I ended up falling asleep after midnight, with no calls coming in. When I woke up, there was a loud ringing noise coming from beside me. I immediately sat up and grabbed the phone. It was my dad.
“Honey, it’s me your dad.”
“Dad, how is mom?”
“She had a heart attack, honey. They put her in surgery right when she got here but she is still in there. How are you, honey?”
“Dad, I’m so scared right now.”
“I know, darling, I know how you are feeling. I have to go now. I’m not supposed to be on the phone right now, I love you.”
“I love you too.” We hung up.
I pulled my knees up to my chest and started to rock back and forth. Life without my mom, it would be unimaginable. I was planning on staying up the rest of the night but I didn’t. I ended up passing out on the couch again after an hour passed.
I heard a loud knock coming from the door. I opened it and Kyle was there standing outside in the pouring rain. I let him in and he took off his hoodie, revealing a black and white tapout t-shirt.
“Why weren’t you awake?”
“I’m sorry. An emergency popped up last night and I just needed some rest.”
He went over to the couch but instead of sitting on it, he sat on the hardwood floor so he wouldn’t get anything else wet, “That’s alright. It’s raining right now, I don’t like training in the rain. Where are your parents?”
I choked a little after he asked me that. I sat on the couch with my legs up again, “My mom...had a heart attack...my dad is at the hospital.”
He had no sympathy for me but I just expected that as he said, “Well, after this rain has stopped, we are going out to train. This time, it will be my type of training. For right now, you should be doing some crunches here on the ground with your feet under the couch.”
I sighed and did what I was told. I did my crunches slowly and effortlessly. It was just a matter of time where we will be outside, running until every last bit of my breath disappears.
I heard the front door open. Kyle wouldn’t let me stop my crunches. He gets up and all of a sudden, I hear a familiar voice.
“Who are you?”
Kyle doesn’t get up and when I did, I saw my older brother. I stood up quickly and raced over to hug him.
“Hey there, Lace! You brought a boy with you?” He gives a glance over to Kyle.
I stepped away from Ross, “This is Kyle. He is my trainer. He is trying to help me lose weight.”
“Hm…” He ignores Kyle and turns back over to me, “I got some news for you, little sister. But first, let me sit.”
My brother sits on the reclining chair, lifting his feet off the ground. He leans back and places his hands behind his head. Kyle and I sit on the same couch.
“Do you still watch them fights, Lacey?”
“Yes, but what did you want to tell me?”
“Right. I’ve joined the military. I’ll be leaving in a couple weeks so I thought I’d spend time with you and mom and dad.”
I wanted to tell him about mom but I never really wanted to hurt him, “You should come train with me! It would make things a lot more fun.”
“No, I can’t. Anyways, you got Kyle to help you train. I just figured that I would rest these couple of weeks.” He holds onto his leg, it was as if he was in some sort of pain.
I walked over to him and slapped his leg.
“Ah! What was that for?”
I lifted up his pant leg to reveal a bullet wound. Shocked, I quickly went into the bathroom to get some peroxide. When I came back out, Ross was standing up.
“It’s alright, little sister. It has already been taken care of.”
I didn’t even bother to listen to him and pushed him back in the seat. I rolled up his pant leg and dabbed it gently over the wound. Then, I bandaged it completely.
“Obviously not very well since they didn’t even bother covering the wound. You weren’t in college these few years were you?”
Ross began laughing out loud, “You got me little sister. No, I wasn’t in college. I was at basic for the first few months and then I had to go to Iraq. I got shot and now I have a couple weeks of leave.”
I ended up hitting him on the shoulder, “You could’ve told me! Goodness, you have no trust in me, do you?”
“Of course I have trust in you.”
I folded my arms, “No, it is just that I was younger and you didn’t want to burden me.”
“No, of course not.”
Kyle ended up butting in between our conversation, “It stopped raining, get ready to go.”
Ross lifted up his eyebrow, “Go?”
I shrugged, “Yeah, he usually trains outside so since he is training me, we are going to train outside. You’re welcome to come with us.”
Ross waved his hand, “Nah, I’m fine here. I’ll wait until mom and dad get here.”
“Well, they might be awhile.”
I went to my room and put on my other pair of training clothes. I put on my sneakers then put my hair up in a tight ponytail. When I walked out, my brother had Kyle in his hands by Kyle’s neck.
“Ross! What are you doing?!”
My brother drops him, “It’s nothing, Lace, just having some casual conversation.”
“We are leaving then. Bye.” I pulled on Kyle’s wrist and then grabs his hoodie that is now dried. I gave it back to him then started to touch my toes to warm up, “I’m sorry about my brother. He gets a bit protective over me.”
He shook his head, “It was my fault. Let’s start jogging for a few minutes then transition to sprinting.”
Before I got a chance to speak with him, he dashed off first. I tried to catch up with him but he was way too fast to catch up with. I ended up having to sprint to catch up but doing that made me lose my breath even faster.
He told me no breaks so I tried to abide by the rules. It was quite difficult to follow his rules based on the fact that I’m not in the perfect amount of shape. Now I was about five feet away from Kyle who was running not even at full speed ahead of me.
