Crazy Friends by Emily Staebler

Two women sat on their porches, rocking on their rockin chairs. They both had long night gowns on and slippers. The one lady was an older lady with gray hair that was cut into a pixie cut, but the other woman was a teenage girl. She had beautiful long brown hair with bright green eyes and freckles scattered across her face. The teenage girl looked over to the older woman with sparkling eyes and a wide smile. 

“I can’t believe you live here Kathy. You always said you were going to live along the river,” the beautiful girl said, looking out to the lake that was glistening from the sun. 

“I know, Joanna. I’m so glad you can finally experience it with me. I’ve worked so hard for this,” Kathy said, looking over at Joanna. 

“I wish I would have come sooner. I didn’t know it was this nice,” Joanna said, pulling out her acoustic guitar. “Would you like to hear a song?”

Kathy quickly shook her head, practically begging for the sweet melody that Joanna was going to play. Joanna started playing a melody that she came up with herself. Kathy was swaying her head back and forth to the melody while she held the friendship necklace that was on her neck. It was a simple gold necklace that had Joanna’s and her names on them and in between was a small diamond. Joanna had the same one. 

“I really missed you Jo,” Kathy said, rubbing the necklace that was on her neck. 

“I missed you too. I can’t believe it’s been so long since we’ve seen each other,” Joanna responded while she continued to strum the strings of her guitar. “It’s been so long.”

“What do you mean? It’s only been a month or two,” Kathy asked. Her eyebrows furrowed down indicating she was confused. 

Joanna started to laugh causing her to strum the guitar in an awkward way, making a terrible sound. “A couple of months Kat? It’s been way longer than that. It’s been years.”

“Years,” Kathy questioned. 

Joanna started to strum her guitar again, letting the cool morning breeze blow her beautiful brown hair back. She closed her eyes and soaked up every bit of it.

“Well of course silly… you don’t remember, do you Kat,” Joanna asked in a soft calming voice. 

“No, what happened,” Kathy asked, concern lacing her voice, making it crack a little in the end. 

“Well, it was the year 1960, we were both 15 at the time. We were sitting on the dock by the river in town. We were hanging out with a couple of boys from town. I had a crush on Tommy,” Joanna explains with a scoff. “It was getting late so we all decided to walk home, before we left the area, I ran back because I left my guitar. I told you guys to continue on without me. When I went back, I ended up slipping and falling in. I tried to swim for my life for about 5 minutes but I ended up just letting go.”

Joanna looked over at a tearful Kathy. She shook her head with shame. 

“Kathy, that was over 60 years ago. It wasn’t your fault. You didn’t know that I would fall in.”

“I should’ve walked back with you. I could’ve prevented it if I just walked with you,” Kathy said, sniffling from the tears. “You would still be with me today.”

“I am with you today,” Joanna said, calmly.

“But you’re not alive. How can I see you right now,” Kathy questioned the young woman. 

“Because something’s happening to you right now,” Joanna said.

“What’s happening,” Kathy asked, her eyebrows furrowed. 

Joanna was about to explain to the woman when everything went white. When Kathy came to, she was in the back of an ambulance. She had an oxygen mask on her and a paramedic was doing CPR on her. 

“She’s back with us. Her heart beat is low, but it’s there,” the paramedic yelled to his coworker who was driving the ambulance. Kathy began to pass out again. “Oh no, we’re losing her again!”

Kathy was on a dock by the lake, sitting next to her was Joanna who was swaying her feet and strumming her guitar. She was humming to the melody that she was playing from her guitar. Her hair swayed back and forth from the wind that had now picked up a little bit. 

“What’s happening to me,” Kathy asked her old friend. 

“You passed out from internal bleeding that was caused when you broke your ribs the other day. The bleeding is making its way to your lungs and heart,” Joanna explained like it was nothing. 

“I’m dying,” Kathy stated, but it sounded more like a question. 

“Not if they can stop the bleeding before it reaches your lungs and heart, but if they can’t… well I’m sorry,” Joanna said, looking down at the water that her toes were slightly touching. 

“I can’t die. I have grandkids that I still need to see graduate and I have a job and a husband,” Kathy said in a panic. 

“We all don’t get what we want, Kat. Some of us get handed the short end of the stick,” Joanna said with a sigh.

Kathy’s eyes began to water as she looked into the lake water. There were fish swimming below their feet, enjoying life. She began to think that this place wasn’t too bad. If she was to die, she wouldn’t mind. This place was nice, plus she’d be with her parents and Joanna again. But she couldn’t just leave her family now. Two of her grandchildren were graduating this year and she couldn’t miss it. How would her kids and husband react to her death? Not good she would assume. She couldn’t do that to them. 

“I’m going to fight for my life,” Kathy said before standing up. She looked all around her, looking for any sign of a way to get out. 

“Good luck with that,” Joanna said, continuing to strum the strings with her guitar pick. 

Kathy looked towards the water where a bright light shined through. Kathy looked over to Joanna and quickly hugged her. “I love you, Jo. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about you.” 

“Trust me Kat, I know,” Joanna said with a bright smile. 

Kathy took a deep breath and jumped in the water. Everything began to go white again. As she woke up, she looked around to see Joanna. But what she came face to face with was her entire family, grandchildren and all. Her husband was holding her hand with tears in his eyes; they began to fall when he realized she was awake. 

“Thank goodness,” he said. “Where were you, hun?”

Kathy reached her hand and wiped away his tears and said, “I was visiting an old friend that I haven’t seen in years.”

Kathy gave her husband the brightest smile. She looked over to the corner of the room to see Joanna sitting in a chair strumming her guitar. Joanna looked up and gave Kathy a smile before saying, “Goodby old friend.” She then disappeared into thin air.

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