Perception, something I rarely thought about, became a reality on July 28, 1993 when the ring of the telephone interrupted my discussion with my parents concerning a soccer program.
"Tony," my mother interrupted, "it's for you. Aaron's on the phone."
I could sense that something was wrong. Aaron and I had been best friends for 13 years. It was something with his dad, but I didn't know exactly what. Concerned, I told him I would be over immediately.
After speeding to his house in my truck, I got out and ran to the back door. When I went around the corner, there he was, leaning against the wall. To this day, I have never seen the expression I saw on his face. For once, I was speechless with my friend. Before that moment, I felt we could talk about anything. Thousands of things ran through my head. He started to talk, "My dad's gone! Earlier today, I found him lying on the bathroom floor, gasping for air. I tried CPR and it worked for about five seconds, then it was over!"
My heart was pounding after he told me this! I said, "How? This can't be; everything was fine yesterday!" He replied, "No one knew. It's just one of those freak things that happens." Aaron clutched a watch in his hand. I recognized it as his father's. When he showed it to me, I saw that it was set to the exact time his father died.
When Aaron suggested he should be with his family, I decided to go home. As I was driving home, my eyes filled with tears; I thought about everything imaginable. When I pulled into my driveway, I noticed my dad's truck was there. I opened the door to my house, there was my dad, sitting across the room. With my eyes still filled with tears, I looked at him and cried out, "Dad! He's gone!" Never will I forget what he did. He ran over, threw his arms around me and cried. Something special happened between us that day which no one can take away.
Perception of the future is impossible. Therefore, I live each day knowing that no one is invincible, not even my parents. This experience reminds me of a Japanese proverb I read in English class: "Live each day as if it was your last, one day you'll be right!" -
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.