In Memory Of My Forever

November 16, 2011
The Beginning
“You need to have a little faith, not everyone you love is going to leave you”

Those were the words of seventeen year old Brayden Johnson. Brayden spoke those words to me on July 14, 2009. I remember that day with him as if it was as clear as day. I remember every day with him, because I wrote it down in the journal that my parents got me for my birthday in June. June was the month I met him. I couldn’t help but stare when I saw his six foot four muscular body towering over everyone else’s, and when his baby blue eye’s looked down at me he smiled enough to let me know I was acknowledged. It made my dark brown eyes become a warm chocolate color. I melted. But when he told me to have faith, it wasn’t until July. I just got back from a long trip up north, and he was just heading to a missions trip in a different country, and I just had no hope in us. I thought we would both lose interest by the time he got home in two weeks. But the night before he left, I found a note on my front door telling me to meet him out in the middle of this side street, right by my house, at midnight. When twelve o’clock hit I snuck out my bedroom window and ran to the middle of the road. And just like in movies he picked me up and gave me the biggest bear hug.

“Will you go out with me?” He asked.

Everything inside of me wanted to scream yes but I still had my fear of losing him. And he could see it in my eyes, “Brayden I can’t, I’ve tried this before with many guys. It never works out in the end. Two weeks is a long time. A lot could happen. You could give up on us.”

“More like you could give up on us?” He asked, “But still that doesn’t matter, you need to have a little faith, not everyone you love is going to leave you Katie, and I defiantly won’t go anywhere darling.” He was right I needed a little faith. And if I was going to have faith in anybody, any boy, it would be him. So I gave us a chance.

2 weeks later
“I know it hasn’t been long, but I can’t stop thinking about you. You’ve got the cutest smile. Eyes that shine like stars. And words that could brighten up anybodies day.

Brayden got back from the missions trip 2 weeks later. And the day he got back my heart was pounding and every part of me couldn’t wait to be by his side. I didn’t give up on us, and now all that I wanted to know is if he kept his promise and if he didn’t give up on us. His plane landed at 12p.m and he told me he would call me when he arrived. It was now two in the afternoon and I had no phone call, no text message, and no email. But I had to keep my faith in him. He told me too. An hour later my cell phone went off, it was Brayden.

“Hey beautiful!” He said.


He interrupted me, “Look outside of your window.”

I looked outside the window and there he was standing with his arms wide open with a nice brown African tan. I smiled all big, still with the phone up to my ear, in awe that he was actually outside of my window.

“Well get your a** down here,” He laughed.

I threw the phone down and ran down my steps and out my front door. Just like the first time two weeks earlier, he picked me up and twirled me around.

“God I missed you so much!” He said.
“Oh yeah?” I laughed.
“Yeah like crazy! I know it hasn’t been long, but I can’t stop thinking about you. You’ve got the cutest smile. Eyes that shine like stars. And words that could brighten up anybodies day.”

I was honestly speechless I couldn’t say anything. He did actually miss me. And he actually wanted to be in a relationship with me. He waited for me. And now my faith in him, and in love, was immaculate.

“Honestly Katie, I think I’ve fallen in love with you. Yeah…I love you Katie.” He said with a smile on his face. He said it as if saying I love you to me was the right thing to do.

Before he could say anything else I blurted out, “I love you too Brayden.” Honestly that is when our relationship became Brayden and Katie’s relationship.

6months later
“I wish I could live forever, just so I could spend forever with you”

It was now January 12, 2010. Brayden and I had now been together for six months. Six months of laughs, arguments, smiles, parties, obstacles, and stories. Six months of memories. It was just after New Years Eve that the biggest obstacle stood in Brayden and mine way. Brayden announced that he was joining the army. When June came around, when he graduated, he would be leaving for army training. The thing with army training is that he would be thousands of miles away. And soon he could be getting deployed to Afghanistan. This boy, whom six months ago just walked into my life, is walking right back out. But in the back of my head I remember him saying, “You got to have a little faith.” That was our saying for when things got tough. And this was defiantly a time. The night Brayden told everyone his plans; he saw it in my eyes that I was worried and concerned. We were with his family, so he pulled me to the side to talk to me.

