Across the Universe, AMHudlow, Beatles, car crash, death, depression, DUI, England, fear, fiction, George Harrison, Hey Jude, Imagine, John Lennon, life, London, Partying, Paul McCartney, Ringo Star, School, stories, story, Studying, The Queen, writing
Even after all of the other guests had left due to the rain one stayed behind. Kneeling in front of the freshly dug grave, a song escaped his lips as he began to cry.
At noon the stone courtyard at the Lennon Academy, which resided just outside of London, was filled with with it’s uniformed students. But while all of the students were loud and being social, one dark haired boy sat off of the side and read.
“Hey, Jude!” A red-haired boy called as he made his way with a group of friends toward the boy who was reading.
“Hey, guys.” Jude said without looking up from his novel. After a minute the group of students realized that Jude wasn’t going to say anymore. The red-head who seemed to be the leader of the group snatched the book away from him.
“Will, give it back! It’s not funny!” Jude said trying to get the book back from the taller boy.
“Yeah, well having your best friend read all time is a downer when you want to hang out with them.” Will retorted. Jude sighed in defeat for he knew this game all too well.
“Fine. I’ll stop reading but you have to let me have at least two hours worth of studying time tonight. Deal?”
William handed back the book and smiled.
The group of boys and girls that surrounded Will cheered as Jude put his book back into his faded brown leather messenger bag. The blonde girl who was hanging
off Will’s shoulder straightened her blue plaid mini skirt and announced to the group, “Tonight I’m going to Vicious. Wanna come with?”
Will just looked at her as if she were crazy. “So your telling me that your going to London’s most popular night club and that you want to know if I want to go?” Becky nodded her head. “Do you even know me? Of Course I want to go!”
Becky and her horde of friends jumped up and down and cheered so loud that the rest of the courtyard looked at them, their faces full of confusion.
The whole group then started chatting about how they were going to get there and what they were going to wear. No one even noticed Jude had gone back to his book.
A few moments later the bell rang throughout the courtyard
telling the students that the break was over and class would soon commence. Outside of the school walls one disappointed sigh could be heard from the students. Gathering their things they slowly shuffled to their classes in the old brick building.
Looking up from his textbook and notes, Jude stared out of his window in his dorm room and looked at the night sky. The moon shined brightly in the sky contrasting with the black abyss that surrounded it. Jude’s mind was sucked back into reality when someone began to bang loudly on his bedroom door.
“Jude! Come on stop studying, you’ve been in there for three hours! It’s a Friday, that’s national relax day!” Will’s voice yelled through the locked door.
“Will, I’m studying, you know that finals are in two weeks.”
“Exactly! Two weeks from now. Plus Jude you’ve been studying for weeks. You deserve a break from all this work. So come with me to the club. Then I won’t bother you all tomorrow. You have my word on that.” Will waited outside of Jude’s door for a good ten minutes before he received an answer for his offer.
“Will, I’ll go but give me half an hour so I can finish this paper.” Will slammed his head against the door.
“Jude, I’m sorry but now I must use force.” Will thought. Jude had already returned writing his paper when a familiar tune reached his ears.
“Hey Jude, don’t make it bad take a sad song and make it better. Remember to let her into your heart them you can start to make it better.” Will sang from behind the door. Jude had nothing against the song but it got really annoying when he heard i
t almost every single day of his seventeen-year-old life.
A minute later Jude’s door unlocked and opened to show Jude in dark jeans and a dark blue shirt which brought out his eyes. Will who was wearing a similar outfit but with a black shirt hugged Jude and smirked.
“I knew it would get you out sooner or later.” Will said draping his arm around Jude’s shoulders.
“You’re a bastard.” Jude said monotonously.
“That may be true, but hey, it worked.” Will chuckled.
“It only worked because I knew you wouldn’t quit until I came out so I saved you some time and I saved my sanity.” Will waved his hand nonchalantly,
“Yeah, yeah, excuses excuses.”
“Let’s just go.”
