The Strength of Friendship

Katherine - Spotsylvania, Virginia
Entered on November 27, 2010

On May 17, my younger sister Emily was in a brutal car accident. She and her best friend Gina, and Gina’s cousin Brittani were running an errand for work. On the way, they lost control of the car and it rolled into the middle of a corn field. All three girls were thrown from the vehicle. Brittani died instantly. Gina was semi conscious. Emily was bleeding from her head and had a searing pain in her back. She crawled over to where Gina was lying and told her to hang on; she was going to get help. Emily dragged herself to her feet and staggered three quarters of a mile up the road to a farm house and asked the woman who answered the door to call 911. Then she walked back to Gina.

I was checking in a patient at the doctor’s office where I worked when my mother bolted into the waiting room, babbling hysterically. All I could make out was “car accident” and “we can’t find Emily.”

My boss popped his head out of his office and said, “Go.”

We drove to the local ER to find out was happening. A nurse told us there had been a bad wreck. She said one girl died at the scene and the other two were being flown to a nearby trauma center. She didn’t know which girl was who. My mother collapsed on the floor.

I revived my mother and we headed to the hospital.

A grave looking surgeon came and spoke to us. “I have a girl on my operating table that wasn’t going to live; her brain trauma is too severe. I am not able to operate or to save her. I’m very sorry.”

My mother went down again. He asked me to identify the girl. I don’t know how my legs carried me into that operating room. I was floating somewhere above my body, telling myself it was all a bad dream.

The girl on the table looked beautiful and peaceful. Her face had not a scratch on it; her long brown hair flowed around her shoulders. Her eyes were closed, long black lashes curled against her pale cheek. A dark pool of blood surrounded her head like a somber halo. Her arm was by her side, her fingernails painted with sparkly blue nail polish….Emily’s favorite. I started to sob.

A voice asked gently, “Who is it?”

“It’s Gina,” I whispered.

We found my sister. She had severe internal injuries and a broken back. How she wasn’t paralyzed, and how she was able to walk a mile and a half, the doctors would never understand.

I understand.

There is nothing like the love and the bond you share with your high school best friend. You will never have friends again like the ones you have when you are fifteen. You love everything about each other. You spend eight hours a day in school together and still talk for hours on the phone when you get home. You can’t believe that another human being understands you so perfectly when the rest of the world has no clue. You share clothes, and cd’s, paint each other’s nails, have sleepovers every weekend. You tell each other your deepest secrets. You know in your heart that you will be best friends with this girl until the day you die. There isn’t anything in the world you wouldn’t do for her. That was Gina and Emily.

I had a Gina once. Her name was Megan. We were inseparable. After high school we lost touch. I heard she is married now and expecting her first baby. We haven’t spoken in years. We’re strangers now, but I miss the Megan I used to know.

I have never had another friend like her. Don’t get me wrong, I have good friends, close friends even. But not a kindred spirit like Megan. That surgeon was wondering how my sister, walked with a broken back and escaped with no lasting injury. Because that’s the kind of thing you do for your best friend. You could move mountains for that friend. It’s the kind of friendship you only have once in a lifetime.