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Happy Endings

by Elizabeth Rose 5 years ago in dating
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Not all Stories Have Them...

In 1999, 600 miles apart, two people were born that would cross paths and impact each other in way that neither of them could have ever predicted.

The first was born on May 1, 1999 in Florida. From the moment he was born, everyone knew that Markie would be someone special. He was born with SIX different heart defects; doctors told his parents that he would never make it to see the age of two. When our two characters crossed paths, he was four.

The next person in the story was born August 21, 1999 in North Carolina. Stephanie was a pretty normal baby, nothing too special. But she would end up being something very special to Markie and his family.


In July of 2004, Markie and Stephanie crossed paths when his dad, Mark, became the D.J. at Stephanie’s family’s 4th of July party. Their friendship started with Markie swimming up to Stephanie in the pool and asking if she wanted to see his scars. Before she could even respond, he stood up out of the water and showed her the many scars from his many surgeries. Markie often did this when meeting new people his age. He was very proud of those scars. They showed how hard he’s fought. The two families, and the two kids hit it off immediately. It didn’t take very long for Mark, Maggie, Markie, and Brandon to become a part of Stephanie’s already huge family.


As time went on the two grew closer. Markie often came over and swam during the summer time, and their families often got together and went out. Markie and Stephanie grew closer and loved spending time together. Some years passed, and, sometime around 2012 Stephanie began to develop feelings for Markie. Stephanie was always really shy when it came to guys, so she couldn’t tell him how she felt. But later in the year, Markie’s health took a turn for the worse. They ended up having to take him to the Children’s hospital in Boston.

On September 11, 2012, Stephanie’s dad set up a motorcycle ride to escort Markie and his family to the airport. Stephanie gave Markie one last hug before jumping on the back of her pawpaw’s motorcycle and heading towards the airport. The whole ride she just sat there and prayed that that wouldn’t be their last hug. When they got to the airport Markie’s family pulled in and the motorcycles continued straight, and as she lost sight of their vehicle, the tears just began to roll down her face. When she got home that night she laid in her bed and stared at the ceiling, thinking about Markie, and remembering all of their great memories, sobbing because she feared that she would never again get to look into those bright blue eyes and tell him that she loved him, and feel his arms wrap around her, and hear him say “I love you, too.” Just the thought of never hearing his sweet voice again was enough to send her into a complete breakdown.

She kept her phone close by and waited for Maggie to post an update on how he was doing. She got in trouble with teachers for checking her phone. But nothing was going to stop her. She explained the situation to her favorite teacher, Mr.Greene, and she guessed that he said something to her other teachers because they never bothered her about checking for updates in class again. About a week passed by, and it seemed that Markie was going to be okay, so Mark and Brandon flew back to North Carolina so that Brandon could get back to school. But it wasn’t long before things got bad again... really bad. On Christmas Eve, they called Markie’s family in. They didn’t think he would make it much longer. Stephanie just wanted to hop on a plane and go be with him, but she couldn’t. She had to stay home and feel her heart break a little more every minute that she sat there waiting for an update. She just sat there, refreshing her phone, thinking of everything that she never got a chance to say. A few more days passed without any updates, and everyone began to assume the worst, until finally Maggie updated them, saying that Markie was doing much better, and would hopefully be coming home soon. It didn’t take long for him to make a full recovery and be released. Stephanie and her parents went to the airport to pick the family up. She was filled with joy when she saw his smiling face. When they dropped them off at home, Markie was already much better than before, and was cracking “that’s what she said” jokes. When Stephanie and her parents left, Markie’s family celebrated their Christmas together because, Brandon refused to open gifts without his brother.


As time went on, Stephanie thought about how much she had hated herself for not telling Markie her feelings before he went to Boston, and she told herself that she had to tell him. Even if he rejected her, she had to take the chance. But everytime she had finally worked up the nerve to tell him, she backed out. All she could think of was how it would affect their friendship if he didn’t feel the same. Eventually, her parents figured out that she had feelings for Markie, and his parents seemed to think he had feelings for Stephanie, too. Their parents already had the two teens married in their minds, and often made comments about it too them, calling her his girlfriend, and asking when the wedding was. Stephanie blushed and tried to deny her feelings, but in the back of her mind she dreamt of walking down the aisle to him. Little did she know, Markie felt the same way.


