A big Thank You to WanderingScot for his editing of this story.
Life is fickle if I may call it that. When we're young we have all these hopes and dreams and are told we can be anything as long as we try hard. I guess sometimes it's true but at other times we just don't have control over how things turn out.
My best friend while growing up was Kerry. We were both from families with higher incomes. In grade school we considered ourselves boyfriend and girlfriend. We loved being together and even talked about how when we got older we would get married and how many kids we would have.
Our parents would always laugh when Kerry said she wanted two kids and I said I wanted three. So I told her she could go ahead and have two and I would have three. I think we were about six years old at the time.
Time went on and we even spent our junior high school years together. Then my life as well as Kerry's was turned upside down. One day when Kerry was thirteen she was on her bike and was hit by a truck.
She was life-flighted to the hospital in critical condition. I couldn't help crying when I heard about it. I wanted to go see her but my parents said it wouldn't be a good idea, besides she was having major surgery and would more than likely be in a coma.
It turned out she broke both legs and had major head injuries. I felt so bad knowing that there was nothing I could do. It was summer time and I spent my whole vacation worrying about Kerry.
As she was getting better I was later told that after the accident she had only a seventy-thirty chance of surviving the accident but now they thought her chances were very good. It was over a month later before they told me I could go see her but they still advised against it.
"Why, Mom? Why don't you want me to see her?" I asked.
"John, Kerry has undergone a number of surgeries. Her head and face are completely wrapped except for her eyes and mouth. I know it's going to be hard on you as well as Kerry."
"I have to go see her Mom, she's my friend" I responded.
When I walked into her room she was conscious. The moment I saw her I had tears running down my face. I couldn't believe what I saw. Her head and face was wrapped in a mask like a mummy. There was no way anyone would even know who she was.
"Hi Kerry," I said under tearful eyes.
"John, I guess I blew it this time. The plans for our future will have to be put on hold. I'm being transferred to the Mayo clinic and won't be home for some time. You'll have to learn to study by yourself." She was trying to be funny but I knew she was scared.
It was Kerry that kept me on the straight and narrow. She helped me study which helped improve my grades. I couldn't picture my day to day life without her. God I was going to miss her.
I honestly didn't know what to say. I just blurted out whatever I could think of. "Let me know how things are going from time to time. You're still my best friend." I squeezed her hand and quickly walked out of her room. I didn't want her to see me crying.
In the hallway my parents told me that she would have to go through a number of surgeries and skin grafts. It would take a few years before she would be done with all the medical work and they still weren't sure how she would look.
I knew I still had to go back in and say goodbye. I wiped the tears from my eyes as I walked back in the room to say goodbye to my best friend. I know she could see that I had been crying. She was always such a smart girl. She had both the looks and the brains. I had to ask "Why God? Why Kerry?"
I could tell she was looking at me. "John, don't worry about me and I want you to go out there and be the best football player ever. If you don't want to do it for yourself, then do it for me. I don't know how I will look after all the operations, but just remember that beauty is only skin deep and I will still be the same person on the inside."
I had always talked with Kerry telling her how I wanted to play pro football and make lots of money and she could spend it on herself and our kids. I was basing all my future plans on us being together. Now the only plan I had was to be the best football player I could be. I was going to do it for Kerry.
All that took place seventeen years ago. I never heard from Kerry again but I can't say that I never thought about her. I guess it's called 'alone time' when you sit there all by yourself and think about your past and the good and the bad times. My best times were when I was a kid and being with Kerry. My worst time was seeing Kerry in the hospital. I often wondered what happened to her.
I will explain more about my life throughout this story. I was now a thirty-one year old man who owned a car dealership. I've had a number of ups and downs throughout my life.
Tonight I was to go to a Halloween party with everyone in my dealership. I had over twenty-five employees and we decided to go to a party at the Hilton Inn.
