ONE

In the town of Cortez, Colorado, there lived a seventeen-year-old boy named Zachary Gray – Zach for short. Zach was like other teenaged boys: he liked looking at girls, hanging with friends, but he especially liked watching the Denver Broncos play football. However, like other people, Zach was unable to walk. He had to have an electric wheelchair to get wherever he needed to go – which stunk but at least he had some mobility. He just wished that one day something would happen that could have his whole life changed forever. Did his wish come true?

Zach was a regular student with a 3.7 Grade Point Average. He attended Montezuma-Cortez High School and had taken Advanced Placement classes that the school offered. He had a difficult time managing and keeping up with these classes; yet, he still managed to pass them with A's and B's. Zach just needed extra time to complete his assignments – that was all. He tried his best to achieve the successfulness of getting better grades on his schoolwork and that is what he did best. He did his work so perfectly that teachers had asked him to be a tutor to the other students.

"Zach, would you be willing to help your classmates with their schoolwork?" Most of his teachers asked.

"Sure, I would love to help out." He said.

So the following weeks passed and he began to help others. He started helping and his fellow colleagues had begun to improve their test scores. The teachers were very impressed with how much he helped them and because of that, he had earned five extra credit points every time he had volunteered to offer his help to someone. By then, the student body of M-CHS was looking up to him for inspiration to get more desirable at making an effort to raise their expectations of their grades. The harder he pushed and led them to believe that they could do their school commission, the easier the path will be to move on to bigger opportunities.

On the side of being an excellent successful student, Zach was the best brother and friend that anybody could ask for. He always had this huge smile on his face that would brighten people's day who were around him. It just took his personality to make him an awesome guy to his family and friends: he was funny, sweet, caring, and a pranker. Although Zach was in a wheelchair, it didn't halt him from having a blast in his life. He was like a comedian; no matter what he did, he could always crack people up.

Despite the fact that he had friends that he would spend time with, he had the best friend that anybody could ask for. His best friend that he could not just live without was his little sister, Shaela Gray. Shaela was a sixteen-year-old girl who had her brother by her side since day one; no matter what she did, Zach was there helping her out. She had dark brown eyes, dirty blonde hair, and she was so amusing that she would have Zach dying laughing when she would say something so funny. They were so perfect together that nothing would tear them apart. It was like they were meant to grow up together; they would always make each other smile, be crazy together, and also love one another as much as they could.

One day when Zach was eating lunch at school in the parking lot, he was in a deep thought about something - who knows what he was thinking. When he was daydreaming, Shaela managed to sneak up, poke his side, and then scare the crap out of him. When Zach jumped and looked to see who poked him, Shaela was rolling on the ground laughing her butt off because she scored on scaring her big brother. After they settled down, Shaela gave Zach a great big hug and then managed to sit on his lap for a few minutes before the bell rang. When she was sitting there, Zach realized something that he never thought of before. Man, this girl that is sitting on me is my sister and my best friend. She is so amazing and beautiful at the same time. No matter what, I will always be here for this girl because she is my life and joy.

"Sis, do you know what I just realized?" Zach asked.

"What my big bubba?" Shaela asked with a big twinkle in her eye.

"You are the most beautiful mess of a sister ever! You are so amazing and sweet that if anything happened to you, I would be the saddest big brother ever!" Zach said.

"Awe bro, that is the sweetest thing that anybody ever has said to me. You are the most unbelievable big brother ever!" Shaela told him and then gave him the biggest hug of a lifetime and they walked each other to class.

A few days passed and during that time, Shaela and Zach acted like best friends. They were always making funny faces at each other, laughing at jokes they would tell, and having the blast of their lifetime just hanging out together. Zach would always make his sister smile, no matter what mood she was in, and then one day he made her smile so much that she managed to kiss him on the forehead. Zach gave Shaela a crazy look and asked her "What was that kiss for sis?" Shaela laughed and smiled at the same time and then said "That kiss? That kiss was for what you mean to me. You are everything to me bro. I am the person that I am today because of you. I love you bro with all my heart." Zach just held her for a few minutes in his arms in disbelief about how lucky he was to have her in his life as a sister.

