Stephanie’s Last Date

The very next morning, Zack opened his eyes and saw Stephanie’s mother standing over him as he lay in the bed with her daughter still holding her. Her mother looked down upon her lifeless still daughter with a tear in her eye. Stephanie’s face was black and blue from the bruising she sustained in the accident. Her father sat on the other side of the bed just staring at his daughter’s lifeless body.

Her mother asked if there had been any issues during the night and Zack had replied, “there was no change at all”. She grabbed her daughter’s hand and told her to come back to us. Zack leaned down next to Stephanie’s head and whispered to her how much he loved her and wanted her to come back. After speaking to her, Zack felt the slightest squeeze from her hand and quickly looked at her face before saying anything to her parents. She still laid there lifeless and still but she did in fact lightly squeeze his hand letting him know she was still there with them. Zack looked up to her mother and informed her that Stephanie did in fact lightly squeeze his hand. At that moment, there seemed to be hope that Stephanie would return it was just a matter of time and healing.

They all sat around her talking to her now knowing that she was there listening. Her mother teary-eyed but smiling with hope that she will soon be talking to her daughter again. Her father was hopeful as he sat there holding his daughter’s other hand and talking to her. Zack felt warmth in his heart for Stephanie and thinking about the good times and conversations that they shared. From that moment he knew what he had to do. He knew he had to take care of her and love her.

The day went on, but no response from Stephanie of her waking up. Everyone stayed hopeful and were there to comfort her. Stephanie’s parents told Zack to go take a break and get something to eat while they sat with her. He agreed, but before leaving her side he leaned down and kissed her chapped and dry lips. Stephanie’s mother noticed that her lips were dry too so she pulled out some moisturizer and applied it to her daughter’s lips. Zack then left the hospital room and headed for the cafeteria to get a bite to eat.

While down in the cafeteria, Zack sat eating while thinking of nothing but Stephanie. He had a sense of responsibility for her and her well-being. He felt nothing but love for her and that he was falling in love with her. Stephanie brought something to Zack that he had never felt and that was that he needed her. She made him feel alive and worth something. After eating and before leaving his table, Zack made a promise to himself that when Stephanie leaves the hospital, he would take care of her for the rest of her life.

Once he finished his drink, Zack was headed back up to Stephanie’s room where he left her parents by her side. He walked in and found her parents excited because Stephanie had squeezed her mother’s hand. Zack’s face lit up and hurried to her side kissing her lips once more. He then pulled up a chair and sat next to her mother staring at her face telling her to wake up. There was no response. Again, Zack told her to wake up for him. This time, everyone saw eye movement under her closed eyelids. Stephanie was showing signs that she was coming back to them. Everyone just there waiting and watching.

About an hour later, while Zack and her parents were talking, Stephanie began moving her fingers as if they were stiff. Zack noticed it right away and stood up grabbing her hand. Her parents stood up next to her bedside and watched with suspense. Zack felt her hand grab his and hold it as she tried to open her eyes. Her face was still a little swollen which made it somewhat difficult for her to open them. Zack began talking to her to let her know he was there with her. A few minutes later, Stephanie began opening her eyes and staring at Zack until she could get her bearings. Her mother smiled as she too began talking to Stephanie. Stephanie looked over at her mother and smiled. Her father began talking to her as she looked over at him.

While her parents stood there talking to their daughter, Zack ran out into the hall calling for a doctor. One came from down the hall at the nurse’s station and walked into the room with Zack. The doctor saw that Stephanie, in fact, had her eyes open but could not speak yet. The doctor examined her and informed her parents that he wanted to run a few scans to make sure everything was alright. They agreed and soon Stephanie was rushed off to get an MRI and brain scan done. Everyone sat in her room waiting and expressing how happy and relieved they were.

About forty-five minutes later, Stephanie was being brought back into the room to her awaiting family. She was fully awake and alert, just not speaking. A few minutes later, the doctor came into the room and was to inform the family of Stephanie’s results. The doctor stated that while Stephanie was alert and awake she did, in fact, sustain some brain damage. She is awake, can hear, see, and understand, but due to her injuries, she is not able to form words or speak.

After hearing this, her parents asked the doctor if she will ever be able to speak? The doctor did state that “no, she will never speak again”. Not only was Stephanie paralyzed from the chest down, she would never be able to speak or form words or sentences again. That was a shock to everyone but they did remind each other how she manage to still be alive and they took thanks for that. Their daughter was injured and sustained brain damage but she was alive and that made them happy.

Stephanie looked over at Zack and frowned with a sad face because she would never be able to speak to him or take walks with him and this hurt Zacks heart but he still felt drawn to her. He grabbed her hand and leaned down to kiss her. After his lips parted from hers and he was standing back up, Stephanie gave him a big smile and her face lit up staring at him. Her father leaned down afterward and placed a kiss on his daughter’s forehead telling her not to worry they will manage. She gave her father a great big smile and grabbed his hand squeezing it. After giving them the news, the doctor informed them that they want Stephanie to remain in the hospital for a few more days for observation and to make preparations for her release. Stephanie’s parents thanked the doctor before he left the room and then sat with their daughter talking to her and catching her up on what has been happening.