One weekend, Markie’s parents invited Stephanie and her parents to come and stay a night in their camper with them. So they loaded up the car and headed to Steele Creek. When they got there, it was all smiles and hugs, Stephanie couldn’t wait to spend this day with Markie. Stephanie, Markie, and the other kids spent pretty much the whole day swimming. But, Markie tired easily because of his health problems, so he needed to get out and rest, but didn’t want to because all of the other kids were having fun and he didn’t want to mess up their time, and he also didn’t want to get out and be alone. Stephanie saw that he was tired so she swam over to him and asked if he wanted to go back to the camper and play videogames or watch some Jeff Dunham. So the two kids got out, dried off and headed back to the camper.

When they got back, Markie wanted to play video games. Stephanie was terrible at playing them, as Markie had learned before, but she loved to sit and just watch him play them. So she sat there, watching him play his favorite game, Minecraft, laughing at him when he would get mad at the game and yell at the characters. The two sat and laughed for hours. She laughed at him getting mad at at game and he couldn’t help but giggle when she did. She just sat on the sidelines, watching him, just happy to be with him, and see him smile. This was one of her favorite things to do. When he got too mad at the game to continue playing, they sat and watched Jeff Dunham together, and Markie quoted every joke all the way through it, which with anyone else, would have driven Stephanie crazy, but when he did it, it was adorable, and she loved it. In her eyes, he could do no wrong.

Finally the adults and everyone else came back, and everyone went to bed, but Stephanie couldn't sleep. She laid there staring at the ceiling, thinking about the amazing day she had. On the other side of the camper wall, Markie was lying awake doing the same. The next day when it was time for Stephanie to go home, Mark and Maggie told her about a dance that night and asked if she wanted to stay with them another night and go to the dance with the boys, she almost said no, but later she would be so glad she said yes. Markie, and Stephanie spent that whole day fishing, and swimming. That night when it was time to go down to the dance, Markie said that he wasn’t feeling well. His mom tried to get him to go to the dance, but he wasn’t feeling up to it. Maggie told Stephanie that she could go down to the dance with Brandon, but she wouldn’t go without Markie, so she stayed in the camper and the two played Mario Kart together (A.K.A. Markie laughed at her ATTEMPTING to play). Stephanie never felt as if she was missing out when she chose to stay with Markie, because when she was with him she was having the time of her life.


Markie and Stephanie were the same age. He was actually a few months older, but because of his absences for surgeries and doctor appointments, he was a grade below her. So, when the school year ended, and Stephanie moved up to high school, she left Markie behind in middle school, and she missed him so much. She hated walking the halls of this new place and not seeing his friendly face. He, too, hated not passing her in the halls anymore, and missed her greatly. So the time kept passing, and the two remained the same, afraid to tell each other how they felt. Then time for 8th grade prom came around, and Stephanie got so excited. She was sure that Markie would ask her because his brother, Brandon, had told her that he definitely thought that he liked her. So she waits and waits for Markie to ask her, and he never does. Stephanie guessed that he either wasn’t going, or that he just decided to not bring a date, but the the night of the 8th grade prom rolled around, and she was scrolling through Facebook, and saw pictures that his mom, Maggie, had posted of him... and his date going to the dance together. Stephanie felt her heart shatter. She had lost all hope that she and Markie would ever be more than friends.

So she gave up on Markie, and wasn’t really looking for anyone else, and then this guy, Tim, came into her life, who was a good friend to her in 8th grade, and they hadn’t spoken much during freshman year. He came back into her life at the right time and healed her heart from the pain of Markie. Tim made her happy for the first few months, but then things changed, Tim changed. He became abusive and possessive, and thankfully Stephanie was able to spot the signs before things got too bad. So Steph got away from that jerk, and decided that she wasn’t going to actively pursue Markie, or any guy, but if something happened and it felt right, she would let it happen.

So, Markie and Stephanie continued to flirt with each other, and continue to not actually express their feelings. Then the next school year came, and Markie moved up to high school with Stephanie. They were both very very happy that they would again be able to see each other almost every day. Being in school together is great. Markie always grabs her and hugs her when he sees her in the hallway, yet they still don't tell each other their feelings. Everything is going great, Markie and Steph continue to be best friends and flirt.

Everything is perfect until one day, Stephanie’s dad’s phone rang. It was Mark. Stephanie listened to her dad’s end of the conversation… because she’s nosey. And she could tell it wasn’t something she wanted to hear. When he got off the phone, she and her mom asked what it was, and her dad turned to them and told them something that absolutely broke Stephanie’s heart. He told them that Mark, Maggie, Markie, and Brandon were moving to New Hampshire to be closer to Markie’s doctors. Instead of them having to fly out to Boston when he had a problem, they would only have about an hour drive to the doctors that knew more about his condition than any others. The whole ride home after her dad told her the news, Steph just sat in the back seat trying to hold back her tears. When they got home, she went straight to her room and laid down and bawled her eyes out. She hated herself for keeping her feelings hidden, and now it was too late. She decided that it was now or never. They had already bought their house in New Hampshire, and Stephanie’s family had already started helping them pack. She had to tell him how she felt. So one day in 4th period, she typed out this super long message expressing how she felt, telling him how much she loved him and how long she’s been keeping it hidden, but she was too scared to hit send, so she made her friend hit send for her, then, she waited. She didn’t have to wait too long for a response, but it wasn’t the long “I love you so much” response she was hoping for.

