Ken Anderson sighed nervously as he straightened his tie on his tuxedo. It was the most important day of his life. It was the day that he was going to get married to his true love. Hope Leighanne Baxter was about to become his wife. After sixteen years of dating, they were finally getting married.
He sat down in one of the chairs in the back room of the church. He should've really been out greeting the guests that were arriving, but he needed to relax. Why he was so nervous, he didn't know. He and Hope had been together half their lives and friends for even longer.
Ken smiled to himself as he thought about what all they had been through together. There had been some really good times and some that they thought they'd never make it through.
It was their senior prom and Ken was driving his dad's 1969 Camaro with her sitting in the passenger seat. He glanced over at her and took in how beautiful she was that night.
Her normally straight hair was curled into long chocolate ringlets that cascaded down to the middle of her back. The midnight blue dress seemed to cause her ocean eyes to glow in the moonlight. The only thing that seemed wrong with the picture was that her perfect smile was turned upside down into a frown as it had been ever since they left the dance.
"What's wrong, Hope?" he asked her, diverting his eyes back to the road.
"I told you what was wrong. I don't want to go to this stupid party."
"But we planned weeks ago to go to this. I don't see why your mind has changed so suddenly."
"Because, Ken, maybe I decided I just wanted to spend tie with you tonight. I wanted it to be special, you know?"
"There are plenty other times that we're going to be able to spend together and make it special, but tonight…tonight is our senior prom, Hope. Do you realize what kind of party this is going to be? It's going to be amazing!"
It was a few seconds before she responded. "Pull over, Ken."
"What?" he asked, suddenly aware that his girlfriend really wasn't happy.
"I said pull the car over."
He stared at her for a few seconds before pulling alongside the curb. He looked at her as she reached for the handle. "Hope, wait," he said, grabbing her hand.
She turned to him and that's when he saw the tears in her eyes. "I don't know why you're crying. It's just one party. I don't know why you can't just go."
"Let go, Ken," she replied and opened the door.
He did and frowned. This night wasn't going the way he had planned at all. "Where are you going?"
"Home," she answered, simply while stepping out of the car.
"That's blocks away, Hope. Just at least let me take you home."
She shook her head. "I need time to think. I'll talk to you tomorrow so just go to your party or whatever. I'll walk."
That night, Ken had no choice but to let her walk home. She was just as stubborn as he was and knew he would have eventually caved in anyway. He hadn't found out until the next day, after he had went to that party which coincidentally sucked without her by his side, that she had wanted to make that night special by fully giving herself to him. Not in the backseat of the car, but underneath the stars of the cool May evening with nothing but each other and a light blanket to keep them warm.
But after that night it had taken him another six months to get her back to that point again.
He looked up to see his good friend, Randy Orton poking his head in the door.
"What's up, man?" Ken asked, allowing himself to stray away from memory lane, momentarily.
"You have ten minutes before we get this show on the road."
"Okay, I'll be there."
Randy nodded and left the room, leaving Ken on his own to think again. That prom night wasn't the only night that he had heard her tell him that she would walk. There had been quite a few times when he had done something extremely stupid, that she would say, in the heat of the moment, she would leave him, but she never did. Lately, however, every time she said those two words, he believed her.
Ken waited patiently at the restaurant he was supposed to be meeting Hope at. It was their anniversary and, just like every other year, they were meeting for a quiet, romantic dinner. But, it wasn't going to be just like every other year. Ken knew that for sure as he kept turning the small velvet box over in his hand.
But, in order for him to make that night so special, he needed her to be there. Now, Hope was never a punctual person. Ken knew that whenever they had agreed to meet somewhere, he would need to tell her to be there a half hour earlier than necessary just so she would be on time. But a half hour was the latest she had ever been and he was starting to get worried. He had been waiting there for going on an hour and a half. He had tried calling her cell phone, but there was no answer.
He didn't know what to do. He didn't want to leave for he was afraid that as soon as he did, she would more than likely show up. But he didn't want to stay because, quite frankly, he was bored to tears.
He pulled out his cell phone, preparing to call his girlfriend when a name flashed across the screen: Aaron Baxter; Hope's brother and one of Ken's best friends.
He answered it, hoping to find out something about his girlfriend. "Aaron, what's up?"
"Ken, you have to get to the hospital, ASAP! Hope was in a car wreck. She's hurt really bad."
"What happened?" Ken yelled as he ran out of the restaurant, causing people to stare.
"A semi came around a curve and wasn't paying attention. He clipped the driver's side and it spun her before she t-boned another car."
"Is she conscious? Is it bad enough where they don't think she'll make it?"
"No, she's going to make it, but…"
"But what? Tell me, Aaron," Ken said as he peeled out of the parking lot of the restaurant.
