Chapter 1 - New Beginnings
We pulled up to the house, it was three stories, and painted an off-white color, and windows with blue shutters. At the third story of the house, there was a small window.
'Huh, I wonder what that room could be..'
We all got out of the car.
“Would you like the wheelchair?” Emma asked.
“No, but do you guys have some crutches I could use. The wheelchair is just too much.” I replied.
“Of course we do sweetie, let me just grab them from the house.”
“Okay. Thank you.” I replied smiling.
She came back out of the house, a pair of forearm crutches in hand.
“Thank you so much Em.” She smiled.
“What?” I chuckled.
“Your mother used to call me that” She still smiled at me, she was in a daze.
“Y-you knew my mother?”
“Of course! We were close friends from grade school, until her death.” She frowned.
“Oh, do you have pictures or anything?” I asked.
“Yes I do. Do you want to see them?”
“Yes! I-I’d love to.” I smiled.
We walked through the front door, the stairs were on the right as you walked inside, there was a hallway to the left, leading to three rooms. The kitchen, which was on the left, the pantry, on the right. And the bathroom, at the end of the hallway.
And to the right, was the staircase, and another hallway, with two closets, one on the left, and another on the right side.
“Come upstairs Nicci!” Emma yelled, breaking into my thoughts.
“Coming!” I leaned my crutches against the stairs, and made my way slowly up the stairs.
There was a long hallway, on the left the was a hallway with two bedrooms, a child’s room, and Nate and Emma’s room. There was a half bath, with just a shower in it, in the middle of the hallway, in front of where I was standing.
On the right, the was a steep staircase leading up to the room I saw from the outside of the house. Emma walked out from her room to peek out into the hallway.
“In here sweetie.” She said softly.
“Okay” I limped over to her room, and walked in. She was sitting on her bed with a box in her hands.
I sat down next to her as she grazed her hand over the top of the box that was covered in dust. Then, I noticed what she was so focused on, it was a note from my mom that she wrote on top of the box.
Her handwriting was always so beautiful. I couldn’t stop looking at it.
The note read,
″Em, You are my best friend, you’re like a sister to me. No matter how far apart we are in this world, remember that I am always with you.
- Lizzie ’92"
She sniffled. “I brought this box to school on our last day, it was our keepsake box, we put everything in here, she let me keep it because she was moving to Fallsfiance with her fiancé, Henry. Your father. Back then everyone got married young. It was the new norm. I warned her about him, and what he was capable of, but she was so ‘in love’ she couldn’t see straight. In other words, her judgement was clouded. And because of him, my Lizzie is dead.” She started to cry softly.
“Emma, c-can I tell you something?”
“What?” She replied, sniffling.
“My mom, she” I sighed. “I know this sounds crazy, but she’s here, with me.”
“Of course she is, she always will be, in your heart.”
“No, she’s really here. Next to me.”
“Are you okay? Do you need to go lye down?” She was concerned now.
“It’s easier if I just show you.” I sighed.
My mom appeared, visible to Emma’s eyes. Shock and disbelief became plastered on her face as she stared at my mom.
“H-how? This isn’t real.”
“She helped me get out of the coma, and her spirit came out with me, now she is with me wherever I go. It’s like I have my mom back, well, almost..”
“So, sh-she’s here, for real?”
“Yes, I’m here Em.” My mom said.
Emma started crying as she hugged my mom.
“I’m so glad you’re here Lizzie.”
“I missed you so much Em.” She replied.
“Okay. You’ll need to get ready for the celebration today. There’s a room down the hall. You and Ollie can share it.” She smiled.
“Actually,” She stopped and looked at me. “I was wondering if I could have the room upstairs?”
“I didn’t think of that, I guess you could have that room. I’ll go get your things and bring them up to you, okay?”
“Okay, thank you Mo- I mean, Emma.”
She smiled. “It’s okay, you can call me Em, or mom, whatever you feel is right.” She kissed me lightly on the forehead before leaving.
I limped out of the room, and up the staircase to the room - my room - I was so happy, beyond belief.
“My own room. I’ve never had my own room.” I smiled to myself as I took in the surroundings.
It was completely empty, with white walls, and tan carpeting. The ceiling was sloped, leaving a small wall with an outlet on the right side of the room.
“It’s perfect” I whispered.
I walked out of the room, shutting the door behind me, and walked down the stairs. It hurt like hell to walk around without the crutches, or the wheelchair. But I couldn’t go down the stairs with crutches, so I decided to make my way downstairs.
I grabbed my crutches, sighing in relief as all the weight was lifted off of my legs.
Emma came inside with my stuff, it wasn’t a whole lot, but it was just enough.
