“Cara.” Marissa’s expression softened as she took Cara’s hand. “That was her life. she ended it on the best terms she could, in the happiest way she could. If it hadn’t been this trip, it would’ve been another. She’s gone, but she doesn’t have to deal with this crap again. I’m happy for her.”
“You’re saying she committed some kind of suicide?”
“No! She wouldn’t. We’d made plans. We were gonna room together next year, we were going to—to—”
“All plans she intended to keep. Her ticket got punched early.”
“She was happy. She was my best friend. She—”
“If you wanna call yourself her best friend, see her for who she was, not who you wanted her to be. She’s in a better place now. It can’t be any worse than where she was.”
“Where she was, was with me,” Cara shouted and pushed herself out the window. Tears blurred her vision. Anger made her careless. Heartbreak wreaked havoc on her muscle control. She lost her balance in the window. Her shoe snagged on the sill long enough to swing her down and smack her against the side of the house. The impact tore her loose. She dropped, head first, toward the ground.
Her life flashed before her eyes.
Everything she saw the night before and more.
Until she hit.
She woke in the hospital, the first of many disappointed awakenings. Her vision was obscured by bandages hanging off her forehead. After a moment, she recognized her mom, then Detectives Chu and Peters.
“Oh, sweetie, you’re awake,” her Mom said.
“What’s going on?” she asked.
“You fell out of a tree and hit your head. You nearly died.”
“What are they doing here?” Cara asked pointing at the detectives, except she wasn’t pointing. Her hand stayed where it lay on the bed.
“Well, honey, they’re—”
“We’re still trying to find the killer who sold you the drugs,” Chu said.
“Why can’t I move my hand?” Cara asked.
“Honey, when you fell, your spine kind of went,” she turned her fist in her hand. “And… well… the doctors said you might have some paralysis.”
Cara’s Mom nodded. Tears filled her eyes.
“Will I be ready for Nationals?”
Cara’s Mom shook her head.
Cara’s Mom shook her head again.
“Will I… Will I walk again?”
Cara’s Mom shook her head once more.
“Miss we need to ask you some questions,” Chu said.
“She needs time to process,” Cara’s Mom yelled over her shoulder.
Chu opened his mouth to protest but Peters pulled him out of the room.
Cara’s Mom breathed, wiped the tears from her eyes, and put on the biggest, fakest smile Cara had ever seen. “Everything will be okay.”
To Be Continued…