‹ Prequel: Life Coach
Status: Complete

Act of Kindness

Chapter 9

I was worried about her as I drove to the funeral home. She hadn't said anything since I told her what happened the other night. She hasn't shed a tear yet and I was just waiting for that moment when she would finally break down.

She'd been starring out the window ever since we got in the car. Everyone here was afraid to say anything, but do you say? Kara was the closest to Amanda. Even though we had only met her once, she was a nice girl. But the fact that she meant something to Kara made everyone feel as if they were loosing a close friend.

Arriving at the home, I kept my arm around Kara as we, and the team, walked in. From the looks on the guests faces, they were confused why the Chicago Blackhawks were here but none made a move to question.

Entering the room reserved for Amanda, you saw rows of chairs sitting before a black casket. Flowers of many colors lined both sides in memory of Amanda's bright spirit. Her family was off to the left, shaking hands with those passing by giving their condolences.

Kara led the pack, stopping to look at the many pictures on display. Some of them had her in them.

She kneeled before the open casket and closed her eyes. I did the same, my arm still holding on to Kara.

Each member of the team did the same just before they lined up to see the family. Kara hugged each one of them leading up to Amanda's immediate family. I had never had the chance to meet anyone else in Amanda's family besides her mother. She was leaving behind her father and a brother. From the quiet conversation they were having, Kara must have met the other members before.

"Pat, this is Austin. He's Amanda's older brother." She introduced. Austin didn't indicate that he recognized but from what he said next, he did.

"It's an honor to have all of you here. She loved you guys." I shook his hand.

"I had never met a bigger fan. It was an honor to meet her." I told him. He gave me a small nod before I moved on to Amanda's father. Kara hugged the older man, whispering something to him before she let go. "Thank you for coming." He said glancing between us and the rest of my teammates.

"Amanda was a great girl. We want to be here for her." I told him. "I'm sorry for your loss."

"I have to thank you for everything you've done for her. It's meant a lot."

"If there's anything you need, let us know." I said, shaking his hand.

The last person in line was Mrs. Brown. Occasionally as we made our way towards her, I notice her only wipe her eyes a few times. But when Kara was the next person to stand in front of her, she broke down. Kara wrapped her arms around the mother, the two of them not breaking apart as I heard words being exchanged.

"I was hoping you would come. I have something for you." Mrs. Brown said once they pulled away. She retrieved a package from behind her and handed it to Kara, "She would have wanted you to have it." Kara smiled. "I can't thank you enough for...everything you've done for her."

"She was like a little sister to me. I'm just glad I was able to meet such an amazing young woman."

After another hug, Kara and I sat in two seats while the rest of the guys sat beside us. We stayed until the service ended and drove back to the apartment. We said goodbye to Jon and Julia once we dropped them off at their car.

"Are you hungry?" Kara shrugged as she took her coat off and hung it up. "I'm gonna order a pizza. How 'bout we just put a movie on?" She nodded and walked to the bedroom. The door shut softly and I let out a sigh.

Even after the wake, she still had yet to shed a tear. Most girls that I know would of been a mess by now but Kara...she wasn't breaking. Kara's a strong girl but this...I can't imagine how she's getting through this.

I ordered the pizza for delivery then went to the bedroom to change. The light in the bathroom was on, meaning Kara was in there, so I changed in the closet and picked out a movie. As soon as Kara came out, she turned the light off and got into bed, curling up to my side.

Kara was pretty quiet throughout the movie. Sometimes she would chuckle but it wasn't her real chuckle. When the pizza came, she only at one piece and all she did was pick at it. I don't know what to do. Maybe I should talk about it with her, or should I just leave it alone?

"Did you ever open what Mrs. Brown gave you?" I asked her.


"Why not?" She hesitated.

"I'm scared." She admittedly whispered. Perhaps this gift was going to be Kara's way of being told this actually happened. She's hoping she'll wake up from this nightmare and see Amanda tomorrow, but she can't...and that's what she's scared of.

"You should open it." She sat up and picked up the wrapped gift. She slowly began to untape it and pull the paper away. Underneath was a black scrapbook. Opening the cover, there was a letter secured in the clear folder,

Dear Kara,

If you're reading this, that means I couldn't fight the pain. Things hadn't been looking good since I went to opening night and I know you noticed. I'm sorry I never told you that I wasn't feeling good. I just didn't want to worry you.

I want to tell you thank you, to you and Pat. You've both have done so, so much for me and my family. I know that when I go, you helped them look past the fact that I was sick to think about me being their daughter and sister.

This scrapbook is my way of saying thank you. I've saved everything since we first met and I put it all together.

Please don't be sad when you look at this. I made this to remember the best times of my life. And you're the reason why I can accept the fact that I'm not going to make it. I can smile back at the times when I smiled the most. I can promise you that when the time finally comes, I'll be thinking of you and Pat, and the team and how much you all mean to me.

I'll always be watching over you and Patrick and cheering on the team from heaven. And I promise to be front and center at every performance. I'll miss you Kara. And I'll never forget you.

With Love, Amanda Brown

Kara sniffled as she flipped the page, greeted by the first picture Kara took with Amanda in the hospital. Amanda had decorated the page with different stickers and quotes.

The pages to follow were similar; pictures from the game, with the team, ones with Amanda's family, and many from the opening night. Each picture expressed the happiness Amanda had whenever Kara was around. There were newspaper clippings from Kara's performances and even some about the Blackhawks games.

