“I want to hear everything Chandra.” I told my best friend at lunch Monday
morning. She had told me a little bit on Sunday after Church but I wanted to know more.
“Alright Shana, alright.”
“Did you have a good time?”
“Yes a very good time.”
“Was Jeff all you believed he would be?”
“All of that and more.”
I smiled at my friend, glad she had a good time. Glad that she did not find
someone that was good to her, and I was glad that she had not been blinded by love like I
was. We had known Jeff for awhile, and he never proved to be a jerk unlike Chad.
“I wish you could have been there Shana, it was great. It was all that we ever
imagined. I felt like a princess. I’m afraid that some of the kids needed to hear what
happened to you though, because they were talking about drinking afterwards.”
That I hated to hear. I did not want another family to be hurt over a tragedy. No
one needed to go through what I went through, or worse. I knew compared to some
others who got in the car with someone drinking I was lost, and sometimes it was
innocent people who died, because a drunk crashed into them.
“I wish this didn’t happen, but I am afraid it does. I was hoping people would
learn from my mistake.”
“Sometimes people have to make mistakes of their own, before they learn.”
“Unfortunately I know that is true .”
I wondered how the mood had so quickly changed.
“Keep telling people about what’s happened to you, and I think people will listen
to you, you just have to keep talking to them, telling them what you’ve been through.”
“I know, but it still hurts to think that people are putting themselves in the kind of
situation I put myself in.”
I looked at my friend again, and could see she was still thinking about Jeff and the
Prom. I wanted to hear more about the night, and I wanted to hear the details.
“Where did Jeff take you to eat before Prom.”
“Luigi’s.” Chandra said smiling. I had heard of the high style Italian Restaurant,
and Mom and I had gone down there several times but I had never been taken with a date.
Chad certainly never took me anywhere fancier than the pizza parlor, and even that was a
“Wow, Chandra, that’s great. I have only been there with my Mom.”
“I didn’t think Chad would take you anywhere like that.”
“Yeah I guess you saw how he could be.”
“Shana I would have to be blind not to see the way he treated you.”
“Well I am glad Jeff isn’t that way.”
“So am I, he was so amazing he came in and talked to Mom while I got ready, and
he got me a matching corsage, and he even got me the cutest teddy bear, and a dozen
roses, I felt like a princess Shana, it was so awesome. It just felt right dancing with him,
being with him. He’s a Christian and that’s the best part of all.”
“ I am glad you deserved this, you deserved to be loved like that. I’m glad Jeff
asked you to the prom, and did everything for you that he did.”
“You deserved to be loved like that too Shana, you deserved to be treated like a
“I don’t know about that, but thank you for saying so.”
Chandra and I sat in silence for a few more minutes. Chandra probably thinking
about the prom and how her night with Jeff was, and I was trying not to focus on the fact
that I had missed the Prom. I was trying to think of more positive things to focus on like
the fact that I had made it through most of the semester and had been able to catch up on
my work despite all the school I had missed. I was happy to find out that I had kept up
despite everything. If everything went well the next June I would be graduating with my
class and that made me happy.
Despite the fact that I had missed the prom I was happy to hear that Chandra had
such a wonderful time. I could tell she was enjoying telling me about Chandra and I was
happy to know that she wanted to share these moments with me. It was good to be able
to hear at least she had a good time, and that she had been happy. I had tried to be happy,
but it had not been easy staying at home the night of the Prom while everyone else was
having a good time, dancing and being with their dates.
“Shana are you okay?”
“I’m okay.” I said. “I just had a lot on my mind.”
“Are you sure?”
“You got awfully quiet.”
“Like I said I was just thinking.”
I didn’t mean to sound snappish but even to my own ears it sounded that way to
“I’m sorry Chandra, I sounded rude.”
“It’s okay you’ve had a lot on your mind lately.”
“That’s still no excuse for me being rude to you.”
“You don’t have to apologize. I really am happy you had such a good time with
Jeff, I am glad you were able to go.”
“I missed having you there though, I missed being able to share in the moment
with my best friend.”