“Baby what’s wrong?” He asked
“What are you talking about?” I tried to play it off, but it wasn’t working.
“Oh come on Katie,” Brayden was getting mad now.
“You just tell me you’re leaving! Out of nowhere! You just up and decide to go to the army! It’s like popping the question for people to get engaged! It’s crazy Brayden!” I screamed.
“Well then maybe I’m crazy Katie,” He screamed back.
“Oh yeah?” I asked in a snotty way.
“Yeah because honestly I wish I could live forever, just so I could spend forever with you,” he said.
“Oh yeah? And that’s such a crazy idea?” I was still screaming.
“Yeah because anyone who puts up with your crap like I did for the past six months is literally insane,” he yelled again.
So I continued, “Then why are you even with me Brayden?”
“I have no idea anymore Katie,” he said it in a way as if he’d given up.
“So we’re over?” I asked. A tear started to roll down my cheek.
“Yeah I guess we are,” he said back. Even though he said it, I could hear him holding back in his voice.

There was a moment of silence and then he pulled me into his arms and kissed my forehead, “I’m sorry baby girl. I never could go anywhere away from you.” Brayden and I decided that arguments like that were pointless and that whether I liked it or not he was leaving. But on January 14, 2010 Brayden proved how crazy he actually was. He asked me to marry him that day…I turned him down knowing we were way too young. But I gave him hope for the future. And to him that was good enough.

6 more months later
1 year anniversary

“Someone asked me if I missed you…I didn’t answer. I just closed my eyes and walked away. Then I whispered “so much””

Today was Brayden and mine one year anniversary. It’s that marking in a relationship that all couples look forward too. Well…Brayden and I are no longer a couple. Well physically anyway. You see.. Brayden was getting ready to head off to army training. We had a week left together, and we wanted to spend it right. So we did so many things. We went to the beach, and had picnics, and went to the movies, and an amusement park. I wanted to give him a good farewell.

The last night we had together before he left was July 04, 2010. The next morning he’d be on his way to a whole new life. And our relationship would be in the hands of fate, and god. Well on this particular night Brayden and I were going to spend the night at my parent’s house and watch movies all night, because there was big tornado watch in our town, and we didn’t want to go out somewhere.

You see… We live smack-dab in the middle of tornado valley Oklahoma that is. Everyone is use to tornadoes and usually everyone is prepared for the damage they can do. But no one was prepared to have to clean up after this special tornado.

July 04, 2010, Brayden Johnson died. A tornado struck the ground at 6pm and tore through our small town of 3000 people. Five people died and many were injured. Brayden was one of those five people. The tornado hit his car on East Ave which is a mile down the road from my house. I blame myself everyday for his death. Because he was on his way to be with me. And if it wasn’t for me he could still be alive. His mom says none of this was my fault, she says he died with something he loved in mind. Me.

Even though I know that there was nothing I could do to change his death, I still have in the back of my head all the dreams that he had, and all the plans that we made. And it kills me to know that he had so much in him too give and he wasn’t able to give everything.

So today on our one year anniversary I sit by his grave side. Asking so many questions, like why couldn’t it be me that died. Or why did God decide it was his time to go. Today on July 14, 2010 I said my last words to Brayden.

“Hey love. It’s our one year today,” A tear dropped from my face, “The other day someone asked me if I missed you…I didn’t answer. I just closed my eyes and walked away. Then I whispered “so much”. It’s really hard to live without you. I miss every moment we spent together. I miss knowing that you’re only a phone call away.”

I was now in tears but I felt like he was listening to me, “Brayden you were the most amazing guy I have ever met. And even though we had our moments that were insane, I knew we were meant to be together. I love you with everything Brayden. I always will. Happy one year sweetie.”

As I walked away from his headstone that read, “In memory of a considerate man, a courageous brother, a thoughtful son, a loving boyfriend, and a compassionate friend.” I felt as if I was alone in this world. I no longer had that faith, because he couldn’t be there to inspire me. And I no longer felt like I had the cutest smile, or that my eyes shined like stars, or that I could brighten up anybodies day. Because he was the only one I lived for. And he was the only one that I had that effect on. I no longer wanted to live forever. Because my forever died on July 04, 2010. He will always be remembered.

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