Submitted by Stephanie Boyett
April 2010

Sometimes in life there are people that we forge an instant bond with. Their friendship feels like an extension of our selves. Spending time together is comfortable, it’s easy, and you know that you can share absolutely anything with them. Throughout our lifetime we will have many good friends, yet there are precious few that will be our best friend.

Stephanie’s best friend was a young man named Stevie. For about 4 years there wasn’t a day that went by that they didn’t talk or text one another. They did everything together; hanging out, riding around, and spending countless hours talking. They never judged one another. When one or the other had a problem, or was just feeling down, they would ride around on the back roads with the rock and roll music blaring as loud as it could. By the time the CD finished their whole mood had changed. The stress would be gone and at that point they could talk about it. Before you knew it they would be laughing and having a good time just being themselves. There was no one else that she was closer to. Stephanie depended on Stevie for advice and moral support for every event or aspect of her life, and he looked to her for the same.

Although they cared about each other deeply, after about a year circumstances changed and Stephanie found herself not agreeing with some of the things Stevie was doing. Distance began to grow between them and they found themselves busy with their own lives. In spite of the fact they didn’t hang out as much as they had before, they still kept in touch. One of the ways they communicated was by sending blank text messages. Words weren’t necessary, it was just understood that it meant, “Hey I was thinkin about you, everything’s good and I love you!”

Stevie still meant the world to Stephanie so when he needed her she was there with no hesitation. At one point he came to stay with her and her children. It turned out to be a godsend for Stephanie because for the next 3 months she was able to relive the times she and Stevie used to share. It was nice having him there, but it was only temporary.

A month after he moved out Stephanie experienced one of those weeks that you would like to erase from your life. It seemed like one frustrating event after another occurred. Stephanie was working nights and one evening after work her battery died. Thankfully she drove a 5-speed so she was able to push it to get it cranked. On her way to the gas station she ran out of gas. Then she overslept and was late picking up her daughter. She was aggravated with her roommate/babysitter and it just felt as if everything was going wrong. If this trend continued she threatened to lock herself up in the house and watch the Lifetime channel for the entire next week. Finally, with anticipation she looked forward to the next 7 days. She would be off from work and hopefully things would improve.

Arriving home Stephanie crashed on the couch. She was awakened by the phone ringing. It was her mother calling from the doctor’s office. Stephanie’s father might require surgery. After all that had happened recently she begged her mother not to rush into any decisions. Before they could discuss it further the doctor returned so her mom said they would talk later. She hung up the phone and fell back asleep rather quickly. It seemed like only a moment had passed when her roommate was waking her up again with phone in hand. Groggy from the interruption Stephanie said hello. The instant she heard the tone in her mom’s voice the hair on the back of her neck stood straight up. Her mother began with, “Stephanie, I need you to wake up. Stevie was in an accident.” Stephanie jumped to her feet. She heard herself cry out, “What?” Her mother proceeded to tell her that he had a head-on collision with a truck on his motorcycle. Hanging up all she could do was sob uncontrollably. Stephanie had never lost someone that close to her.

Finally after realizing her children were worried about their mother she pulled herself together. Checking her phone for messages and missed calls she noticed that several people had tried to tell her about Stevie. As she scrolled through, one message immediately caught her attention. It was an unopened text from Stevie. Her chest tightened and she realized she was holding her breath as she opened it. It was just as she expected; a blank text.

Later, Stephanie visited the crash site. Just to be there took such an emotional toll on her. Once she arrived back home she slept for 24 hours straight. When she finally got up she found herself alone in the house and she remembered her kids were at her mother’s house. Tears came once again as she thought about Stevie. Suddenly her phone beeped. She picked it up to check and once again there was a blank text message from Stevie’s phone. Stephanie decided to call his number and it went straight to voice mail. Curious, she began contacting some of his other friends and discovered that Stevie’s phone had been broken for about 2 weeks. She wondered if he really was sending her a message to let her know he was ok. Her thoughts went back to a conversation they had once had. The discussion had been about death. They were both unsure of what happens after you die but they did talk about funerals and how they wanted their own to be. Stephanie remembered telling him that she didn’t know what she would do if something happened to him. Jokingly Stevie had replied, “Shoot, I’ll just come back and haunt you!” He just laughed and Stephanie knew he wouldn’t really haunt her. She did, however, wonder if he was actually trying to communicate with her.

A week after Stevie had passed away Stephanie and her children had gone out to eat dinner. Her 4 year old daughter made the statement that she missed Stevie. With her emotions still raw she was afraid she would break down again. As she was fighting back the tears her phone beeped. It was the third and what would be her final text from Stevie. Calling the number back she got the message that it was no longer in service. Looking up to the heavens she had no doubt. The text messages they sent one another may have been blank but it spoke volumes to them. By sending her the text when she really needed comfort, Stevie was letting her know in a way she would understand that he was fine and that everything would be ok. Stephanie has received numerous comforting signs from Stevie since then and knows without a doubt that he is watching over her and that she will see her beloved Stevie again one day.