the clipboard filled with forms, she says, “Here. Fill out these out. When you’re done, please give them back to me. I’ll be over at the desk.”
Extending my left hand out to take hold of her clipboard, I walk slowly over to the already crowded waiting room. The minutes turned into hours; still no word on Colton’s prognoses.
As the clock strikes midnight, the emergency room Doctor appears before my tired eyes. He walks toward me and begins to say, “You’re the young lady who came in with Colton Darby, right?”
I look at him to respond, “Yes. Yes, I am. Will Colton be okay?”
A tired doctor reveals, “Yes. He will be fine. A few minor injuries, the most damage we found was to his spleen. Other than a few broken bones, he will be fine. You can speak to the nurse over there. She can tell you in what room your friend is in.”
With relief in my voice, I said to the handsome doctor, “Thank you. Thank you for saving my friend tonight.” The doctor looked at me, smiled, and quickly vanished into the crowded surrounding area.
Later that morning, I found myself trying to sit comfortably in the hard, hospital chair. Colton is still sleeping peacefully. Throughout the morning, his private nurse repeatedly comes in and checks on him. By now, I have fallen asleep on the side of his bed.
I wake to someone stroking the top of my head. I am shocked to see Colton smiling back at me. He says, “Hey, Sydney, do you remember what I said to you last night?”
In shock, I divulge, “Yes. Yes, I do, Colton; however, how can you love me? I’m not your wife. I’m Sydney Rose, your friend and music partner. But, thanks for the compliment… it means a lot that you would disclose your feelings to me on your ‘death bed’. Actually, I believe it’s the pain talking.”
What seems like an eternity, quietness continues to linger in the stale air, Colton has been thinking, he says, “Sydney, I just finished praying to God about my life, and how, I was looking for a change; and then, Bryce called about this musical project—somehow, I just knew it was going to change my life—but, I really didn’t know exactly how until now.”
With distress in my voice, I ask, "Colton, what can I say? What do you want me to say? I’m flattered but you’re married. I can’t do that, I’m not that type of lady.” Without being able to finish her thought, Colton interjects, “Sydney, I would never disrespect you like this—it’s the business, you know all this and yet you understand 'it'.”
He continues, “The industry made me into who I really am. The question is: am I proud of my behavior? Some yes, some no. I love the adoration from my fans and the awards, and of course the music, but I don’t like going home a night-after-night to an empty house. I always dreamt that I would come home to a family—not a corporation. I long for the day when I can share my day around the kitchen table with my family—especially my son. My childhood was filled with that kind of joy, why can’t I have that for my family? God truly knows what's in my heart, nonetheless, I would trade it all for the trophy life.”
He pauses for a few minutes to catch his breath. He continues, “Yes, I married my high school sweetheart; why because my image consultant said it would help me with my public image. Honestly, she loves her job more than she loves me. All I ever wanted was to have a child; she would rather raise her career to a whole new business-like level than stay at home and raise our children. How can I compete with that? Please… tell me, Sydney Rose, how can I?”
I interpose, “I believe that God answers all our needs, Colton. I continue with regret in my voice: “My dear, sweet, yet— (prince) charming, you know we’re friends, and of course, real friends will do anything for each other, nevertheless this isn’t asking to borrow my car, or house, or my shirt, you’re asking something very private, which I would have to consider…” I quietly sit gathering my thoughts.
A few moments have passed, I lean into Colton to say, “I believe in hard work, blood, sweat, and endless hours of sacrifice can make a dream come true—that’s my life. I wasn’t born and bread into the family business, like you were, Colton. Plus, I don’t want your trophy life. Please understand I have always had unconditional love for you, please believe that, and have hoped that we will be saved not only from this horrific place. You have to have faith to work on your demons. You know, I’m living proof that stranger things can happen.”
At that precious moment, my full, red lips can be found on Colton's. Within second a loud; "What!" echoes the room. I look up to see Colton's trophy wife standing in his doorway. Scared, I rush out the door--every inkling, in my body is urging me not to look back.