There was no denying this was the second worst day of her life.
Next to the other day, when her whole life changed, and she couldn't fix it.
Nothing could be worse than this, in her opinion. Never had she shed so many tears.
Seventeen-year-old Alex Russo stood on the sidewalk and peered over the cemetery gate. Her eyes drifted from person to person as she considered going in. How had I skipped the funeral? She thought to herself as tears welled up in her eyes. She had never experienced any fear like this, or emotion this deep. She would have to go in; for her. She owed her much more than that, but today it was all she could do.
Alex took a deep breath and released the clasp on the gate. It creaked open and her shoes clicked against the pavement as she stepped inside. A gust of wind hit her and sent chills down her spine as it reminded her of that tragic day, when she screamed her last scream, and shed her last tear.
People stared at her as she walked through the path to where her family was standing, as if they were thinking, is that Alex Russo? I never thought she'd show up. Wasn't it her fault?
No one knew how truly terrible she felt, how much she hated herself. It wasn't just something she could blow off easily; it would take her years to get over, if she even could. She took her place next to her brothers, and they nodded at her in acknowledgement. Alex tilted her head down, too afraid to look them in they eye–the parents of the girl whose life she'd taken away.
Next to the parents was what Alex had been afraid to see; the tombstone. She couldn't bring herself to glance at the dreaded words:
R.I.P. Harper Serena Finkle
The Most Creative Girl Any of Us Have Ever Known
Alex glanced at it, by accident, and she couldn't take it. For a week, she had said absolutely nothing to anyone. The silence was overcoming her, and if she didn't say something soon, it would eat her up inside. Slowly and calmly, she walked over to Mr. and Mrs. Finkle, who were talking quietly to each other and accepting words of grief. Alex closed her eyes for a minute, and when she opened them, she took a deep breath. "Thank you for giving me to her," she said to them. "For letting her stay my friend throughout everything. I know it's my fault that she's gone, and I'm sorrier than even possible for me. Please, you don't have to forgive me, I don't expect you to. But just know how truly guilty I feel." She paused, as she didn't know where that had come from. But she was glad she said it. They stared at her silently for a moment, and Mrs. Finkle grabbed Alex in a hug.
"We know how sorry you are," she sobbed as she released Alex. "You didn't mean to do this."
Alex nodded and thanked her, before leaving to go back to her family. Theresa, her mother, smiled a weak smile at her. She refused to smile back; she couldn't, anyway, even if she tried.
It was an accident. She never meant to do this much. Or, anything, for that matter.
She and Harper were in a fight over Alex's selfishness. Harper really hurt her feelings, and Alex, raged and out of control, had done a spell on Harper…which she didn't know the effect of it. A giant twister appeared, out of nowhere, and had taken Harper's life. Alex hadn't said one word about anything since that day. And here, she had broken her vow of silence.
As people said their words to the grave and started to leave, Alex's family started leaving too. But Alex refused to move. "I need…another minute," she said quietly. "I'll meet you at home." Her family nodded, and they left, with Alex alone in the cemetery.
She knelt down next to the grave and took a deep breath.
"Harper," she whispered. "I'm sorry. It's my fault. You didn't deserve that…" The wind blew, as if to answer Alex. She continued quietly.
"Harper, I need you to forgive me. I know you aren't here anymore, but I need you to hear me. I can't fix what I did. But I want to know that…you'll still be there for me." Alex looked up at the sky again. "I'll never forget you. It's my entire fault." Alex choked down a tear. "I killed you."
It had been one week since what happened, and this was the first time Alex had said it out loud. The words scared her; was she a murderer?
Everything Alex had once felt; hatred for her brothers, her love for her boyfriend, and her care for her parents…it was all gone. The only things she could feel now was the hatred she felt for herself, and how much she wished Harper could be there with her now.
"Harper, I did," she said, trying not to cry. "I'll never forgive myself for it. But Harper," -she paused as she looked at the dirt that was burying her friend-"I miss you. I love you. You were my sister, even when we fought." And then Alex was crying, and she knew she would have to go. She slowly stood, and wiped a tear from her eye.
"Goodbye, Harper," she whispered before placing a single rose on her grave. Then she turned and left the cemetery, leaving the gate open behind her.
Little did she know, Harper was smiling at her up in heaven.