It was one of those days in December the sun didn’t shine, and the snow was grey, and you feel like that as well. I felt great that day; I liked the greyness, because it reminded me of Holland. On a day like that, I heard my friend Ben had a car accident. This horrible truth came to me while I was waiting in a really bad traffic jam. I didn’t made the connection at that time, but half an hour later, when I saw the car of Ben total loss, I knew I had been waiting so long for the accident of my very best friend. It scattered my heart, and stopped my breathing. His car was totally damaged, and the seat Ben used to sit in, was not there anymore.
I could not drive by, so I parked my car and walked towards this horrible nightmare. My eyes were filled with tears, my mind with prayers and memories. Everything we had done together in this short time, rushed by in my head. There were days with sunshine, and days with rain. Our days together were famous for being filled with laugher and joy. We used to go to Caribou every other day and makes silly songs of old lady’s passing by and their weird looking dogs they had. We used to eat at Potbelly’s downtown, while we would stare at the people in the nice looking tuxedo’s and wonder if we were ever going to wear those. We would go outside, talk with the homeless on the streets, buy them some food, of just have a laugh with them.
I looked at the car, and remembered the times he and I went everywhere the wind would lead us, always careful on the road. We ended up in Duluth, the place we like and where we went to the Amazing Grace restaurant and would play songs for random people.
But now, seeing this car, where we had many adventures in, burning and shaped odd, I wonder if I will ever be happy again. What happened, what went wrong? Ben was always careful. I was scared to know the truth.
On the other side of the ravage, a girl was sitting in the wet sand, her hands covering her face. I didn’t recognize her, so I walked up to see who she was. Maybe it was someone I knew. Or maybe it was someone Ben knew.
She didn’t notice me. When I gently touched her arm, with a shock she came to life. I saw great fear and sadness in her eyes, but it was far away, hidden for the truth. Her brown, curly hair was wet from tears. Her small, beautiful eyes were surrounded by faded make up.
I hadn’t any chance to say or ask anything, for she crawled away, getting herself on her legs, running away from me. I was in fear and despair and I didn’t understood it at all. Ben was maybe dead, this girl might know him, and she looked so afraid, so looking for help, for an escape.
I had to forget about her, because it was there, at the place it all happened, I got the message Ben didn’t made it. I see the seat he sat in, where his eyes saw light for the last time.
Three days I cried, and questioned God about everything. Why Ben? If there was one guy in the world that was more worth it to live, it would have been Ben. Why was I there at the moment it happened, what if I was in his car, too? On the other hand, I had not forgotten the girl by the car crash that horrible day. I hoped I would see her again. I believed she would show up again.
And she did. She walked in front of me in the city, while I was doing some shopping. She had the same curly hair, and the way she walked was too familiar not to recognize. I hesitated if I should walk up to her, but in my mind, I had no other choice than to do so.
As soon as she saw my face when she turned around, her eyes filled up with tears. “Don’t run away.” I said. “My name is Lydia. I saw you at Ben’s car crash, four days ago.” She nodded. For I while we just were. The noise of the city dimmed a bit, the lights turning yellow- red- green, the taxi’s waiting for their next costumer, people walking by. It all stopped for a moment, like it was in slow motion. I was thinking if I had to say anything about Ben’s dead, or that she might know that already.
“Is Ben ok?” she asked. I saw how terrible she felt, for her breathing was fast and her eyes we big. I shook my head. “He died that same afternoon. I’m sorry to tell you.”
“My name is Hannah.” She said. It looked like it was a relief to her to tell me that, because her face brightened up, and it looked better. “Nice to meet you.” I said. We talked for a while. She told me how she knew Ben. She was an interesting person. When she talked, it was like she was whispering, like she had something very secret to tell. She looked at me straight in the eyes any time she said something. It reminded me of a lion, never scared of a confrontation. She was like a lion. A broke down lion she was. She never told me where she lived, or where she came from. I think that’s not the point. It was not to getting to know her, it was to listen to her that was important.
Ben was buried the next day. It was a bright morning. The birds loved the sun and we singing songs that had to be hymns. I wore my dress Ben loved the most and I smiled as though it was a good day.
On a day like this, you need somebody. A shoulder to cry on, a hand to hold when you are not able to stand by yourself. Hannah was there. I saw her sitting somewhere far away from the crowd. She had been there during service, too. I’ve watched her put a flower of the bouquet in her hair.
I walked up to her. I had not cried today, and she hadn’t either, for her make-up was still on its place. I felt this sudden peace walking up to her and at the same time I felt my heart breaking down in little pieces.
I cried in her arms. I had never cried like that before. Every emotion of the last days came out in this blur of tears. In the arms of this girl I only know by name I never felt safer than anywhere else and I never felt God’s grace so much like then