Markie was like Steph. He was super shy and awkward when it came to girls, so he responded positively. You just had to know Markie and how he was to understand what he meant. So, they didn’t really jump on that, and then on the last day of school, Markie found Stephanie and hugged her and hung out with her, and she walked him out to his car when his ride got there. Markie was also really bad at texting because he just wasn’t really attached to his phone, so she tried not to freak out when he didn’t text her back, but they texted back and forth for the next few days.

Then the two families decided that before they moved to New Hampshire that they wanted to go out and do something, so they went to Mr.Gatti's, which is this really cool pizza place with a huge gameroom with bumper cars. Stephanie, Markie, and Brandon finished their food as quick as possible so that they could get to the gameroom. This night would be one of Stephanie and Markie’s favorite memories together. When they were walking around, Markie asked Stephanie about the message and asked if that was how she really felt, and she very shyly told him yes. She asked him the same and he responded similarly. At one point in the night, they were in line for the bumper cars, and Markie looked at Stephanie and called her beautiful (which isn’t something that he would normally do because he’s so shy when it comes to girls), and Stephanie immediately started blushing and smiling, and laid her head on his shoulder to hide her face, and he wrapped his arms round her and hugged her tightly, a feeling that she would never forget.

The night went on and they played on the bumper cars, and played a bunch of games together. The night was coming to an end and everyone was about to go home, they then realized that they had hardly used up any of Stephanie’s game points, they had been using Markie’s card the whole time. So, to use up some of her points they went into the photo booth together, where Stephanie had planned to kiss him, but chickened out. When they got out and looked at the pictures, Markie wasn’t smiling in any of them, so Stephanie said that they had to do it again. So, they went back in and took some cute pictures, and went around playing as many games as possible, and they went to play the claw machine, and he wanted to win her this stuffed bear, but ended up picking up a plush cupcake instead, and he gave it to her, and she knew that she would treasure that forever. At the end of the night when everyone was leaving to go home, she gave him a huge hug, and told him that she loved him, he whispered, “I love you too” and squeezed her tighter. She came home that night and put one of the photo booth pictures on her wall and the other in the cover of one of her binders.

Stephanie and Markie texted for a few more days, and then, it was the night before they were supposed to leave, and they were texting. She was saying how much she was going to miss him and his family, and then, out of nowhere, he finally asked her to be his girlfriend, to which she excitedly responded with “Yess, I love you so much!”

He laid in bed, reading the message over and just smiling uncontrollably. The girl that he had wanted since 6th grade was finally his! He wanted her to come and say goodbye to him the next day at church, but she couldn’t drive yet, and her parents were out of town so they couldn’t take her. Stephanie immediately broke down into tears. She finally got the guy she had been in love with since the 7th grade, and she wasn’t going to get to see him before he moved hundreds of miles away. She didn’t hear from him much the next day. He slept most of the way there, but he texted back every time they made a stop. When they got there, he spent the time he was awake in the car staring out the window, fighting back tears, knowing that he was leaving his true love behind, and would probably never see her again.

They dated for a while, and didn’t text a whole lot, because Markie wasn’t on his phone much. But he made sure to text her on their month anniversaries, and on her birthday. One day, Stephanie was taking a walk, and decided to call him, and they ended up talking on the phone for around two-and-a-half hours, and when they had to go before he hung up he said “I love you Stephanie,” and she responded “I love you Markie, so much” and they hung up. After they hung up Stephanie couldn’t stop smiling. That made her so happy. They dated for a few more months, until Stephanie couldn’t take the never hearing from him, and long distance relationship thing anymore, and so on the day of her baptism, and their 4 month anniversary, she ended it, but they still stayed friends and absolutely nothing changed. They still occasionally texted each other, and she remained close to him and his family. Then, one day, they saw on Facebook that he wasn’t doing well again. All she wanted to do was jump in a car and go, and be by his side and take care of him. Thankfully, Markie recovered from this scare, but through the next little while his health was an up-and-down roller coaster. He would be in and out of the hospital, and through a lot of surgeries and meds, she would see the pictures of him on Facebook and it broke her heart, because she wasn’t there to take care of him. When he was lying in the hospital bed, the only thing running through his mind was her, and how badly he wished she was there with him.

