• Dear Jared,
    Why did you leave me? Why did you drive that night? Even after I asked you not to. But you just gave me that beautiful smile of yours and told me not to worry. But I did. Was it even worth it to drive? Your girlfriend only went out with you for your looks and popularity. There was so much that I wanted to tell you.
    About my college scholarship.
    About the college I chose.
    About how Dylan asked me out.
    About how I turned him down.
    About how I told him I was already in love with someone.
    I know you'll never read it, but I'm going to pour my heart into this letter anyway.
    I used to dream that your lips would taste like peaches, which were your favorite fruit. I hated peaches, but now that you've gone, I love them. I always wanted to run my fingers through your hair. It was you who suggested I grow my own blonde hair long. Many guys liked me more after I did. But you weren't one of them.
    It could almost laugh, how you never noticed me watching only you during swim practice. How I sat as close to you as I could in the cafeteria and on the bus.
    I wish I could have seen your face one last time, but they said your body was too mangled by the crash to let anyone but family see. And that was just to identify the body. The funeral was hard. I've never seen so many sobbing people. Half of our year was there, all the girls in hysterics and the guys crying quietly. Your poor brother, he cried through the entire service. Even his wife couldn't console him. The eulogy was beautiful; your sister writes very well. Even her fiance was crying, and he hardly knew you.
    It's awful tht you had to go so early. Only nineteen. If it were up to me, you wouldn't have gone until you were old and gray. But it isn't up to me. You aren't old and gray. It makes me even more sad to know that you will never see your niece. That you won't get to walk your sister down the aisle, your father being unable to walk or see. That you won't see me graduate. That you won't meet my husband and children, if I get married.
    Jared, you were everyone's best friend. Why did you leave? Your parents loved you. Your sister loved you. Your brother and his wife loved you. Your friends loved you. I loved you. I leave for college next week, so I won't be visiting so often. Don't worry, I'll come back during vacation. But until then, you'll be alone. Your family has moved away, the memories too painful. I'll even put a picture of the two of us in here, so you can always have me near. But if only you hadn't driven that night.
    If only.
    love, Caroline.
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