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Kelsey

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I remember her smile, I remember her eyes, and I remember her laugh, it reminded me of a waterfall. I met Kelsey in the fifth grade, and I was instantly drawn to her personality. She was a perpetually happy person whose happiness seemed to be contagious. When I was around her I found it hard to be sad about anything.
You know how people in near-death experiences will tell you that your whole life flashes before your eyes when you are about to die? Well I think it is the same for when someone close to you dies. All the memories you had of them flash before your eyes. I remembered the last time I spoke to her, the last time we had recess together and her last birthday we celebrated together. I remembered how she was always the one to break up little quarrels between our friends, and how she would laugh at anything remotely funny. I remembered how she would always help me with my math when I did not understand something.
My Aunt called that evening, not an unusual occurrence in my house. My mother took the call, expecting a nice chat with her sister, but she instead received a rushed voice, telling my mom to turn to King 5, who was then covering a news story about two girls that went to my elementary school and had been killed by there father. Of course my Aunt had no way of knowing that the news she was speaking of had anything to do with one of my best friends, no idea that it would hit so close to home. But something inside her made her call my mom that evening, something small perhaps, but nonetheless profound. When my mother reached for the remote, I knew something was wrong. Her bored, nonchalant, expression changed from a one of boredom to a one of unease. Her hands worked the channel down to our trusted local news station, my eyes wandering from the book I was reading to the television.
For a few hours that night I was confused. You could even say was I was in extreme denial. They hadn’t released the names yet, the headlines scrolling across the screen told the viewers something along the lines of two girls in Edmonds had been killed by their father. That they were in the 6th and 3rd grade, lived with their mom part time in Shoreline, where they attended Sunset Elementary.
Those words from the unassuming news reporter were painful to hear. I searched- no racked my mind, trying to come up with anyone else that would fit the description of those two girls, of whom those appropriately downcast looking faces were telling me about. But none surfaced.
That night was a slow trickle of emotion. No one had told me out right that she had died, the news wasn’t like a water balloon suddenly popping right before your eyes, but it was more of a trickle slowly working its way deep into me. I sat on the couch that night, glued to the television, desperately hoping for any evidence that would tell me otherwise, but deep down I knew it was Kelsey. Homework was left undone and dinner was left uneaten. The feeling of emptiness that even the prospect of Kelsey’s death caused tore me apart. I climbed up the stairs, my limbs heavy with a deep sadness. For the first time in my life, I cried myself to sleep.
That morning I woke up in a state of bitter state of denial. What if it was just a dream… what if it was someone else who had been killed? It couldn’t have been her. I knew her Dad, he was a really nice guy, smart too. He would never do anything to hurt his daughters. He loved them. My mother was there, telling me those words that I had desperately sought to avoid.
“Honey…” She paused. “I was listening to the radio this morning and… it was Kelsey and Haley”
All the emotion, all the turmoil that had been brewing inside my mind was put to rest. Instead a mournful silence took its place. I was devastated.





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