Her mother grabbed Stephanie’s hand and began telling her about Ruby. Stephanie got really upset and began to cry. Her parents with Zack tried to comfort her through her grief. Even though Stephanie could not speak you could see it in her face how distraught and saddened she was. It was difficult to issue her such bad news especially with what is going on with her. She was strong and Zack knew this but he comforted her along with her parents. It would definitely be a difficult journey for Stephanie but Zack wanted to be there with her for every moment of it. Every step she took, he would be there holding her hand.

It would be a few days before they released Stephanie to her parents, so they took shifts so she wouldn’t be left alone. Zack insisted on taking the night shift to spend time with her since everyone had jobs. He could sleep there in the hospital room with Stephanie and work his job during the day and her parents would be able to work and then visit with her during the evenings. Her mother took time off from work to spend the days with her where they could do girl things and chat, even though it would be mostly a one-sided conversation. Everything was set and planned out and everyone knew what their role was in helping Stephanie regain her life back.

The next morning, when Stephanie’s mother came to spend the day with her, a nurse noticed how it was straining for her mother to talk to Stephanie without a definite response. She felt bad for them and so she went down the hall and came back with a black chalkboard about two feet by two feet with some chalk. She handed it to Stephanie and told her to use it to talk to her mother. Stephanie’s mother was so pleased by the nice gesture and thanked the nurse right away. The nurse replied, “it was no problem”.

After the nurse left the room, Stephanie began writing words and sentences to her mother so they were able to keep a line of communication open. Stephanie was still sore and banged up from the accident but she was recovering very well. She would use the chalkboard to talk to everyone who came into the room. Her mother was very pleased with her daughter’s progress and couldn’t wait to take her home.

That evening, her father came in with dinner for the three of them and sat with his daughter feeding her because she still found it hard to move her arms due to the paralysis. He somewhat enjoyed feeding his daughter and talking to her while they ate. He told her how his day went and the things he did just to give her something to know. The doctor said she sustained enough brain damage that sometimes her thoughts, words, or memory might be affected. They just had to be patient with her and give her time to heal and then they will make a definite prognosis on her damage.

After sitting and eating with Stephanie, her parents sat talking with her about the accident. She tried to remember as much as she could but not a whole lot made sense to her because of the damage she sustained. It was agitating her because she was trying so hard to remember things almost to the point of becoming frustrated. Stephanie’s parents could see her frustration and tried to change the subject until she looked up and there was Zack standing in the doorway with roses.

Stephanie’s face lit up as she smiled at him. He smiled back at her and walked over handing her the roses and leaning down to kiss her lips. Her parents were happy to see how happy Stephanie was with Zack. They could tell deep down that Zack cared deeply for her and that brought them great joy and an easiness over them. They sat back and watched how Zack was with her and how happy he made her.

They went ahead and said their goodbyes for the evening and left Stephanie in Zacks care for the night. He climbed into the bed with her and wrapped his arm around her neck carefully. Her neck would be broken until it heals in another five weeks but she has a cervical collar on to help support her neck. He sat there with her watching television and giving the nurses a hard time when they came in to give Stephanie medication. Stephanie would just lay against him so secure and safe until she fell asleep from the medication.

Every night he would fall asleep with her in his arms until the next morning when waking to see her mother taking over. Stephanie’s mother and Zack started to bond a little more every day because of the way he makes her daughter feel. After helping Stephanie eat her breakfast, Zack kissed her before heading out the door to go to work. Every time he would leave he would always say something to make her smile before walking out the door and leaving her in her mother’s hands.

That evening when Zack came in to take over his shift with Stephanie, he noticed the doctor standing in front of him with his back to him. When the doctor turned around, there was Stephanie sitting in a wheelchair made for someone who was quadriplegic. They had brought in this wheelchair for Stephanie to use when she goes home tomorrow. Zack walked up to Stephanie, squatted down in front of her, and leaned in kissing her and saying hello. Stephanie would just smile at him. Zack asked if she was alright and she acknowledged him by smiling. Her parents were there happy for Stephanie to be going home tomorrow.

The doctor wanted to make sure she would be well equipped to use the chair and to give her all her instructions. He finally left the room and things got back to normal with the visiting. Everyone watched as Stephanie moved about the room in her new chair and were very pleased with the results. Stephanie was now mobile and her only issue would be that of getting in and out of the chair. Someone would have to help her, even to go to the bathroom. Things had to scheduled and planned out for her arrival home and continuing for the rest of her life.

Everyone sat around and discussed how they were going to approach this matter and Stephanie banged on her chalkboard to get someone’s attention. When they looked over at her, she had the question posted on her chalkboard asking about their third date. Zack had almost forgotten to tell her. He sat down next to her and told her that they had their third date right there in the hospital room. He explained everything they did and what they talked about and she just smiled. After talking for a while longer her parents went ahead and headed for home kissing Stephanie’s forehead before leaving the room.

That night, Zack and Stephanie stayed up quite late talking and watching television together before medication time and Stephanie falling asleep. Her bruises were diminishing and a lot of the swelling has gone down, so she was feeling pretty good at that point. She lay asleep in Zack’s arms waiting for tomorrow to come. Zack was so excited for her homecoming that his anxiety kept him awake all night.

The very next morning while Zack was helping Stephanie eat, her parents arrived all happy and chipper knowing that their daughter was going home today. Stephanie just smiled at them and her face lit up. Once she was done eating, her parents helped her into her clothes that she would wear home. Zack had never seen Stephanie undressed so he excused himself politely out of the room until they were done. Everything was then set up and ready for her discharge. Stephanie was helped into her chair and her things were packed up and the nurse came in to escort them to the front door downstairs.