Something happened that Zach begun to go into a daze, like he just been shot in the heart with Cupid's arrow. Shaela had gone out all day with her friends and brought one home to hang out for a couple of hours. When she walked in the door, she came running and hugged Zach so hard that she almost popped his head off. After she was through, she said "Zach, I have someone for you to meet." Then a girl came walking through the door: she was the same age as Shaela, had dark brown crimped hair, dark skinned, the prettiest smile and beautiful eyes. She was the type of girl that was always classy and not one to show off everything she has for attention, she was beautiful enough to get peoples' attention by dressing nice but polite. When Zach saw her, he looked at Shaela and asked, "Shae, who is the gorgeous girl with you?"

"Zach, this is Kaila Cruz, I met her while I was at cheerleading practice. She is funny as heck and I think you will enjoy hanging with us." Shaela said.

By the time the three got to knew each other, they were like inseparable from then on. They would always do things together; go fishing, bowling, watch movies, and everything that best friends could do jointly. They were practically best friends from the start because, no matter what they did, the three of them stuck with each other like partners in crime. The three of them would laugh at each other when they picked on one of the others. One day Kaila was feeling so ornery that she licked her finger and stuck it into Zach's ear and managed to stick her tongue out at him before Zach could do anything to her. Shaela was just busting up at the two of them, she was rolling on the floor almost peeing her pants.

"Kaila, you are just a little butt muncher! I was just sitting here minding my own business and then you just wet my ear with your slobbery finger. What the heck? Do you think you like me or something?" Zach said.

"Ok you lint licker, here is why I pick on you all the time. You are not like the other boys, all mean and nasty. No, you are the one guy that cares about girls and their feelings. I have only been around you for a month now and during that time, you have been so amazing and such a great friend to me. You are always there for Shaela and I, which is more than I could ask for. That is why I pick on you, I care about you more than most of the other boys." Kaila told Zach.

"Kaila, you are right about Zach. He has been amazing to us and I am very lucky to have such an amazing big brother to help us with anything he can and inspire us every single day." Shaela said.

"You two girls just made my whole day. I wouldn't trade you two for anything, not even for a million dollars. I love you girls with all my heart." Zach told Shaela and Kaila.

One day while they were in school, Zach was rolling down the hall like he always does every day. However, this day was different because Kaila and Shaela were ornery to him all day. They were scaring him, making funny faces, Kaila was nibbling his ear while Shaela was kissing his cheek. One time he was just strolling along and didn't notice that they were coming out of a class he passed, so they snuck behind him and scared the crap out of him. They scared him so bad that he spun 360 degree circles in his wheelchair four or five times. Shae and Kaila were just cracking up because they scared their best friend.

The next day, Zach practically got his two favorite girls back for what they did to him yesterday. The prank was to show Shaela and Kaila that they meant everything to him and that he could get back at them as if they didn't even notice. He bought two dozen roses, snuck the flowers in and then put them into his locker before anybody could notice. Zach went to his morning classes thinking about how to get them by themselves so he could give each girl their gift. What if I give them their gifts at the same time? Would they both like that? I'm thinking they would because they are my two closest friends ever, duh! He just laughed to himself.

When lunch came, Zach got the roses out of his locker and waited out in the parking lot for his two best friends. He saw them walking and laughing together as if they were having an excellent day. When they seen Zach, Shaela and Kaila were shoving and pushing one another to get the first hug from him. Yet, when they came up to him to get an amazing hug, he had his arms behind his back to where they couldn't get them undone. The girls glanced at each other with an uncertained look and then asked Zach, "What are you doing? We want some special hugs from you!"

"Um, would you two close your eyes for a moment? I have a surprise for both of you." Zach said.

"What? You got surprises for us? When?" Shaela asked.

"Well, I strolled to the store before school this morning, that is why I was gone when you were getting ready." Zach told his sister.

"Really? Well Kaila, I guess we should close our eyes if we want our prizes." Shaela smiled and winked.