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Nutshell

No, no, no! Not her, not her! I think I screamed, but it never came out. I couldn’t think straight, I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t even move. I was nothing. My life had shattered and I felt like I had been electrocuted. My arms were immobile by my sides, my eyes wide open and my mouth opened in horror.


“Megan?” I shut my eyes as I slowly turned around, speaking for what felt like the first time in weeks.


“No, its Mackenzie, her sister…” my voice cracked on the word sister. I felt a warm hand touch my shoulder, trying to comfort me. It was my twin brother Chris; I could see the tears brimming in his grey-blue eyes, unsuccessfully hiding under his light brown hair. As my deep brown eyes stared into his, I felt the tears rush out of their hiding spot, the same tears I had tried so hard to suppress. Hugging him, I whimpered the nearly inaudible words, “It can’t be true”.


“It will be okay” I heard a few other voices chime in. I hadn’t realized how many of our friends had shown up. But I didn’t believe what they said, because deep down we all knew that nothing would ever be the same with out Megan. Shortly after, a short police officer came by and delivered the news. Megan had passed away in the car crash. She was gone. I turned back to Chris and quietly started sobbing. Chris and Megan were my only siblings so naturally we had been quite close. Sometimes it felt like we were triplets instead of twins and one sister. I couldn’t believe she was gone.


The next thing I knew, I was in my room with Chris asleep on my window seat. I sat up slowly and thoughts rushed through my head. My name is Mackenzie. I am 16 years old. I have a twin brother named Chris and a younger sister named Megan. Megan died yesterday. I saw the wreck. She’s gone. My head ached and I fell back with my dark curls spewing across the white pillow.


“Kennie? You awake?”


“Yeah, I am” I heard Chris walk over and sit down on my bed. “Go back to sleep…” I turned to face the opposite wall.


“Come on, get up you bum! Let’s go do something, something to get our minds off of… yesterday.”



“Give me a minute then” I sighed. 5 minutes later Chris and I walked into a coffee shop. While walking in I nearly walked into a young boy who was about my age. He had semi long black hair and shockingly blue eyes. After a few apologies we got him to join us for coffee.


“My name’s Chris and this is my twin Mackenzie.” We shook hands after which the boy proceeded to tell us that his name was Jeremy. He was new and actually lived quite close to us. When we had run into him he had been visiting his sister Ashley who, oddly enough, ended up being our waitress. By the time we had all traded numbers and done our fill of talking it was noon.


“I’ll see you soon?” asked Jeremy


“See you soon,” I smiled back


“And I’ll see you soon” Chris grinned at Ashley. Neither of us spoke until we got home, “See, wasn’t that worth getting up for?” he said, clearly smug, as he quickly dodged the pillow I launched in his direction. I truly was glad Chris had made me get up that morning, that I had been able to catch up with Jeremy, and that he was with Ashley.


Every time Jeremy asked me something about my life, I’d end with saying “My life in a nutshell”. But one day when he asked me if I had any other siblings I froze.


“Is everything okay?” he anxiously asked. I nodded and shakily pulled out a photo of Megan explaining everything. From how Megan died to how Chris and I met him and Ashley because of it.


“My sister died in a car crash. When she left, it was like she took a part of me and Chris.” I looked down at Meg’s picture, her straight dark hair and brown eyes brought tears to my eyes once more. It had been just over a week after Megan’s car crashed; Jeremy put his arm over my shoulder and tried to comfort me. “My life in a nutshell…” I whispered.
***********************************************************************
As I look around the outdoor café, I realize that I’m glad Chris woke me up that day. Glad that his marriage to Ashley gave me another reason to see Jeremy. On the table in front of me I see a single walnut shell with a crack going around it. I look up at Jeremy and he just shrugs like he has no idea what it is. I grab the shell and slowly open it. In place of a walnut I see three different objects, in the top shell there is a picture of Meg, the same one I had shown him a week after the crash. In the bottom shell, there is a picture of me, Jer, Chris and Ashley… on top of which sat a silver ring. Jeremy sees me staring at it and smiles. He gets up from his chair and comes to stand next to me.


“Our life in a nutshell…” he says, “Marry me.”


I stand up, “Of course,” I say throwing my arms around him, clutching my precious nutshell, “Of course.” I whisper once more.



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