Chapter Eighteen

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Waking up at 6:30 am had never been so easy. The moment my alarm rang, my eyes snapped open and I sat up, an excited flutter spreading through my stomach. In about an hour the whole senior class would be meeting up at school, waiting to pile onto the many coaches that will be taking us up to Bristol Mountain Resort.

I showered and blow dried my hair in record time, taking the extra precaution so as not to get sick on the first day of our three-day trip. The snow coated everything once more last night, and it was so cold you could almost feel your eyeballs starting to freeze into ice cubes (or spheres?). Before I knew it, I was dressed and throwing the duffel bag I had packed last night over my shoulder along with my small backpack. As I was skipping down the stairs, pulling on a wool beanie as I went, the front door suddenly opened and mom rushed in. She was rubbing her hands together, teeth chattering. It took her a few moments to notice my presence.

"Oh, hey! I don't think I've ever seen you up this early." She laughed, taking off her shoes. Her hair was pulled up tightly and her face had a slight grey sheen to it. The normally bright amber in her eyes looked dull and lifeless with dark circles around them. To put it simply, she looked exhausted. She pulled off her coat, revealing her familiar green scrubs underneath.

"Long night shift?" I said sympathetically. She nodded, and we walked into the kitchen.

"Yeah, I'm still getting used to it." She gave me a tired smile, leaning against the counter.

I took a couple sliced of bread to make myself a sandwich for breakfast, and another for the long way. "I wish you didn't do this to yourself. We were perfectly fine before. You're killing yourself, mom."

She stared at the floor for a moment. "Maybe you're right. I'll think about it. After a long nights- well, days sleep."

I grinned at her, and put the bread back down. I walked towards her, giving her a tight hug. "Go to bed, mom."

She kissed my forehead. "Okay. You have fun, sweetie. Take loads of pictures, and make sure you call me every night before bed. Be safe, we don't want any broken bones."

I laughed. "I'll try. I love you."

"Love you too, baby." With that she turned and left the kitchen, pulling her long black hair out of its pony tail as she went.

The night before when she was leaving for work, she had given me some money in case I needed to buy anything while I was on the ski trip, so I double checked my wallet to make sure it was there. I finished making my sandwiches, packed them, and turned to check the time. Only 7:10, way earlier than the usual time I woke up on a normal day, let alone a Saturday. I guess I had been a little over excited and set my alarm a tad too early, since we had to meet up at 8 o'clock but better early than late, right?

I pulled out my phone and texted Isobel, asking if she was ready. She replied instantly, telling me she was already at the door. Looks like I wasn't the only one excited to get going. I told her to come outside and left the house.

The cold hit me immediately, and I rushed to stuff my bag in the trunk before jumping into the driver's seat and turning the heating all the way up. Isobel came out a few moments later, a backpack on her back and a bigger bag in her hand. She smiled brightly at me, and put her bag in the trunk with mine before sliding into the seat next to me.

"Hey." She grinned, her cheeks pink with cold. She had gloves on her hand, making me slightly envious. I had packed mines in my bag last night and didn't feel like taking them out this morning. A decision I deeply regretted the second I opened the door and was faced with the biting cold.

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