Once they got outside, Stephanie noticed the platform on the back of her parent’s car. She seemed a little hesitant at first, but then Zack just reminded her that it’s for her chair only. She smiled and they walked up to the car. Zack helped her father put Stephanie inside the car before taking the wheelchair around to the back of the car. They got everything taken care of and Zack followed them home to help get Stephanie out of the car.

Zack was so patient and caring with Stephanie even in her condition. Her mother took notice of how protective he was of Stephanie. She admired his spirit and made sure that he knew this. Stephanie’s parents asked Zack if he would like to stay a few days with Stephanie to help her adjust to things? His reply was, “it would be an honor”. So Stephanie’s parents brought the roll-away bed into Stephanie’s room for Zack to sleep on. He was busy helping Stephanie get situated and found the new chalkboard her parents bought for her. You could just see the look of serenity on Stephanie’s face now that she was home. Her parents were informed that she would be attending physical therapy three times a week to keep her muscles from atrophy. She needed to be on a special diet for a while due to her body needing to heal some more.

Those first few days were awkward for Stephanie and Zack, with all her medications, feedings, bathing, and not to mention changing her clothes. Stephanie’s mother did the whole taking a bath with Stephanie while Zack helped out with feedings and simple things. One day, Stephanie had an accident on herself and her parents were out getting groceries since Stephanie had to be on a specific diet. He couldn’t leave her to sit there in her own mess, so he talked to her first to make sure she would be comfortable with him changing her clothes. She wrote on her chalkboard telling him that she trusts him to do the right thing and nothing naughty. He just laughed for a minute and then shook his head yes he will behave himself.

Zack stood up and leaned over picking Stephanie up and placing her on her bed. First, he undressed her slowly to not make her uncomfortable, then he reached over to the table by the bed and grabbed some baby wipes that her mother bought to clean her up with. He was very gentle with her while cleaning her up and he wasn’t making any comments about her naked body. He did tell her that she had a beautiful body as he caressed her gently. She smiled at him and as he was dressing her back in clean clothes, her parents walked in.

Zack informed them that she had an accident on herself and he couldn’t leave her like that, so he cleaned her up and put fresh clothes on her. Stephanie’s mother shrugged her shoulders smiling and telling Zack that he fails to amaze her. Her father walked in and helped Zack get Stephanie back into her chair. Once she was organized, they went into the kitchen and put away the groceries. While Stephanie wasn’t in the room, Zack asked her parents if he could talk to them?

They sat at the kitchen table and asked Zack what he wanted to talk about? First, Zack informed them that he had feelings for their daughter, so much that he couldn’t see his life without her in it. He explained that he wanted to take care of her for the rest of her life. Her father interrupted him by saying, “are you going to ask us what I think you’re going to ask?”. Zack looked her father in the eyes and said, “yes, I want to marry Stephanie”. Stephanie’s mother broke out into tears of joy but had to control herself because of what he was asking.

Stephanie’s father reminded him of her condition and that she would require around the clock care. Zack informed them that he had taken into consideration all that it entailed. He knew what he was asking and knew what it meant as far as their lives together. He wanted to make Stephanie as happy as she has made him the past few months. He wants to spend his life with her and take care of her.

Stephanie’s parents looked at each other and discussed all the options before making a decision to allow Zack to marry Stephanie. Zack wanted to keep it a secret for now but thanked them both for their blessing. He sat with them explaining how he wanted to surprise her. They all agreed on the plans and then went into the other room where Stephanie was watching television. Zack walked around in front of her and knelt down in front of her. When she looked at him with her bright eyes, he asked her if she would accompany him on a fourth date? Stephanie looked at him and then made this sad face because she couldn’t possibly go out with him in her condition. She wrote on her chalkboard telling him “no”. Zack was disappointed by her response but explained to her how they could go out on a date.

Stephanie had this puzzled look on her face as Zack described everything to her and her parents agreed with Zack. She erased her board and wrote another message to Zack telling okay. He was so happy that he leaned forward and kissed her so passionately. Her parents were excited for her and it would do her some good to get out and enjoy herself. They made plans for the two to go out and Stephanie’s dad made reservations at a nice restaurant for them. Everything was set and it was time for bed. Zack went with Stephanie to her room and he picked her up gently placing her on her bed and getting her tucked in. Her parents came in and kissed her goodnight before heading to their room. Zack got her tucked in and kissed her one last time before handing her medications to her. He helped her with the water and then sat with her until she went to sleep. He got up and walked over to the roll-away bed and laid down falling fast asleep.

The next morning, everyone woke up to a fresh feeling having had a good night sleep. Zack woke up Stephanie and got her dressed and into her chair. They went into the kitchen where her parents were and sat at the table to enjoy breakfast. While eating, they enjoyed each other’s conversation and spending time with Stephanie at home. Her mother stated that she would have to get Stephanie ready for her date this evening but had some shopping to do first. She decided that Stephanie should go shopping with her to get out of the house. Zack agreed to go to help with Stephanie plus he had some shopping of his own to do. So, they finished breakfast and headed out the door for some shopping.

When they got downtown, Zack helped get Stephanie out of the car and into her chair. Her mother went with Stephanie towards the shopping center entrance while Zack headed for the jewelry store on the next block. He walked inside and began browsing for a wedding ring for Stephanie. It took all of about.forty-five minutes to find the perfect ring. Once he found it, he paid for it and headed out the door back to the shopping center to meet up with the ladies.

