"Blindsided" by Arianna Alexander
It was my first day of college. My first day officially alone in the world, no longer with the constant help of my family. It was frightening, yet exhilarating all at the same time. That day was the first day I realized that I was officially on my own, and that I couldn’t just call my mom if I needed to fill my tank of gas or to go get ice cream like we used to every Sunday. It was also the day that I met Jordan, who would change my life forever. He would be there for me through thick and thin, when some silly boy broke my heart and when I needed him the most. He would be my best friend for the rest of my life—the rest of our lives.
It was UC Berkeley that I decided on, knowing none of both the joy and dread it would lead me to.
The exact date I first saw Jordan was August 17th of 2003. I remember exactly the first words we shared. I was lost on campus, knowing little to nothing about Berkeley.
“You look like you could use a hand.” He had said to me with a smile.
I turned his way; he was six feet tall, African American and had honey colored eyes. I was small in comparison: five feet four inches, with pale skin, dirty blonde hair and green eyes.
“Actually, yeah. I could.” I said with a laugh.
That smile we shared was the very first moment that I knew this young man was going to be my best friend for life. I’m not sure how I knew, but I did.
“That’s fine,” he said with a laugh. “I got lost my first day too.”
“Are you a sophomore?” I asked, delighted by his warm smile; it somehow made me happy everytime his teeth showed.
“Yeah, I am. Jordan’s the name.”
“Cool, I’m Margot.” I would’ve put my hand out for a handshake, but before I knew it I was in his embrace. He was a hugger; he would always be a hugger.
“Pretty name, Margot.” He said to me. His voice was like angels singing.
A feeling of knowing I was home overwhelmed me. I no longer felt alone, I felt exactly where I was supposed to be.
“So, where’s your first class?”Jordan asked me.
“Honestly, I have no idea.” I said with a laugh. “All I know is that I have calculus, and my schedule says room 415.”
“Lucky for you, I know exactly where that is.” He gestured his arm opposite the way he was facing and I walked quickly in order to be next to him. “So, Margot, where are you from?”
“I’m from Oregon. I just moved here around a week or two ago so I could get settled before school started. What about you?”
“I’m from California, born and raised. I’ve always loved it here, I’m sure you’ll grow to love it too.”
Every time he spoke it made me incredibly happy. It made me feel like I was back in Oregon, at home.
“I’m sure I will, too.” I said with a bright smile.
“I mean, you already have a friend.” He said to me, then winked. We laughed together, and then in what felt like ten seconds we were already at my class. “Well, this is your room.”
“Thank you, Jordan.”
“Anytime. Just text me when you get lost. Speaking of which, let me give you my number.” I handed him my phone and he dialed.
“I’ll see you around.” I said.
“I’ll see you, Margot.”
I had already texted his phone something as simple as “hello” so that he would have my number. He waved, his teeth showing yet again and he disappeared, turning a corner. Our friendship only built from there.
We had both English and Science together and spent every waking moment by each other’s sides, whether it be studying or going to get ice cream, like we decided we would do every Sunday. I still remember the day we made it a part of our every week. It was a Friday, right after we had gotten off work (which we did after school). We had decided to meet at Starbucks.
“Well, when I was back home in Oregon, every Sunday I would go to get ice cream with my mom. That was the one thing I always looked forward to the most every week.” I told Jordan about my experiences, reminiscing and feeling nostalgic.
“You know what?” he asked me. “Let’s make it so that every Sunday we go and get ice cream just like you and your mom used to do. That way, we can spend time together and you can have a piece of your childhood with you here.”
“You’re the sweetest. I love you, Jordan.”
“I love you, too. Now, instead of starting that tradition Sunday, let’s take a spontaneous trip to 31 Flavors. I’m in desperate need of some cookie dough ice cream.”
“Same.” I said; we both laughed. He wrapped his arm around me and we walked out of the coffee shop.
“After you, my lady,” he said, as he held the door open for me.
“Why, thank you kind sir.”
We were both such dorks. One of my favorite things about him was the fact that I could be my total and complete self around him, and he could do the same around me.
Years passed by and he graduated college. Although we didn’t see each other as much, considering we no longer had any classes together, we still met every Sunday for ice cream and the tradition of meeting every Friday for coffee developed completely on its own as well. We had both our ups and our downs in college, both with school and our personal lives. Jordan had a total of two girlfriends in college, both of them not being nearly good enough for how amazing he was. I had one boyfriend, but he didn’t end up being who I thought he was, or who he made himself out to be.
My college experience was a blast, until my senior year. I liked school, but I loved spending time with Jordan. It was a Sunday afternoon and I had driven to 31 Flavors, like we always did. He wasn’t there. I sat waiting for at least twenty minutes until I called him. When the phone stopped ringing, it wasn’t him who picked up. I began to panic.
“Hi, ma’am,” said a deep man’s voice.
“Who is this? Where’s Jordan?”
“Unfortunately, your friend is unwell. This is Jack with BCPD. He was in a car accident. He’s in critical condition.”
I dropped the phone, unable to move, speak, breath. I wasn’t there anymore. I felt numb, as though the most important thing in my life had vanished right before me. After standing there in pure shock, I realized I had dropped my phone. I looked down; I fell to the ground crying. I told myself not to worry until there was something to worry about, but it was already too late. I was unable to speak clearly, hyperventilating, in 31 Flavors, tears running down my cheeks.