“I missed being there.”
Chapter Twenty Eight:
It was hard to believe that school was soon going to be closing, and Chandra and I
would be Seniors instead of Juniors. It was going to be our last year of high school and
I knew the year was going to be a bittersweet one, but my junior year had been one too.
This school year had been one that brought a lot of changes and sorrows, but I had
learned from these lessons as well, and I prayed that I would be able to touch others and
prevent them from making the mistakes I made.
“It’s strange that we only have one school year left.”
“Yeah it is, but it’s going to be even stranger when we graduate next year.” I
pointed out to Chandra.
“It’s just hard to believe that we were facing our last year of childhood, our last
year of high school.”
“I know, and we think we’re going to feel weird about it, wait until our Mom’s
see us at graduation.” Chandra said smiling. I knew she was right, our Mom’s would be
a mess on our graduation day, and they would both have a right to be, because we had
both almost not made it to graduation, I had made a stupid decision that had nearly
caused me my life, and Chandra had battled cancer when we were younger, and she had
been so sick for awhile that everyone worried she might not make it.
“I guess they have a right to be happy, we put them through a lot.”
“I guess we did.”
In a few days we would face finals, but I had managed to keep up somehow, and I
wasn’t to worried, although I hated tests I was pretty sure I would do okay. I could not let
myself get worried sick over tests for one thing I knew that could not be good for me, for
another I had been studying so I was pretty certain that I would pass.
“Are you ready for finals?” I asked Chandra.
“Yeah, we’ve been studying together so I think we are both going to be okay
when it comes to the tests.”
“Good, me too. It’s just hard to believe we only have one more year of high
“Are you going to college?” Chandra asked.
“Yeah, I’m going, I think Miss Rouseau was right, I think I am going to try to be
a teacher. She helped me see that with being a teacher using your brain is more important
than what you can and can’t do with your arms or legs.”
“I’ll miss Miss Rouseau when we leave here.” Chandra said. “I think we need
more teachers like Miss Rouseau.”
“I think so too.”
Chandra looked at me the look of concern on her face again, almost as if she
could see what I was thinking, which was I was going to be facing graduation in a year
and I would not be able to walk down the stadium. It was something small to others,
something they didn’t think about, but the thought had been with me since the accident.
“Are you thinking about graduation?” Chandra asked.
“How did you know?”
“Because we’re best friends, and because I can see that you are upset. It was bad
enough you missed prom, but now you’re thinking about not being able to walk up to the podium to get your diploma aren’t you? I know it’s a year away, but it’s normal to think
about it, especially after all you have been through.”
“I just feel silly worrying about it, feeling the way I do about it. I should be
happy to be able to make it to graduation. I should be celebrating what I have.”
“Shana you can’t always be happy even the Bible says there is a time and season
for everything under the sun.”
“I know Chandra, but lately I feel like I’ve been focusing more on the negative or
at least that’s what it seems.”
“Have you talked about this with Charlotte?”
“Yeah, she says what you say, it’s normal to feel a little depressed
sometimes, but I have to give my worries to the Lord. I have been but it always seems I
think of a new worry, something else to focus on, and I start feeling down again.”
I was tired of feeling so down. I wanted to feel happier again. I wanted to focus
more on the positive things like the fact that I was here, and I was about to finish my
junior year of high school. I had survived a crash that could have easily killed me and yet
I was focusing on the negative things.
Lord I have so many positive things to thank you for, so why is it, I am focusing
on what’s negative here. Yes I lost my ability to walk, and most of the movement in my
arms but I am alive Lord, and you have a plan and purpose for my life. I have so many
positive things in my life, so many good things, I have a family who cares about me, and I
have friends that care about me Lord, and I have you to lean on Lord, that’s the most
important aspect of this all.
I felt a sense of peace wash over me after praying. It was as if the Lord was
telling me I was going to be alright. I had made it this far, and I was going to make it farther.
“Are you okay Shana?”
“Actually I am feeling a lot better Chandra, I guess praying does a lot for a
“I know it does.”
