I was driving home from school. I'm Lisa Marks. I attend Bristol Aggie High School in Dighton as a 10th grader. I want to work with animals. I would like to be either a veterinarian or a groomer. I'm not sure where I want to attend for college yet. I'm 16 and got my driver's license recently. I live in Wareham. My mom, Emma, works for Toby Hospital for an operation room. My dad, Marc, is not in the picture. He left us ten years ago.

I have an 18-year-old sister, Leslie. We live in a two-bedroom house. She and I share the same room, but we don't mind. We are very close. She'll be graduating from high school this year. She attends Upper Cape Cod Voc-Tech High School. She's majoring in Dental Assistant. It starts at 7:30 pm. We leave at the same time sometimes. She just got accepted to Bridgewater State University. She will be staying because it would be too far for her to travel back and forth. Plus, because of her grades, she's got a scholarship to help pay for that college.

My school starts before 8:00 am, so I get up by 6:45 am to give me time to get ready and I like to leave between 7:15 and 7:20 am. I got my own parking space now since I started driving there. I work with pets in the afternoon, which is usually after lunch. I handle any size of any kind of pets. The best part is the fall show. I won 1st place with a rabbit as a ninth grader and 2nd place recently with a goat.

We each have a boyfriend and we would do double dates. I have Jim Parsons. He's my age. We met during a tour when we were 8th graders. We hit it off and were friends before going out since the beginning of 9th grade. He's allergic to let hair, so he's studying for plants. He lives in Seekonk, but we do talk on the phone often. His mom is nice and she's a doctor for St. Anne's Hospital in Fall River. I didn't know his father. He died five years ago. I'm on birth control. I don't want sex until I get married, but I vowed if I do get pregnant by accident, I would do a responsible thing by raising my baby.

Leslie had a boyfriend before. Her first one, Pete, cheated on her three years ago. They were middle school sweethearts. He had an affair when they first started high school. When Leslie found out, she was very furious and broke up with him. At that time, she got pregnant. She wasn't ready to be a mom at 15 and decided to terminate it. I don't believe in it, but Mom and I supported her.

Three months later, she got a second boyfriend, Max, who lives in Falmouth. He was a senior. He has no idea about it. She told me she had no plans to tell him anytime soon. I understood. She only told him she's not ready to have sex yet and was cool on it. Mom likes him, but to be honest, I don't. I don't see how she approved Max. He is too old for her (He's 21). My biggest fear is that he drinks and drives. Luckily, she won't go in his car to protect herself. I refuse to do the same thing. When we do double dates, we take our own cars. He's already in Bridgewater State University to major for Dental, too.

Mom have a few rules about dating. We can only date on weekends and school vacations and have to be home by 10:00 pm. But she gives us an okay to go out during the week when she works late and she has no problem with me having dinner at his house.

The rule doesn't bother me for two reasons. One: it would give me time to study, homework, and projects. I start all that after school to allow me to enjoy myself after supper. And, I have a longtime best friend, Lily. Although, she attends Wareham High School, we like to hang out during the week, especially after school. She got a permit and taking a road test tomorrow. And, she loves to come to the fall shows to support me.

She also lives with a single parent. She barely remembers her mom, Rose, who died from an illness 13 years ago. Her dad raised her on his own ever since. He helped her practice driving. He works for a law office she would come over whenever he had to work late. She didn't want to eat alone and I don't blame her. In fact, she's coming over for supper tonight.

At 5:00 pm, I was almost done with homework when the doorbell rang. Then, Lily came in my room.

"Hi," said Lily.

"Hi. I'll be done with my homework soon," I said.

I completed it before Mom got home from work a half hour later. Leslie and I were cooking while Lily was setting the table.

"Hi, girls," said Mom.

"Hi," we all said.

At the table, Mom said, "We'll be meeting a surprise visitor next weekend."

"Who?" asked Leslie.

"You'll have to wait and see," said Mom.

"It's a mystery. How exciting," said Lily.

