“We’re coming home Monday guys! Aunt Jamie said your behavior has been really good, keep it up! We Love you guys, Bye!”
“Bye mom, bye dad.” We said over the phone then hung up.
It was 5:30 pm on Sunday. Alex, Aunt Jamie and I all went out for pizza then we went bowling since we didn’t have school that Monday. When we got home it was 9:30. We all sat on our big brown soft couch that we’ve had forever. I picked up the remote and clicked the first movie that was on netflix. While we were watching Mean Girls then, news popped up.
‘Breaking News’ The screen read. The news lady appeared on the screen. “A mass shooting just occurred in Las Vegas, Nevada. We are here live with Lindsay who is in Las Vegas”
“Hi, yes this tragic event just ended less than five minutes ago. So far we have found over 30 dead bodies, police are still searching. The suspect is assumingly dead according to police. The suspect was shooting from the 32nd floor of the wealthy Mandalay Bay hote-” Then Aunt Jamie Turned the TV off. It was dead. Dead silence. It was as if the house just died. Even Leo, our attention wanting dog, didn’t move. I was in shock, I didn’t know what to say, I didn’t know what to do.
“Alright guys we don’t need to watch that”
“Call them!” Alex yelled. “WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR! CALL THEM NOW!”
I sat there, not able to move. Tears poured out of me like never before. I closed my eyes for a whole 30 seconds then I opened them hoping this was all a dream.
Once Aunt Jamie dialed mom's number she put it on speaker phone. It rung, and it rung.
“Hello,” Said the phone. We all jumped as a pinch of hope refilled in us. “You’ve reached Camila Martinez, sorry I cannot take your call at this time. Please leave a message and I will try to get back to you as soon as possible.” Our mouths all shut closed as we listen to the voicemail. Tears that I didn’t even know were there dripped from my eyes. Aunt Jamie then took her phone and dialed our dad's phone number. Once again it rung, and rung.
“Hello, this is Carlos Martinez, sorry I can’t take your call at the time please leave a message after the tone.” Said my dad’s voice.
After Aunt Jamie left a voicemail we all sat there, the silence hung over us like a leaf hangs from a tree. Our room that we once called a family room was turned into an exposure room. No one could hide their emotions. Even Aunt Jamie, who never cries, cried. Then the phone rang. It rang twice before Aunt Jamie got up to answer.
“Hello,” she said sniffling.
She walked to a seat in the dining room, so she could sit down. She kept saying words like “Ah” and “Hmm”. Then she all of a sudden got quiet. I knew something was wrong. Her face went totally pale. Then tears started to burst out of her eyes. She hung up the phone and started sobbing uncontrollably.
“What… What’s wrong?” Asked Alex worried.
“Your parents.” She said sobbing.
“My parents what?” He said demanding but also afraid of her response.
“They,” She said then stopped to wipe her tears. Then she continued. “They- They were both shot.” She said then continued to sob her eyes out.
“WHAT!?” said Alex shocked. “Are they ok, are the in the hospital, can we go now!” He turned redder and redder each word. Tears dripped from his face. He sat up, ran to get his phone and started texting our mom and dad on our once called 'The Martinez Family' group chat.
“Alex honey, don’t bother.” Said, Aunt Jamie, as she struggled trying to say every word. “They umm, I don’t know how to tell you this honey but, they both died minutes after. I was just on the phone with the doctor from a hospital, they couldn’t do anything by the time they got there.”
At that moment I wanted to just disappear. I wanted to say something like “I know you’re joking” or “ stop pranking us” but this time I knew. I knew this was real. At the time I was confused. I was confused on how such a terrible thing could happen. I was confused on how a human being could be THAT evil and THAT cruel to take dozen upon dozens of innocent lives. How could someone take MY parents away, so fast, so carelessly.
The next few days were long, sad quiet, and depressing. After I heard the news about my parents dying, I ran up to my room and locked myself inside. I did not come out for days, then weeks. I did not eat or drink a single thing those weeks. Hungry, thin, tired, depressed and lonely I lay on my bed. During those days nothing had a meaning to me anymore. Not Aunt Jamie's life. Not Alex’s life. Not my life. One day as I woke up, I looked around the room. I was on a couch, my aunt, my brother, and a man were sitting there watching me. I sat up not saying a word.
“Hi Lexi, I’m Dr. Morris, I’m a therapist.” He said quietly and calming. I let him keep talking about what he does, why he is here to help me, and why I should talk.
“I’m going to bring you here three times a week. You and your brother will have separate session times. This is a safe place Lexi, you can say ANYTHING you want and no one will know.”
That whole “session” I did not say a word, I just sat and silently cried about my parents. That day when we got back at a place we once called a home, I went in my room, and fell asleep.
I talked a word more each day, Alex got madder and madder, while I got calmer. Aunt Jamie let us take a days off of school to recover. The day we went back to school, all I got were “I’m sorry for your lost” cards. When I got home I threw them all away.
That weekend was our parents funeral. We had it in the park that they first met in. I had to be forced by Aunt Jamie to go.
“I don’t want to go” I told her over and over again crying. “Please don’t make me go” I said begging her.
I ended up going to the funeral because even though I never imagined seeing my parents in two different caskets right next to each other, I knew that my guilt would be worse if I didn’t go.
At the funeral I didn’t say a word. I don’t remember anything from it. All I remembered is the pictures of our once called family on every table you passed. That day I got a lot of “I’m sorry for your loss” from other people. I even got one from my dad's boss Greg who dad always use to call a pain. At the service, I learned a lot about my parents childhood that I hadn't known before. It was a great thing, for such a sad event.
Over time I became more open to talking about how my parents got killed and I began to deal with it better and better each day. I still even to this day have moments where I just start to think of them and cry, but Dr. Morris said that it is completely normal for kids my age who have been through such trauma. One day in Dr. Morris’s office he asked a question that really opened my mind up. He said
"Now Lexi, tell me, when do you think YOUR life changed?” It wasn’t the question that opened up my mind, it was my answer that made me realize that things happen, and even though something happens, life keeps going on with or without you.
“My life changed when the bullet hit. When the bullet hit both of my parents, my life changed. I just didn’t know it yet.” I answered.