Endless | Teen Ink


July 24, 2022
By Whispering_Raven, Urbandale, Iowa
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Whispering_Raven, Urbandale, Iowa
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The sky was painted an orange and pink color as the sun set. The golden sun melted into the ocean as waves rhythmically crashed into the coastline. The sand sparkled like tiny crystals reflecting the sky. K stood on a cliff above the coast; her ankles were buried in the unkept yellow sand grass. The air warmed her cheeks and tasted salty from the ocean’s water. Her short brown hair was picked up by the wind revealing her emerald eyes. K had sun-kissed skin, and her face was dotted with little freckles. She closed her eyes and let herself sink into the scenery. Her body loosened as she felt peace overwhelm her.  

“Hey, you’re not going to jump on me are you,” a deep voice behind K snickered.  

K snapped out of her trance and returned to reality. She turned to see her best friend since they were six years old, J. He had shaggy black hair that touched the base of his neck. His crystal blue eyes reflected the pink sky. J’s tan skin looked a shade of orange as he stood in the sunset.  

K giggled as she smiled, “And leave you alone. Please… you’re helpless without me,” her soft voice floated across the thin air.  

“Like you’d be any better off without me,” J laughed, showing his pearly white teeth.  

K rolled her eyes and snickered. She walked past J and gently shoved his shoulder as she joked, “Come on let’s go.” 

The two walked side by side, trekking through the small forest of trees which had lost all their leaves. The ground was covered with crisp fallen leaves that crunched under each step. Small quiet chirps filled the air as a family of sparrows flew above K and J’s heads. They emerged from the trees to see J’s crimson red car parked alongside the freshly paved black asphalt. The two raced to the car like little kids, jokingly pushing each other so they could reach it first. They laughed in unison. Their gentle laughs tinkered through the air. K sprinted across the front of the car and reached for the handle.  

“Ha! I win, loser,” K exclaimed. J reached into the pocket of his black jeans and pulled out a small key fob. The car unlocked with a quiet click and the two climbed into the car.   

Walking on Sunshine blared from the car stereo as K sang at the top of her lungs. J laughed at her as he began to bob his head to the song’s rhythm.  The roads were quiet and abandoned during the late hour, the black asphalt reflected silver in the freshly fallen night sky. The car effortlessly glided along the road; yellow dashed lines zipped by the car. 

J headed through an intersection as the sound of screeching tires overwhelmed their ears. An out-of-control truck barreled towards them, J’s eyes filled with fear, and he froze, paralyzed by the fear of the incoming impact. His only reaction was to reach across K’s chest to hold her in place before the truck reached them. The truck slammed into the driver’s side of J’s car and the sound of metal crunching echoed through the silent air. The car skidded off the road rolling down the embankment. The car’s roof smashed in; the mirrors snapped off like twigs. Glass shattered sending shards into K and J. Their screams were muffled by the sound of the car flipping.  

The car abruptly came to a stop as it crashed into a tree at the bottom of the embankment. The car sat upside down, its wheels still spinning, and the once blaring stereo was just static disembodied voices. J and K hung upside down with only their locked seatbelts holding them up. K’s eyes slowly opened as she came to. Her head was bleeding from a large cut above her temple, the taste of metallic blood filled her mouth. Her arms and legs were covered in cuts from the window’s glass, shards poking out. Hot tears overflowed from her eyes, her body paralyzed in never-ending pain. K looked to her side and saw J, unconscious, covered in cuts and blood, his shaggy hair hung in front of his face.  

“J… J wake up… please,” K’s voice was weak, the words barely making it out of her mouth. A thought crossed her mind, this is it, this is the moment. She shuddered as she stiffened her body and looked around the debris of the car. Her lanyard laid on the dash above her head, a yellow emergency seatbelt cutter was stilled attached to it. She moved her arm towards it, sending sharp excruciating pain through her entire body. She let out an involuntary scream that vibrated through the metal shell of the car. Her hand clasped around the tool, and she carefully placed it on the seatbelt across her chest. Using all her strength, she cut the seatbelt in one swift movement, her body collapsed onto the front window cracking it more. Her eyes focused on J; horror overwhelmed her. 

His right arm was completely shattered, off-white bones pierced his skin showing thick blood and torn muscle tissue. Glass shards covered every inch of his body, causing blood to drip out of him, creating a small puddle on the steering wheel.  

K dragged her numb body towards him grabbing his face with unsteady hands. Her once soft voice was now stiff as a lump grew in her throat. “J, wake up! Wake up!” K cried.  

