[End of the Year Road Trip]

by Katy McDonald

We were driving in the car, well I was driving, they were yelling at each they way they always do.  Screaming every brilliant topic into submission.  The back seat fell into a compatible quite.  Jamie and Sasha must have run out things to say, for the time being.  My shotgun rider, Margaret had miraculously drifted off half an hour ago.

The car passed a sigh, Marfa ½ mile.  Marfa that was a weird name for a town.  

My thoughts were echoed from the I assumed was asleep girl next to me.  “This seem a great place to spend the worst year in the history of… the history of what.”  She yawned.

“Time.”  Jamie.  “It was the worst year in the history of time!”

“Yeah.”  Sasha giggled.  “Twenty sixteen was one hundred percent the worst year of all time.”

I didn’t say anything.  Personally, I thought that was a hard statement to make, I mean we had only been around for twenty-two years out of history and we didn’t know about the years we had no written record of.  I had a feeling that some of the years from 1914-1945 were pretty rough.  But I was tired.

Marfa, Texas by Alejandro De La Cruz Follow, Creative Commons Copyright

Photo by by Alejandro De La Cruz Follow, Creative Commons Copyright

“Okay just hear me out,” Margaret said.  She must have seen the look on my face or something.  “So Britain left the EU!  Alan Rickman, David Bowel, Prince, and a bunch of other people who we all loved died.  Hurricane Matthew happened.  There was no snow like anywhere.  There were the attacks in France and Belgium.  Organ had an army control presence there for a bit.  There were wildfires everywhere, did I mention the snow! Oh, and America failed at the whole democratic thing we have pumpkin for president.” 

I wanted to tell her that if she was so upset about all of that then she could something to make it better.  But then there would be more yelling and arguing.  We were so close to the hotel and I had been driving all day.

“Margy is sooooo right!”  Sasha intoned.  “This year so many people lost their lives and it was just the worst!”

I turned to corner and saw the inn I had made the reservations at.  So close.

“I mean what’s worse than having the world getting turn on its head and no one really get’s it you know,”  Jamie said.

I found a parking space and jumped out before I heard much more.  I got it.

“God, it’s so late, all I want to do it sleep!”  Margaret cried.

“Yeah, it was no problem for me to drive the whole way you’re welcome,”  I muttered to myself as I popped the trunk.

Sasha was wrapped in a down jacket her parent had sent her last winter.  Still, she shivered.  If you breathed on her wrong she would shiver.  I pulled off my gloves it wasn’t all that cold and handed them to her.  She slipped them on without a word.  She had been the only one to help me carry in our stuff.  The other two had run inside.  I was really starting to get annoyed.

I grabbed Margaret’s bag and my own and hold them in.  

“We’re in room 113,”  Jamie whined.  “It’s going to be hunted.”

I tried to stop myself from rolling my eyes.  For someone who claimed to be really into the supernatural, it was an infringing comment.  I marched down the hall to our room.  Jamie pushed the key tentatively into my hand.  I pushed the door open and clicked on the lights.  At the sight of the empty room, Sasha and Jamie let out a sigh.  

“Well, that’s good least we won’t have to add ghosts to the list of terrible things that have happened this year,”  Margaret grumbled jumping onto the bed. She grabbed the remote and turned on the TV.

“Okay!  That’s enough!”  I slammed the door and snatched the remote.  “You guys can complain all you want about twenty-sixteen, I don’t care what you do but I don’t want to spend the last,” I had to check my watch, “hour of this year hearing you whine. You can’t ignore all the good that’s happened this year too!”

“Like what?”  Jamie asked.

“Like what?!  Well, let’s start with you, Jamie.  This year you went on a trip to Chile that you claimed changed you for the better, you’ve been promised a job as soon as we graduate and your sister had two beautiful and healthy babies with no complications, I’d say that’s pretty good.”

She looked away sheepishly.  “I guess you’re right.”

“And you Sasha think of all the good things that happened to you this year.”  I was starting to get on a role.  “You moved into a great house, you’re twenty-two and can afford a house. Do you realize that?  Remember what made that possible.  Ten months ago all of your student loans were waived after your parents paid for half of your education anyway.  Do you really have much to say?”

Sasha bit her lip.  “No.”

Margaret lifted her chin in the air.  “Well, what about me?  After all that happened this year with my dad do you really think I have so much to be happy about.”

“No one said you had to be happy about anything.”  Like I said you could grumble and moan all you want, I don’t care, but you know you have things to be grateful for this year.  You were accepted into every single grad program you applied to.  If that’s not enough I have more.”

“Well, what about the rest of the world who doesn’t have everything that we do?”  She tried to deflect from herself.

“Oh?”  I rested my eyebrows.  “You want to talk about the rest of the world?  India got a group of volunteers to plant 50 million trees in one day.  The Ice Bucket challenge played a big role in bringing us one step closer to curing ASL.  Child mortality rate is down everywhere!  500 elephants were saved and now have a better life.  People are starting to be able to see color because we’ve found cool new glasses.   JK Rowling wrote something else in the Harry Potter universe!  So this year wasn’t that bad!”

They were silent.

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