Mitchie sat on her front porch, reading her favorite book, Pride and Prejudice, though not really seeing the words. She sighed as she stood up and walked to her front door and closed her eyes, but doesn't go in. She's too excited, too…anxious. She's excited because her husband, Nate Gray of Nate Gray and the Administration, is finally going to be home after 5 months of touring. She's anxious because this is the same day that, 5 years ago, everything went wrong…
Mitchie sat on her couch, listening to music lightly while reading when she heard a sound coming from the front hall. She looked up. "Hello? Mom, you home?" No answer. She got up and went to the dark hallway. "Hello?" As she turned on the light, she felt a pair of arms wrap around her waist. She gasped in fear and turned around.
"Ugh, Nate! You scared the crap out of me!" She made her voice sound angry, but she was laughing along with him. "I hate you around Halloween."
"I'm sorry, but I just had to." He leaned down and kissed her. "Do you still love me?" She pretended to think. "Hmm…yes. Of course." She smiled. "Okay, come on." She pulled him to the living room and down onto the couch.
"Pride and Prejudice again?" She smirked. "You know me." He smiled and kissed her again. She leaned back, pulling him with her as she deepened the kiss. Nate moved his hands on either side of her and accidentally turned the TV on. Mitchie pulled away to laugh. "Sorry." She shook her head. "It's okay, just leave it." She started kissing him again when a phrase caught her attention: "car crash." She flitted her eyes over to the TV. "Wait… Wait, stop." Her eyes were fixed on the screen.
"What?" He looked over at the TV screen.
"Oh, my god…" On the screen, it was showing a horrible car crash. Mitchie felt a rush of shock and panic as she realized she recognized one of the cars. "Is that…? Mitchie said, barely audible.
"What? Mitch, look at me." She looked at him, her eyes just focusing on his face when she got up from the couch.
"I have to go." She grabbed her jacket on the way out as she rushed to her car.
"Mitchie, wait!" She was already out the door. He rushed after her, but she was gone before he got out to her. He ran to his car and started to go after her.
'It can't be, it can't be,' she thought over and over again as she drove up to the highway and got caught in traffic. She waited as long as she could before she couldn't take it. She pulled her car over and ran the rest of the way.
Nate, not that far behind her, saw her run out and did the same. "Mitchie!" She ran until she caught sight of an ambulance. She walked slowly to see who was in it. "No…no!" She ran forward again. Nate had finally caught up to her. "Mitchie, stop." He grabbed her arm. "No, don't! Mom!" She tried to run over again, but a police officer stopped her. "You can't come through here."
"You have let me in, you have to let me see her!" Nate pulled her back. "Mitchie, come on." She tried pulling away. "No, stop!"
"Mitchie, don't okay? I saw her." She stopped struggling and looked at him. "You saw her?" He nodded. "And is she okay?" He looked away. "Look at me, Nate. Nate, look at me!" He finally looked up at her. "Is she okay?" she said, close to tears. He shook his head. "I'm so sorry, Mitch…"
She couldn't breathe for a second. "No…no…"
"Mitchie…" She completely broke down. Nate held her close as she sobbed, trying to comfort her, even though everything he tried didn't work…
Mitchie was still standing outside of her door, her eyes still closed, when she felt a pair of arms slip around her waist. She smiled. "What are you doing, just standing here?" Nate whispered in her ear. "Just…thinking." Nate smiled and turned her around, but his smile faded as he saw the look on her face and knew exactly what she was thinking about. "Mitch…" She looked down. "I know, I know. But I can't just not think about it." Nate pushed her chin up to look at him. She smiled slowly. He smiled back and kissed her. She giggled. "Oh, I missed you so much Nate. You wouldn't even believe how much I missed you." He smirked. "I think I can imagine. Now let's go inside." She nodded and they walked inside together. She started to laugh as he turned her around again and kiss her. He took off his jacket and wrapped his arms around her. She pulled out of his grip and started to back up. "I'll be right back," she said, smiling. "But I just got back." She giggled at the expression on his face. "I know, but I gotta put my book away." She opened the door to their bedroom. "But it's just a book – " She cut him off. "It's my favorite book! I have to take care of it." She rolled her eyes as she walked into their bedroom to put it away. "And I have to change." She closed the door.
Nate laughed and leaned against the wall opposite to the door. He shook his head, thinking about that night with Mitchie and her mom, then remembering what happened to him a year later…
"So, I'll see you tomorrow?" Mitchie nodded. "Of course." Nate smiled and kissed her. Mitchie giggled. "Bye." She started walking across the street to her house when she turned to look back and saw him watching her. "What?" she asked. "What?" he responded. "Why are you watching me?" He raised his eyebrows. "What, I can't watch you?" She smiled. " I never said that. I asked why you were." He smiled. " I'm just making sure you get in okay." She giggled. "Oh, you're so sweet." He shrugged. "I try." She smiled once more before turning to go to her house.