I had my secretary pick me up a costume, and I ended up with a cowboy outfit. She told me I was Roy Rogers. Actually I kind of liked the outfit except for the guns. I told her I could do without them.
The party was a lot of fun; I had a lot of good people who worked for me and I supplied the drinks for them during the evening. There were a lot of other people there also and we mingled with them. I was intrigued with a woman who was dressed as Cat Woman from the Batman series.
Her outfit was all black and very tight. It showed all her curves; she was lean and the suit fit her like a glove. The only thing that bothered me was she wore a full head mask. I could only see her eyes and the opening for her mouth. It brought back thoughts of Kerry.
The first time she walked by me she said, "Hi John, good to see you again," and walked away.
I have to admit this grabbed my attention. I walked over to her and asked her if she would like to dance and maybe have a drink.
"The drink would be nice but I'm not in the mood for dancing," she replied.
She had me intrigued. "How about a little conversation instead?" I asked.
"That would be nice. My name is Kat, as in Cat Woman," she said as she laughed. "My husband is meeting me here, so I have a few minutes."
I sat down and waited for our drinks to come. "So Kat, how is it we know each other."
"I've know you most of my life John. We even went to the same High school."
At first when she said we've know each other I thought about Kerry again. I didn't want to blurt out her name so I just asked questions. "Did we ever date?"
"Not hardly! When I was a freshman, you were a senior. All the girls had a crush on you."
"So what else do you know about me?" I asked.
"I know everything about you John. Don't forget you're a celebrity. Everyone knows about you. You were 'All State' in high school. Then you went to State college where you were a tight end. After that you were picked in the second round of the Pro Draft and played for two years before that horrible knee injury that ended your career."
"I can't believe you know so much about me. Why don't you take off your mask to I can see who you are?"
"I don't think so John. I prefer to keep it on. Don't want to scare you or anything," she replied.
At that moment a chill ran up my spine. I thought about Kerry's covered face and of course I had to wonder what it must have looked like under the bandages. I tried to recover but I know Kat noticed my reaction.
"What's the matter John? Did I say something to upset you? I'm sorry, I didn't mean to."
I know she said we were in the same school and that she said she was younger but I had to wonder if it just might be Kerry. "Are you sure that we never dated?" I asked.
"John, not to be disrespectful but you dated a lot of bimbo's and groupies. Also a few celebrities; you were also married and divorced twice. I'm sorry but I don't exactly fall into any of those categories."
"I'm sorry. I know I screwed up my life pretty good. I really am trying to change it now. It's just that you remind me so much of a childhood friend; even though it's been quite a few years, I think about her often."
"Not to pry but I'm a good listener, a shoulder to lean on, what's your friends' name?"
"You wouldn't know her, it was a long time ago. Her name was Kerry Underwood." I know I had tears in my eyes when I said her name.
"John, I know a Kerry Underwood. She was hurt in a car accident when she was just a teenager."
"What? You know Kerry? What can you tell me about her?"
"Oh, here comes my husband," said Kat. "Jim this is John Taylor, the pro football player from our town."
"Good to meet you John. I followed your career, too bad about the knee injury," replied Jim.
"Nice to meet you too Jim. Kat, I'm sorry, you are with your friends at a party and I'm taking up your time, but I would like to talk to you more about Kerry later." I replied.
"That would be nice. Maybe we can set up a lunch date if Jim doesn't mind," said Kat.
"Honey, you know I trust you," replied Jim.
"So, John, I'll see you later," said Kat as she walked away.
I sure wish I could have talked to her longer. Now she has me thinking about Kerry again.
I had ignored my friends and had to get back with them for the evening. I knew I had to get back to Kat eventually and learn more about Kerry. I just hoped she would get back to me. Hell, I didn't even get her last name.
A couple of weeks had gone by and I didn't hear from Kat. Then one day while I was at the dealership my secretary came in and told me a woman wanted to speak with me in private.
.... There is more of this story ...