He ran into them coming out of the store and helped them with their bags. He got Stephanie back into the car and secured her chair at the rear of the car and they were headed back home. Once they got home, Stephanie’s father was waiting to help with the bags as well as his daughter. Zack and her father got Stephanie back into her chair before pulling the bags out of the back seat. They went inside and her mother took her into her room to change for their date.

First, she got Stephanie into the bathroom and called for someone to help get Stephanie into the tub. Zack was too embarrassed so her father went in to help. They got her bathed and redressed, and back into her chair. Stephanie’s mother grabbed a brush and began grooming her daughter’s hair. Stephanie was enjoying the attention and was happy at how pretty her mother was making her. When they were done, Stephanie and her mother came out of the room to show off her new look.

Zack stood up and turned around to see a beautiful Stephanie sitting there with her hair done, makeup on, and the new dress her mother bought for her today. He walked over to her and knelt before her telling her she looked beautiful. She gave him a very big smile before he kissed her lips. Zack could smell the aromatic perfume she was wearing and looked over to her mother and said she smells great. Stephanie’s mother smiled and said, “thank you”.

They were all ready to go out and her parents were going with them but sitting at another table in case something goes wrong. They climbed back into the car with everyone dressed nicely and headed for the restaurant. Stephanie was enjoying the ride and being out of the hospital. Her father looked back at her and rolled her window down a little so she could feel the cool air on her face. He saw such a glow in his daughter and couldn’t wait until Zack pops the question.

They arrived at the restaurant and got Stephanie out of the car. Zack walked beside her with her arm in his. They walked into the restaurant and got to their tables. Stephanie and Zack sat at one side of the restaurant while her parents were on the other side. They had a clear view of their daughter and Zack just to keep an eye on them. After ordering their dinner, Zack began telling Stephanie how much he cares for her and loves taking care of her. Stephanie had her chalkboard and began writing a message. When she showed it to him it said, “I don’t want to be a burden to you”. Zack reassured her that she was not a burden. Their meal arrived and he was sitting close enough that he could enjoy his meal plus feed Stephanie.

They enjoyed their meal together and then Zack made the comment to Stephanie how this would be their last date together. A frown came over Stephanie’s face but Zack caught her from getting upset by getting up out of his chair and kneeling in front of her and producing a diamond ring while asking her to marry him. Stephanie couldn’t take her eyes off of the pretty ring and then began smiling. She looked over at her parents who were smiling and her dad giving her the thumbs up.

She looked at Zack and smiled, then went to her chalkboard and wrote the words, “yes”. Zack was so happy that he leaned forward and kissed Stephanie. Her parents came over and hugged their daughter and then hugged Zack and welcomed him to the family properly. Zack then slipped the pretty ring onto Stephanie’s finger and again kissed her. That was, in fact, Stephanie’s last date, they were married a few weeks later and still live to this day happily ever after.

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Stephanie’s Third Date

Stephanie opened her eyes and felt the ray of morning sunshine on her face as she remembered her date with Zack last night. She found the stuffed bear he won for her cradled in her arm and she lay there smiling with a sense of euphoria being that her second date had gone so nicely. She raised up in bed and sat the bear on top of her pillow as she climbed out of her bed and stretched herself before slipping her feet into her pink fuzzy slippers. Stephanie has never felt more rested than she did at that moment. She couldn’t keep the big smile off of her face no matter how hard she tried.

Stephanie put her robe on and made her way to the restroom before heading downstairs to meet the family for breakfast. As she walked into the kitchen, her father and mother were sitting at the table drinking coffee while Stephanie’s father was reading the morning paper. She glided by her father placing a huge hug around his neck and kiss upon his cheek before moving over to her mother and giving her a huge hug and kiss before settling down into her seat and opening a box a granola cereal. She made her bowl of cereal and sat quietly eating as her father asked her about her date last night? Stephane had stopped eating long enough for her to respond to her father’s question. She told him that they went to the carnival and rode the rides, played some games and that Zack had won her a stuffed bear. She informed her father that she had so much fun and enjoyed herself. Stephanie again had to reassure her father that Zack was a perfect gentleman and that was all.

Her mother then interrupted the conversation by asking Stephanie about her sleepover for that evening? Stephanie went into details about how it would only be just of few of her true friends and that they would order pizza and get a few movies out. Her mother was excited that Stephanie was going to spend the evening in with some of her friends. Her parents weren’t really sure about this boy because Stephanie has failed to introduce them to each other. Stephanie went on about how the girls would watch movies, do hair and nails, and pretty much what other college girls do for fun when there are no guys involved.

That comment brought a smile to her mother’s face as she was finishing up her coffee. Her father politely asked when they would get a chance to meet this boy? Stephanie stopped eating and looked over at her father and thought the worst. Is her father going to run this boy off, or would her father embarrass her in front of him? She hesitantly replied that she would talk to Zack and find out when a good time for him to come over would be. She would inform her father of the time and day so it would fit into his schedule since it was so important. Stephanie hurried up with finishing her cereal before running upstairs to get dressed for the day. She had plans to make and arrangements to be taken care of before her friends were to arrive.