After dinner, I was helping her and Leslie clean the kitchen before Lily and I had free time. We decided to watch a movie until her dad came by for her.

"I'll call you after my road test," said Lily.

"Good luck," I said.

"Thanks," said Lily.

The next day, at school, my stomach was starting to hurt me. The teacher noticed how pale I was.

"Do you need to go to the nurse?" asked the teacher.

"I'll be okay," I said. "May I go get water though?"

"Sure," said Mrs. Wallace.

That's what I did. I felt a bit better after that. Luckily for me, I managed to eat lunch. Jim and I have lunch together everyday.

After school, I was at home doing my homework when my cell rang as I picked it up. "Hello."

"Hi," said Dr. Parson. "I'm calling you to give you some news. Jim had just gotten in a car accident by a wrong way driver and is admitted here. The doctors just informed me that he's in critical condition and they aren't sure if he will make it."

"Wow. I just saw him, too," I said. "May I come to see him?"

"Sure," said Dr. Parson.

I was unsure if Lily was still having a road test, so I'll tell her about Jim later when she calls me. I only called my mom to tell her about what happened.

"I'm going to leave to see him now," I said.

"Okay," said Mom. "I'm going to be working late tonight, so you and Leslie will be on your own."

"That's fine," I said. "I might wait until tonight to call Lily in case she's having her road test."

After we talked, I was getting ready when Leslie got home from school. She knew something was bugging me.

"I just had a call from Dr. Parson while I was doing homework. Jim got into a car accident and is admitted at St. Anne's Hospital. He's listed in critical condition and unsure if he'd make it," I said. "I just called Mom to tell her. She's working late anyway, so we'll be on our own."

"Okay, I can take you," said Leslie.

"Fine," I said.

Then, we left for St. Anne's Hospital. Dr. Parson was waiting for me to see him.

"The driver was drunk at the time of the crash. He wasn't hurt, but got arrested for being careless," said Dr. Parson.

"Good," I said.

"I'll let you spend time alone with him," said Leslie.

"Alright. Thanks," I said.

We left to see him.

"I'm on break, so I'll stay with you," said Dr. Parson.

"Okay," I said.

We were by Jim's side when I heard the beeping sound an hour later. I waited out of his room. That was when I found out that he passed away.

"At least I was able to see him for a bit," I said.

"I agree," said Dr. Parson. "Jim's going to be cremated before I give out details for the funeral."

"Can I still come by to visit?" I asked.

"Sure. I enjoy having you around. You're welcome to come over for dinner anytime," said Dr. Parson.

"Okay. I like that idea," I said.

I left when she had to return to her rounds 30 minutes later. In the car, Leslie noticed something was wrong.

"Is something wrong?" asked Leslie.

"Jim succumbed to his injuries," I said.

"That's a shame," said Leslie.

"I know. His mom and I were with him when it happened," I said. "He's going to be cremated before the funeral is planned."

"I'm sorry for your loss," said Leslie.

"Thanks. The drunk driver deserved to be arrested," I said.

"I agree," said Leslie.

We decided to pick up pizza to take it home. We get half cheese and half pepperoni.

"We can save some for Mom in case she wants it later," I said.

"Good idea," said Leslie.

We each had two slices and saved the rest for Mom. We do that often when we're on our own. I went back to finish my homework. I was able to finish it to my surprise. The cell rang as I answered.

"Hello," I said.

"Hi, guess what? I passed the road test," said Lily.

"That's great to hear," I said trying to be cheerful.

"You don't sound cheerful," said Lily.

"Oh, sorry. I had unexpected news, that's all," I said as I told her about what happened to Jim.

"Wow. That's a shocker," said Lily.

"I know. I'm shaken by the news and I was upset when he passed while I was with him," I said.

"I bet you were," said Lily.

"I didn't want to bother you during a road test, that's why I waited until you call me to tell you," I said.

"I understand," said Lily.

Mom came home before 9:30 pm. I was watching a movie in my nightgown.

"Were you able to see Jim?" asked Mom.

