Overcoming Obstacles

March 24, 2009
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As Olivia dreadfully walks through the doors she sees her bosses face. She doesn’t even have her jacket off and her boss is already on her tail about what she all needs done. Olivia clocks in and puts on her freshly washed black apron.


Olivia thinks to herself all I wanted to do tonight was to go out with some of my girl friends; I haven’t hung out with them in almost a month now.
Earlier that day, she had gone and had her hair done. She had made plans to go out to dinner with a friends of hers, but they were soon ruined when she arrived home.


“Mom I’m home,” yelled Olivia as she walked through the front door of her house. “So mom, I talked to some of the girls today and were all gonna go to dinner and a movie tonight. I’m so pumped, I haven’t hung out with them in forever.”

“Ahh sorry hun, but you have to work tonight. Kenny called in sick so I told them that you could work for him.”

“Are you kidding me mom! Why do you always have to do this? You know that I was making plans for tonight. I don’t understand, why do you volunteer me?

“Olivia, I didn’t know that you had made plans with the girls tonight. I’m sorry, but you have to go to work because there is no one else to fill in for you.”


Her mom always does this to her, whenever she has something important to do her mom always has something else planned for her. Olivia hates when this happens. Her mom and she have always had a really good relationship. They are always doing new things and cracking jokes with each other. They are not only mother and daughter, they are best friends.


Ever since Olivia’s brother moved away to Georgia after his girlfriend passed away her mom has always been really stressed. You see, when her brother Steve moved away he left his baby daughter here in Renfrew to live with Olivia’s family. Olivia’s niece, Sarah just turned two last week. She is an absolute handful and doesn’t understand why her dad left without her. The house that Olivia and her family live in does not belong to them, Olivia’s great uncle actually owns it. And let’s just say that it’s not the biggest or nicest house on the block. It’s two stories and only has two bedrooms. Mind you there are five people living in the house. In one room Olivia, Sarah, and Olivia’s little sister Katy sleep, and the other room belongs to their parents. There is not a single place in the house that is quite. There is always little kids running and screaming wherever you go.


As the night went on Olivia was getting impatient. Her mom, who was also a waitress, just happened to be working side by side with Olivia that night. Olivia and her mom got along very well, but tonight was just one of those nights that Olivia needed her space. It was 10:00 and Olivia had just served her last table. As she walked through the crowd of people that were listening and dancing to the band that was playing on that Halloween night she made it to the bar. As she was grabbing a lemonade for a little boy that was at her table she noticed two guys across the bar that looked seemingly attractive. She had never seen them before, and figured that they were probably just tourists. She delivered the lemonade to her table and then went back to the kitchen where she reminisced with the other waitresses about the guys at the bar. One by one the waitresses paraded out of the kitchen and got a peek. This was a routine for the women she worked with. As soon as someone mentioned a guy they all scrambled to find out what he looked like and to get the first peek. Olivia decided to go behind the bar and see up close what they were really like. As she lifted up the soda gun to squirt herself a mountain dew she carefully looked up trying not to be noticed by the two guys that were only feet away from her. As soon as Olivia looked up, the taller guy standing on the right was staring at her with his shocking green eyes. She tried looking away quickly but there was something about him that made her curious. As they made eye contact she smiled embarrassingly with her hot pink rosy cheeks and walked away.
As she passed the last table of people that she had to serve she heard someone say “So, Olivia how is your school year going? You’re a junior this year right?”

“O’ it’s going pretty well. Keeping my grades up that’s for sure. And no, I’m only a sophomore.”

“Oh ok, for some reason I thought you were a year older.”

“Oh, nope.”

“How’s basketball going for you? You better tell me that you girls have a winning record or I’ll have to go out there and show you girls how it’s really done,” said Mr. Hobart.

“Indeed, we do have a winning record, but you are still welcome to come out and show us what you’ve got,” said Olivia as she chuckled to herself quietly.
As Mr. Hobart and his family slowly got up he said, “Ok, you tell me where and when and I’ll be there. You can count me in.”