J’s body twitched, and his eyes opened into slits. His once crystal-colored eyes were now a shade of maroon as they filled with thick blood. “K… you’re bleeding,” J coughed as his lungs filled with blood. K’s grip tightened as J’s graveling voice filled her ears.  

K tried to laugh but couldn’t breathe in, she groaned, “Have you seen a mirror lately.”  

“Tokyo…” J whispered.  

“What?” K weakly questioned. 

J took a deep breath filling his lungs with hot air that tasted like gasoline. “This summer…” his voice faded, “let’s go to Tokyo.” 

K tried to talk but couldn’t get any words to come out. She lightly bit her tongue to keep from spitting out blood. She slowly nodded her head as her eyes turned glossy with tears. She couldn’t hold it together anymore. Salty tears ran down her face burning her cheeks as she sobbed.  

“Let me cut you out. Okay?” K began to place the tool on the seatbelt, but J moved his shattered arm to touch her trembling hand. He shook his head, and K finally looked down at his waist. The seatbelt had cut through his waist during the crash. Its black silky fabric was entwined with his clothing, flesh, and muscles.  

“K…” J was weak, his words came out in pieces as blood trickled out of his mouth, “I… I…” 

“No!” K cut him off. Her body was shaking in agony. “Tell me when we get out of this,” K demanded.  

J snickered, “Stubborn as always,” his eyes stared into K’s, he drew a final breath. “I… love you,” J breathed. His body turned limp, and his arm fell to his side, his eyes fluttered close as his heart slowed to a stop. K was still holding his face, her heart racing as though it would jump out of her chest.  

“No…no...no, wake up J…please, wake up!” she began to choke on her blood that pooled in her throat. She slowly let her hands fall beside her, her voice was stiff, and the quietest whisper felt heavy on her soul. “Please, don’t leave me…” her body collapsed as her vision blurred, and she fell into complete blackness.  


A steady heartbeat on a monitor echoed in a hospital room. The sunlight poked through a window reflecting off the plain white walls. A woman in her late forties sat in a chair in the corner of the room. Her long blonde hair was pulled back into a messy bun. Small pieces of fly-away hairs wrapped around the metal frames of her glasses. Her eyes were bloodshot, still watery from crying. Her cheeks shimmered in the sunlight revealing the path her tears had stained onto them. Beside her was a tall gruff man leaning against the wall. He had short black hair and a scruffy beard. On his olive skin, there was a small scar under his left eyebrow that looked white in the sunlight.  

K’s eyes fluttered open, the white fluorescent lights blinded her. Her waist was covered in a thin blue blanket, and her arms were covered with pristine white bandages. An IV was stuck in the crease of her arm, sterile water and sodium chloride were steadily being injected into her. The noises of buzzing electricity overwhelmed her system, her ears still slightly ringing from the crash. K slightly moved her head to the side and saw the woman in the chair.  

Her throat felt like cotton, “Mom?” she croaked. 

The woman’s eyes jetted open as she desperately lunged toward K. “K, honey… you’re awake. Thank the gods,” she frantically muttered. She grabbed K’s hand tightly as tears fell from her eyes. The man was holding the door open as he called for a doctor; his deep voice faintly made its way through the ringing in K’s ears.  

K focused on her mom, watching her mouth move as she panickily murmured praise to her gods. The loud ringing in her ears quieted to a low frequency, and she could hear her mother’s silky voice.  

“Mom,” K whispered. Her mom went quiet, and her hazel eyes stared into K’s emerald ones. “Mom… where’s J?” K’s voice was weary. 

Her mom was silent, her eyes narrowed as her life seemed to drain from them. Before she could speak, a doctor walked into the room. She carried a small yellow clipboard with a stack of papers on it. She had curly black hair, loosely pulled into a ponytail. Her dark skin shimmered as she walked through sun patches. She was beautiful and elegant, but when she spoke, K only felt fear.  

“Ms. Lewis,” the doctor’s soothing voice made K feel calm yet uneasy. “How are you feeling after waking?” she asked.  

K’s eyes dashed between the doctor and her mom. She began to sweat yet her body felt freezing. Her voice was shaking, “It hurts. Everything hurts.” She shut her eyes tightly, making wrinkles appear around them. She sniffled while taking a choppy deep breath, searing pains shot through her entire body. Her lungs felt like they were being stabbed as her ribs expanded with every inhale. She abruptly stopped breathing in as she violently coughed, causing pain to envelop her body. K’s mom placed her hand on K’s back and moved her hand in small circles, attempting to comfort her. Her hand felt like ice on K, which sent chills down her spine, forcing her to sit straight up.  

