Afterlife - Stephanie Hudson Page 0,1

as I tried not to notice the underlining doubt in their eyes. I knew what they were thinking but not saying…

“Would I be strong enough?”

I made my way through the crowded Portland International airport at the arrivals gate looking for my sister’s excited, yet anxious face and as expected, there she was, stood next to her huge husband Frank. They looked so perfect together. Frank’s strong arm around my sister’s shoulders, protecting her small frame from the rushing crowd of passengers fresh from my flight making their way to the arrivals lounge like cattle.

I had been so pleased that my big sister had met someone like Frank. With his heart warming smile and floppy, honey coloured hair that no matter how many times it was pushed back, still managed to make it into his chocolate coloured eyes. But for all of Frank’s soft, easy going features his massive muscular frame still proved him to be a man not to be messed with.

As soon as Olivia brought Frank home that day to meet the family it didn’t take us long to realise that they were completely meant for each other. You could tell instantly that they were soul mates destined to spend a lifetime together. Although my very first thought was “Christ, my sister is dating a bloody Wrestler!” now I envied her in a way, never having felt like that about anyone myself. At the time I couldn’t understand why anyone would change everything in their life just to be with a guy but I guess that’s the difference, when you have never been in love before, you don’t know how far that love will take you.

So it didn’t take long before I found my sister was a married woman and moving to the small town called Evergreen Falls, New Hampshire. This was where Frank grew up and most of his family still resided there. His dream was to have a family there and live the upbringing that he and his brother had. Of course it didn’t take long before it became my sister’s dream also, and at least she could still make jokes that she still lived in “England” so to speak.

Although I was sad that she had left, I was also really happy for her. She hadn’t had much luck with guys, so we all held our breath when she told us about Frank. Thankfully they fell head over heels and have seemed that way ever since, having been together now for over four years. Plus I really liked Frank, he is like the big brother I never had and boy was he big! As a bodyguard and now owning his own business recruiting others, he had to be.

That’s how they'd met, my sister and Frank, she was at a concert at the time and he was contracted to provide the security. She had been stood in the wrong place when a fight broke out and she had been knocked out in the process and would have been trampled if Frank hadn’t been doing his rounds and seen the whole thing happen. Like a knight in shining armour he jumped from the stands and over the barrier to take my sister in his arms, shielding her from the angry mob that had started to join the fight. This quick action saved her from serious injury.

I had now heard this story a million times over and every detail was burned to memory but the smile it puts on my sister’s face every time she tells it is what stops me from saying "Ok, ok, for the love of God please don’t tell me again!" But instead I just smile with her and suffer in silence with a smirk here and there, thankfully one she doesn't fully understand the meaning of.

That same smile came full to her lips now as she spotted me and I smiled in response. God I had missed her and I now found myself dropping my bag and running into her open arms. The smell of her perfume hit me like a wave of memories that nearly had me in tears. We had always been more than just sisters, we were also best friends and as a consequence of our bond it never became easier when we parted.

"Kaz" was all she managed to say as the tears came running down those pink cheeks of hers which looked and felt cold.

“Lib's", we both used our nicknames since childhood, Libby and Kazzy, instead of Olivia and Keira which