Once she got dressed and did her hair, Stephanie got on the phone to Zack to see when he would be able to come over to meet her parents. After three rings his phone went to voicemail and she left a message asking him to call her and then she hung up. Before putting her phone down she called all of her true friends to find out what time they will be coming over and then she made her arrangements. While getting stuff together for her evening

While getting stuff together for her evening, her cell phone rang and it was Zack on the other end. Instantly the smile came back over her face and she could feel herself flush while listening to his voice on the phone. When she got herself together she asked if it would be okay with him to come over sometime and meet her parents? He didn’t answer so quickly but did respond within a minute or two telling her that he would be honored to meet her parents. They agreed on a time and day so she could inform her father and then they said their goodbyes to each other waiting for the other to hang up the phone. They just laughed between the two of them because neither of them wanted to hang up. Stephanie finally said a quick goodbye and hung up the phone fast, putting it down trying to resist calling him back.

She had just gotten things arranged when a knock came to the door. When she opened up the door she found her four true friends, Isabel, Marcy, Penny, and Ruby standing there with overnight bags in their hands. She invited them inside and told them where they could sit their bags. She closed the door behind them and then escorted them into the kitchen where her mother was and everyone said their hellos before going up to Stephanie’s room.

They got inside her bedroom and everyone kicked off their shoes to relax and lounged around the room chatting about their day. Marcy did make the comment how strange it was to be in college and still having sleepover’s and everyone just laughed. Stephanie reported to them how her parents want to meet Zack and that she had just gotten off of the phone with him setting the time and day up with him. Her own friends haven’t even met him yet because she has been trying to keep him a secret. They all knew that Stephanie was a virgin still and that her parents are so protective over her. They did understand being that their parents were overprotective as well, but none of them were still virgins either.

The girls hung out for awhile before Stephanie’s cell phone began ringing. When she picked it up, she noticed that it was Zack calling and nervously answered it saying “hello?”. Zack’s voice was so sexy when hearing it on the phone and when she asked him what he needed, he surprised her by stating that he was sitting in her driveway. She quickly ran over to the window and looked out seeing him standing next to his car and looking up at her smiling. She smiled back and told him she would be down in a  minute. Stephanie quickly hung the phone up and sat it down on her dresser. She nervously turned around and asked the girls if they were ready to meet Zack because he was parked in her driveway. All of her friends got up and looked out the window and saw this gorgeous guy leaning against his car waiting for Stephanie to appear downstairs.

They all got their shoes on and made sure everyone’s hair was good before running downstairs and out of the front door. They made it around the house to the driveway and Stephanie was met with a passionate kiss which made all of the girls stop dead in their tracks and start smiling making cooing noises. When Zack released her lips from that kiss Stephanie had to catch herself from the daze it just put her in. When she turned around and was face to face with her true friends she felt embarrassed but Isabel walked up and hugged her saying that it was okay and that they were happy for her.

Stephanie started introducing Zack to her true friends and then grabbed him by the hand and led him into the house where her parents were in the sitting room together. Stephanie walked in with Zack in hand and introduced him to her parents. Zack was very polite and said a warm hello to my mother and as my father stood up, Zack reached his hand out to meet his in a handshake while informing him it was a pleasure to meet Stephanie’s parents finally. She looked at her father and noticed that when Zack said that the expression on her father’s face was a welcoming one. It was the look of her father’s approval as he sat back down. We all sat for a few minutes chatting and Zack telling his life story to her parents before remembering that her friends were still outside.

They quickly got up and headed for the front door, but not before Zack turned to her parents and excused themselves and apologized for leaving so abruptly. Stephanie’s parents just smiled and said their goodbyes as the two kids walked out the front door. They got back around to the driveway where her friends were waiting for the good news. Stephanie informed them that everything went as well as expected. One after another, each girl gave Stephanie a big hug before leaning over and giving Zack a big hug.

Everything was going to be okay now and Stephanie lets out a big sigh of relief. Zack hung around for a few minutes more before heading out because he had to be at work soon. He leaned over and gave her another passionate kiss as if it were her first again and got back inside his car. Once he had his car started, Zack looked over at Stephanie and asked her out for a third date. Stephanie started blushing and while smiling she said “yes”. Zack then informed her he would be calling sometime tomorrow to set the day and time. He then backed out of the driveway and pulled off down the road. Stephanie’s friends were so happy for her and then they grabbed her and started back for the house.

Once inside her room, they all sat around asking Stephanie questions about Zack and their first couple of dates. She told them that the first date was simple and fun, but no kissing. The second date was the carnival and first kiss, where Stephanie started blushing again while telling them the story. Everyone could tell Stephanie was happy and that they were all happy for her. Ruby straightened up in her seat and told Stephanie that she deserved to be happy but just to be careful not to fall so fast. After that, the girls put in their delivery for pizza and got out some movies. The evening was about to commence.

It was late by the time the girls went to sleep that night because they had sat up talking after the pizza, movie, and doing one another’s hair and nails. They talked about guys and what to be careful for and look out for. It was much-needed advice for Stephanie. She still thought she was dreaming when it came to Zack. She couldn’t hardly believe that a guy could actually like her, but her friends reassured her and made her feel better.

The next morning when all of the girls were waking up, they noticed Stephanie sitting in her windowsill staring out at the sky and asked her if everything was alright? She looked back at them and said she had a bad dream and it bothered her so much that she couldn’t go back to sleep. They all got up and surrounded her trying to comfort her. When Penny asked her what the dream was about, all Stephanie could remember was that something bad had happened and that she would lose Zack. The girls comforted her and tried to reassure her that everything was going to be okay and that it was just a bad dream. They eventually made her feel better and everyone got dressed and ready to leave.