Chandra and I let a silence fall over us for a few minutes. We were both lost in
our own thoughts and our own prayers. We had a lot to think about and a lot to thank
God for. I was thankful that I had a good Christian friend, a friend who stuck beside me
no matter what happened. She was the only friend who had come to the hospital
everyday to visit me. She and Mom made those days in the hospital a little more bearable,
and she was the friend who didn’t think of me as less of a person because of the crash,
because I was paralyzed and she wouldn’t let me think any less of myself anymore.
I wondered why more people weren’t like Chandra. I knew that true friends,
friends that would stick beside you no matter what were hard to find, and they were
hard to find, especially friends who would stick beside you even after treating them
horribly, after an accident turns your life upside down. If everyone had a friend like that,
I knew the world would be a better place to live.
Despite everything I have been through in the past year the Lord was opening my
eyes to my blessings and suddenly the things that mattered to be before seemed less
important than before. I was suddenly beginning to understand the things that mattered
most, which was of course faith, family and friends. Everything else wasn’t as important
as it was before.
“I’m kind of getting excited about this, in a few days we will no longer be
Juniors.” Chandra said, breaking the silence.
“It is exciting isn’t it.” It was not a question, but a statement.
“It doesn’t seem like very long ago that we were little girls playing with dolls.”
“I guess it wasn’t so long ago that we were little girls, but I guess time does fly.
And we are both blessed to be here.”
“Yes we are. I was scared that I was going to loose you when you were in the
“I remember being afraid like that, when I found out you had cancer. We were so
young then and it was so scary.”
“It’s pretty scary when you get older too.”
“The Lord had a plan for us though, so we are here.”
“I’m glad we are, and I am glad we’ve been friends for all these years.”
“So am I, I really don’t know what I would have done without your friendship.”
“I don’t know what I would do without your friendship either. I have depended
so much on you, and you’ve stuck by me through everything, even when I was a jerk to
“I knew you didn’t really mean the things you said, I knew that you were just
afraid to see what we saw in Chad.”
“I don’t know if I was afraid or if I was just upset about it.”
Chandra and I spent more time after school studying during the few days before finals but it not only was studying we focused on, but she talked about Jeff, and I talked again about my dreams of being a teacher, a dream I had thought had died when the impact of the crash had paralyzed me but Miss Rouseau had showed me otherwise.
Maybe I really could be a good teacher, maybe I should go to college and achieve my
dreams. I probably wouldn’t be able live in a dorm room or anything, but at least I was
able to go to college.
“You know we could still do what we talked about before.” Chandra said. It was
as if my expressions gave away what I was thinking about.
“Chandra be practical, I need to much help, how would you be able to do that and
study for your classes and everything.”
“Shana I think I know what I can handle and what I can’t handle.”
“Chandra it’s embarrassing having to have my best friends help with almost every
aspect of my personal needs.”
“Shana you’re getting stronger, someday you may be able to pretty much take
care of yourself.”
“I want to believe that, but sometimes I’m afraid to, because I am afraid of getting
my hopes up only to have them crushed again.”
“I thought you were trying to look at the positive side of things.”
“I am Chandra, but I’ve got to remain practical too.”
“It’s okay to have hope.”
“I know that in my heart, but sometimes in my mind I am afraid to believe that.”
A week and a half later Chandra and I found ourselves saying goodbye to the
teachers for the summer, and praying that we had did as well on the finals as we thought we would. I also had to take the time to say thank you to Miss Rouseau because she had been so good to me and had helped me to see that I could still make something of my life, the fact that I couldn’t walk, and could barely use my arms didn’t mean I couldn’t think and couldn’t dream, and Chandra had been right, I was getting stronger and after we finished our senior year Chandra and I would be going off to college together, probably being roommates, if Chandra didn’t marry Jeff first, but she had always said she had wanted to finish college before she got married. Another thing I had to be thankful for was the fact that I had a summer that I wouldn’t have to worry about Chad, at least I hope he would be out of my life for the summer and for my life. He was suppose to graduate that year but his behavior may not have let him graduate.