Lightning rippled across the sky, followed by the all too familiar sound of thunder.  The rain wasn’t letting up, but the driver of a BMW X3 wasn’t either.

“Look, Ann, if you don’t get serious about what you’re going to do with your life, and soon, it’s going to be too late.”

Yada yada yada…why is he so dead set on making my life as boring as possible, as soon as possible?!  I’m 17, for crying out loud.  I have the rest of my life to figure out what I want or don’t want to do with it.  Thoughts like this were very common for Ann.  She liked to party with her friends, and live only from one weekend to the next, not thinking too far into the future.

Coming back to the present, she just mumbled a very disinterested, “Yes, Father.” She switched her gaze to the rain gushing down the car window, wondering what her friends had planned for this weekend, hoping the subject of the future would just dissolve.

“Your sister realized her dream in life was to become a paramedic, and she’s been working towards that for the past 3 years.  I’m not telling you to be just like Blake, but isn’t there a dream of yours that we could already start discussing and planning for?” John asked, hoping to see some kind of spark in his daughter’s eyes, but they just glazed over.  He sighed, dropped the subject and turned his focus back to the highway.

As they turned into the driveway of their two story house, Ann jumped out of the car before it stopped, ran to the house through the rain, slammed the door behind her, leaving her father with little to no hope of ever being able to reach her.  He parked the car in the garage and went inside to greet his wife, who was already working with their Friday night supper.

“Hi honey, how was your day?” John asked, giving Hannah a peck on the cheek.

“Pretty good, and yours?” She asked, returning the peck.

“Hectic day at the hospital, but all in all, a good day.” He hesitated. “I’m worried about Ann.  Once again I’ve failed to get some kind of spark from her for her future.  She’s young and alive, and I don’t see how someone so intelligent couldn’t have a passionate dream of some sort.”

“John, we have to be patient with her.  She’s still so young and has so much energy to use on things that have nothing to do with the future.  I do understand your concern, however, because she doesn’t seem as happy about life or anything lately as she used to be… And Spencer called.  I’m worried about that girl’s influence on Ann.  It seems that-”

Ring, ring, ring, ri-.  Out of nowhere Ann pounced on the phone in the living room.

“Hello?  Hey, Spencer, how are you?  Yeah.  Uh huh.  Ok, I’ll be there in like, 15 minutes.  Ok, bye.” Ann hung up the phone and flew back up the stairs.

“Mark, you in your room?” Ann asked as she knocked on her 13 year old brother’s door.

“Yeah, come on in.”

“Hey, so I looked at your math book, and I wrote down some pointers and quizzes to help you prepare for the test.  Here ya go!”

“Thank you!!!  Man I was already getting worried about this.  Was almost to the point of cheating because I didn’t feel like asking Mom and Dad for help since you know how they can be,” he said almost shyly.

“Oh I know how they can be, but cheating is not the answer.  Just think about how you would’ve felt about doing it 10 minutes after.  Not good, no matter how good you would’ve scored!  Anyways, I got to go.”

“Ok, stay safe.”

“Always!  Love you!” And with that she was flying down the stairs, bursting into the kitchen to grab the keys for the Mercedes yet and already halfway out the door before John stopped her.

“And where are you going in such a rush?”

“Uhhh…Spencer’s place.  Hanging out with some friends.  Be back by midnight.”

“Oh no no no.  You’ll be back by 11.  And we haven’t had supper yet so just relax and come back inside.  You can leave once we’ve eaten.”

“Not hungry, but thanks.” And with that, she was gone.  John looked at Hannah, Hannah looked at John, they both looked at the door and then to the supper that was now getting cold on the table.

——————————————————————-

“John.  John!”

Snorting awake from his wife’s sudden outburst, John looked around bewildered only to realize he had fallen asleep watching the baseball game.  Turning his attention to his already flustered wife, he started to worry.

“What, what’s wrong?”

“There’s flashing police lights outside, Ann isn’t home, and it’s past 12.”

Go to: Part 2Part 3

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