"Yes, but unfortunately, he died an hour later," I said. "The driver was drunk at the time of the accident."

"Oh, really?" asked Mom.

"Yes. Luckily, he got arrested," I replied.

"Good," said Mom.

"That's what I said, too," I said. "Dr. Parson said I can still visit anytime. She enjoyed having me around. She added I'm welcome to be there for dinner, too."

"That's a good idea. I have no problem with that," said Mom.

The next day, at school, I was trying to forget about the news when an announcement came to mention about Jim's tragedy accident and that funeral details will be available soon. I ignored it.

Everyone was shocked. The teacher suspected that I knew about it because she came to me. "How are you holding up?"

"I'm in shock. I knew about the accident from his mom. I went to see him while he was in critical condition. He died an hour later," I said. "I was trying to forget about it."

"That's okay," said Mrs. Wallace.

After school, at home, I was able to do my homework.

Mom, who was off, was concerned about me and came in to see me. "How did you make out today?"

"Still shocked. I tried to ignore it when they made that announcement on Jim," I said.

"I bet," said Mom.

Later, Dr. Parson texted me to invite me to have dinner with her on Friday. I checked with Mom, who was fine with that."

On Friday, at home, I was doing homework before I got ready to leave.

"I know," I said. "I'll be leaving to meet Dr. Parson for dinner soon. She gets out at 5:00 pm, so I'll leave before then."

"Good idea to beat the traffic," said Leslie.

"Mom knew I won't be home for dinner anyway," I said.

I left at 4:45 pm. Dr. Parson was leaving now, so she said she should be home when I get. She was letting me keep the spare key in case I get there before her.

It doesn't take long depends on traffic. I got there after 5:30 pm. She was already home when I got there.

"Good timing. I got out a bit late," said Dr. Parson.

"Oh, good," I said.

"I decided to put my house up for sale soon and plan to live near my job," said Dr. Parson.

"Makes sense since you'll be living on your soon," I said.

"Yes. My co-worker invited me to move in her apartment," said Dr. Parson. "You can still see me."

"Sounds good," I said.

"I'm going to change up and we can go out for dinner," said Dr. Parson.

"Okay," I said.

That's what she did and took me out to Newport Creamery. Jim and I love going there.

"I'm waiting for the ashes before making plans for the funeral. It will be soon," said Dr. Parson. "It takes a week."

"Where will that be held?" I asked.

"Seekonk Congregation Church, which is down the street from here," said Dr. Parson.

"I know where it is. Jim showed me when he toured me when I first visited here. That was back when we started out friends before getting serious. It's a beautiful church," I said.

"We go there every Sunday since I'm off on weekends," said Dr. Parson.

"We attend St. Patrick's, near Wareham High School. We try to do so on Sundays. Sometimes, it's tough because Mom works on some Sundays, so it would be just me and Leslie," I said.

"Which is understandable," said Dr. Parson. "He'll be buried at Notre Dame Cemetery where his father is."

"If I do decide to come, do you mind if I meet you at your house and we can go together?" I asked.

"Sure, I don't mind," replied Dr. Parson.

"If it's on a weekday, I'll just keep school that day," I said.

"Okay," said Dr. Parson. "You can also stay over at my house the night before the memorial service if you want to do it that way to make it easier for you."

"I could do it that way," I said.

After dinner, we had ice cream before going back to her house. At her house, we said our good-byes as I left for home. At home, Mom said, "How did it go?"

"Good. She's going to put her house up for sale and move in her co-worker's apartment so she won't have to be alone," I said.

"I don't blame her," said Mom.

"We made a plan if I go to the memorial service. I can meet her at her house so we can go together," I said.

"Good idea," said Mom.

"She added if I want to, I can even stay over there for the night to make it easier for me," I said.

"Okay, that's fine with me," said Mom.

"It's going to be at Seekonk Congregational Church and burial will be in Fall River where he'll be laid to rest his dad," I said. "She's just waiting for the ashes first."

"I understand. It can take up a week or so," said Mom.

"That's what she said, too," I said.