They say when someone dies, they become a star in the sky. And there I was, staring at this constellation. It looked aligned, like the two stars were connected to each other in some way. I liked to believe that it was them. They were no longer with me, I cried on several nights thinking how they'd never be able to be a part of my life again. Him and her. My two best friends.
He was one of my oldest friends, we'd been neighbours since I moved to this city at the tender age of five. Bonding over our mutual love for basketball, we became quick friends, over the last 20 years, I knew that in him I had found a best friend for life. If only I knew, how little his life was going to be.
She was a friend I'd made in college, we'd known each other since the very first day. She'd been in my life only for the last 3 years, but we were closer than ever. Calling her my best friend seemed like too much of an understatement, I'd always call her my soul friend, because I knew she was more precious to me than anyone else in my life. If only I knew, my soul friend was going to take my soul with her, as she departed this world forever.
At my 19th birthday party, I introduced my two best friends to each other for the very first time. Both being equally attractive, they instantly hit it off, and I smiled at the sparks that I could see flying between them. "How come you never fell for him, you guys are so close!", she asked me one day. "Well, for starters I know he's kind of a player, and secondly he's more like a brother to me than anything else", I chuckled.
I'd seen her fawn over guys before, but this seemed different. She wasn't really the kind to easily fall for someone, but for once it felt like she really wanted to fall for this one. I could sense that the feeling seemed mutual, he did seem to like her too, but then again, who wouldn't? I always thought she was great and deserved the best.
A few weeks went by, and I could see she was really falling for him. They'd talk alot, go on dates, have a great time. He seemed to be changing his usual flirty nature around her, he seemed to be getting serious, I was happy seeing such a positive change in him. She was head over heels for him, and it was a first for her, I liked seeing how happy he made her. I was really happy for my two best friends.
All was well, and soon the night of her 20th birthday arrived. Her celebration with all her friends was over, she'd had a great day, probably the best birthday in a long time. He told me he'd planned a surprise for her later, just the two of them. It seemed like a great idea, I wished him good luck. His parents were out of town, he'd planned an elaborate setting at his place, and it was my job to bring her there. I did what I had to, and seeing the smile on her face that night, was the best memory I'll ever have of her. I left the two alone, and went back to my place. It was after 2 hours that I realised, I'd accidentally left my purse at his place. Not intending to disturb them, I gave him a call to ask if I could just come over and collect it. I called several times but nobody picked up. Getting the purse back was urgent. Being neighbours for so many years, we both had keys to each others' houses for emergencies. I used the key that I had to his place, and I remembered leaving the purse in the living room. I quickly let myself in, grabbed my purse, and thought that I'd explain myself later.
Just as I was about to leave, I heard some muffled screams coming from his bedroom. I had to go in there, it sounded scary. I quietly slid the door open, which I knew was the very first door closest to the living room. The sight I saw when I entered that bedroom, is one that will haunt me till the day I die. It's an image I want to erase from my mind, but no matter what I do, I'll never be able to.
I saw her on his bed, lying naked, in a pool of her own blood. She had painful bruises between her legs, wounds on her body which looked like she'd been trying to fight someone, and she had fought really bravely, but failed. She was writhing in pain, she called out to me in a cracking voice the minute she saw me. "What happened?!", I frantically asked her. "He r-r-r-raped", she couldn't even complete her sentence before she fell unconscious.
I could hear the water running in the shower, he'd probably gone to wash off his heinous sins. I was infuriated. I could see my closest friend lying there - raped, hurt, broken; and I could do nothing about it. I tried to wake her up, but she wouldn't move. I felt like she gave up already, she was a fighter, why wasn't she fighting now? I heard the shower going off, I could see the bathroom door knob turning. He stepped out in his towel, and gasped at the horror of seeing me there. "Let me-let me-explain...I-!"
I didn't give him a chance to finish that sentence. No excuse, no reason, nothing he said was going to be good enough for what he'd done. Was this the same guy I trusted for 20 years of my life? Was this the same guy my best friend gave her whole heart to? Was this the same guy who just flirted with too many girls and always told me that it wasn't a big deal? Was this the same guy who played with her emotions for so long, just so he could eventually bed her, and when she said no, he forced himself on her to THIS extent? Was he the same guy who claimed he loved her & then left her to die?
My mind was filled with countless such thoughts that night, the night that I stared at the constellation in the sky. I couldn't save my soul friend, she didn't leave this world peacefully, she met her end in a terrifying and gruesome way. And as for him, he met his devastating end as soon as I plunged the knife straight into his heart. The same knife which she used to cut her last birthday cake, and the same heart which had always been stony black & icy cold.
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