The doctor’s voice broke the pattern of K’s coughs. “You suffered many injuries in your crash, including internal bleeding, three cracked ribs, and mild cuts from glass across your whole body.” She paused as she flipped through her papers. “I know you’re in pain, it’s quite common for someone in your situation. You will be okay though. You’re strong.”  

K’s face became hot, and rage boiled inside her as her mind raced. Strong, strong! That’s what you have to say. I’m not dead woohoo! Now where the hell is J.  

She turned to her mom, her body stiff and her eyes serious. She asked the same question again, “Where is J?”  

Her mom shuddered, looking into K’s eyes, her body fell limp as she sobbed. K became impatient as she opened her mouth to ask again.  

“Stop,” the man said. His head was tilted downward as he blankly stared at the blue and white tiles on the floor. His eyes slowly moved up and he stared into K’s eyes. Silent tears flowed from his light blue eyes making his beard damp. K stared through his rough exterior, ignoring his unkempt hair, his large lumberjack muscles, and focused only on his eyes. She no longer saw the large man that stood in front of her but a scared little boy who had lost someone, someone that they loved.  

K’s mind settled as she realized who he was. J’s older brother. She hadn’t seen him since he was seventeen and had moved to Washington. K felt fear begin to overwhelm her as she wondered why he would be here and in her room of all places.  

“Cameron?” K paused as she finally knew why he was here. She knew the answer to her question but couldn’t believe it. If the answer was true, then why was she still here? Why was she still breathing while J… J was… 

“Where’s J,” K whimpered. Deafening silence filled the gloomy hospital room. K’s face burned, and tears rushed from her eyes. Her vision blurred, her breathing became short and heavy, her heart felt like it had just finished a marathon. She could hear Cameron’s faint voice say, “He’s gone.” She began to lose consciousness as the horrific knowledge settled in her head. J was dead. 


K wore a long black dress that brushed her ankles, the back of the dress was open, showing her tan skin. Golden flowers embroidered on the black cloth shimmered in the sunlight. She wearily stood in front of a full-length mirror, her bandages around her ribs poked out of the opening in the back of her dress. With each breath, her body shook from the sharp pain in her ribs.  

K’s mom walked up behind her and gently placed her hand on K’s shoulder. Her hands were cold as ice, but they comforted K. “Are you ready,” K’s mom asked. Her voice was like silk in the air. K hugged her mom, falling into the embrace. K slowly pulled away and grabbed her phone, and silently walked out of the room, heading for the front door.  

The air was hot, and the sun blazed, heating up the cement. The wind breezed by scattering fallen crisp leaves, their crunching sound quietly blended into the surroundings. K stepped out of the front door, and her dress glittered in the sunlight. Small beads of sweat began to trickle off her forehead. Her mom’s black SUV sat in the middle of the driveway. Its matte black shell was burning hot as it reflected the sunlight. K’s small heels clicked across the cement as she slowly walked towards the car. Her heart started to race, and the gentle sounds outside faded to a low ringing sound. K touched the car’s door handle, her fingertips burned from the searing heat. She abruptly yanked her hand back and stared at it, her fingers stung and started to turn a light red.  

K’s mom walked out of the front door, locking it behind her, she turned and saw K cradling her right hand in her left. “Honey…,” K’s mom sympathized. Her voice snapped K out of her trance and made her jolt backward. She turned and stared at her mom, her emerald eyes shaky as they became watery. K’s mom’s heart ached as she watched her daughter be overcome with utter sadness with the loss of her other half.  

K dropped her head down and stared at the ground. Tiny pieces of red and grey rocks and sand glistened within the cement. Her toes were scorching from the burning cement. “I don’t want to go,” K uttered. She tightly shut her eyes, salty tears fell off her chin and splattered in her hand she still cradled. Her mom raced to her side and grabbed her, pulling her tightly into a loving embrace.  

“I know… I know sweety,” K’s mom consoled. She stroked the back of K’s head, her hands gently brushing her hair. K’s body loosened as she buried her head in her mom’s shoulder, she weakly sobbed. 

The two climbed into the SUV and headed to J’s funeral. The roads were busy, cars scurried from place to place, and chaotic noises filled the air. The sound of horns honked, people bustled around the sidewalks, walking shoulder to shoulder. K gently wrapped her fingers around the seatbelt that laid across her chest. She sulked as her body slid down the leather seats. Her head lowered to the bottom of the window, leaving just enough room for her eyes to peer out it.  

A thought plagued K’s mind, why… why in all the chances, why not me, why… why was it J? A tiny tear fell out of her eye and slid down her cheek. K stared out the window and let her mind drift.  

