Two Days To Remember

By , Philadelphia, PA

Picture a girl with golden blonde hair that blows beautifully in the wind and emerald green eyes that you could get lost in. She is as gorgeous as they come but only very few know what she has been through. Her best friend Peyton is the only one who can break through the walls she has put up since her mother passed away. Not even her own father can seem to get her to open up to him.
McKenna was in 5th grade when a car accident turned her world upside down. A bitter cold day in mid-November, schools were closed because a bright white blanket covered the town overnight. The roads were slippery and an advisory warned of the danger to be out. Despite the dangerous driving conditions, it was a beautiful sight, as trees sparkled in the sunlight. You could hear the neighborhood children’s excitement as they heard the news, “Schools are closed due to inclement weather.” They put on their puffy winter coats, gloves, and boots, and were off to play.
“Come outside and play with me,” said Peyton over the phone.
“But it’s so cold,” exclaimed McKenna who would have preferred a warm July day.
“That’s the point Ken, it’s supposed to be cold when it snows. Please, ask if you can come out and play,” Peyton pleaded.
“Fine,” replied McKenna with a huff. The girls hung up the phone and very hesitantly, McKenna put on her snow gear. They were outside for about an hour before she had enough of the winter air that had been making her nose and cheeks red.
“Back in already,” questioned McKenna’s mother who loved the cold weather ever since she was McKenna’s age.
“Yeah, it’s freezing out there,” she replied while taking off her coat.
“I have to run some errands. You stay here with daddy and the boys and I’ll be back soon,” her mother replied while putting on her boots.
“Okay,” she said while running off to play with her brothers.
It was just around 6 o’clock when her father began to worry. Her mother had been gone for four hours. She should’ve been home by now! He tried calling his wife, but no answer. He tried to hide his fear from the children.
“Dad, when’s mom coming home,” asked McKenna’s older brother, Lucas. He had dirty blonde hair that was spiked up and ocean blue eyes.
“I’m sure she’ll be home soon, buddy,” replied their father, desperately trying to hide the panic in his voice. “Where could she be,” he wondered to himself.
Another hour went by and the phone rang. It was the phone call that no one wants to receive. McKenna’s mom was at the hospital; her car had slid through an intersection just as another car was passing by. Her father couldn’t even talk, the tears streaming down his face.
“Get your coats on,” he managed to say.
When they got to the hospital they found out that mom was in a coma and things weren’t looking good. She remained in this state for ten days, until McKenna’s father decided it was time to let her go. They all said their goodbyes and made sure to tell her how much they would miss her. Tears were freely flowing down all of their faces as they stood in the room listening as each of the machines stopped beeping. That was the day that forever changed McKenna’s life.
It’s been six years since her mother died and McKenna is doing her best to enjoy high school. She and Peyton are cheerleaders. Her brothers, Lucas and Mason, are on the football team. They all grew closer when their mom passed away, they needed to be there for one another and they were the only ones who understood how the others were feeling. As hard as it was to say goodbye, they knew that their mother was in a better place.
When McKenna was in 7th grade there was a new kid in class. He sat in the back corner of each one of her classes. He was mysterious and she liked it. She then found out that this boy, Ethan, moved into the house across the street. He rarely talked, he never raised his hand, and he always sat by himself. Strange…but she just blew it off, he’d never like her anyway, so why bother?
Now that McKenna was older she was finally ready to tell Ethan how she felt. They had talked a couple times before; they were even partners for a short project in science class!
“I think I’m going to tell Ethan how I feel,” McKenna shyly said to Peyton at lunch.
“Oh are you,” questioned Peyton as she raised an eyebrow. “Not too scared anymore?”
“I’m still scared P, but what’s the difference? If he doesn’t feel the same way then we’ll just go back to not talking,” she said with a shrug.
“I’m not telling you what to do Ken, but just think about it first, okay,” Peyton replied.
“I’ve been thinking about it since 7th grade! If I don’t do it now I never will, and I won’t live my life wondering ‘what if’,” she said as she got up and walked to her next class.
She knew Peyton was trying to protect her but she had been pushing people away for too long, she didn’t want to do that anymore. She just wanted to be happy. Maybe Ethan was the key. She avoided Peyton for the rest of the day because she didn’t feel like having to explain herself. Of course she loved Peyton like a sister, but sometimes she had too much to say. When she got home from school she texted her, “I’m sorry for avoiding you, I just needed space. I still love you!”
Peyton replied seconds later, “It’s okay, I understand. I love you too!”
“Hey Kenna,” Mason came walking into the kitchen.
“Hey, where’s Luke,” she asked him while looking around. They always came home together, where was he?
“He went to Ethan’s, he’ll be home for dinner,” he said while grabbing an apple. “I’m going to do my homework.”
“Okay,” she said. When did Luke become friends with Ethan? What should she do now? She wanted to tell Ethan how she felt, but not if he was friends with her brother. She went upstairs and did homework until her dad came home with pizza.
“I’m home,” her dad yelled from downstairs. McKenna and Mason came downstairs. “Where’s Luke,” dad asked just as Luke walked in with Ethan.
“I’m here. Is it okay if Ethan stays for dinner,” Luke asked.
“Sure,” said dad.
They ate pizza in silence. McKenna felt extremely awkward being in the same room with Ethan. After she ate she ran upstairs to listen to music. She heard a knock on the door. “Come in,” she said loudly. Ethan walks in.
