Respect life

December 5, 2007
By David Calabrese, Morrison, CO

I was asked to leave nicely. My 5thgrade teacher and I did not get along very well. So for the rest of the year I had to sit in the fourth grade class room and do all my work. I couldn’t wait for 6th grade to come because I would be back with my class. Finally the first day of 6th grade was here I was really excited. We all sat down in are seats and of course when ever you have a new kid people always look at them and wonder things. The thing I noticed was he was shy. I thought to myself I bet we would get along well because I am shy to. The teacher introduced him to the class his name was Eric Booth. I could see how much he hated it when the teacher introduced him because he was so shy. At recess everyone had there little groups that they played with. Jacob and I noticed that Eric was kind of alone because he didn’t really know anyone yet. We decided to approach him and ask him if he would like to play football. He shyly said yes. He wasn’t the best player but he still tried.

As the year continued Eric, Jake and I began to do almost everything together. IT was easy to hang out because we all lived just up the street from one another. Jake and I would always cruse over to his house on our go-peds. Eric eventually got a go-ped himself. When we would ride we felt like we were so cool. