TW: This chapter does include a car crash, it's not very graphic or well described, but if you are sensitive to this type of subject, please skip this chapter.
It was a sunny morning, great for a Saturday of no school. Anne sat up, her bedhead as riled up as ever. She yawned and looked at her clock, it was off, must’ve unplugged at some point. She plugged it in and its numbers lit up, it was one twenty-three. Anne’s eyes widened, she and the others had planned to go to a movie at two-thirty and she wasn’t anywhere near ready. “Oh no!” She exclaimed before falling off the bed with a loud thud.
“Annie, honey? You alright?” Elena yelled from downstairs. Anne quickly got up and dug through her heap of clothes, trying to find something to wear. Her bedroom door creaked open, Elena peeking in. “Annie?”
Annie looked at her. “Mom! Why didn’t you wake me up?” She asked before going back into her piles of clothing. “Annie, why didn’t you set your alarm? You knew you’d have to leave at least thirty or forty minutes before the movie starts to get there in time for trailers…” Elena sighs.
“My alarm was...it doesn’t matter! Have you seen my skates?” Anne throws on a frilly pink and white shirt with some shorts. Elena thought for a moment. “Well...I think I saw them in the hallway closet, but that was a while ago-” Before she could finish, Anne ran past her like a gust of wind, down the stairs. She speeded past Andrea, who was holding her pizza. “Whoa!” She gasped, keeping her plate steady before her food fell off. “Anne!” She huffed. Anne opened the closet and tugged her helmet on and quickly strapped on her skates.
Andrea walked over to the door and opened it. “A little lateness never hurt anyone, Annette~” She teased. “I have never been late a day in my life,” She protested and she slowly rolled out the door. “And I’m not starting today!” She quickly skated off. “Don’t go too fast, Anne!” Andrea yelled before looking over at Elena as she walked down the stairs with Anne’s purse. “Is it just me or has she gotten more serious about being late since her birthday? She didn’t even eat lunch...” Elena asks.
Andrea laughs. “Nah, she’s always been like that. I believe she got her perfectionist side from you, love.” Elena punched her arm softly as they looked to see Anne skating back for her purse. They smiled and shook their heads.
The movie theatre was a twenty-minute walk but if Anne skated, especially at the speed she was going, She’d practically make it there in five. She passed Ms. Taysha as she tended to her flowers outside her shop. She quickly waved before focusing back on the path. She was almost there. Eren, Jena, and Theo stood near Timothy’s ice cream shop, just across from the theatre parking lot. Anne lit up, she made record time and got some ice cream too.
A few hours later, the four walked out of the theatre, Eren stuffed from the hotdogs he wasted all his pocket money on, Anne and Thomas laughing their butts off from the way the movie ended, and Jena who was half asleep since the movie became so bad that at a point, it was boring.
“That was the worst movie ever!” Anne said, finally finishing her laughter. “Yeah, I mean, the Spanish guy couldn’t even pronounce correctly.” Theo sneered. “Come on, if you’re gonna get a non-Spanish guy to pretend to be like me, at least do it correctly! I could do so much better, y, know cause I actually speak Spanish!” Anne patted him on the back. “Maybe Hollywood is scared you might show out a blondie,” Anne said.
Jena stared at Anne and Anne realized. “Sorry, Jena, I mean a blonde guy.” Jena rolled her eyes, smirking. She then looked over at Eren, who looked sick. “Uh, guys? I think Eren is sick…” Jena said, pointing at Eren. “He’s fine, Jen, just ate too much, ain’t that right, Eren?” Theo said, playfully smacking his back. Eren then proceeded to throw up on the lobby floor.
“And it was EVERYWHERE! I mean, he threw so far, it got on Theo!” Anne laughed. It had been about an hour after the barfing incident. Theo took a ride home with Anne and Andrea. Theo had his arms crossed, clearly upset. “Shut up, Anne, it wasn’t that funny.” Theo huffed. “Not as funny as that shirt you’re wearing!” She continued, practically gasping for air. Theo had to take off his sweatshirt and under it, he’d been hiding that he was wearing a t-shirt with the words: Mom’s Lil’ Champ! Theo blushed, angrily. “My mom made me wear this! She said it’s ‘cause my team won the game yesterday…”
Anne stopped laughing but snorted as they made their way home, and in truth, Andrea was smirking a little because of the shirt as well.
As they turned the corner, Anne turned to look at her window. It was fall and you could tell, it was already starting to get dark. She loved the fall, the leaves were pretty colors and she got to constantly annoy her neighbor, Mrs. Weller, but jumping into the pile of leaves she raked up. She’d only lived here a few months and found that she loved it much more than any city.
Her enjoyment, of course, wouldn’t change but her views on certain places soon would. They stopped at the stop sign about fifteen minutes from Theo’s house. Andrea started the turn just as that SUV sped right into them that day. Anne remembered it better than anyone, the flashing of the headlights, the sun setting behind the flowing trees, the single red leaf floating in front of her window, all of it. Like time slowed before everything else came crashing.
She was the only one on the right side of the car that day, the only one with a major injury. She felt herself gasp for air like she had when she laughed about the movie or Theo’s t-shirt. The only thing she could feel was her leg. Everything else felt numb. It felt like her whole body but that leg was gone. At first, she felt alright, her leg was a bit cold but it was okay. Then it hurt. She couldn’t see clearly like her whole body had almost completely shut down. Then she heard her mom.
“Annette, baby, please,” She cried. “Look at me, honey…!” Anne turned her head. She saw her mom’s blurry figure. It was like she was an angel, the light from the sun setting behind her making her somewhat glow. Anne tried to lift her arm but she couldn’t even tell if it was moving. She breathed. “Am I dying, momma…?” She thought. She didn’t have enough strength to speak it. It all went dark after that.