He was my best friend forever, no matter now or then, far or near.
I was a 19-year-old teenager and I was studying in the Findurfun University in Busyonmoney, which was a really small city in our country.
I was different from other teenagers. Well, at least I felt I was different.
My name, Grass, wasn’t given by mom or dad. In fact, I didn’t even know who was my dad and my mom passed away when I was five. My stepfather gave the name. He married stepmother after mom died. Anyway, I was saying that I have no “real” parents.
I lived with stepparents before I rented an apartment near my school. They raised me, but were never home. They gave me money and went to work every morning in town. I seldom talked to them. When they felt like talking to me, it was always about what they wanted me to be. I didn’t know where I came from and where I was going. My future was as blur as my past.
I liked studying but I didn’t like going to school. Teachers were mean, proud, cruel and merciless in school. They gave a lot of work, and were always telling you what they thought the world was like. They try to changed your mind, and make you think the way they did. They forced people to study, study and study. School life bored me.
It was around the end of January. Although it wasn’t snowing, the night was freezing cold.
It was New Year Eve and I was still alone on that big special day. I was on the way to the apartment I rented, from where my stepparents lived, an empty house. I searched around for about ten minutes, and finally found a wonderful parking spot for my car.
“Mom, why can’t I buy those markers?” a kid asked her mom coming out from Seven-Eleven, which was one block away from my apartment. I felt even colder when I saw the kid and the mother. Every Christmas and birthday I made wishes that I could have a mom like Candy’s or a dad like Frank’s. My hands were cold like frozen chicken. I put them in my pockets with my keys.
A huge shiny neon sign caught my eyes. I stopped in front of it. It showed “Happiness”. It was a pub. It shouldn’t be open at this time because all people should be at home with their family for a reunion on New Year.
Maybe I just felt like I wanted to have a drink or I just didn’t want to be alone on this special day. I pushing the old, heavy door and entered the pub. It was dark in there.
I sat on the third seat from left at the bar. I was thinking about those handsome actors on screen. They ordered drinks, and danced with pretty girls in a pub like this.
“May I help you?” the bartender asked me.
“Well… maybe I will have some whiskey,” I said. Actually, that was my first time to be in a pub.
“Here you go.” I got my whiskey but I didn’t drink it immediately. I stared at the bubbles that moved around in the small wine cup and looked at those ice cubes floating in the yellowish liquid. Then, I drank it. A little each time; it was bitterer than I thought it would be.
“Maybe you should order something like a margarita.” A very familiar voice came into my ears. I guess my face showed what I felt honestly: Sadness and more sadness. Otherwise he wouldn’t know.
It was Rock, my best friend from the same college. He told me he was really in love with band stuff, but unfortunately there wasn’t any band in our school. He was trying to establish a band at the beginning of the semester. He was the only man I ever saw who always had a big smile on his face. He never ever told me about any sadness. I thought he didn’t have anything to worry about.
“Well… maybe you are right,” I said. I guess my voice showed how upset I was, because it was deep and weak.
“Hey! Grass, you look like you are in a bad mood.” He stated. He was always looking happier than I was.
“Um.” I didn’t know why, but I was so depressed and I couldn’t show him any friendly face.
“Hey Grass! Show me your smile.” He gave me a big smile.
“I am always like this, don’t you know? I’m wondering that maybe you are loosing your memories like some old people.” My face showed that I was even more sad than usual. No wonder he came and sat with me.
“Well, I just feel like I want to talk to somebody.” He was still smiling. I was wondering how come his mouth would not burst.
“So, how is your band?” I guess I remembered the day he was trying to force me join his band.
“I didn’t make it.” He said and his smile disappeared.
“Why are you here? You should be with your family, shouldn’t you?”
“My family is you.” When he told me this, I thought he didn’t have a mom or a dad jut like me. We were silent for a while.
“My dad is a terrible drinker, and mom and I can’t help it.” He broke the silence with a very weak voice I had never heard from him. I patted his shoulder and ordered two margaritas.
“Why are you here then?” he asked me.
“Well. I’m worse than you, because I don’t even know who my dad is and my mom passed away.”
“Ha, that’s not true.” He laughed, didn’t believe me. I didn’t care anyways. We finished our margaritas, and I ordered more whiskey for me and a margarita for him. I found that I enjoyed the whiskey, although it was much bitterer than the margarita.
“My stepfather always forces me to do something that he wants. You know what, he wants me to handle his business after I graduate.” I guess I was drunk, telling all these things I usually would not mention.
“I don’t want to… I am not a robot… I…” I started to cry. I knew I was really drunk.
“Grass, you are drunk.” He stopped me from drinking my fifth whiskey of the day. “You know what, you should do whatever you want to do. You should show your family your thoughts. You can also discuss your issues with them. You know? Just do it, buddy. Trust yourself, you have to have confidence.” Rock was trying to encourage me.
The rest of the time in the pub we didn’t say anything to each other. Rock ordered more drinks, and I couldn’t have any. Later on, he sent me home.
A few days later, I returned to school from New Year vacation, just as I did every year. I didn’t know that there was some horrible bad news waiting for me.
Rock was dead.
I couldn’t believe that. There was no reason and no clue that he committed suicide. Rock did not leave a letter or note. His suicide hanged in doubt.
I went to the pub again. Sitting at the same place, I still remembered what he told me that night. I hoped he would show up with a big smile as before, and we could have some margaritas together like that night. But I knew, everything was gone, and he would never come back again.
Looking at the yellowish whiskey again, it wasn’t bitter anymore. My tears were bitterer than the whiskey. I cried in the pub without Rock. This time, who was gonna send me home?