Cousin

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The tears smother my face. I try to wipe them away but they keep flowing. “Are you serious?” I said. I threw a chair across the room as tears dripped down my cheeks.
It was the worst call of my life. It wasn’t a girlfriend who calls to explain the drama at school; it wasn’t grandma telling you about the olden days, because she’s got bolts loose. The call was from my mom. She sounded sadder than a grieving wife. “Chris I have something to tell you.”
“Mom what is going on? Why do you sound like your crying?”
“Chris…”
“Yeah?”
“I’m sorry, but Bob has been shot.”
Bob is my cousin. His birth name is Robert Remmel. He is a sergeant in the U.S. Army. He is my best friend.
My first thought was that my best friend has just been killed while serving his country in Afghanistan. I’m just dreaming. It’s just a dream. My body shook as tears gradually drifted down my face. This was not a dream. The news changed me. If my cousin could get shot when he is 20-years-old, what is he missing out on, what hasn’t he done with his life? What have I not done with my life? Should I start on my dreams, in case this may happen to me? YES.

Bob did not die. He went through multiple excruciating surgeries, and is doing fine. What happened to him changed me. Bob is currently located in Italy, on his third deployment. I think of him every day, and hope the best of luck for him.





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