“Ok sounds good,” said Olivia as the Hobart family walked out of the door waving goodbye. “Finally I’m done,” whispered Olivia as she finished clearing off the table.
She was thinking to herself about how old these boys were. They couldn’t be too old because they were sitting with what she thought were their parents. Olivia soon clocked out and was sitting at the bar next to her mom and four of her coworkers.

“So Olivia is that the guy right there?” Said my mom as she pointed to him from across the bar. “Yes. Now put your hand down before he see’s you.”

“Oh, don’t worry, I don’t think he did.” Olivia, her mom, and the coworkers continued to sit and talk, but it wasn’t before long that the jut box got turned up and they were all up dancing. All of a sudden a lady came up to Olivia’s mom and said, “Excuse me mama?”

“Yes. Hello,” said Olivia’s mom.

“I was wondering if it was ok with you if your daughter came over and talked to my boys for a little bit?”

“Umm… sure,” she said uneasily. “Where are they?”

“Oh, sorry. They are just across the bar.” The boys then waved to my mom and smiled politely.

“Oh, absolutely, she’s right over there,” she said as she pointed to her daughter who was now sitting on a bar stool. “You can go and get her if you would like to.”

“Ok. Thank you. My boys have seen her around here all night. But there both to shy to just talk to her themselves.”

“Haha that’s no problem. I’m sure Olivia will be too.”

“Yes, we’ll just have to wait and see,” said the boys mother as she walked over to Olivia to talk to her.
From across the dance floor Olivia could see all of this happening; she quickly turned to one of her co-worker and said, “How do I look?”

“Ahh you look fine…why?” But Olivia didn’t even have time to respond to her. The boy’s mother, whose name was Rondi, was standing in front of Olivia.

“Excuse me hun. But I was wondering if you could come over and talk to my boys for a little bit? There awfully shy, but would really like to meet you.”

“Ahh yea. That’d be cool. Where are they?” Olivia asked. Obviously she knew who and where they were but she wanted to act like she was caught totally off guard. Olivia and Rondi made there was across the dance floor and over to the jut box. The boys were gleaming but also looked kind of nervous. Confidently, Olivia walked up to them and introduced herself.

“Hey guys.”

“Hey how’s it going.”

“O’ pretty good, just glad to be off of work.”

“Oh yea, what do you do here?”

“Mmmm I’m a waitress and a busser.”

“Cool.”

“Yea, get’s old after a while though.”

“I believe it. So how long have you worked here?”

“Almost four years now.”

“Wow, that’s a long time said the taller boy standing on the left.” There was a long silent pause in the conversation.

“Oh, I’m sorry I don’t think I caught your names,” said Olivia.

“Damn. Sorry,” said the guy on the left as he stuck out his hand assertively. “I’m Andrew and this is my friend Connor.”
Olivia laughed out loud and said, “Nice to meet you guys. I’m Olivia.”

“Nice to meet you too,” said both Connor and Andrew. Within the next hour Olivia the boys were talking about sports and their families. She learned that Andrew was very much into hockey and that both Andrew and Connor both really liked visiting Wisconsin. She had also found out that they were in fact tourists. Connor was from Fairfield, Connecticut and Andrew was from Naperville, Illinois. As they continued to talk the night was quickly coming to and end.

“Olivia, we should probably head home soon,” said Olivia’s mother as she walked up behind her.

“Ok mom. I’ll meet you at the car in ten minutes.”

“Sounds good said Olivia’s mother as she turned and walked away.”
Olivia abruptly said, “Umm…do you guys want my number?” She didn’t know how or why she had just said that. It had just blurted out of her mouth.
Connor jumped the gun and said, “absolutely!” Olivia had no problem giving him her number, she was actually very excited. She then said goodbye to the boys and thanked them for the company and then turned and walked away happy as can be. Her and Connor talked every now and it was fun for them to keep in touch with one another.


Three months later…



It was New Years Eve and the party and Rockin Robin’s was hopping and filled with excitement. Just like ever New Years Olivia was working again. It was almost 11:00 by the time that she had gotten off of work. She was sitting in the back having a slice of cake when someone came up from behind her and covered her eyes.