Nate waited until she got in to go into his own house. "Shane!" he called out to his older brother, getting no answer. "Not home, okay." He started walking into a different room when he heard something behind him. He started to turn, expecting to see Shane, but an unfamiliar voice said "Don't move, or you're dead." He froze. "Where's my brother?..." he asked quietly. "No questions!" He felt something dig into his back. A gun barrel. Nate took deep breaths to try and stay calm. He looked around the room to see if he could find something he could use, anything, for defense. A bat. That would work. He counted to three in his head. One…two…three! He ran across the room and grabbed the bat. As he turned around, he heard a loud bang and everything went black.
Mitchie, who was in her house, jumped at the loud bang. She got up and looked across the street. She was sure it came from Nate's house. But what happened? Was Shane playing another prank? Then she saw someone she didn't recognize run out of the house, leaving the front door open. She left her house and started walking across the street. "Nate?" she called. No answer. "Nate, what was…" She slowed to a stop when she got to the house. She saw something on the window. She looked closer and saw that it was blood… "What?..." She walked inside the dark house. "Nate?..." She looked around, not able to see anything for a moment. But then… "Nate!" She ran to him and kneeled next to him. "No, no, not you too! Nate!" She nudged him. "Nate, wake up! Please!" Then she heard someone behind her. "Mitchie?" She looked up and saw her friend Caitlyn, who lived next to them. "What happened?!"
"Caitlyn, go get help!" Caitlyn nodded and ran off.
She turned back to Nate. "Nate, please wake up…please." Not knowing what to do, she leaned her head down onto his chest, covered with blood, as she cried and begged for him to wake up.
A few hours later, Nate opened his eyes. He was in the hospital. He turned his head slowly and saw Mitchie sleeping next to him on the bed. It took a few seconds for his eyes to adjust to the light when he saw the blood on her. He put his hand to her face, scared she had gotten hurt. She opened her eyes slowly. "Nate…Nate! Oh, my god." She hugged him. "You're awake." He pulled away. "Mitch, you…" The blood was all dried, not fresh. "It's yours…" she said quietly. "There was more on my clothes, but I changed." Nate looked into Mitchie's eyes. She wasn't looking at him. "I was so scared…" she whispered. " I thought…I thought I was gonna lose you, too." Her voice broke near the end as she started to cry. He hugged her. She wrapped her arms around his neck and cried quietly into his shoulder. "I can't lose you…"
He was slowly remembering everything that had happened, going through every moment, him and Mitchie getting home, calling out for Shane…
He pulled back slowly. Mitchie looked into his eyes. "Where…. Where's Shane?" She looked down as a new wave of tears rolled down her cheeks. He closed his eyes. No…he saw Shane earlier.
"He was gone before we even got there, Nate." Nate opened his eyes and looked away from her. "Nate.. I…" She pulled him into a hug. He was in too much shock to respond. She pulled away slowly. "If we had gotten back earlier…" Mitchie shook her head, knowing what he was thinking. "It happened fast. Shane…he got hit in the neck…" Nate closed his eyes. He's gone… He opened his eyes. "The guy…" Mitchie nodded. "They got him. The police said it started as a robbery…" She pulled Nate into another hug. He closed his eyes and pulled her closer. Mitchie thought this is how Nate must've felt last year…not being able to do anything to comfort her…
"Nate?" He had closed his eyes. He didn't hear Mitchie walk up to him. He opened his eyes and looked at her. "You okay?" He knew Mitchie had figured out what he was thinking about, just like he knew what she was thinking about. He nodded slowly. "Yeah... Yeah."
She hugged him tight. To him, it felt extremely good to be able to hold Mitchie again after 5 months. 5 very long months... He rested his head on her shoulder, never wanting to let go ever again.
Nate looked down and smiled. He let go of Mitchie just in time to bend down and pick up his daughter, who was running down the hall to them. "Hey, baby, how you doin'?" She smiled big. "Awesome! You're home!" He laughed at her using the word 'awesome.' "Yeah, I'm home."
She laughed her cute little laugh and almost jumped out of his arms in excitement. "Daddy, you gotta come see!" He smiled. Nate put her down and she grabbed his hand and started pulling him to her room. Mitchie laughed and followed them, watching them from the doorway.
Mitchie loved seeing how much of a Daddy's Girl their 3-year-old daughter Alyssa was, and was pretty sure Nate love it, too. Alyssa ran to Mitchie and grabbed her hand. Mitchie went and sat next to Nate and they both played with Alyssa, both having the time of their lives.
After losing Shane, nothing so bad ever happened on that day again. They were greatly relieved every year, watching Alyssa grow with pride for the rest of their lives.