From Farm to Fame: Lexie- Chapter 2

Another day, or weekend as the case may be, that I remembered far too well was the weekend I missed the family ski trip. As a tradition to have some fun and do some family bonding, we took a ski trip every year on the last weekend before Christmas; this was often the only weekend that everybody was home together aside from the weekend which followed Christmas, but then we usually had too many guests over for any family bonding time. Camden, like Zoe, studied away from home, though in his case it was because he had chosen to attend the Dribbledine Sports Academy, not because he was forced to go to military school for bad behaviour; usually they took their summer breaks at different times as the schools went by what was common in that region. The ski trip had been tradition since we were about 10 or so, and I was 16 that year, so it felt weird to miss it; I felt guilty, though it was only because I was too sick to go. Zoe missed that year too, school had let out late that year for their Christmas break and her flight had also been delayed due to severe weather, so she wouldn’t be home until the Sunday when everybody else was due home. I was relieved I wasn’t the only one missing the trip, but also sad that I was missing a nice trip without Zoe.

I enjoyed the ski trip every year, even if I was forced to go with Zoe. Zoe never joined us on the slopes anyway, she usually just spent her time hanging out in the lodge or wandering around causing trouble. Mom seldom hit the slopes herself, and usually just spent the day writing despite dad’s efforts to convince her to take a break from it for the weekend. It was usually just dad, Camden, Shane, and myself on the slopes; we often raced each other, usually dad won, but he had more experience than we did and we enjoyed reminding him that one day we would all be able to beat him. In the evening was when the whole family hung out together, sipping hot chocolate by the fire and catching up on each other lives. It was one of the few times I could even tolerate being in the same room as Zoe as it was one of the few times she didn’t bother to argue with or insult me. I was going to miss that the most, Hidden Springs had many places to ski so I didn’t miss that too much because I could go anytime, I just missed spending that time with my family, it was one of the few times I felt comfortable being around and talking to so many people, even if it was my own family.

I felt better by Saturday morning, and felt worse for not going since I could have at least enjoyed part of the weekend.  I decided to spend some time at the winter festival that was going on that weekend, so I could at least do something fun myself; Jayson was supposed to meet me at my house on Sunday morning so we could go together. I figured if I went in the morning I would be home when everybody else got there so I could listen to all the stories they had from the weekend, I wouldn’t want to stay more than a couple hours anyway as it was too exhausting putting up with so many people around me. It was about the same time Jayson was supposed to be there that the doorbell rang, so assuming it was him I put on my coat and boots before opening the door so I’d be ready to go. It wasn’t Jayson. It was a police officer; it wasn’t uncommon for the police to show up at our door, when Zoe was around she was almost always in trouble for something and often got brought home by the cops, and it wasn’t uncommon for Shane to be brought home by them for breaking curfew. It seemed weird for an officer to be at the house when Zoe and Shane weren’t around, I thought for a moment that Zoe had arrived home a few hours early and was already in trouble but since the officer was alone that didn’t make sense. Dad also happened to be good friends with the officer, and he often visited the house to visit dad, but I figured he would have known about the ski trip. I noticed he looked rather grim, but I couldn’t figure out why he would be there. “Dad’s out of town, he’ll be home in a few hours, should be on the way now.” I reminded him. “I can let him know you stopped by if you’d like.”

He looked down and shifted around awkwardly. I thought perhaps I saw a tear in his eye before he looked down. He heard him take a deep breath before he said anything. “Unfortunately, I am not here to see your father. I am here on business.”

“Oh. Okay, umm…” I wasn’t sure what to say, I didn’t know what he was there for, but I really didn’t have a good feeling. I gestured for him to come inside, it was too cold for him to stay outside while he was there.

He step inside and let me shut the door behind him before speaking again. “Lexie, I’m really sorry.” He paused for a moment and seemed to be pondering what to say next, it only made me worry more about why he was there. “There was a fatal accident on the highway this morning.” He continued before pausing again, suddenly I realized where he was going, but I wanted to deny it.

I hung my head and shook it slowly, “Please don’t finish that.”

“Your family was involved. They were all pronounced dead at the scene.”

I didn’t even know how to respond. I didn’t believe what I’d just heard. It couldn’t be real. It was the type of story I heard about on the news, it was a tragedy that happened to other people, it couldn’t be happening to me. It wasn’t fair. I wanted to ask for details, I wanted to know exactly how it happened so I could make sense of it, but I really didn't want to know details and have their image haunt me. I didn’t know if I should cry or what, I didn’t know what to do. I was still trying to process what happened and what it meant, I looked back up at his face hoping he’d  crack a smile or something and tell me it was a joke; it would be a sick joke but it would be better than it being reality. He never did smile and held the same grim expression he’d had since I’d opened the door; he seemed about as unsure of what to do as I was.

He proceeded to speak after a moment or two. “We’ve already started to contact the rest of your family. Everybody so far will be in as soon as they get here, though likely that will take at least a day or two.  Are you okay on your own, or is there anybody you can stay with in the meantime?”

“I think I’m okay, I do have people I can call if I need to." I didn't really, but I did know I had Jayson to call if I needed anything."I should wait for Zoe anyway, she’ll be home soon.”

“Alright. I should also inform you that there are resources available to you and your sister at this time, to help you grieve and to help with the transition into life on your own, should you need them. You can contact the station at any time and we help you with accessing those resources. Also speaking now as your father’s friend, you and your sister are welcome to contact me personally at any time should you need anything at all, I know your father would want you to be well taken care of and I want to make sure that I help in any way I can.”

“Thanks Doug. I’ll let you know if I need anything.” I shut the door behind him as he walked away, and leaned back against it after doing so. I was still processing what I’d just heard, and what it meant. My parents were gone; I’d just been orphaned. My siblings were gone too, other than Zoe who I didn’t get along with, Maya who lived far away, and Ericka who hadn’t spoken to the family in years. I felt so alone; I was scared.