The Man Who Stopped The World

Chapter 1 "Denial"

February 6, 2018


The restaurant was loud, people were talking, the music was blaring, and I was still trying to listen to the conversation my family was having. We were trying to pick which free appetizer we each wanted.   

“I for sure, want mozzarella sticks,” I said.  

My sister agreed with me. She had heard they were good, but she and my stepdad, Gimpy, wanted to get cheese fries. She still wanted some of my mozzarella sticks though.  

“You’ve got to share, or else you can’t have any of my cheese fries,” Kylie said.   

She laughed at herself, and my stepfather gave her a goofy look.   

“Hey look! It’s Devan, I’m gonna go talk to her,” I said.  

I sat down next to Devan, and her twin Erin sat across from me. We talked and caught up on each other’s lives. When my food arrived I went back to my table, and when I finished I asked if I could spend the night at Devan’s house.  

“Of course. Is she gonna give you a ride home tomorrow?” My mother said.  

“I am not sure, but she probably will. We’re gonna go to the house and get some clothes so I’ll see you in a bit,”  

I kissed my mother goodbye and told them I’d see them at home. Devan, and Erin and I were gonna stay at the restaurant for a while.  

When I got to my house my sister was leaving and my mom and stepdad were in the driveway arguing. I grabbed some PJs, my swimsuit, and some sweats to wear the next day; I told my mother and my stepdad goodbye.  

“Bye mom bye gimp, I’ll see you guys have fun at the lake tomorrow!” I said.  

“Bye baby girl, I love ya,” Gimpy said  

When we got to Devan’s house, we waited for her mom to get home and then we swam in her pool until about midnight, and then we watched the choir spring show. We laughed and picked which ones were our favorite songs, where we were standing during the dances and then we went to sleep.  

I woke up to my phone going off at 8:06 in the morning. My sister.  

Why was she calling me so early? I answered, confused. 

“BECCA YOU HAVE TO COME HOME!!” Kylie screamed.  

All I heard was a gurgled mess. It sounded like she was laughing. I found out later she wasn’t laughing, she was crying hysterically.  

“What? Why? What’s going on?!” I said.   

I sat on Devan’s bed listening intently, more confused and still sleepy.  


“What? Kylie, is this a joke? It is too early and that is horrible. Let me sleep.”  

I heard a new voice on the phone. A woman. Monotone and unfamiliar. 

Now I was annoyed.  

“Hello, my name is Elizabeth. I am from MedStar. Your stepfather has passed away. You need to come home.”  

Angry I almost hung up the phone.  

“Okay, seriously this isn’t funny. This isn’t a good joke, and it is 8 in the morning.” 

“Ma’am this isn’t a joke,” Elizabeth said.  

It’s too early for this, I kept thinking to myself as I rolled my eyes at Devan who looked at me as confused as I was. 

“Then why is my sister laughing. It sounds like she’s laughing. I know you aren’t from MedStar. Who is this?”  

Then I heard my mother.  

“Becca come home now. Gimpy has passed away.” No yelling. Just the statement.    

I could tell she was choking back tears, but it couldn’t be real, it couldn’t possibly be real. She hung up, and I sat confused and scared. Then my grandfather, Peepaw, called me from Mexico; he was at the airport trying to get back.  

“I am so sorry baby. I am so sorry, Becca, this shouldn’t have happened,” Peepaw said.  

That’s when I knew it was true. I had to go home. Now. 

The entire way to my house I went in a cycle, saying it couldn’t be real, that it was just a dream, then I would cry, then I would be calm and the cycle would start all over.  

When I arrived, my sister was sitting in the driveway, wailing and sobbing, clutching my mother.   

We weren’t allowed to go inside the house, He had died in the kitchen, but we wouldn’t find out until almost 4 months later that he died from a diabetic coma because his blood sugar was too high.   

At the beginning, it felt like my world had ended. It had stopped spinning and would never spin again.   

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