October 13, 2014 § Leave a comment
Sixteen year old Grace waited outside the karaoke bar for her family. They were supposed to come pick her up after her shift at the supermarket. They were going to go out for dinner to celebrate her little sister, Bethany’s fourteenth birthday. It was a cloudy, foggy night, not much visible beyond a few meters. A group of young people, in their mid twenties perhaps, came out of the bar, seemingly in high spirits. They seemed to be intoxicated. Grace saw them get into a jeep car. They shouldn’t be driving right now, she thought to herself. While driving under the influence was bad enough, in weather so foggy, it was downright reckless. She decided to say something to them. Yes, she would definitely say something. They were endangering other people’s life as well.
They pulled out of their parking spot just as she started walking towards their car. She still cannot figure out which came first. The assured feeling that something bad was about to happen, or the cold dread she felt at seeing her family car pulling up to the driveway.
Her scream pierced the night air as the cars collided in a deadly dance of flames. She remembered every detail with crystal clarity. The sound of the cars colliding… the heat from the flames brushing across her face… the anguish at not being in the car with the rest of her family. She remembered as though it had just happened. It had just happened.
Grace sat in the waiting room and relieved her worst 5 minutes of life over and over again. She waited for the doctor to tell her if she was to have a family. Sixteen year old Grace waited in the hospital for her family.
October 8, 2014 § Leave a comment
You will not find a more beautiful Saturday morning, than that of Amberville in spring. If the blue sky flecked with wispy white clouds and a sun that seems to smile in welcome doesn’t convince you, the people of Amberville surely will. A perfect suburban town, the residents of Amberville are very proud of their picturesque little town. On a spring Saturday morning, such as today, you’ll find most people out doors, having a family picnic, getting together to go hiking in the nearby Woody Hills, or, like the Reed family, setting out for a day at the Whitestone Beach.
The Reeds were a small family of four. Mr and Mrs Reed had met in University, and became best friends. And as it often happens, friendship soon turned into something more. They married in the year 2000, and had daughters Emma and Elizabeth in the year 2001 and 2004. Mr Reed was an architect who headed his own firm, while Mrs Reed was a much adored Professor of Literature at the Amberville University. Thirteen year old Emma was on top of her class, Captain of her school’s lacrosse team and the head of the junior prom committee. Ten year old Elizabeth, or Lizzie as she was better known, was quickly gaining a reputation for her dance skills. While she had a natural talent for picking up any dance form, she favored ballet more than any other. Needless to say, the Reeds were one happy, content family.
That Saturday, they reached the beach at around 10 in the morning after a two hour road trip. Lizzie and Emma tumbled out of the car with cries of joy, and it was hard to miss the twinkle of excitement in Mr and Mrs Reeds eyes as well! The Reeds owned a charming little cottage at the beach, which is where the family now went, to freshen up.
“Daddy daddy can me and Emma go collect some sea shells now? Please daddy please please pleeeaase?”. Mr Reed laughed at his daughters’ excitement and said they could go as long as they promised to be careful. The waters at the beach could sometimes have a strong undercurrent. The girls promised to be careful and ran barefoot to the sea shore. Mr and Mrs Reed joined them soon, and after splashing around in the sea and a game of volley ball with the Anderson family, both the families decided to lunch at the seafood place at the beach. While the parents enjoyed cold beers, Emma, Lizzie and Daniel, the Anderson’s 12 year old son, had ice creams and made a truly beautiful sandcastle. Mr Reed walked up to the kids and saw the sandcastle. “Wow, that really is amazing! We could use some heads like yours at the office!”, smiled Mr Reed. The rest of the trip was relaxing and fun, more or less uneventful other than Emma being chased by a crab.
After a wonderful stay at the beach, on Sunday evening, the Reeds packed up and set out on their way home. The girls fell asleep in the backseat on the way. Mr and Mrs Reed saw them, and then looked at each other. “I love you Katie”, whispered Mr Reed as he looked into his wife’s lovely face. She smiled and said, “I love you too, Dave”. Everything was perfect in the Reed’s world. They couldn’t be more happy.