White Afternoon

May 31, 2017

Today was a big day. My best friend Jeff and I were going out on a journey -- he was always working in nature, never in an office. He had been by my side for as long as I could remember, and I couldn’t imagine anyone else as my best friend and leader.
On this beautiful day we were heading to Mount Evans. We always hike deep enough into the woods and mountain area where it felt like no one had been there before us. Jeff kept on telling me that we were going to check the glacier water supply, but I had trouble understanding why.
Today was a good day because I was with Jeff. Normally, he leaves me at the bottom of the mountain with his work friends in the office, but today he wanted me to come with. Today, we were climbing, and pushing through fresh snow and we started to climb higher and higher. The sounds of other people were gone at this point. I saw the water, and I love water especially swimming in it, but we had to climb farther. White filled the horizon, as snow sat on the mountain. Melted snow made me wetter and wetter as the hike went on. I was beginning to get cold, but all that mattered was that I was with Jeff, because any day with Jeff was great. As we climbed up a steep area, I felt a rumble, but Jeff confidently kept on walking.
My ears have always been better than his and I heard what sounded like a stampede coming from uphill and as I turned my head I was thrown violently down the mountain -- and the light was drowned out. I couldn’t breathe, my stomach hurt from the massive weight on me, my body hurt from the collision and I felt like I had died. Although, where was Jeff? WHERE WAS JEFF?
My first thought wasn’t about saving my own life, but what I would do without Jeff’s. I sprung out of the snow easily, expecting to see Jeff do the same, but all I could see was flat white snow all around, no signs of Jeff anywhere. Not only did I have a strong sense of hearing, but my nose was pretty good too. I could never forget Jeff’s smell because every morning he sprayed stuff on himself that always made him smell the same. I ran quickly to and fro around where I thought Jeff would be, and I eventually came across a weak part of the snow. I dug as quickly as I could, quicker than I had ever before, but nothing. I looked around, and this time my breathing got quicker.
Where could he be?
I couldn’t lose Jeff. I couldn’t lose eating lunch with him. I couldn’t lose hanging out with him. I couldn’t lose all of Jeff’s friends. I couldn’t lose him combing my hair in the morning, as much as I hated it. I panicked. I felt lost. I was missing something. I was missing the reason why I loved to be alive.
I thought about where he was when the avalanche hit and where had been. I took a deep breath through my nose and I could still smell Jeff. I went back to where I was and looked farther down the mountain because Jeff was behind me when the avalanche hit. His smell got stronger and stronger, and I started digging again.
I saw Jeff’s face, wet and cold in the snow and he laid there motionless for what seemed like a lifetime. I was yelling “Jeff, Jeff!” but he hadn’t ever understood me much before and I didn’t know how much it would help. After a few minutes of yelling, he awoke to me standing over him and gave me a big hug thanking me, I loved my best friend, I couldn’t live without him. I knew that I was a good boy because he told me it all the time, but this time he was happier, this time he was so happy that he cried.
Jeff is my favorite person. I love Jeff because I wouldn’t be alive without him and he loves me for the same reason. I love him because I’d do anything for him, but I know he’d do the same for me.
I’m a companion, a work partner, a savior and a hero, man’s best friend.

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