The weather seemed to suit Ernest’s stormy mood. The sky was pitch black even though it was midday, and the wind picked up and ruffled his fine clothes. His face displayed so many emotions that it was hard to determine what he felt. Was it anger, betrayal, or heartbreak? Even he did not know the answer to that question. His mood didn’t improve when he heard footsteps behind him.

Ernest spun around and pointed a finger at the man following him.“You care only about yourself. Did you even think about how much it will hurt me to not have you there? No, do not answer that. You would not have dared to do something like this if you had stopped to think at all,” he spat.

William knew he deserved Ernest’s righteous anger; however, he had not planned on hurting his friend. Sadly, he did not know how to explain his actions. He only said, “It wasn’t my intention to hurt you.”

“To hell with your intentions. I looked like a complete fool at the altar. Would it have killed you to tell me that you don’t like the woman I chose to propose to? Her hurt face still haunts me! I called off the wedding because my best friend did not deem it important enough to attend. She thinks that you are more important to me than her. What the hell am I supposed to do? You are the sole reason for this mess I find myself in”, Ernest snarled.

“Can we talk about this somewhere more private?” William pleaded.

Ernest did not care who heard them, but something in William’s tone made him stop and think. He took a closer look at his friend. William was breathing raggedly and looked like he was about to faint. “Will, what the hell happened to you?” William stared plaintively at Ernest and keeled over. “Will? WILL?” Ernest yelled.

“I could not attend the wedding because I was ambushed, Ernie. I was jubilant when you asked me to be your best man. It is true that I never liked your bride-to-be. However, I would not dream of missing your wedding because of such a silly reason. I am not an idiot; I knew you would murder me if I missed one of the most important days of your life,” William gasped between breaths.

Ernest was only half listening, as he was panicked by the sight of blood seeping through Will’s clothes. He knelt beside Will and clung to him in despair. “Why did you come to me when it is clear you need medical attention, you idiot?”

Will snorted. “I knew I had only minutes left to live. I did not want you to think I deliberately went to work today.”

“William, I would have understood eventually. You are the best detective I know; obviously, criminals would want to do away with you. Nothing is worth more than your life. I don’t want to lose you,” Ernest said nearly sobbing.

“Everything has an end… even our friendship. Now, do not let my death haunt you. Marry the girl, lead a happy life, and don’t you dare name your child after me. I do not wish the child to suffer the same fate as me merely because he shares my first name,” William said.

“How can you joke at a time like this, Will?”

“Promise me that you won’t let your life go to waste, partner. Maybe after I am gone you will be hailed as the best detective in Denmark. You resented being called the second-best, didn’t you?”

Ernest felt like his heart would burst from grief. Even so, he knew how important it is for Will to hear his reply. He let out a watery chuckle and said, “I promise, Will, I will do my best to live my life as happily as possible. However, I have no idea how to accomplish that as, at the moment, all I can think of is that you are the brightest soul that ever crashed into my life.”

William smiled one last time at Ernest. The last thing he saw before he passed away peacefully was the grieving but affectionate eyes of his best friend. Who would have known that a friendship like theirs would come to an abrupt end by a cruel twist of fate?