He finally made a full recovery, and was back at home, feeling better. Amidst the heartbreak and emotional roller coaster of Markie, an old friend of Stephanie’s, Steven, messaged her out of nowhere, with perfect timing. He showed up just in time to be there for her when her life completely fell apart. In October of 2016, Markie’s health got so bad that they had to do an extremely risky surgery that ended up not working. It made him worse. He was in a coma for around a few weeks, and there were some times that it looked like he was going to come out of it, but he never did. On October 18, doctors said that he wouldn’t make it through the night, and he did. But, on October 20, 2016 at 4:12 AM, his heart grew too tired from 17 years of fighting, and it gave out.

Stephanie’s mom woke her up to tell her, and she went and laid back down in her room and stayed there, not able to move, or even cry for hours. She went to Steven’s house that day when he got home from work and just laid on him and cried until she felt like she didn’t have any tears left. His family had him cremated, but they wanted to have a memorial service in both New Hampshire, and in North Carolina since the majority of their friends and family were in NC. It took a while for them to get back to North Carolina for the memorial service there, but it was finally scheduled for February 11, 2017.

Stephanie had wanted to get a tattoo for a long time, but didn’t know what she wanted to get first, and after the loss of her best friend, it became very clear what she should get. She told the tattoo artist what she wanted and he took it from there and designed a tattoo that she fell in love with. So on February 1, she got in the car and went to the tattoo shop, and she was so nervous, because she was afraid of needles (key word here being “was”). She sat down in the chair and took a deep breath as she heard the tattoo machine buzz. It ended up not hurting as badly as she expected, and in the end it was worth the pain, because after it was over, she was left with a beautiful piece of art on her arm, featuring her best friend’s name. When she saw it she nearly cried. She could think of no more beautiful way to remember him. She decided to keep it a secret from Mark, Maggie, and Brandon until they got back to NC for the memorial service.

The day for his service came, and she went to the church for a soundcheck because Mark had asked her to sing at the service because Markie loved her voice and always believed in her dream to become a singer. When she got there, Maggie was there getting everything set up, this was the first time she was seeing Maggie and the family since they moved away. When Maggie saw her, she grabbed her and hugged her as tightly as she could and cried into her shoulder, which made Stephanie cry too. She tried her best to keep it together, but she lost it then. After the hug, Stephanie stepped back and showed Maggie the tattoo, and she could not believe it. She didn’t believe it was real at first until she showed her that it was. The tattoo made Maggie cry again, and then she had to show everyone else that came in.

After the soundcheck, Stephanie and Steven headed THEIR church right down the road from where the memorial service was. That is where a bunch of motorcycles were leaving from to ride into the service, because Markie always loved to ride and to watch the big groups go by. Mark and Brandon were here. It took a few minutes to get Mark to slow down enough to show him the tattoo, but when he saw it, and her, he hugged her so tight, and began to cry (Mark typically didn’t cry. He was the strong guy type). He got so worked up he accidentally cursed in front of the preacher and they cracked up. It was good to see him laugh. He tried to take a picture of it, but his hands were shaking because he was so emotional. He said that it was perfect and that if Stephanie didn’t mind, he wanted to get the same one because he had been wanting to get a memorial tattoo for Markie, and didn’t know what he wanted, but hers was perfect. They hugged one more time, and then got on the bikes and headed to the memorial service. It was such a beautiful service, with lots of pictures, and stories about him, then… it was Stephanie’s turn to get up and sing. This was the first funeral she had ever sung at, and she really didn't think she could do it, and she did a pretty good job at holding it together until she looked down and saw Mark. He was sitting there just looking up at her, listening to the song and tears were just pouring from his eyes, that’s when her voice broke, and a few tears she had been holding back, escaped her eyes, and rolled down her cheek. After her song, she stepped down, and went to hug Mark and Maggie, and Maggie announced that Stephanie had been Markie’s best friend, and girlfriend and lifted her arm to show the tattoo. After the memorial service, they all had lunch set up at a different church for everyone, and there were tables set up with pictures of Markie around the gym to decorate it. There was one table that was “Markie's favorite things” and it had pictures of things he enjoyed doing, and memories, and Stephanie went to look at the table and saw that in the middle of the poster they made was the photo booth pictures from that night at Mr.Gatti’s. Stephanie nearly broke down when she saw this. Three days later, Mark, Maggie, and Brandon returned to New Hampshire. Stephanie still grieves the loss of her best friend, but she has Steven there to help her through it. Some stories have happy endings, unfortunately, this isn’t one of them…



About the author

Elizabeth Rose

Just a Girl who Loves to Write

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