7. DO—Help Each Other Cope

The Do's and Don'ts of a Friendly Relationship [Hiatus]

                “Hey what’s wrong?”

                I turned to my dad, who was wearing the ridiculous Hawaiian shirt he just bought. Still, I couldn’t help but smile. “Nothing, dad,” I replied.

                “Let’s go then!” Jessi said, grabbing me and running towards the unloading dock.

                She decided to follow my dad’s example and also decided to wear a Hawaiian outfit, but topped it all off with a straw hat that was a few sizes too big for her. It was, dare I say, even more ridiculous than my dad’s shirt. It was still pretty cute though.

                “Come on, you’re not still embarrassed that your girlfriend is wearing this, are you?” Jessi said, pointing at her outfit.

                I cocked my head and averted my gaze to her hat. “More like, I’m embarrassed that my girlfriend is wearing that,” I said, nodding at her hat.

                She giggled. “Aw, it’s ok,” she said, grabbing my arm. “I’ll protect you from those bad people,” she said, hugging me.

                I laughed. “Thank you, Jessi,” I told her.

                “Sorry to keep you waiting kids,” I heard my mom say.

                When I turned around, I felt my heart leap to my throat.

                My mom’s forehead was drenched in blood. Her nose was smashed into her face and her eyes were swollen way out of proportion. Blood poured out of her pupils and . A chunk of her head, the size of a large pebble, was missing, and in its place, the dark red liquid seemed to ooze out.

                Shock and fear clouded my mind. I could only grip Jessi more tightly.

                “You know your mom,” my dad said, appearing next to her.

                Oh God.

                I could feel my heart twist and clench in my chest, and breathing became near impossible; my dad was in the same state.

                I closed my eyes; I couldn’t bear to see my parents like this.

                “What’s wrong, Jinnie?” I heard Jessi say.

                I shook my head and tried, desperately, to move. My feet remained where they were, as if they were super glued to the cruise ship.

                “You could have saved us,” I heard my parents say; but it wasn’t their voices. It was raspy, like a cold whisper that echoed across the room and chilled you to your spine. “You could have saved us.”

                “Jinnie, wake up,” I heard her say again.



                My eyes suddenly opened. Jessi’s worried eyes were on me. “Are you ok?”

                You could have saved us…

                That wouldn’t have been the first time I thought that. I remember how time seemed to slow down that day. How I saw the car that was approaching my parents; how I saw the driver paying attention to the phone rather than the road. If I were just a bit faster, maybe I could have done something…

                “You’re thinking about them, aren’t you Jinnie,” Jessi said.

                I realized I was hugging Jessi, just like I was in my dream. I also realized that I was crying slightly.

                I immediately removed myself from her. “That’s—…Sorry,” I said simply. I sat up and looked away, elbows resting on my knees with my head in my hands. I could still feel myself shaking.

                “Good thing you didn’t say ‘that’s embarrassing’, because it’s not,” she told me, putting and arm around my shoulders. “We’re going to the counselor in an hour, you should tell her about the dream.”

                I didn’t reply. I fought to control my breath, which took a minute to do.

                She wrapped her arms around me. “I miss them too,” she told me, burying her head in between my shoulders and neck. A moment of silence passed before I felt her tears pressed into my skin.

                “Oh god, Jessi—I didn’t mean to upset you too,” I told her, returning her hug. I rested my head on her chin. “I’m sorry.”

                She transferred her head onto my chest. “I-It’s ok,” she told me.

                We sat there with me her hair. “I-I’m sorry t-too,” she said, stuttering slightly. I heard her take a few deep breaths, and released her grip on me. Her eyes were a little red and her cheeks were still a bit shiny, but that was the only indication that she was crying.

                “Want me to do breakfast?” I asked her.

                “Nah, I can do it,” she said, smiling gently. “It’s my turn, anyway,” she said.

                I nodded back. “Do you want me to help?”

                “I’ll be fine,” she told me, getting up out of the bed.

                I sat in my bed, trying my best to throw it away; that scene in my head that kept replaying itself over and over. How I saw them pull out onto the main road, and how I saw and heard the crash, how nothing else seemed to exist as I felt myself running to the scene, how Jessi was pulling me away, telling me it was dangerous, and how I tried to pull myself out of her grasp before more people pulled me away just in time to avoid the fireball that erupted from the engine. But most of all, how they looked; how my parents sat there, bodies draped over the dashboard of the car, bloody and lifeless.

                “It’s ready, Kevin,” I heard Jessi say. After breakfast, we headed to our counselor’s office.

~The Do’s and Don’ts of a Healthy Relationship~

                Honestly, the idea was ridiculous to me at first. The idea of having a personal counselor that meets with us on a biweekly basis is like something straight out of a movie. I was really reluctant to go, even with Jessi trying to convince me to come with her.