“Guess who?”
Olivia started laughing and said, “I have no idea.” The unknown voice had turned out to be Connor, and standing next to him was Andrew.

“Oh my gosh, why didn’t you tell me that you guys were coming up?”

“Must have slipped my mind,” said Connor.
They continued to talk for almost and hour and a half when the three of them jumped onto the conversation of school. Olivia asked Andrew where he was going to school and he said, “Well for now I’m going to Naperville North, but at the end of semester I’m actually moving.”

“Oh ok, that’s cool,” said Olivia. “Where will you be going to school?”

“I actually don’t think it’s too far away from here. It’s called Brookfield or something like that.”

“Wait. What? Brookfield Central!? Said Olivia.

“Oh yea, that’s it. Why? Have you heard of it?”

“Haha have I heard of it; that’s where I go!” said Olivia.

“No way. That’s awesome. At least I’ll know one person when I go to school now.”

“Yea, definitely. How come you’re transferring?”

“I don’t know. I love Wisconsin, and have always wanted to live here I guess.”

“That’s awesome.”

“Yea, I’m excited.”
There conversation went on for a little while longer. Andrew and Olivia never exchanged numbers that evening but he was all that Olivia could think about for the next several days. Then on January 6, Olivia received a phone call from Andrew.

“Hello? She said in an unsteady voice.

“Hey it’s me Andrew.”

“Hey how are you? How’d you get my number?”

“Oh’ I stole it from Connor. Haha I’m pretty good. I was actually wondering if you wanted to hang out tomorrow night?”

“Ahh yea, absolutely. That would be a lot of fun. What time were you thinking?”

“I’m actually not sure yet, I’m going ice fishing with a couple of guys around 2:30, but I’ll for sure call you when I get back to my place. Probably around 5:30. Is that ok?”

“Yea, definitely, sounds good. I’ll be waiting for your call,” said Olivia sort of flirtatiously.

“Yea, I can’t wait either.” The conversation lasted a little longer, but then it soon got interrupted.

“Well I’ll let you go,” said Olivia in a hurry.

“Ok, no problem,” said Andrew. “I’ll call you tomorrow. Bye Bye.” Olivia heard the click of the receiver on the other line and stood in awe at what had just happened. The next afternoon she hopped in the shower and started to prepare for her “hang-out date” with Andrew. She took her time trying to figure out how to do her hair and what to wear in anticipation for her date. It was 5:30 and Olivia had her cell waiting at her side as she finished doing her hair in eagerness for the phone to ring. She walked down stairs with assurance that tonight was going to go well.

“My goodness! What are you all dressed up for?” said Olivia’s mom as she entered the kitchen.

“Well, Andrew called last night and said that he wanted to hang out with me tonight. He said he’s call around 5:30. Should be any minute now.”

“O’ ok, well that sounds like a lot of fun. Just be safe. I’m going out to dinner with your father tonight, so call me on my cell phone if you need anything.”

“Ok mom, will do. Have fun at dinner,” said Olivia as her mom rushed out of the house on her way to the restaurant.”
It was almost 6:00 now and Olivia was starting to get impatient. Why hasn’t he called yet? she thought to herself. Many thoughts were running through her mind. Maybe he wanted to fish for a little bit longer. Maybe he just wanted to hang out with the guys tonight. Or maybe he just blew me off. It was now 7:15 and Olivia was almost in tears. Why do guys do this? I don’t understand. Andrew is so stupid. He could have at least called or text me saying that he couldn’t make it.

Olivia went to bed that night sad and disappointed. She fell asleep around 9:00 and woke up the next morning full of energy and ready to take on the world. She arrived to school at 7:50. Olivia still had to ride the bus because she was only 15 and did not yet have her license. As soon she arrived at her locker to put her coat away she could hear people talking and reminiscing about what had happened the night before. She decided to walk over and join the conversation.

“Yea, so I guess the car got totaled,” said one of the boys that were standing in the circle.

Olivia heard another voice say, “Is there any chance of him dying?”

I don’t think so, but you never know. From what I heard the accident was pretty bad.”

“Wait, who got into an accident?” said Olivia.