“Uh, hey,” he said shyly.
“Hey,” she said in shock that the boy she likes was in her bedroom.
“How are you,” he asked.
“I’m good, thanks. But why are you in here? What’s up,” she asked him while looking away.
“Nothing, just wanted to say hi,” he said quietly.
“Okay,” she replied questioningly.
Ethan left the room without another word. “That was weird,” she thought to herself. She brushed it off, he was probably just trying to be nice. The next day at school Peyton was out sick so McKenna was on her own. She went to her classes as usual and when lunch rolled around she sat by herself, until Ethan came over.
“Hey, mind if I sit,” he asked looking at the empty seat right beside her.
“No, not at all,” she said with a smile.
“Thanks,” he replied happily. They sat and ate their lunch in silence. “Do you want to come outside with me,” he asked her while standing up.
“Sure,” she said with a big smile on her face.
They went outside and since they both had a free period they just sat and talked. McKenna was surprised with how much they had in common. When it was time to go to class, Ethan leaned over and gave her a quick kiss. She was in shock! She wasn’t sure what to do so she just sat there while he walked to their next class. When he was out of sight she got up and started walking to class. The rest of the day flew by; she was in her own little world. Focusing was not something she could do. When she got home she called Peyton and told her all about her day. McKenna talked for a little bit and hung up when she realized Peyton fell asleep. McKenna was working on her homework when she got a text from Ethan.
“Hey, sorry about earlier, I don’t know why I did that…”
“It’s okay…don’t worry about it,” she replied quickly.
“I kind of like you…,” he replied a few minutes later.
“I kind of like you too,” she replied after she thought about it for a minute. Could this really be happening?
They talked back and forth for hours. McKenna was finally happy. It had been a long time since she felt this way about anyone. She missed her mom more than anything, but she couldn’t help but feel like her mom sent Ethan to her for this purpose - for her to finally be happy.
A few weeks went by and McKenna’s grades started to improve. After her mom’s death, her grades suffered quite a bit but now that she was happy, she’s been more focused on school and it’s been paying off. Her dad said he wanted to talk to her and the boys after school, she was wondering what it could be about but she kept that in the back of her mind. At lunch, she sat with Peyton and Ethan. They all got along great! When she got home her dad was waiting in the living room. A few minutes later the boys came in. They all sat on the couch while their dad stood in front.
“I got a new job offer,” he says quickly.
“That’s great dad,” says McKenna with a smile. The boys quickly agree with her.
“It’s in California…,” he said slowly.
“Oh,” the kids all said in unison.
“We’re moving in two weeks. I’m sorry, but I think it will be good for all of us,” he said as he went upstairs.
The kids just sat there in shock. Colorado was home for their entire lives, it’s where all of the memories they have with their mom are, their friends, their family. Dad couldn’t actually be asking them to give that up. Could he?
About a week went by and the whole house was practically packed. McKenna still couldn’t wrap her head around it. She still hadn’t told Peyton or Ethan. She didn’t know what to say or how to say it. She did her best to avoid them because it was too hard seeing them and knowing that she only had one week left. After school one day Ethan came over, he saw the boxes and he started asking questions. “When? Where? Why? Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I wanted to tell you, I just didn’t know how. I don’t want to leave you or Peyton, but my dad got a job offer in California that he can’t pass up. I’m going to miss you so much,” she said with tears welling up in her eyes.
“Hey, don’t cry. It’s going to be okay. We can still talk and text every day, okay? Nothing is going to change,” he replied while wiping the tears that began to fall.
“Everything is going to change,” she said breaking down. How could her dad make her do this? She was finally happy! He’s taking that away from her.
Ethan pulled her into a hug. He held her until she had calmed down. Of course he didn’t want her to go, but there was nothing they could do about it so he just kept reassuring her that everything would be okay. Her last week in Colorado was spent with Peyton and Ethan. She told Peyton after the talk with Ethan. They both cried but they knew that their friendship was too strong to be broken. It was going to be okay. The three of them spent every minute they could together. They were like the three musketeers; they did everything together. How were they going to do it without McKenna? They were going to miss her. That week flew by and before they knew it they were at the airport saying their final goodbyes.
“This isn’t goodbye P, you’re not getting rid of me that easily,” McKenna laughed with a tear rolling down her cheek.
“I’m going to miss you Ken,” Peyton said as they hugged.
“I’m going to miss you too,” McKenna said sadly. She pulled away from the hug and looked at Ethan. He went over and hugged her. She had waited four years to tell Ethan how she felt, now when they are finally together and happy she has to leave. Although it’s hard to leave, McKenna knows that it has to be done and she’s happy that it all turned out the way it did because she wouldn’t have wanted it to work out any other way.
As hard as this was for all of them, they knew it was going to be okay. They knew they were all going to get through this because that’s what best friends do, that’s what family does. They might not be family by blood, but they are now family by heart. And nothing will ever tear them apart!
McKenna will never forget this day nor will she forget the day she lost her mom. These two days make her who she is and she wouldn’t change that for the world.






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