                I ended up not regretting it. It wasn’t as awkward as I thought it would be, and the conversation felt natural; it honestly felt like I was just simply talking to a friend about my troubles. Well, our troubles.

                There were many times in which I felt unlucky, especially during fall break a few weeks ago when a lot of people went home for a week. However, no matter how I felt about my situation, I couldn’t help but feel even worse for Jessi, who lost two sets of parents.

                Our loss changed us both in different ways. Jessi, who I remembered to be a shy girl who was protective around strangers but cheerful and bubbly to her friends, was now much more open and happy to everyone in general. It seemed like having gone through the loss of two sets of parental figures in her life, made her want to do everything in her power to make the people around her happy so that they would never have to experience what she’s experienced. It was quite amazing to me, actually.

                I started to write more. It wasn’t anything special; a little blogging here, a bit of creative writing there, but it was a good medium for me to express myself in any way I felt I needed to, and at times acted as a nice distraction from my new reality.

                Jessi didn’t really give me much time to write though. I shared a more introverted personality like she had; I went to the occasional school dance or the monthly friends’ night out, but I usually liked to stay at home.

                Ever since college started though, Jessi has been dragging me along every single activity she could find; free concerts, shout outs to interesting-sounding clubs, and even a party that we quickly discovered contained alcohol and left.

                But this time, it wasn’t Jessi that was dragging me along to an event; it was actually Tiffany, who had invited us to a banquet celebrating her acceptance into a sorority.

                We were greeted by Tiffany almost as soon as we entered the banquet hall.

                “Hey guys!” she said, walking up to us.

                It was a semi-formal event, but the way she had dressed made me feel grossly underdressed.

                She was wearing a satin red dress that flowed all the way down to her ankles, and I couldn’t help noticing how well it hugged her body.

                “Hey Tiff,” I replied, smiling back.

                “I saw that,” Jessi said from beside me. I wanted to put my hand over , but that would’ve been too suspicious; so I just ignored her and hoped that she wouldn’t continue. Unfortunately, she did, “checking out Tiffany? She does look really pretty, so I’ll cut you some slack,” she told me.

                “O-Oh, thank you,” she replied, sounding flustered. I couldn’t bring myself to look at her, so I just glared at Jessi, who was giving me an innocent smile.

                “I thought you had Dawn though,” she said accusingly.

                “Hm? Who’s that?” Tiffany asked.

                “Someone I went on a blind date, set up by Jessi, with,” I replied before Jessi had the chance to mess things up even more.

                “Oh,” she said, a little bit hesitantly. “Well, I’m glad you guys were able to make it,” she said.

                “Of course,” Jessi replied.

                “Well, I have to go now,” Tiffany said, turning around. “See you guys later!”

                As we found our seats, Jessi leaned over to me. “Tiffany totally likes you,” she said.

                Not knowing what to say, or how to react, I nearly laughed. And out of all the things that went through my mind, my mouth settled on, “What?”

                She smiled and shook her head. “You guys are so oblivious; sometimes I don’t know if I should feel envy or pity.”

                I sighed and turned my attention to the stage, where someone had started to speak.

~The Do’s and Don’ts of a Healthy Relationship~

                “Congrats Tiff!” Jessi and I said as the celebration part of the event ended and the eating part started.

                “Thanks guys,” she said, giving us her famous eye smile. “Thanks for coming!”

                “Of course,” I replied; suddenly, right after I had said that, Tiffany took on a more serious look.

                “What’s wrong?” she asked.

                I turned to Jessi, who was wiping her face with tears.

                She shook her head, smiling. “No, it’s nothing. I was … I was just thinking how my parents never got to see me do something like this, and—” she had cut herself off, and I immediately reached to put my arm around her to comfort her, but was beaten by Tiffany.

                “I’m so sorry,” she said, hugging her tightly.

                Jessi leaned on Tiffany, hugging her back. Despite everything, I was smiling; wow, we really were fortunate to find such an amazing friend as Tiffany.

                When we got home along with Tiffany, I made sure to write the next entry in our journal: “DO—Help Each Other Cope”.


Finally updated … wow, it’s been a long time, huh?

Sorry if this chapter was a little less 'fun' than the other chapters; I just wanted to take advantage of a chapter idea I had come up with and try to explain how/why Alex and Jessica are acting the way they are and how they're coping with the loss of their parents.

Also, sorry about not updating; I’ve been focused on another story and college school work and whatnot. Actually, I should be trying to write my resume, but I was recently randomly inspired to finish writing this chapter. Also, I’m sort of running out of chapter ideas … I have a few, but I wouldn’t mind taking some. Any suggestions, anyone?

Anyway, thanks so much for reading and being so patient with me :DD

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Jaehyun2017 #1
Chapter 10: This story is so cute. Please continue this Author nim
Chapter 10: This is so cute!!! ^^
zSecretz #3
Chapter 5: Update soon pls!!!!
tommyo9876 #4
Plz update soon!