"She can't feel her legs, man. The doctor's are afraid she might be paralyzed from the waist down."
Ken couldn't process any of this. He just couldn't believe that the love of his life was in this kind of situation. What had she done to deserve anything like this?
"Ken, you still with me, man?"
"Yeah, just…just tell her I'll be there as soon as I can." He flipped his cell phone shut and tried to focus his attention on the road in front of him.
He couldn't even remember how he got to the hospital. All he knew was that as soon as he walked through those sliding glass doors, he was met with Hope's sobbing mother. He felt like he couldn't breathe as she wrapped her arms tightly around him.
"She's been asking for you, Kenny. I'm so worried about her. The doctors…did Aaron tell you?"
"Yes, Maggie. He did. Now I'm going to go see her. Is Jack here yet?" he asked, referring to Hope's father.
"He's on his way," she said and pulled away before leading him to the appropriate room.
Maggie left him at the door, allowing him to slowly peer inside. He could see her hooked up to so many machines, cuts and bruises marring her gorgeous face and arms. He felt his heart shattering into a million pieces at the sheer sight of her. He inched the door open and immediately felt tears spring to his eyes. He couldn't do this. He couldn't see her like this; so hurt, so broken.
"Ken?" he heard her soft voice from across the room.
He quickly wiped the tears that had come to rest on his cheeks and strode over to her bedside, gently grasping her hand. "I'm here, baby," he whispered.
She slowly turned her head toward him. "I'm so sorry, Ken. So sorry," she said, her voice weak.
"Sweetheart, you have nothing to be sorry for. Do you hear me? If anyone should be sorry, it should be me, okay? I should've been with you. I should've picked you up. And because I didn't, you're here and you might not ever be able to walk again. I just don't understand why this happened."
"I don't understand, either. I probably never will. But I don't want you to blame yourself for any of this, okay? It's no one's fault. It happened and we'll just have to deal with it."
"How can we just deal with it, Hope? You may never walk again."
She pulled her hand from his and softly placed it on his cheek. "Believe me when I tell you this, Ken. I'll walk."
And he believed her. For the past eight months she had been going through extensive therapy and Ken stood by her every step of the way. When he had finally decided she was strong enough, he had proposed. The sheer look of happiness on her face was one that caused him to be in a state of elation for not just days, but weeks. Any frustration while on the road would just melt away with one thought of what he was going home to. And now they were making everything official.
Ken glanced toward to the door and noticed the Legend Killer sticking his head in the door once again.
"Man, I've been trying to get your attention for like a minute now. You need to get your head in the game," Randy said, stepping all the way in the room.
Ken stood up and clapped a hand on the younger man's shoulder, a sense of calm washing over him after his nonstop flashbacks. "You need to chill out, Randy. This is a wedding, not the main event at Wrestlemania. Not to mention, it's MY wedding, not yours. I understand that being the best man is a stressful job, but not as stressful as mine, okay? Now, let's go. I have to get married."
Several minutes later, Ken stood up at the altar next to Randy and the other groomsmen; Aaron and John Cena. He looked to the other side of the altar and saw his sister, Jennifer, Hope's maid of honor. He gave her an anxious smile before turning to the back of the church as the wedding march began to play.
Hope took a deep breath as her cue came. She held her bouquet a little tighter as her father walked up to her.
"Are you ready, sweetheart?" he asked, placing a hand on her shoulder.
She looked up at him and gave him a small smile. "I'm more than ready, Daddy."
"Well, I guess we better get going, then," he said and grabbed the handles of the wheelchair that she had been confined to for the past eight months and pushed her to the entrance of the church.
She looked at the wedding party at the altar; the groomsmen, the bridesmaids and then her eyes connected with her future husband's. Even with the distance between them, she could see the undeniable gleam in his eyes. As Jack began to steer her down the aisle, she held her arm out to stop him.
"What's wrong, Hope? Are you having second thoughts? Don't worry. You and Ken are going to be just fine. He loves you."
"I'm not worried about that, Dad. I know Ken loves me. And I'm definitely not having second thoughts about marrying him. But I am having second thoughts about marrying him in this wheelchair," she said before glancing back at Ken and seeing a mixture of confusion and worry written across his face. She looked back up at her dad and smiled, before holding her hand out to him. "I'll walk."
Okay, guys, this is my first Ken-shot. I hope you all enjoyed it. If you did, let me know. If you didn't…tell me what to do to make it better. Either way, leave a review please. It was based on Bucky Covington's song "I'll Walk". For awhile now, I've been hooked on country music, so don't be surprised if another few oneshots based on country songs pop up from me.
Also, my Twin brought up to me the possibility of this being maybe a two-short or a short little ficlet of some sort. Let me know...in your review!
Thanks for reading!
Keep it rockin'!