One Moment

April 13, 2009
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The day had begun like any other, all of us worried about trivial things, like the upcoming dance, and the latest breakup scandal. We worried about an upcoming test, and complained about how early it was.

At 11:09, our lives ended. Time stood still for those few seconds. I can still remember the sudden change in my emotions, from boredom and happiness to pure fear.

Their were three loud bangs, and the principal announced a lockdown.

Dread instantly filled my stomach. You watch TV shows about school shootings. You see it on the news. It never really happens.

But now it had. The sound of two more bangs pervaded the air. A sudden realization struck me.


My best friend had been out getting a drink when the lockdown happened. Right by the front door. My fear moved to another level. Like if my fear at the beginning was a cat, then it was now a cheetah.

Another bang.

I ran for the door, but the teacher grabbed the back of my sweatshirt.

"There's nothing you can do." she said, surprisingly calm. How could she stay calm, when Amber might be dead?

I slunk down the wall, hope slipping from me like sand in a hourglass. The clock on the wall, which was an hour off, went slower and slower at each tick of the clock. The minutes went by like hours, and the seconds like minutes.

Three endless hours later, they let us out. The shooter had shot himself after the first three shots. One other person was dead, but they wouldn't say who. The shooter was an outcast at school. Tommy Dillman was his name. We had always tried to include him, but he preferred working alone. While he didn't talk much, he hadn't seemed like the kinds of person who would murder and kill himself.

As I was walking down the hallway, preparing to leave, I spotted a policeman and ran up to him.

"Excuse me sir, do you know who died? It's just..."

He looked me in the eye, and perhaps sense my need to know.

"Come with me."

He lead me to the crime scene. There was still blood on the floors, and there was that crime scene tape that you always see in the movies taped across the walls.

There, on the floor, lay my best friend. Her eyes were somewhere else, but other than a bullet wound, she looked as she did in life. Pretty, peaceful, yet lifeless.

I felt numb for the rest of the day. I went about life, wondering whether or not we still had homework. The idea that I was worried about homework after what happened makes me laugh a little.

Today is the five year anniversary of Amber's death. It's still hard for me to say. "Amber is dead". Some days are harder than other. Some days I only think about it a couple of times. Some days I only think about it. She still had so much to do. We were supposed to get matching prom dresses. She was supposed to go to college. Get married. Have kids.

It is amazing how much life can change in one moment. Through one kids actions, through one kids bullets.

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