Amanda had also put in her college acceptance letters to show that she had gotten into her colleges, along with the letter Kara wrote for Amanda to send in. The last page had a finally letter. It was titled College Letter.

I remembered writing my letter. I talked about hockey. This sport was my passion and it was expressed to colleges that I had true passion in the things I did.

Amanda's letter wasn't about her cancer or her hobbies and interests. It was about Kara. Amanda had wrote about how much she looked up to Kara and how she wanted to be just like her.

If the first letter or the pictures didn't bring tears to your eyes, it was certainly this. Kara dropped her head into her hands and just let it out. I circled my arms around her as she leaned into me. I rubbed her back and kissed her head, "It's alright, baby. It's alright."


"Are you sure you don't wanna come with me?" I asked her. It had been a few days after the wake and the Hawks were headed on a week road trip. I had asked Kara to come with me several times, afraid of her being here on her own.

"The funeral's tomorrow. I need to be there." She answered each time I asked.

Kara folded one of my dress shirts and put it in my suitcase. We were leaving tomorrow for Anaheim and L.A, taking on both teams within the week.

"A trip to the south would do you some good." I said, my hand brushing her chin so she'd look at me. "You've got the whole week off from the show. Come down with me."

"I need to be at the funeral, Pat. I promised Mrs. Brown."

"Then come down after. You and Julia can come down together and met us there. Please Kara."

"I'll think about it." She mumbled.


"I don't know what to say to her!!" I complained to Jon the next day as we waited for the plane to take off.

"There really isn't anything you could say. You want her to relax and feel better but you want her to be there for Amanda's family. I'm sure she's just as confused as you are." Jon said.

"I know. I feel bad leaving her here though."

"Julia's gonna be here." Jon said with a shrug.

"How does that make me feel any better?"

"Kaner, it'll be fine. Julia will make her come down after the funeral. Do you really think Julia would turn down an opportunity to be on a beach?"


Through the funeral, I stayed pretty calm. I admired the readings the Brown's picked and might have choked up a little as Austin spoke after the Gospel. But as the time ticked down till I had to step up to the microphone, I wasn't sure how long I would last. I needed Patrick here.

"Are you ready, Kara?" Brian asked beside me. I nodded and accepted the hand held mic.

Brian and I asked to sing at the funeral for Amanda's family and thankfully they let us. I had picked out the perfect song I thought would represent not only the effect Amanda had on her family and friends, but the effect she had on my life.

The piano began and Brian grabbed my hand, giving it a squeeze,

"I've heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don't know if I believe that's true
But I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you...

Like a comet pulled from orbit
As it passes a sun
Like a stream that meets a boulder
Halfway through the wood
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you
I have been changed for good

I wiped away the tears as Brian sang the next part. The congregation let out little sobs hearing the song. I had to keep my eyes off of them or I would break down completely. So I turned my eyes away from them and onto the picture of Amanda that rested to the side of he casket.

Through the stain glass window behind the alter, a bright light shined through it and onto Amanda's casket. It had to be sign, either from God or Amanda herself. I know she's looking down on her family and her friends, telling them that she's here and she'll always be there for them. I might of been the only to notice but that didn't stop the thought that she was smiling down on everyone here today.

Because I knew you...
I have been changed for good...

Brian wrapped me in his arms once we finished the song. I couldn't hold back the tears anymore. The first time I had cried was when I looked at the scrapbook. Now this...I don't even know how I got through the whole song.

When the funeral ended, all of the guests followed the hearse to the cemetery. Brian drove Julia and I there and we were about ready to walk to the grave sight when we were stopped.

"Kara?" Austin was waiting for us at the entrance of the cemetery, clinching his hands together. "I was wondering if you could do me a favor."

"Anything Austin." I told him, placing my hand on his arm. He told me his wish and I agreed.

"If you could do that after my speech, that would be perfect."

"Of course."

When it came time for Austin's speech, I waited for him to speak, "I know I spoke earlier but there's one last thing I'd like to say, or ask actually. I know Amanda is looking down on all of us right now, and if you can hear me Amanda," He looked up to the sky, "I hope you're listening because there's one thing I want to ask you," He looked around the crowd gathered around the site, "I wasn't sure how to say this so I asked Kara and Brian to sing us another song. Amanda loved hearing them sing and she would love to hear you one more time. I picked this specific song because it's one of my mom's favorite songs and I know Amanda loved it too." He nodded at Brian and I and we stood where he was in front of the casket.

I'll prayer you'll be our eyes
And watch us where we go
And help us to be wise
In times when we don't know

Let this be our prayer
When we loose our way
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
To a place where we'll be safe."

Amanda's mother turned into her husbands chest, her eyes on her daughters casket. Austin took hold of his mother's hands and gave them a squeeze. He approached the casket and placed a white rose on top of it. His parents followed behind, then the rest of the guests.

I've been to funerals before. I've witnessed deaths of my own family members and friends family members. At the previous ones, I was able to appear strong no matter how much I wanted to crumble. But right now, I was surprised I was still standing. Even with Julia and Brian holding my hands, I was ready to fall.

Amanda was so young. Too young. She had dreams she'll never reach, a future that was taken from her. So many take life for granted but as I watched Amanda's friends and family say their final goodbyes to her, I promised that Amanda's life will never be forgotten. Her dreams and beliefs will live on for the rest of my life.

Need to find a place
Guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we'll be safe
♠ ♠ ♠
Super sad chapter. Sorry about that. But I hope it was alright.

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With Love, <3