After their forty-five minute drive from Lenon Academy they arrived at club Vicious in downtown London. At the door of the club they flashed their fake IDs to the bouncer who then promptly let them in. After about five seconds in the room of flashing lights and pounding dance music, Will had already found their friends and gotten them all drinks. Will then drank his drink in one gulp and dragged the nearest girl the the dance floor. When the song ended Will got another drink and another girl. Jude knew that money was no problem for Will because every time they were clubbing Will would get new £10 drink after every song
Jude danced a few songs but he preferred to just sit off to the side and people watch as he drank his drinks which were put on Will’s tab.
Around 3am Will was thoroughly drunk with Jude not far behind him but Jude decided that they had been out late enough for tonight. They both stumbled to Will’s car and Will got into the passenger seat with a little help from his best mate.
Jude started the car and pulled out of the club’s parking lot.
Even with Jude’s heavily impaired mind set driving was even more difficult because Will had taken to playing with the radio and it’s settings. He soon got bored with this amusement and began to sing “Hey Jude” quite out of tune at the top of his lungs. Will hadn’t gotten to the second verse before Jude told him to stop.
“But why Judy?” Will slurred.
“It’s annoying.” Jude replied.
“But it reminds me you, mate.” This being one of the nicest things Will had ever said to Jude, he took his eyes off the road and looked into the eyes of his best friend.
“You really mean that, Will?”
” Of course I do.”
The boys were then violently thrown the the right as a truck slammed into the left side of the car. Tires screeching filled Jude’s ears as the world around him went black.
Jude opened his eyes only to close them due to the bright lights above him. An oxygen mask was then placed over his mouth and nose. A female voice filled his mind as his vision became cloudy.
“Just breathe Jude, everything will be alright. Just breathe.” After that everything went black again.
He was awoken by the beeping of a heart monitor
close by. After his eyes adjusted to his surroundings he was greeted by the smiling face of his father.
Andrew Harrison then embraced his son and started crying.
“I thought I lost you like I did your mum.”
“No Dad, I’m fine.”
“I’m so glad to hear your voice.”
The pair were then separated when a nurse came in to check up on Jude and change is bandages the wrapped around his torso and head. A nurse wrote on the clip board that hung off the foot of his bed and left to tell the doctor that Jude had awoken.
Andrew the returned into the room and sat on the chair by Jude’s bedside. Jude propped himself up onto his pillows and looked at his father.
“Dad, what happened?”
“You and Will were in a car crash,” he replied “The driver of the other car died. They won’t tell me about Will because I’m not family.”
Jude closed his eyes and a few short memories of the crash flashed before his eyes.
“I can’t remember it very well.” Jude said straining to remember everything.
“It’s ok, memory loss is expected with this kind of trauma.” Andrew said while rubbing Jude’s back trying to comfort him. The two of them just sat in each others company while they waited for the doctor to come in.
The door of the hospital room opened and a midd
le aged man with graying hair walked in with a white doctors coat on. The man stopped at the foot of Jude’s bed and read his medical chart.
“Hello Jude, I’m Dr. Starr and I’ve been the doctor assigned to you while you recover. That concussion on your head is most likely leaving you with some memory loss so I’m going to fill you in on the reason why your here. You see, you were in a car accident. We aren’t sure who cause the wreck because both of the drivers were heavily intoxicated. You most likely hit your head on the window which most likely gave you that head injury. The seatbelt you were wearing saved your life but it cracked some of your ribs but thats no problem. You have some bruising but over all you had it pretty good.”
“Excuse me sir, but what about Will? What happened to him? How is he?” Jude asked panic entering his voice.
“I’m not supposed to tell you because your not a direct family member but I think you need to know.” He took a deep breathe before continuing, “Mr. Stevenson was
severely injured in the crash, he was sent immediately into surgery as were you…but he didn’t survive the night. I’m so sorry for your loss.” He reached for Jude but then called called away on an emergency in which his help was needed.
Andrew looked at his son’s expressionless face.
“Jude, speak to me.”
“Come on Jude please say something.”
“…It can’t be true.”