“I’ll bring your stuff up to your bedroom, then I’ll come back down and help you up the stairs. Just wait here.” She walked up the stairs, my suitcase in her left hand.
I stood there because it took basically everything in me to walk. I started admiring the promise ring on my finger, I twisted it around on my finger reading the words,
′Remember that you are never alone′
It made me smile at the thought of what Ethan’s intentions were upon giving me this ring.
“Hey Nicci,” Ethan yelled running from down the hall, out of his room. “I was just clearing out my room, and I remembered that I was going to give you this.” He pulled out a silver ring, with words engraved on it.
I smiled, and looked at it in awe, it was so beautiful.
“It’s a promise ring, It says, ‘remember that you are never alone’. It symbolizes that I will always be here, and even if I’m not close, you are never alone.” He slipped it on my left ring finger.
“Thank you Ethan. It’s beautiful.”
He scratched the back of his neck. “I’m glad you like it. I had it made for you, my dad payed for it while you were in the coma, I wanted to give it to you after you came back from the hospital, which is why I am giving it to you now, and I am so happy you love it so much.” He smiled.
“But I don’t have anything to give you.” I said nervously.
“You’ve already given me something.”
“What did I give you?” I replied.
“You.” He said, planting a gentle kiss on my lips before walking out the door.
“Alright Nicci, let’s help you up these stairs.” Emma blurted, breaking into my thoughts.
“Thanks Em” I smiled.
“Ah” I hissed in pain, cursing under my breath as I put too much pressure on my right right leg.
“Are you okay sweetie?” She asked
“Yeah” I winced at the pain that shot up my leg.
“Alright, let’s finish getting you up these stairs, and up to your room.”
We continued up the stairs, pain like needles shot up my legs with each step. We finally got up to the second floor.
“Em, I need a minute, it takes a lot out of me trying to walk. I have physical therapy tomorrow, hopefully that will help me.” I sighed, leaning on my crutches.
“Okay sweetie.” She kissed me on the forehead. “Your room doesn’t have a bed or anything up there, but for now you can use the air mattress that I have in my closet. While you rest here, I’ll bring it upstairs, and a pillow and blanket for you, okay?”
“Okay. Thank you.” I smiled.
She walked into her room, and I listened as she rustled through her closet. She came out a few minutes later the air mattress folded up with a folded blanket, and a pillow on top.
I leaned my crutches on the wall next to the stairs, and sat down. My legs were throbbing, and it hurt like hell just to move them. I needed pain medicine bad, but it wasn’t going to be ready for two more days, that means two more days with excruciating pain.
I sighed. "Why do I always have to be in some sort of pain all the time?.." I whispered.
I heard Emma coming down the stairs a few seconds later. She walked up to me, holding her hand out.
"Do you need help?" She smiled.
"Yeah, thanks." I smiled slightly to be polite, wincing in pain as I stood up, using my crutches once again.
We made our way to the stairs, walking up the staircase to the small room - my room - this space belonged to me now, it was where I could talk to Ethan, spend my time alone, drawing, writing, anything I wanted to do, start playing guitar again. Thinking of playing guitar made me remember when I was 12 and on my birthday, my mom bought me my first guitar, I played it all the time, I even took up contests we had in my neighborhood. I was the best in my neighborhood, until that fateful day, when everything burned..
We finally got up the stairs, where the air mattress was filled up, and the head of the bed was pushed up against the wall. There was a white sheet with a gray comforter and white pillows on top. My suitcase was put just under the window, next to the mattress.
"Thank you Em." I smiled, making my way over to my suitcase.
"You're welcome sweetie. You better get ready for the celebration, everyone will be here soon." She smiled.
"Okay, I'll be down in a little bit."
"Alright Nicci." She shut the door, and walked down the stairs.
I sat down on the bed, laying my crutches down next to it. I scooted my suitcase closer to me, opening it up, that's when I saw a card on top of my folded clothes, there were some newer clothes as well.
I opened the card, it said,
All of us here at Happy Home will miss you. You were like a daughter to me, and I can't believe you're going to be gone, I probably won't see you after the celebration kiddo, but I want you to know that no matter the distance, I will always be with you. Please come visit sweetie!
Lots of love, Amanda Jones'
Tears started to well up in my eyes, a smile formed on my face.
"I wish I didn't have to leave you, but now I can finally be happy." I whispered.
I took a deep breathe and wiped the tears away, setting the card under my pillow. I started making my way downstairs, I held my crutches, while I went down the stairs I almost started crying it was so painful.
When I finally got down to the bottom of the stairs, I walked down the stairs to the living room.
I sat down in the living room, on the couch, waiting for everyone to show up.
I may have had a rough ending to my old life, but now I can start new. This is only the beginning...