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Their Life

Sometimes people need change; new people, new towns, new lives. That is exactly what thirty-year-old Gina Scarlett wanted, and set out to do. She moved from her roomy apartment in New York City to a suburb, Acworth, in Georgia.

This dramatic change was necessary to Gina. She and her boyfriend had been dating for six years, when they broke up. Everything around her reminded her of Kenneth. And aside from that, winters were unbearable for Gina; she was not a winter person at all. There was nothing appealing about the cold wet snow.


So far, three months later, Georgia had been great. It never got below sixty in the past three months she’d been residing here, everything was within five minutes from her house, and she went running in the sunny warm mornings every day with her dog, Molly. The only thing that seemed missing from her life was people. She had to admit she hadn’t been very social since she moved, and the only people she met were through the gym, where she worked. She was determined to make some friends, although it was a little soon for dating after Kenneth, so that would have to be put on hold.


Just like any other day, she woke up on the April morning to go for a run with Molly. As she was turning out of the driveway, BAM, she was hit in the back of the head with a Frisbee.

“I’m so sorry! Are you alright?” came a voice. “Miss?”

“Huh? Yeah, um, I’m fine. Thanks”. She looked up at the man who had apparently thrown a Frisbee at her. He extended his hand and helped her up.

“I’m sorry, I was playing Frisbee with my dog, Spot, and I guess my aim was a little off. Can I get you anything? I have beer, lemonade, and bottled water on my back porch.”

“Oh, uh, no thanks. I was just about to go for a run.”

“Maybe later then?”

“Maybe.”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t catch your name?”

“Gina Scarlett.”

“Tommy O’neil. You must be my new neighbor.”

“Since three months ago, but yeah.”


He smiled, “well let me officially welcome you to the neighborhood. I’m having a barbeque at my house tomorrow at three, and you should stop by. Everyone would love to meet you.”

“Maybe. But I’ve got to run, I’ll see you later.” She couldn’t help but admit to herself that she was excited. He seemed to really want her to come over. And gosh, that smile. What would he want with a girl like her? Or maybe he doesn’t want her. Well, the only way to find out would be to go to the barbeque that next afternoon.


3:45 hit the clock, and Gina finally decided to show up at Tommy’s. She wanted to be a little late, to see if her appearance would really mean anything to the neighborhood, and besides, she decided to get a little dressed up with a yellow summer dress and tame her curly hair. First opinions really do make a difference.

“Hey! I didn’t think you would show!” Travis exclaimed as he ran to her side.

“Hi, sorry I’m late.”



“No problem, just grab some food and enjoy yourself.” He smiled, and with that he left to tend to his guests. As she was sitting, enjoying a cold lemonade and a hot dog, a girl sat next to her.

“Hey, I’m Sarah, Tommy’s sister. You must be the cute new neighbor.”

Cute? “I guess, most people just call me Gina.”

“Well, hey. It’s about time you showed up.”

She didn’t really know what to say. Her snappy tone made it sound like she already didn’t like her, so she just turned, and glanced at Tommy. They really did look alike, with their brown curly hair, deep brown eyes, and amazingly straight teeth.

“So you’re interested in my brother. Well listen, I’m pretty sure he’s interested in you, too, and I’m never wrong.”

“How can you tell?

“Well, neither of you can stop taking glances at each other. That’s a starter.” She paused. “TOMMY!” He walked over, smiled, and replied,

“Yeah?”

“Don’t you know how rude it is to leave a guest sitting alone? At first Gina thought, ‘Well, I’m not alone, you’ve been with me for the past ten minutes’, but at that, she vanished.

“She’s something I know. I apologize for my sister.”

She laughed, “it’s fine.”

At that, they got talking about work, New York, about why neither of them was married or had kids yet, about being single, about family, about childhood and school, everything. It was so easy to talk to him, and he was a great listener. That’s when she noticed people starting to leave, and the sun was almost set. Tommy went to say goodbye to everyone, and ten minutes later, returned to her side.

“I better go, too.”

“Alright, stop by tomorrow?”

“Sure.” She couldn’t hide the smile bubbling up inside on the walk home. She came to Georgia for change, and she found it. Tommy was so different than Kenneth was. Kenneth had not planned to ever have children, was caught up in work all the time, and wasn’t very social. Tommy wanted two children, as did she, made his own hours at his veterinary clinic, and apparently has barbeques with his friends twice a week.


Tommy and Gina began to spend every day together. Those days turned to weeks, weeks turned to months, and months turned into a year. It was that year later when he had proposed, and they honeymooned in Italy. As they had both wanted, they had two kids, both girls, Kayleigh and Hayley.

It was fifteen years later when the biggest tragedy to occur in either of their lives happened. On the car ride to a new restaurant in town, a semi truck hit Gina and Tommy. It was so fast, there wasn’t even time to scream.

Tommy was all right, except for a broken wrist and some bruises. Gina, however, was in a coma.


The light shone on Gina’s red curly hair, making her look absolutely beautiful, and told her as such.

“Honey, you look stunning. The girls are fine. Kayleigh’s having a little trouble in science, but we got her a tutor, so she’s been doing a little better. Hayley just joined the soccer team, and has her first game this Saturday. We’ll take a lot of pictures for you when you wake up.” He wasn’t sure if she could her him, but it did make himself feel better.

It went on like this every day, although he never took Kayleigh or Hayley, he didn’t want them to remember her as looking lifeless, but as the mother they once had. It took all of them a long time to get used to life in the house without her. The girls always shouted for their mom when they returned home from school. It was a year and six months later when the doctor met with Tommy in private.

“She shows no reactions to any treatment, and it’s already been a long time Tommy. It’s time to move her to a home.” A home. A place for coma patients to go until they do finally die.

“So you’re saying there is no hope for my wife?”

“I’m sorry.” And that was that. Gina was scheduled to be moved the next morning.

He went back to Gina’s side, held her hand, and cried.


The next day Tommy had to return to work. It was hard to concentrate, as he seemed to see Gina in every patient, every animal, and every thing. It was excruciating the pain he felt for not ever seeing his wife again.

“Mr. O’Neil?” asked a woman at reception with red curly hair like Gina’s. Of course.

“Yes?”

“A doctor from the hospital called, and says you and your daughters should be there right away.”

“What for?”

“He didn’t say, but I called Dr. Lee to cover for you.”



So he ran, but he didn’t pick up his daughters. Whatever was so bad that the doctor needed him to come in for, he didn’t want his daughters to have to be a part of. Tommy sprinted into the hospital doors and to his wife’s room.


“What took you so long?” She smiled, weak, but still full of life, and she had never been so striking in his entire life. She was a little pale from the lack of sun, and skinnier than usual, but her just being alive was enough for him.





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