They pulled into a parking lot that was jam-packed like sardines. There was one last spot left, in the far end of the lot. People dressed in all black were scattered across the lot, some were talking in small groups, others held crumpled-up tissues as they wept. K’s door slowly opened. She looked at the ground and saw shiny black leather dress shoes. 

“Hey K-9,” Cameron’s raspy voice joked, although his tone was depressing. Cameron presented his open hand to K. His hands were rough, and small cuts and scars covered them, revealing years of hard work. K took a deep breath, shuddering as her ribs expanded. She placed her silky, smooth hand in Cameron’s and stepped out of the car.  

Cameron resituated his hand to be holding K’s, he leaned down to speak to her. His voice was thick as he whispered in K’s ear, “I’ll be here by your side the whole day.”  

K straightened her spine and pulled her shoulders back. She tilted her chin slightly up and clasped her hand in Cameron’s. She prepared herself to walk past the other mourning people on their way to the church. The church was made from grey granite and looked like a castle. Two large steeples sat on top of the church, their points piercing the sky. Two heavy wooden doors with crosses in the center were the doorway to the grand nave. Golden accents covered the inside of the church from the floor to the ceiling. An evangelic mural was painted on the ribbed vaulted ceiling. Stain glass windows were evenly placed along the side of the church, their colorful kaleidoscope material reflected rainbows across the long aisle. Rows of benches lined the sides of the aisle; small bibles were placed on the back of each wooden bench. Each seat was filled with family members and friends waiting to say goodbye.  

At the end of the aisle sat a black coffin with red silk lining, beside it was a photo of J. Delicately placed around the photo was a wreath of white lilies, J’s favorite flower. Their meaning of death and rebirth resonated in K’s heart. Her throat felt thick, she could only manage short gasps of breath. The nave was packed with people whispering to each other. Their quite wispy voices meshed together becoming loud like a concert.  

An older man with silver hair stood behind a pedestal, he wore an all-black suit with a white button-up shirt underneath. His eyes were a faded blue and looked like ashes. The man was about 6’2”, his skin was wrinkly, loosely hanging off his face, and wrinkles revealed years of facial expressions.  He cleared his throat the raspy sound silenced the room.  

The man’s voice was stiff and hoarse, “We have gathered here today to mourn the death of J Mathews. A young man was taken from us at only 20 years old. Today we celebrate his life, remembering the beautiful times we had with him, and tomorrow we move on keeping him in our hearts.” The man paused, shuffling a few papers around. A quiet click echoed as he straightened the papers against the pedestal. He took a deep breath and began again, “J was a magnificent young man, he touched the hearts of countless people. Unfortunately, he fell prey to the tragedies of car crashes before reaching his prime,” The man stuttered as he collected himself.  

K sat beside Cameron, her hand still entangled in his, her leg shook while she stared at the man speaking. His raspy voice faded to a low ringing sound, she zoned out blocking the surrounding noise. Cameron glanced at K, her emerald eyes were flooded as tears strained from them. She sat there still holding his hand while she silently cried. He took his other hand and gently placed it onto K’s, their rough exteriors completely enveloping her small silky hand.  

“K…” Cameron whispered. “K…” 

K blinked, forcing more tears to slide down her cheeks, she looked at Cameron her face blank. Her lips parted and she gently voiced, “Yes Cam.” 

Cameron’s heart broke, the life behind K’s eyes simmered, disappearing. He slid his hand out from her grasp and reached for his wrist. On it was a black bracelet with a silver bar in the middle. Imbedded on the bar was a golden infinity sign and the words, endless, carved next to it. He shut his eyes tight and unclicked the clasp. Cameron ran his finger across the bar, feeling the grooves, the cold metal calmed him. He lightly grabbed K’s hand and placed it on his knee. He wrapped the bracelet around her wrist. It hung loosely off her thin wrist.  

K stared at the bracelet its soft leather brushed her skin. The metal bar was freezing as it laid on top of her skin.  

Cameron broke their silence, “This was J’s.” He hesitated and let out a choppy sigh. His lips pulled back into a weak smile. Cameron tapped K’s hand as he locked eyes with her. His eyes stung from tears, “He’d want you to have it,” the words rolled off his tongue. 

K slowly pulled her hand to her chest, sliding one finger across the bracelet. Her heart grew heavy, she hugged her hand tightly against her chest. She leaned against Cameron; her body sank, putting her whole weight against him. She closed her eyes and let her body drift off, her finger still gliding back and forth on the bracelet.  