I noticed he finally stopped at the park. He stopped by the uneven bars at the edge of the sidewalk. I was hoping he wouldn’t have me do any pull-ups or anything of the sort.
When I finally got there, he pointed at the bars, “Hang upside down from those, one leg on each bar.”
I looked up at the bars which each of them were taller than I was. I decided to give it a shot. I wrapped my hands around each bar, having to jump up to reach them. Now I am hanging sideways, so I tried to lift my legs up but couldn’t get it up. Instead, I ended up falling, lucky enough to catch my fall was the grass.
“Get up and try again. You will keep doing this until you get it right. I don’t care if we are here until tomorrow for you to get it.”
I tried again but ended up falling again and again. No matter how many times I tried, it all ended the same way, me falling. Kyle showed absolutely no emotion as he jogged in place.
The last time I fell, he pushed me aside, “Let me show you how to do it then.” He grabbed both bars and did a couple pull-ups first. After, he started swinging his legs like a pendulum. Then all of a sudden, he swings it high enough for him to get up on the bars. Letting go of the bars, he caught himself with his legs. He started to do some crunches for the extra workout. Then, he dropped down, gesturing his hands that it was my turn.
I jumped up on the bars, steadying myself. Then, I skipped the pull-ups and went straight for the swinging. With each pass I make when I swing, I felt my hands about to slip off of the bars. I tried to hold on tight but I felt it still slipping. I went faster and tried to swing up my feet, instead of keeping my knees on the bar, I ended up falling straight on my head.
I felt like I couldn’t move. I was paralyzed, but it could just be my thoughts making me think I’m paralyzed. Kyle hovers over me and checks my head for any injuries. When he was done, he would lift me up.
“Maybe this is too soon for you. Let us do some swimming.”
“I don’t have a swimsuit.”
“You don’t need one. Your clothes and shoes will act as weights. As you swim, it will be harder to move with the excess weight but it will definitely build up your strength.”
Kyle ends up running up on the dock and jumping off the edge. He swims in a circle then waits for me to go with him. I was a bit hesitant at first because of the weight but the exercise uniform shouldn’t be too heavy when wet. I ran off the dock and jumped into the water right next to Kyle.
I was completely wrong. The weight of the shoes started to pull me down into the water. I struggled to keep up with Kyle who was swimming farther and farther away. I had to breath every two seconds because the next minute, I am practically swimming under water with all the weight being pulled down on me.
Kyle noticed me struggling so he uses long strokes to come towards me faster. When he finally was able to reach me, he holds my arm up to keep my head out of the water.
“I knew you weren’t cut out for this type of thing.”
I panicked thinking he was giving up on me, so I removed my arm out of his grip and started to swim out farther into the ocean. The tidal waves became stronger and stronger as I moved out further. The larger the waves, the more I was pulled under and the harder it was for me to get back up to the surface. When one last wave splashed into me, I ended up falling deeper into the depths of the ocean. I couldn’t pull myself up because when I got close to the surface, I was just being pulled back down by the waves.
I shut my eyes as I struggled to breathe. I’m drowning…
“Breathe, c’mon, breathe.” I could hear my brother’s voice. I could feel someone pressing on my chest, our lips touching ever so gently.
When I opened my eyes, I noticed that it was Kyle who was giving me CPR, and my brother was on the side lines. When they realized I opened my eyes, my brother grasped me in his arms.
“I am so glad you are alright!” He held me tight as water started to drip from my mouth. I ended up coughing a whole ton of water after he let go of me.
Kyle got up, “You aren’t cut out for this. Just give up.” He ended up leaving but I knew that he was headed towards the gym.
My brother gave me another hug, when he let go, he looked over in the direction of Kyle, “He really cared for you. You should’ve seen his face when he couldn’t find you anywhere in the water. He rescued you.”
I looked back over where Kyle was walking. He told me that I can’t fight...He told me that I have to give up...No, I won’t give up, even if it means that I have to train on my own. I will show Kyle that I will do this.
My phone began to ring on the bench where I left it when I took a swim. It was my dad, it sounded as if he was in tears.
“Lacey, you need to come to the hospital…now.”
“Dad, what’s wrong?”
“Just, come here.”
Ross overheard and offered me a ride. We rode over to the hospital and raced to the receptionist. She directed us to where my dad was in the waiting room. My dad saw me, noticing my brother.
“I’m so glad you both are here.”
“What’s wrong, dad?”
“You might want to sit down for this.”
Everytime when someone says we have to sit down for news, it always means that something bad has happened.
When Ross and I sat in the chairs in front of dad, my dad rubbed his tired eyes.
“Your mother...she’s gone.”
I stood up, about to burst out into tears, “What? I thought you said they had her in surgery.”
My dad shook his head, “It was too late for her. She has been at the house alone for too long…”
It was all my fault. If I never took this training thing, I would’ve been there for mom, she would be alive right now, “It’s my fault.”
Ross stepped in, “No, it’s not your fault, Lace.”
I pushed them both aside, “It is my fault.” I walked out of the hospital and sat on the bench. I put my fingers between the front of my hair, putting my head down onto them, “This is all my fault.” I whispered.
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