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Life-Changing Phone Call.
The door beside her opened. Her dad motioned for her to come out into the living room. She followed him.
Her mom was there sitting quietly, her dad was on the phone with someone, her brother looked frazzled, and she was still clueless. "This sounds serious," Alex thought. "What's going on? Why's dad home? What...who could be calling so late at night?" She peered up at her dad like a little child would when it had done something horrible, still unprepared for what was coming.
Nothing could have prepared her for what he told her though.
"Alex, your sister's been involved in a little accident. Her car went off the road. She's on her way to Deaconess Hospital in Spokane."
The air left her throat as she stared at him in horror. A word began to form. "No..." she silently pleaded. "Not Jacinda..." she screamed inside. "You must be wrong..." Alex wanted to argue, but fell heavily into the cushions. There was a lump sitting in her throat.
"Honey," he put his arm around her shoulders to try to comfort her and began to cry. "She may not make it...the doctor says she has only a fifty percent chance..."
She turned her face so he couldn't see the tears falling. "You're joking right? Ha...ha...good one dad. Please tell me you're joking..."
He shook his head slightly. "I'm sorry. I wish it wasn't true. I would have done anything to change..."
Alex couldn't speak for a moment. "She supposed to be in school! You have to be lying. Nothing bad would ever happen to Jacinda!" His hand reached out to give her a hug and to wipe away the tears, but she slunk away.
"They're doing everything they can sweetie."
"I don't believe you. My sister is coming home to see us! She can't have been injured. She's my big sis....she couldn't have..." her lower lip trembled. Alex didn't want to think about it, but there it was staring her in the face.
The dam began to break. Hot tears dribbling down onto her clasped hands.
He looked at her again. "I know how much it hurts...I didn't know something like this could ever hurt as much as this does right now...but we can make it. She will survive. I have to cling to it, because I can't stand to lose her. I can't stand to lose my daughter."
Alex began to wish she had already died, everything within her felt like a knife had stabbed through. "Please, be a joke," she begged God. "Let her be fine...I'm begging you."
She tried to stand. "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry..." Alex whispered to herself. Her head resting in her heaving arms. "Why dad? Why did this happen? Isn't God supposed to protect her? Than how am I supposed to believe that he cares?"
He shrugged his shoulders. "I don't know why this happened." He sounded choked up too. Her dad who rarely cried, had tears running down his cheeks just like her, but her mom displayed little emotion. Just sat there like she'd seen a ghost. Stiff and formal, unmovable, looking down at the grungy brown carpet as if that could erase those horrible moments when her world had stopped spinning.
"Come on...we need to get going," Jojo directed them out of the house. "We need to get there or we might not even get to tell her goodbye...if it comes to that."
They all piled silently into the black Honda. Her mom, her brother, her dad, and herself. Nothing else mattered. Not school or homework. Nothing could have shocked her more than what had just happened. It was as if her whole world was crashing down and there was nothing she could do to stop the spiral downwards until she hit rock bottom. Her faith wasn't there and she doubted she'd ever want to have anything to do with God again.
"Please, let her live, please let her live..." Alex begged God, like she even thought he would hear her. "Please don't let sis die! I need her God@ Don't take her from me...I'm sorry, okay, but you don't have to punish her for all the wrong things I've done." She bowed her head as if in prayer, fingering her scarred wrists. "I'm sorry."
"All my life," Alex thought, "I've always been the one no one messed with, the one no one wanted to be around, but..." she gazed out the window at the barren landscape. "I wish it had been me. My sister deserves to be able to go to college. She was so excited to have the chance even. Full ride scholarship, everything paid for, food...I don't..."
She thought back to what she'd been thinking about before the call, her heart cracking into pieces. "If it wasn't for me," she thought angrily, mad at herself more than anything. "My sister would still be awake. She wouldn't be in this mess." The tears fell faster. "If I hadn't been such a chicken God wouldn't have done this to her."
No words could describe what she was going through. Guiltily she hung her head, like she for some reason had caused her sister to go off the road.
"If I would have..." she stopped. "Been there for her. If I would have just gone there instead of her come here, she would be fine. I bet she could be in her dorm room right now playing around on the Internet, doing things she loves to do, even if it was just homework. I bet she would have been awesome, actually, she still is awesome." Alex sighed, fiddling with her seat, suppressing the weight pounding down on her heart. "I love her so much..."
Her tears were tears of frustration. "Why her," she wanted to scream at God. "Why not me? I was the one who wanted to die! I was the one who deserved to be hurt! My sister loves life. Why would you do this to her? I don't get it...why'd you let it happen? Couldn't you have just done that too me?"
The muscles on her neck tightened.
The color drained from her face. "I guess it's also too late to throw a pity party," she thought. "Now I have to be there for her.I need to be the best sister I can be and maybe, just maybe, she will make it. Maybe God will for the first time, hear my cry."