“I’m sorry to tell you but it-”
“NO! Your lying!,” he screamed, tears running down his face an onto his blue hospital gown. “He’s not dead! He’s fine. Will is always fine! He’s ok, I know he is.”
Andrew sat on the edge of the bed and held him in his arms. The hospital bed lightly banged into the wall as Jude’s both violently writhed with tears.
One thought occupied Jude’s mind for the days before Will’s funeral. He best friend was gone and was never coming back. He didn’t sleep for his dreams will filled of all the memories that they had shared. From Jude’s first day at Lennon to the dancing at the club, they all haunted him. His father wanted him at home and not at school so instead of school work distracting his mind from the pain, it was amplified by his thoughts. His depression soon numbed him to the world. Everything was pointless. Without out Will the world felt like a different place, a place where Jude didn’t want to be.
Jude just sat at his desk and stared out the window without really looking at the world beyond it’s glass panes. He was hurled back into the real world from his imagination when someone knocked on his bedroom door.
“Jude! I don’t mean to bother you but the funeral starts in two hours. You need to start getting ready.” Andrew called through the door, not unlike Will had the night of the accident.
“Alright dad, I’ll meet you downstairs at 10:30.”
He then got up from the simple wood chair and walked across his almost empty room save his desk and his bed towards the closet. He glanced over his shoulder and out the window to see that the sky was gray and cloudy. He turned away from the gloomy sight opened his closet and pulled out his slightly overgrown black tuxedo. The sleeves were a bit short as were the pant legs but it still looked nice.
When the Harrison’s arrived at the cemetery the sky had turned into a darker shade of gray and the smell of dirt filled the air. Next to the dug grave were two columns of white portable chairs of about twenty chairs per column, five per row.
In the first row on the left were Mr. And Mrs. Stevenson. Mr. Stevenson looked like he had aged ten years and his hair seemed grayer than usual. His black tux was crisp and clean just like everything at the funeral and in the Stevenson household. Mrs. Stevenson was wearing a black sleeveless dress and a matching black hat with a black veil that came of the front of it. She was crying and dabbing a white handkerchief at her eyes so she would not ruin her make up. The rest of the chairs were filled up with family and Mr. Stevenson’s business partners.
Jude and Andrew took their seats in the last row of the right column. At the front of the seats was Will’s closed oak casket beside it was a fancy portrait of Will in which Jude knew Will was paid £100 to sit for. The preacher then walked up the aisle blessed Will parent’s and began the funeral.
After Will had been buried and all of the other guests had left, the sky began to mourn. Jude’s father waited by the car for Jude to pay Will his final respect. Jude walked up to the new white marble tombstone that now read:
William Paul Stevenson
1990 – 2007
He lived a good life but it was taken away from him too soon.
“Limitless undying love which shines around me like a million suns,
It calls me on and on across the universe”
Jude sat down in front of the grave and just sat there.
“Hey Will, If you were here you’d laugh so hard. Your mum looked just like the Queen and you dad looked like an emotionless arsehole, but then again when doesn’t he? You would have been glad that none of your other friends were here, it was obviously planned by your mum so there was nothing there that symbolized you. The even put the the portrait that you hate. Thats why on Friday I am throwing a party in your honor. Hey Will?… I miss you like crazy. I have no idea how I’m going to go on but I will; for you.” Jude placed one hand on the grave and got up. He began to walk away after about three meters but then turned around and keeled in front of Will’s crave and started to cry. As he thought of his lost lost friend a song escaped his lips,
“Hey Jude, don’t make it bad.
Take a sad song and make it better.
Remember to let her into your heart,
Then you can start to make it better.
Hey Jude, don’t be afraid.
You were made to go out and get her.
The minute you let her under your skin,
Then you begin to make it better.
And anytime you feel the pain, hey Jude, refrain,
Don’t carry the world upon your shoulders.
For well you know that it’s a fool who plays it cool
By making his world a little colder.
Na Na Na Na Na
Na Na Na Na
Hey Jude, don’t let me down.
You have found her, now go and get her.
Remember to let her into your heart,
Then you can start to make it better.”