It is rough when you are awakened in the morning by both the ringing of a telephone and a pounding on your door. I hadn’t slept much the night before since I had been on the phone with my closest friend in the world. He was my first love and first lover, yet through the years we developed a friendship which went much deeper than sex. Hell, he even helped me to get back with the man I had been in love with for years.
I rolled over, grabbed my phone and stood up. As I walked to the door which was soon going to come off it hinges, I hit the talk button.
Sobbing was all that came through the lines. It then hit me that only a few people had this phone number. I looked down at the phone as I opened the door and everything clicked into place before I heard the words.
Wesley stood in front of me, tears running down his face. A voice was finally coming through the speaker and it wasn’t the voice I wanted to hear at that moment.
“Sam…Sam… What am I going to do?”
I sunk to the floor, overwhelmed by the emotions which were trying to take over my body.
“No. It couldn’t be. I just got off the phone with him… It was only…” I looked at the phone in my hand. “It was only two hours ago….”
Wesley sunk beside me and took the phone from my hand. “Carol…… Just found out…..We will be there when she gets ready.”
He talked with her a little more, telling her how we would be there and I just needed to get dressed and around. When he hung up, I still hadn’t move.
“Samantha…. I know this is hard, but Carol needs us right now.” He touched my arm and I flinched. “Honey… Please.”
I turned in his direction and could see the tears forming. It wasn’t just me that had lost my closest friend. Wesley and Steven had been best friends from the moment they met. Steven had that affect on people.
“When Carol called me after not being able to reach you, she said that sometime after you guys hung up, he must have gone into cardiac arrest. We won’t know exactly…”
“It wasn’t drugs…. You know that.”
“No. I was talking to him. I would have known if he was high…”
“Honey… you don’t know what…”
“I know. He wasn’t….not anymore. He promised….he promised me that he wouldn’t. We had talked about it. Just a few….a few….” The tears came down so fast; I didn’t know what to do. My entire body just shook. Wesley pulled me close and the sobs just shook my body. It couldn’t be true.
“Carol is waiting,” Wesley said when I had finally settled down.
Walking into the house, I waited for Steven to jump out, but I had heard all the radio reports on the way there. Wesley wanted to turn them off, but I asked for him to leave them on. “I want to hear.”
People talked about Steven like they knew him. They talked about him like they hadn’t forgotten him through the past few years.
Carol was in the kitchen. When I walked through the archway, I was shocked by the number of people who was with her. Steven’s sister, Mindy, was rubbing her shoulders, while other family members were sitting around. I knew them all. Our families had been friends since the day Steven and I were born.
My mother loved to tell the story of the night I was born. She had been brought into this room with another woman. Both my parents had specified repeatedly that she was to have a single room.