Stephanie had walked everyone to the front door and gave each of them their hugs and kisses before watching them walk down the drive to Isabel’s car. Stephanie waved at them as they started pulling off and then watched as they disappeared down the street. Stephanie being exhausted from lack of sleep went back upstairs and collapsed across her bed falling quickly asleep.

A few hours later her cell phone rang and it woke her up. Stephanie reached for her phone and answered it. It was Zack, and Stephanie instantly woke up saying”hello” to him. She sat up on her bed to talk to him and he was wanting to plan their next date. They chatted a bit and decided that they would go out again next weekend until her mother walked into her room. She wasn’t aware of the fact that her daughter was on the phone and apologized, but Stephanie asked Zack to hold on while she found out what her mother wanted. Stephanie looked at her mother and she replied with the situation of asking Zack to come over for dinner. Stephanie’s jaw dropped as she stared at her mother, but Zack being on the phone heard the question and politely said he would love too. Stephanie again stopped and then looked at her phone, smiled, and then informed her mother that Zack said he would be honored. Her mother said okay and asked if Wednesday night would be okay? Zack, hearing her on the phone said that would be fine and Stephanie voiced his answer to her mother who being satisfied with the answer then left the room closing the door behind her.

She was finally alone with Zack on the phone and began giggling because her parents are so fruity sometimes and Zack laughed with her. He turned around and told Stephanie that their third date was set and that he would be there Wednesday night for a good home cooked dinner. She told Zack that she thought it strange because her parents have never acted quite like that even with a guy being involved. They were just too nice. So after a few more laughs they said their goodbye and looked forward to seeing each other on Wednesday evening. Stephanie hung up the phone and went downstairs to see her parents.

Upon arriving in the sitting room, she was greeted by her parents who conversating and laughing together. Stephanie went and sat in a chair in front of them and quickly asked, “What’s going on?”. Her parents stopped laughing and asked what she meant by that question? She informed her parents that she thought it odd that all of a sudden they want to invite him over to dinner. “What is your plan or scheme?” she asked. Her parents just thought that it might be a good gesture to get to know him that’s all. Stephanie’s parents have never lied to her or steered her the wrong way so she accepted their answer and left the room.

The next couple of days were okay but just a little stressful waiting for Wednesday to get here. Stephanie attended her classes and saw her tutors and did her studying in the library on her breaks while sending cute little text messages back and forth with Zack. She tried to keep her mind on her studies but he seemed to have her attention whenever that little beep came in from her phone. He did seem to release some of her stress by occupying her mind with text messages and it became more of an anxious moment now wanting Wednesday to get her just so she could see him.

The sound of her alarm going off and her phone beeping, let Stephanie know it was Wednesday already. She jumped up out of bed, got in the shower before her little brother, and ran downstairs after getting dressed. She met her parents in the kitchen just like any other morning and sat down to eat her granola cereal, but this time she added some fresh strawberries her mother had on the table to her cereal. Her mother said “good morning” and asked if everything was okay? Stephanie was just excited because it was Wednesday and the look in her eyes her mother could tell why she was excited, but she just smiled and went back into the conversation with her father.

Stephanie informed her parents that Ruby would be coming to pick her up for school and that she was running a little late. While eating her cereal, Stephanie heard the horn from Ruby’s car outside and grabbed her stuff, kissed everyone, and ran out the door. No one knew what the day had in store for everyone, but it would be a day that changes many lives.

Stephanie ran down to the car in her driveway, opened the door, and while getting inside said her good morning to Ruby. Ruby knew what today was and she was even as excited for Stephanie as well. She was bouncy and giddy and making all these cooing sounds towards Stephanie to where it had her blushing again. They rode to school talking about the morning and what classes they had until driving through an intersection and not seeing the distracted driver heading right for them. They were hit on Stephanie’s side of the car and t-boned. The whole side of Ruby’s car was crushed in and compacted against Stephanie who had a bleeding cut on her head and unconscious. Once the car came to a still, Ruby was hunched over the steering wheel unconscious and Stephanie pinned in the mangled car unconscious as well.

People in other cars were stopping, getting out and trying to check on the teenagers who were unconscious. One woman got on her phone and called 9-1-1 while others were checking on the girls who didn’t seem to be responsive. The driver who hit them got out of her car with cell phone in hand asking if everyone was okay before going back to texting on her phone. Then came the sirens of both two ambulances, police cars, and fire trucks to the scene. The police wee immediately pointed towards the woman who hit the girls on her phone while the paramedics and firemen were trying to get the teenage girls out of the car. Ruby was taken out first since she was the easiest to remove. Then, the sounds of a cutter sounding as they had to cut Stephanie from the car still unconscious. Both girls were rushed to the hospital while the police were arresting the woman who hit them.

The phone rang in Stephanie’s house where her parents were engaged in conversation unaware that their daughter needed them. Stephanie’s mother answered the phone but after a few seconds of the conversation, she dropped the phone alarming Stephanie’s father to pick it up. It was a nurse from the hospital on the other end explaining to them that their daughter was involved in a car accident and that she was unconscious at the hospital. He immediately told the nurse they were on their way down and hung up the phone erratically. He informed his wife to get her coat and purse and that they were headed down to the hospital to help their daughter.

