• I ran and I ran. I couldn’t wait for the others to catch up. I couldn’t wait and think up a good plan. If I didn’t get to him fast enough, he would be gone from my life! I ran faster than any human had ever gone. Landscapes rushed past me, for I was rushing at top speed. I reached a grassy plain. The grass was up to my knees. There! I saw his back, as he walked to face his destiny. “Wait!” I cried, stumbling as I struggled to catch up to him. I had been running for several hundred miles; I was exhausted. He turned slightly, but didn’t entirely face me. “Don’t do this. Please!” I grabbed his hand and held it tightly, as I fell to my knees in exhaustion. “Just leave me alone. I don’t need you guys right now. I’m heading my course.” he said without looking at me. He didn’t pull away from my hand. “Don’t do this. Don’t leave us. Don’t leave me.” I whispered frantically holding his hand even tighter. “Why do you care so much? It’s nothing to do with you.” he whispered coldly. I gasped; how could he say that?! After all we had been through together with our friends. He had become a best friend to me now, I couldn’t let him go.
    “What do you mean? Of course it’s got to do with me! So shut up, and come back!” I said furiously. “Look, we can face him together, you, me, and our friends!” I said a little more calmly than before. He finally turned to face me then. “No,” he knelt beside me, “I have to this. By myself.” he said looking at me directly. He was gonna go after the jerk who killed his parents and his entire family. By himself?! “No, don’t go!” I pleaded. I looked into his eyes right then and saw what the murderer left: anger, hate, sadness, pain. I laughed slightly. He looked puzzled from my sudden change of behavior. I looked at him and said with a smile, “I used to think you were a snob, and always didn’t like you, and now, I consider you one of my greatest allies.” He let out a small smirk. “Hmph, and I thought you were a total weirdo, being so different from other girls.”
    “Hey, I‘m special not weird.” I protested weakly. He actually laughed. The first of his laughs I had heard in weeks.
    “Please don’t go. We can do this more easily together!” I repeated. His smile faltered. But he didn’t protest this time. I’m getting somewhere! I thought. He shook his head though, and said, “No, it’s better if I do this alone. I have to do this alone.” His face turned hard as he got up and faced away from me. He disengaged his hand from mine. “No!” I gasped reaching for him, but falling short. I stood up quickly, my determination being my energy. I grabbed his arm and whispered, “I can’t let you go! Not you, no way.” He looked at the arm that I grabbed. He looked wistful, but his face immediately hardened. “I need out. I can’t stand this anymore! I have to go after him or I’ll regret it!” he shouted. My mind went numb. I need out. Those words would haunt me forever wouldn’t they? Memories of my old best friend from 5th grade came again. It was fresh in my memory. It always would be.
    She told me she led a bad life at home, and she couldn’t take it anymore; she was gonna run away. ‘I need out’, she told me then. 'I can’t take it anymore!' I tried to convince her otherwise. I thought she was half joking anyway. Of course she wouldn’t go. But then she told me one Monday, 'I’m gonna run away on Friday. I’ve got it all planned out, don’t worry. I’m sorry, but I have to.' I totally thought she was joking. She couldn’t possible escape on Friday! Friday came. I called her for help on Math. Nobody answered. I tried a couple more times. Finally, after the 5th time, I got someone. 'Hi, is she there?' I asked. 'No, do you know where she is? She didn’t come home after school ended!' her mom cried. 'But…she wasn’t here at school today,' I said shocked. Eight days later, the police finally found her body. She was murdered. She had made it 18 miles from her home. A note was found on her for me saying she was finally free, but she couldn’t believe it had been for nothing. She was glad we were friends, and “couldn’t find a better friend elsewhere”. Apparently, she wrote it as she died, she also wrote her apology to her mom and dad for being a horrible daughter. About a month later the police caught on to the murderer and he was sentenced. But none of that could erase my pain at her loss. Nothing could. Nothing ever did.
    My mind flashed back to the present. Tears rolled down my cheeks. I couldn’t let the same thing happen twice. I couldn’t lose another friend. He raised an eyebrow saying, “You’re crying? For me?” he smirked slightly, but some part of me knew he was worried. “Of course not, you jerk. I’m not crying for you,” I gasped between tears, and fell to my knees again. He knelt beside me once more. “I’m crying…’cuz I’m mad for not trying harder…to stop you.” I whispered fiercely. He smirked again. “You do shed tears after all,” he laughed slightly, “I never thought you would…for me…” he trailed off. He looked at me and said softly, “Hmph. You’re tough. You can deal without me, remember I’m a snob, right?” he grimaced and got up. “Don’t leave me…” I whispered, tears shining on my face, I wiped them away irritably. I had no patience for others’ tears, nor my own.
    I clutched his hand tightly, as though it were a life preserver in my sea of despair. He glanced at me once more sadness obvious on his face, though he tried to hide it. “I’ll do anything, I’ll give anything…just don’t leave.” His expression changed slightly. He looked off towards the distance, “Anything…huh?” he whispered. He glanced sadly at me once more, emotions I couldn’t interpret raging in his eyes. “Please,” I whispered, “you’re one of my best friends now. I will always care about you.” His face hardened at best friend. “You could never give me what I wanted,” he seemed to be struggling for words, “I’m not really sure about it myself,” he said in a low voice. Why couldn’t I interpret those emotions? He disengaged himself from me once again, and said, “Hmph. It’ll be alright.” Then with the awesome power of his consciousness he knocked me out cold. The last thing I saw was regret full in his face.