“Sienna come on, you have to ask Chad, Prom is only a couple of weeks away, and I know for a fact he doesn’t have a date yet. You can’t let your fear stop you from the most important day in our high school careers.” Miranda said, talking so fast she sounded breathless.
“I’m trying to get the courage Miranda, but what if he says no?”
“How are you going to know whether he will say yes or no, if you don’t ask?”
“Shouldn’t he be asking me?”
“You know how shy he is.”
Sienna really liked Chad, and wanted to ask him, wanted him to say yes, but she couldn’t take a crushed heart, not at this point in time. She had enough hurt in her life, enough sleepless nights, but despite that she knew God was good, and somehow she would gain the courage to ask Chad.
Miranda was right if she didn’t ask she would never know, and she might miss out on something great.
“This wasn’t how I expected to be spending my Senior Prom.” Sienna said, admitting to herself and Miranda for the first time in a while that being shot had affected her more than just physically. She was hurt by what happened to her, but what she wasn’t, was allowing grief to eat her up, she was not going to be defined by this.
“I know Sienna, and I am sorry this happened to you, believe me I wish it never had, but it did, and you are proving to yourself and everyone else you are the same person, you just happen to be sitting down, now you need to show that to Chad.”
“Thank you Miranda, I needed that pep talk.”
“I know that’s why I gave it to you.” Miranda said smiling. “What are best friends for if they can’t encourage one another to ask the guys they like out to prom?”
“You have a point there Miranda.” Sienna said smiling. Miranda had a way of making Sienna see that everything was going to be okay, that this didn’t have to mean the end. She was thankful for that, because the truth was sometimes she needed that.
“I will ask him Miranda, but there is more to why I am nervous, than what you think.”
“What do you mean?”
“Now’s not the place or time, but come over after school and I will talk to you then. I hope it doesn’t change what you think of me though.”
“Sienna your scaring me, but I promise no matter what we are best friends forever.”
“Don’t worry I am okay, but maybe when I tell you, you will understand a little better.”
“Okay Sienna, but please do not let yourself think anything could change what I think of you. We are best friends for life, don’t you ever forget that.”
“Thank you Sienna.”
I can’t keep letting what happened to me in the past dictate the way I live now. I can’t keep being fearful. I am afraid of something I don’t remember more than I am afraid of what happened to me at the beginning of the school year. I was shot and that is less terrifying than something I know that happened, that I do not remember.
The memories were starting to come back though, the toys, the lights, the smell, a mixture of Aftershave and cheap cologne. As a little girl the smell made her want to gag.
Lord I am so tired of being dictated by this. I am not a victim, so why am I allowing myself to become just that. I want to show others that they can overcome, but I am having trouble overcoming something that happened to me years ago. Being shot wasn’t as bad as this.
She gave herself a minute to pull her thoughts together, before Sienna wheeled herself to her next class. Math, it was her least favorite subject on a good day, and today she had no idea how she was going to focus, but she was going to have to. She was going to maintain a high GPA despite the months she had missed, she had worked hard for it and was not about to let something that happened to her a long time ago. She had to focus and get her mind on what was happening now.
Lord I don’t like the way I am letting this get to me, I know what happened to me was horrible, but allowing myself to stop living because of it is not going to do me any good, and yet here I am afraid of my own shadow. Afraid to ask someone who I know is a good guy to the prom. I have known him from years, and it is a heck of a lot more than this chair that is stopping me. I know he doesn’t think any differently about me now, than he did before I was shot, but if he knew what happened to me before, he might think differently, he might look at me differently and I am not sure I am ready to face that.
Sienna was starting to feel like she had a scarlet letter tattooed on her forehead. She could not continue letting her life be defined by this. The memories, why were they coming back now, during her senior year?
She knew the answer, it was because the man was out of prison and being allowed what he had done before, let out on a technicality, and because of that he had not had to register on Megan’s list, it wasn’t right, but the injustice had happened, and if something wasn’t done it was going to happen again.
As Mister Maxwell went on about the upcoming math final, Sienna’s mind was in a different place, it was focused on two things, getting the courage to ask Chad to the prom, and something far more serious, making sure the person who hurt her and Kelsea was no longer allowed to hurt anyone else.