Once arriving at the hospital, the parents frantically asked where they could find their daughter and were immediately shown to her room. They walked into this cold, white covered room that smelled of disinfectant and saw their daughter laying in this white covered bed hooked to all these machines. Stephanie’s mother broke down into tears and immediately ran to her daughter’s side grabbing her lifeless hand. Stephanie’s father still in shock of what he was looking at walked over and leaned down to his daughter placing a kiss upon her forehead and quietly stating to her that they were there with her.

It seemed like hours before the doctor showed his face in the room explaining that the accident was very bad. The driver, Ruby, did not make it. She sustained internal injuries and after every attempt to save her life there just wasn’t anything else they could do. They could not stop the bleeding and she had died about fifteen minutes after arriving at the hospital. When asked about their daughter, the doctor informed them that she was mangled inside the car and was seated at the point of impact. Her neck was broken and she is paralyzed from the chest down, but his other concern was that she is now in a coma and he doesn’t know when she will wake up, or what brain damage she might have.

Stephanie’s mother broke down crying as she caressed the side of her daughter’s emotionless and still face. Her father still in a sense of shock sat down in the chair next to his daughter’s bed staring down at the floor trying to come to grips with what has happened. Soon after the doctor left, a nurse came in with Stephanie’s phone which had been going off for a while now. Stephanie’s mother remembered that dinner was tonight and gently took the phone from the nurse and called Zack. She told Zack what had happened and he alarmingly said he would be right there before hanging up. Both of Stephanie’s parents were distraught by this whole ordeal and all they could do was pray and be comforting to each other and their daughter.

About an hour later, Zack came sliding into the room and stopped dead in his tracks when he saw Stephanie laying there unconscious and still. Her mother informed him that her friend Ruby did not make it and that they were holding on to faith that Stephanie will pull through. Zack somberly walked over to Stephanie’s side and leaned down kissing her softly on her lips with her parents looking on in tears. He placed his forehead against hers and whispered softly to her that she is going to make it and be alright. Zack then sat in the bed next to her holding her and looking at her bandaged body. Stephanie’s mother apologizing to him that their dinner together was ruined, and then it hit him, dinner isn’t over. He thought for a minute and decided to leave and told them he would be back in about an hour, before walking out the door of the hospital room.

Stephanie’s parents could do nothing but sit and watch their daughter for any sign of life in her, but nothing came. Both of her parents were sitting on each side of her holding her hand and trying to make sense of everything. “How could this have happened?” Her mother asked. Stephanie’s mother so distraught even more to where Stephanie’s father had to comfort her and even remove her from the room until she could calm down. Once calm and a little more collected, both parents went back into Stephanie’s hospital room and again just sat talking to their daughter.

Then, about fifteen minutes later, Zack walked into the room with his hands full of bags. He walked over to the side of the bed where Stephanie’s father stood up to help him with the bags and asked what he was doing? Zack acknowledged the fact that Stephanie would not be able to talk or maybe even notice that they are there with her, but they could still have dinner with her and get to know each other better. Her mother smiled and grabbed his hand holding and squeezing it while telling him thank you.

They began moving a table next to the bed and setting dinner places for each of them before sitting down. They grabbed each other’s hand and her father said grace over the food and over his daughter before they started eating and talking amongst themselves. They were having that dinner that Stephanie was so anxious about and it ended up being quite nice. They asked each other questions and Zack was no more pleased than to answer them and the evening went on as planned. Stephanie’s parents got to know the boy who held their daughter’s heart and he got to know them. After dinner was done and the cleanup completed they sat around Stephanie talking and listening to the details of Zack and Stephanie’s first two dates.

It had gotten to be late into the night when Zack mentioned they should go home and get some rest while he stayed with her. He reassured them that if anything should happen they would be the first to know. Stephanie’s mother gave him a big hug and kiss on the cheek before telling him to not stay up so late and for him to get some rest as well. They said their goodbyes and headed out the door as her father turned to Zack and said they will be back in the morning. Zack smiled and then climbed onto the bed with Stephanie holding her and caressing her face as he spoke to her softly. He sat with her most of the night and whispered into her ear that he loved their third date with her parents and that everything was going to be okay before laying his head on hers and falling fast asleep.

Stephanie’s Second Date

Monday rolled around and Stephanie had a full day of classes not to mention socializing with her friends. While she was taking a break in between classes her phone rang and it was Zack’s voice on the other end. She was very happy to hear from him and before he could say anything, Stephanie thanked him for their first date. Zack chuckled a little on the phone and said that it was wonderful for him too. He could tell how excited Stephanie was to hear from him by the tone of her voice.

Once she was done talking and Zack could get a word in, he asked her if she would like to go out with him again on Friday? Stephanie took a few minutes to think it over and excitedly said “yes”. Zack told her that he would be over to pick her up at about seven o’clock that evening and she agreed before hanging up. Stephanie was so excited that Zack called and asked her out again that she couldn’t wait to tell her friends.

After she finished all her classes for the day, Stephanie met up with her girlfriends and they headed off to a fast food place to eat and catch up on all the gossip. While they were hanging out chatting, Stephanie spoke up interrupting everyone to inform them that Zack had called her asking her out again. All of her friends stopped talking and their jaws dropped for a minute before trying to knock her good news into the ground. Some were making comments about him as if he had money or not while others were asking about his social status, but her true friends walked over and gave her a big hug congratulating her on the second date. She really needed the reassurance that her friends approved.