“Oh, you probably don’t know him,” said one of the boys off the hockey team. “His names Andrew, you probably don’t know him.” Olivia’s heart dropped.

“Andrew who?” Olivia asked trembling.

“Oh, I don’t know his last name but I guess he moved here from Illinois or some place like that.”

“Well is he ok?” asked Olivia on the verge of tears.

“Umm no, he got into a car accident last night on the way back from Cobden and hit a tree. He’s paralyzed from the waist down,” said the boy as his he began to walk away as the first bell for the school day rang.” Olivia stood idle in the middle of the hall way. Oh my god. How could I have been so angry at him last night, said Olivia. I hope he is ok. I’m so stupid, why did I think that he would stand me up?
Olivia went to her next class but left early because she did not feel like being around a lot of people. She made her way down to the locker room and changed into some gym clothes.

“Mr. Rhode?” called Olivia as she entered the gym.

“Yes.” said Mr. Rhode in reply.

“I was wondering if I could borrow a basketball for a little bit.”
Mr. Rhode made his way into the storage room and retrieved a basketball for Olivia. For the rest of the day Olivia stayed in the gym shooting and running. She was so frustrated with herself and with the situation.
That evening Olivia went home and called the other guy that she had met that night at Rockin Robins.

“Hello, Connor?” said Olivia as she heard someone answer the phone.

“Oh hey Olivia. What’s up?”
Olivia took a deep breath and said, “I was just wondering if you had heard from Andrew or his mom lately?”

“Ahh no, why?”
Olivia’s heart was racing, she didn’t know if she should be the one to relay the message to him. They were best friends and she knew this would be hard for him to take. She took a deep breath and said, “I heard from people at school today that he got into an accident last night.” There was a pause in the conversation and Olivia heard him take a long and deep breath.

“Is he ok?” Connor asked worryingly.

“Umm…well…last I heard no. He’s paralyzed.”

“Paralyzed? I don’t understand. What do you mean?”

“Like paralyzed. From the waist down.” There was no respond from Connor. Olivia sat there in silence waiting for some sort of response. She waited a few more seconds and then all she heard was crying coming from the other end of the conversation. Then…a violent click of the telephone receiver made Olivia jump. She never called him back and hadn’t heard from Connor or Andrew in over a week now. As Olivia got off the bus one late afternoon from school she slowly walked into her house. She sat down on the couch she saw the newspaper laying next to her. She picked it up and was just skimming through it when something caught her eye. “Three teens injured in 1-vechicle crash.” She quickly closed the newspaper not wanting to hear or read about what would affect her friends’ life forever.
Later that evening Olivia was lying in bed when she heard her phone. “Bzzz bzzz bzzz,” it was vibrating on her desk. She quickly jumped up to see an alert on her phone. “New message from Andrew.” She immediately opened it and they texted all night. But not once did he mention the accident. It was 6:00 a.m. and Olivia texted, well, I have to go now, I gotta take a shower. I’ll txt u after school. That cool?
Andrew texted me back, absolutely, hit me up later.
Olivia went to school that day full of hope and excitement. For the next few days they continued to text. Those days turned into weeks, and then to months. She kept her hopes high, and always encouraged him and supported him when he was having a bad day.
She tried her best to always be there for him, but it was difficult at times. They were hundred of miles apart, and barley knew each other, but somehow there friendship stayed strong. The part that makes this so incredibly sad is that is his dream was finally coming true. He was finally in Wisconsin. He was in the place he wanted to be. He is an incredibly sweet kid, very loyal and great friend to his peers.


Andrew was in Rehab at a place in Denver, Colorado called Craig hospital for about three months. There he learned to deal with the new challenges in life that he was going to face. He learned to overcome physical challenges that he thought he would never have to endure. Although, he overcame his physical challenges he still had the mental challenges to deal with. Though perseverance and persistence him and his family finally made his dream come true. Andrew now lives in Wisconsin with his family. He lives the life he once strived to have. Andrew is a strong willed guy, and continues to stay that way. Although, he may never be able to walk again his determination and strength can carry him through anything.





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