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After the Storm
Ronnie is a girl who is accompanied with many jobs. Now that her family just got notified that her dad was killed in the war, she is bound to help her mother Allison. She tries her hardest to do everything she can to please her devastated mom, but all she does, doesn’t seem to pass her mom’s expectations. Her mom thinks Ronnie is capable of helping around the house and with her brother, more and more. All this on her mind adds up. Also, to mention her brother Will, who is seven years old also needs to be looked after as well. Ronnie’s so overwhelmed with trying to please everyone she has barely anytime to focus on herself. Nick, her boyfriend has been trying to get her out, but Ronnie never has the time to with all these conflictions on her mind. He ends up being like Will’s “father” since now basically Ronnie plays the role of Will’s “mother”. Nick, has stood by and promises to stick by Ronnie’s side until everything is worked out, no matter what happens, he says he’ll always be there for her and Will.
After she finds out that Will has been doing many bad things in school, Ronnie doesn’t know what to do. She knows that she can’t tell her mom because she’ll freak out even more, so instead she decides to let Nick know. As an alternative of Ronnie talking to Will about this situation, Nick says he’ll take care of it, and talk to Will himself. Ronnie agrees with the plan and Nick and Will go to dinner together. Nervous and patiently waiting for their arrival home, Ronnie prepares dinner for her and her mom. It turns out that Will was trying to find a way to kill himself. Ronnie eyes widened, in shock and astonishment as the words spilled from Nick’s cracking voice. It was hard to believe since they are talking about the cute, charming little boy everyone considered Will as.
Nick thought of the concept of taking Will to counseling before everything gets even worse. Every time Ronnie, Will and Nick left together Allison questioned where they were going but Ronnie planned ahead so there was a new reason every time. One day it was to dinner, the next day was bowling, another day was the store, and so on. These excuses flew by her mom since she was still too depressed to worry about it. She didn’t have the energy to compete, argue and fight with them so she just let it be.
A few days later when Nick, Ronnie and Will walked in the house, to their mother whose face was in shock. They have never seen her this mad in a long time since her face has been lacking emotion since the death of her husband, their father. Ronnie could sense that her mother must have somehow found out about Will’s incident at school. It turns out that a letter was mailed home to their house regarding Will’s behavior. He was kicked out of Todd Elementary School for setting a bad example out for his fellow peers and classmates. They didn’t know what they were going to do with him.
“It’s not like I can just stay home every day and watch him, mom,” Ronnie said.
“I know dear, after all you’ve been doing your best and helping me, plus it’s your senior year. I’m sure you’ve missed out on so much already, I can’t have you missing even more,” her mom replied.
“How about I search up some schools for Will to attend, and I’ll fill out applications and we’ll wait to see where he’ll get into?” Ronnie asks.
“That sounds like a great idea. Also make sure you continue to take Will to counseling because I don’t need him leaving me too, one’s enough.”
McKenzie Day, check. Ronling Day, check. Skye’s Elementary, check. I filled out all the applications and sent them in the mail.
It was hard for Ronnie to come home and see her mom just dosing off into space sitting on the couch, doing absolutely nothing. All she did was mope around all day long.
“Mom how about we go shopping, to lunch, to a movie?”
“No thanks Ronnie, I can’t, I just don’t belong on this earth anymore.”
“MOM! I’m taking you out. Let’s go. We’re going shopping!”
“Ronnie, I’m not going.”
After all the bickering back a fourth, Allison finally gave into her daughter and allowed her to take her out. Just like the old days, Allison thought.
“I love you Ronnie, and I want you to know that forever, and I’m sorry I’ve been making you miss out on a lot this year, and since it’s your senior year I especially bad. You’ve done so much to help me and Will and just everyone out, and have done nothing to benefit yourself. “
“Mom, I love you too. Don’t worry about me; I know what I need to do. After all you’re my family and if I didn’t want to be helping you, I wouldn’t be. Plus, I’m leaving for school in only a few months. I want things to get sorted out before I go, and leave my family on a good note. I’m going to miss you and Will so much!”
It was true. Ronnie was leaving for Vanderbilt that August. She didn’t know how this whole college thing would work, now that her family is in what seems to be this never-ending conflict. Maybe I’ll stay home for one semester—attend community college until everything’s worked out with the family, Ronnie thought. Her mom would never let that happen. She knows how much Ronnie has been looking forward to her college experience and wants to do the best she can.
Within the next few days, Ronnie had received letters back from all the schools she previously applied Will to. He got accepted to all of them. Because Ronling Day was the closest distance to them and held one of the most well-known education systems, Ronnie and Allison decided that this should be the school. Will, was surprisingly excited to be attending a new school. They planned an appointment to go meet with the schools guidance counselor to get a tour and get his class.
Now it was June, everyone was enjoying summer. Allison was finally beginning to come back to being the old her, before her husband died. Yes- it was a long and painful recovery, with the exceptions of her son also wanting to commit suicide. Will was still going to counseling two times a week, and definitely getting MUCH better. Ronnie was slowly, taking her time, packing up all her stuff getting ready to head to Vanderbilt. She was questioning whether or not to go now. Her emotions for the whole concept of leaving her family are gradually altering. Ronnie doesn’t know if she’s making the right to leave her mom and brother even though they are steadily the same two people she knew them as the before all these domino affecting events took place. Will has starting going to the day camp held at his new school, since Ronnie thought it would be a smart way for him to make friends before the school year started.
It was August 17th. Allison, Ronnie, Will, and Nick packed up the car. Ronnie’s mind was blowing through a surge of completely different sensations. The night before Nick had taken her to dinner—the first one they’ve been to alone—in a long time. That is when it hit her how much she was going to miss Nick, their long walks on these summer nights, splashing around in the pool, her mind went blank; what am I going to do without him?
It was the next morning at 10:13. Nick, Allison, and Will were saying their last goodbyes. After setting up her dorm, fixing every little crease in her comforter, making the room look pin perfect, Allison breaks down, crying into Ronnie’s shoulders. This is exactly what Ronnie didn’t want happening; she couldn’t have her mom sobbing again. Next, Will went up to her, she knelt down, he grasped her and whispered, “I love you Ronnie, thank you so much for everything you did for me”, and a tear streamed down his cheek.
“Will, make sure you take care of momma, call me whenever you want, I love you bud. Just remember to try your hardest every day and never give up, be mom’s shining star! I love you!”
Ronnie saw Nick dozing off standing by the door, I’ve never seen him like this, she thought. She ran, and jumped right into his arms, hugging him as if she never wanted to let go, if only she could pause this moment. Her heart sank, tears swelled in her eyes. “I love you Nick,” she said.
“I love you too Ronnie,” Nick responded, I never thought this day would come.
Standing by the door the three of them waved back, smiling with tears falling down their face, “bye,” they called out. Then the door shut behind them.