Finally, mercifully the final bell rang, and Sienna found herself waiting for Miranda, Kelsea had been given their Mom’s station wagon for the day, their Mother had furniture to pick up in the truck and was afraid she would not be back in time, this was the perfect time to tell Miranda about what had happened, well as perfect as time there can be.
“This isn’t going to be easy to talk about.” Sienna said, as they sat in her room, Miranda sat on her bed cross legged as they had done a thousand times before. Kelsea was in the room too, because she remembered more and agreed to give her sister the moral support she needed.
“What is it Sienna? Are you okay? You’re not sick or anything are you?” Miranda asked, fearing what her best friend would tell her. She had almost lost her once, when she was shot, she was not ready to face something like that again.
“No I’m not sick Miranda, don’t worry about that, what I wanted to talk to you about, to tell you is about something that happened to me a long time ago. I had completely blocked it out until recently and then after the trauma of being shot, something triggered something to give me a few memories of what happened to me, what happened to Kelsea.”
Sienna went on, recounting as best as she could, what she had went through as a young girl, Kelsea filling in.
Miranda sat, sick to her stomach, stunned by it all.
Lord I hope I did not lose my best friend, because I told her this. I hope she doesn’t think any differently of me.
“Sienna, I am sorry. I don’t know what else to say, but I am sorry, that must have been horrible. I want you to know that doesn’t change anything though, you are still my best friend, I told you nothing would change that, and you are still the most amazing person I know.”
“I was so afraid you would think I was some kind of freak.” Sienna said, wiping the tears from her eyes, the tears dripping down her face with a tissue. “I was afraid you would never want to talk to me again. I know I should have known better, and I am sorry for thinking that, but I couldn’t help how I was feeling, what was going through my mind. I am sorry for being so stupid.”
“Sienna you are not stupid, don’t call my best friend names, you are amazing. You have overcome so much and this does not change what I think of you, other than to make me think you are even more amazing. I am sorry it happened to you, and it makes me sick just thinking about it, but not because of anything you said or did, just because someone would hurt you and Kelsea like that.”
“I should have told you earlier, but I was afraid, and the truth was it wasn’t until after being shot that any of those memories started coming back, I just did not know how to put them in words.”
“Sienna it’s okay, you told me now and now I understand why you are so afraid to talk to Chad, but you know he is not like that right?”
“Yeah I do, but I am afraid I am going to get that way around any guy until I let this thing go.”
“Sienna this is not something you can just let go, maybe you should talk to someone, what happened to you and Kelsea is traumatic, it might be a good idea to look into a support group or something.”
“I’ve thought about it, but was too afraid to pursue it, and I can’t do this alone.”
“Sienna we are with you, through this, I am and Kelsea is, Kelsea lived through it with you.”
“I know and that’s the worst part of it all.”
“I’m sorry Sienna.” Miranda said still crying, for all her best friend had been through, for all Kelsea had been through, they were family to her, and some monster had taken something from them that they could never get back.
“It’s not your fault Miranda, but I appreciate you being here for me and not running away when I told you.”
“Sienna you are stuck with me for life.”
“Good, best friends forever that’s the way I want it to be.”
“That’s the way it is.”
Miranda stayed with Sienna and Kelsea for the weekend, not wanting to leave her best friend alone, afraid of the memories, she could here Sienna crying out sometimes at night, and knew that was when the dreams haunted her, and it tore at heart. She felt so helpless to do anything for her best friend, though Sienna and Kelsea both insured her she was doing plenty just by being there.
“Miranda I am really glad you are here with us, that you have stuck beside us through me being shot, through all of this.”
“Sienna you and Kelsea are like sisters to me.”
“We feel the same way about you.”
“I want you to know that if it ever gets so bad, the dreams that you need someone to talk to, I don’t care what time it is call me.”
“Thank you Miranda.”
“You are more than welcome, I am here for you and for Kelsea.”
“I know you are, and I am glad.”
“I am also going to help you find the courage to ask Chad. I don’t know how but I will figure something out, or I will give him a subtle hint to ask you.”
“Thank you, I don’t know how that will stop me from feeling what I am feeling, but thank you. I know you are right. I am going to be okay Miranda, I want you to know that, and I am going to try to find someone to talk to.”
“I’ll help you.”
“Thank you Miranda, I don’t think Kelsea or I could do this alone.”