The old man returned to the pedestal, “Everyone, if you may join us for the burial and wake, the funeral procession will begin to leave in ten minutes,” he paused and took a deep breath. His silvery voice turned mournful, “In the meantime, please stand, if able, and honor the departed.” People stood the sound of their feet resituating filled the hollow room. Cameron slightly moved his arm nudging K. Her body slithered to an upright position; slight ounces of pain jolted through her spine. The two stood side by side their hands still intertwined with one another. K held the bracelet in her other hand. A group of six young men approached J’s casket. Their eyes filled with tears, their breaths short from weeping. Each man wrapped one hand around a golden handle, their arms flexed pulling against their black suits. The casket lifted up, and they began down the aisle passing rows of friends and family. The song If I Die Young played over speakers filling the silent church. The group of men passed the first row, which was filled with J’s family. People slowly began to file out of the rows following the men and the casket. K followed Cameron and walked beside him, allowing him to guide her down the aisle.  

They exited the church and warm air brushed their faces. The sky looked like a diamond, and small fluffy clouds were scattered across it. K stared up to the magnificent sky her emerald eyes turned a shade of blue-green. Sunlight gently rested on her face showing her tiny freckles. K and Cameron approached K’s mother. K faced her mom and held her soft hands, K’s hands slightly trembled. Her mom had long white nails shaped perfectly into ovals. Her skin was thin and felt like fine silk. They felt like ice in K’s warm uneasy hands.  

“Mom, can Cameron take me to the burial?” K asked.   

K’s mom wrapped her hands lightly around K’s; she ran her thumb across the rings that K wore, their uneven textures soothed her. She looked into K’s emerald eyes and simply responded, “Yes honey.” She weakly smiled as she swallowed a lump in her throat. Her heart felt as though it was crushed under a thousand pounds when she glanced into her daughter’s eyes. K’s once light-hearted and lively energy had been suffocated, leaving only a shell of who she once was.  

 Cameron and K sat in Cameron’s black Honda, its pitch black leather seats were hot from the sunlight. The car started, its engine almost silent, blue accent lights lit up in the interior. Cameron slowly pulled out of his parking spot and entered the funeral procession, two cars behind the hearse. The two sat silently together, the only sound in the car was the hazard lights rhythmically clicking. Cameron’s foot gently stepped on the gas, and the car began forward, and the funeral procession started.  

K fidgeted with her rings, their silver coating reflecting the golden sunlight. She sighed as a single tear dripped off her chin and landed on her lap. Her throat felt thick, each breath felt like fire as it passed through her lungs. “Cameron,” his name fell off her tongue. “Will you do me a favor?” Her voice was rough holding back tears.  

Cameron’s hands gripped the steering wheel tighter, their dry exteriors almost cracking, his heart stung hearing her fragile voice. “Of course,” Cameron vowed.  

“Take me to our beach?” K requested.  

The hazard lights clicked off, and the car effortlessly turned out of the line. The car returned to its silent state. The city landscape dissipated, and an empty landscape replaced it. The car turned off the worn-down main road, and onto a smooth freshly paved road, large trees with yellow and red leaves appeared. The black car blended in with the pitch-black road. Short dashed yellow lines zipped past the moving car. Cameron pulled off the road and came to a stop, the car slightly rocked backward as it shifted into park.  

The two walked through the small forest, their shoes crunching the fallen leaves. K loosely held Cameron’s hand ensuring she didn’t trip in her heels. They emerged from the tall trees to a beautiful scene. The sky had faded to a rose-pink color as the sun lowered melting into the blue ocean. The once hot air had chilled into a calming warmth. The sky was clear, and the tide caressed the shoreline. K’s hand slipped out of Cameron’s as she stepped to the edge of the short cliff. She reached down and unclipped her heels, and stood barefoot. Her feet were buried in the tall sand grass. Its yellow sandy color turned orange in the sunset’s light. K closed her eyes and tilted her head up. The smell of salt enveloped her nose, a light breeze warmed her lungs with each breath. Her short hair fell in front of her face tickling her cheeks. She was overcome with a sense of eternal peace, her pain faded away, leaving her body relaxed. She took deep breaths in through her nose and out her mouth. The once shooting and tight pain in her ribs disappeared. The only feeling K was left with was peace. K’s eyes fluttered open, she stared at the sunset letting her body fall into the scenery. Her once glistening red lipstick had turned into a matte ruby. Her lips gently pulled back into an elegant smile. Her voice was velvety, it floated in the air as she whispered to the ocean, “J… I’ll see you in Tokyo.”  

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