I heard a voice come from the floor, realizing the reality of things. I picked the phone up and began to focus.
“Sorry, sir.” I said, struggling to keep my voice steady.
“Ma’am? What is your relationship with this young man.” The officer asked me.
“His name’s Jordan. He’s my best friend. I’m his only family. Please, where are you? Let me come and see him,” I barely managed to speak; everything was a blur.
“You’ll just have to meet him at the hospital, ma’am. We’re doing everything we can.” He hung up the phone and I ran to my car. He was the only thing on my mind.
I made my way to the hospital, probably speeding along the way. I didn’t care, however. I just needed to see my best friend. He was all I had, and I was all he had.
I drove to the hospital, attempting to be patient while waiting for his arrival. It wasn’t working. Nothing else was on my mind and nothing else would be on my mind until I knew he would be okay, which he would. He would have to be.
I sat in a chair in the waiting room, my whole body trembling as tears fell down my already soaked cheeks. He had to be okay, I couldn’t lose him. The ambulance arrived and I witnessed the horrible sight of my best friend unconscious and helpless. He was always the strong one, protecting me. And at that point in time, although I knew how hard it would be, I would have to be strong for him as well.
I followed them into the elevator, trying to put together my thoughts and my emotions and ask the doctors questions, yet I couldn’t stop the crying. Seeing him there so helpless was one of the most painful moments of my life. The most painful moment in my life.
“Doctor…” I said, looking at a woman’s breast in order to read her name tag. “Dr.Arleen, c-can I p-please ask you a few q-questions?” My voice was unable to hold still, wavering as I spoke.
“Yes, ma’am. What’s your name?” she asked. Her voice was deep for the normal womens, and she had a masculine energy.
“My name is Margot. I’m Jordan’s best friend. You have to tell me he’s going to be okay, I can’t lose him.”
“Unfortunately I can’t see the future, Margot. I really wish I could just tell you he was going to be okay, but I don’t want to give you any false hope.”
Soon after she told me this, we were in the medical room and they were examining Jordan. Seeing him this way I suddenly realized how much he meant to me. I already knew I would have him in my life forever, and that he would be my best friend for the rest of my life. However, suddenly it became so clear that, I couldn’t help but wonder why I didn’t realize it earlier, I was in love with my best friend. That not only did I want him in my life forever, I wanted him to be my life; he was my life. Realizing this brought me a sudden rush of different emotions: happiness, love, worry and mostly regret. Regret that I hadn’t realized earlier because I may never be able to tell him how I felt. Although it became obvious to me only at that moment, I assumed it had been obvious to him for a long while, maybe even since the day we met.
I pulled up a chair next to his movementless body, waiting for some sign he would be okay.
“Is he able to hear me if I talk to him?” I asked the doctor, another one of the few questions I could manage to ask.
“We aren’t completely sure, but there’s a good chance he can hear what you’re saying, so go ahead and try to speak to him. I’ll give you some privacy,” she smiled a warm and considerate smile and left the almost vacant room.
I grabbed Jordan’s hand and kissed the back of it as tears rolled down my cheeks, which seemed impossible after how much I had cried.
“Hey, best friend.” I said with a somewhat forced laugh. “You’ve always been so strong, I know you can make it through this. I missed having ice cream today, but I really only missed it because I constantly look forward to seeing you. I love you so much, J-Jordan.’’
I was trying to hold back the tears and hide the heartbreak I was feeling because I wanted, I needed, to be strong for him.
“You are going to make it through this and we’re going to live long lives by each other’s sides. I am not going anywhere until you wake up. I’m staying h-here until you wake up be-because you are going to w-wake up, okay? You're going to wake up…” My voice lingered on, as quiet as a mouse as I took heaving breaths to hold in the pain.
If he really could hear me, I didn’t want him to hear me crying. I didn’t want for him to be afraid.
“Truth is, Jordan… I love you as more than just my best friend. You’re my best friend along with the fact that you’re my soulmate. I love you so much… so so much. I think the only reason I’m being brave enough to tell you all this is because there isn’t a one hundred percent chance you will hear me,” I said finally, with a faint, yet genuine laugh. Talking to him made me feel better again, whether he could hear me or not.
I felt his thumb brush softly against my hand and I wiped away the tears on my cheeks. I felt a sudden, yet overwhelming flood of hope wash over me that I couldn’t quite control. I looked up at his beautiful face, covered with bandages and I saw the most beautiful eyes I had ever seen look at me, and I smiled.
“You love me?” he barely managed to move his lips, but you could see his eyes smiling.
“Yeah, Jordan. I do. I love you.”
I am positive that I looked ridiculous, but I couldn’t help letting the giddy smile that came from my heart spread across my face.
“It’s about time you admitted it, cutie,” he said to me. He somehow managed to move his hand to my cheek, although it was trembling. I held it there, caressing his beautiful cocoa colored skin. “I love you, too Margot.”
I gently pressed my lips against his and he moved my hair out of my face. I couldn’t help but let the last few teardrops left in me roll down my cheeks.
“I’m okay, Margot. I’m not going anywhere,” he told me.
And he didn’t.