After the grueling hours of hanging out with girls who don’t appreciate her, Stephanie decided to go on home for the evening. When she went to say goodbye to the girls they were so caught up in themselves that Stephanie didn’t exist. She did stop to say goodbye to her true friends who actually were going to walk with her home. As the group walked away from the other girls no one even noticed they were leaving. So they made their escape.

The girls walked and talked and you could even hear a few giggles come out of the group. Stephanie really felt good being around this group of girls because they actually showed they cared about her. One of them actually asked Stephanie why she hung out with the money social status girls anyway. She tried to explain but it just sounded too confusing for anyone to comprehend but Stephanie did comment that she was getting pretty fed up with the other girls but she didn’t know how to tell them. One of her friends walking told Stephanie that she should just say something like “hey I don’t want to hang out with you guys anymore” and walk away. Stephanie and the others just broke out laughing.

They finally arrived at Stephanie’s house and she invited them inside which they all agreed that they still had homework to complete for the next day of classes. They all hugged and said their goodbye’s before walking away from the house. Stephanie went inside and headed for the kitchen to check in with her parents to let them know she was home. After saying hello and grabbing an apple Stephanie headed back upstairs to relax for the evening and getting her homework done.

Several days went by and Stephanie received a gift at her door. It was a dozen red roses with a card which only read “For You”. She already knew who they were from and she hugged them tightly smiling as she walked back inside the door. She leaned up against the back of the door smelling her roses and thinking of Zack. He made her feel really special and she liked the attention. She ran upstairs and placed her roses in a vase on her desk and went into the bathroom to get some water for them. Now with them placed on her desk she can admire them while doing her homework in the evenings.

The next day, which was Friday, Zack called Stephanie on her phone in between classes to remind her of their date that night. Stephanie was ecstatic about her date and told him she would be ready. She hung up the phone and kind of danced her way to her next class. It seemed like forever until her classes were over for the day and Stephanie was all ready for the weekend ahead. After her date with Zack, she was spending some time during the weekend with her true friends. They were going to hang out and have a sleep over at Stephanie’s house Saturday night. There are plans to talk about guys during this sleepover and Stephanie needs all the advice she can get. She had already pledged that her seeing a guy was not going to change her life or who she was like most girls. She would remain the same no matter what.

Well as it got closer to her date, Stephanie got more excited to the point of not thinking correctly. She ran around trying to figure out what to wear before jumping into a hot bath. She plugged her curling iron in and grabbed her towel and started the water. She even put some perfume salts into the water to make her skin soft and smell good. Once the water was ready, Stephanie took off her clothing and stepped into a very hot bath where she laid back and slid down until the water was at the base of her neck. There she relaxed and had good thoughts of her date with Zack.

Once she was done soaking in her hot bath, she released the plug to drain the bath water, stood up grabbing her towel and wrapped it around her body. She walked quickly back to her bedroom closing the door behind her. She put on lotion, powder, and perfume before getting dressed and then went back to the bathroom to dry and throw some curls in her hair. Stephanie had just got done getting ready when the doorbell rang. She went downstairs and opened the door to a surprisingly handsome Zack standing there smiling.

He greeted her with a smile and a small bouquet of flowers. He handed them to her and she smelled them smiling. She thanked Zack for the flowers and he put out his arm to hers and escorted her to the car. Zack opened the door, helped her inside, and then went around to his side to get in. He asked Stephanie if there was any place in particular that she would like to go and she told him it was his choice. With that in mind, he informed Stephanie that a carnival was in town and he would very much like to take her there. She agreed with a big smile and off they went.

They arrived at the local carnival and he quickly got out of the car and ran around to her side to open the door and assist her in getting out. They walked to the entrance with her arm in his and Stephanie was amazed by all the pretty lights and sounds of the carnival. She had never been to a carnival before being that she was sheltered. He escorted her around and they took in some sights before getting on some of the rides. She was having an amazing time and he loved seeing her happy. As the night progressed, Zack noticed that Stephanie had a chill and took off his jacket and wrapped it around her shoulders before placing his arm around her to keep her warm.

They enjoyed the evening and had so much fun together, but it was getting late and Zack didn’t want to get Stephanie home too late. He escorted her back to the car opening her door and after she was inside, he handed her the stuffed bear he won for her at one of the game tables. He closed her door and went around to his side to get in. He drove her back home and they parked in her driveway where they sat and chatted about the evening for a bit. Stephanie thanked Zack for another wonderful evening and he smiled at her telling her she was welcome and he enjoyed himself too.

After sitting quietly for a few minutes, Zack leaned over and kissed Stephanie again sending her into a seriously blushing moment. She melted right into his arms as he reached out and held her close to him. That was another kiss that Stephanie would have to think about and write in her diary. it felt so good to her that they kissed several times before coming up for air. After they stopped kissing, Zack held her for a little while keeping her warm before she had to go inside. When it was time, Zack got out and went around to her side opening her door and escorting her to the front porch. There they shared one more kiss before Stephanie left him standing on the front porch holding his jacket.

Once she was inside, Zack went back to his car shutting her door and climbing back inside to drive home. Stephanie was in her own little world at this point. She has had her second date, a kiss that felt like the first, a bouquet of roses, and a heart that was melting. She felt really good and only wishes that it will continue. She went back upstairs, changed into her pajamas, and climbed into her sheets where she would write her deepest secrets in her diary before falling asleep with more wonderful dreams of Zack.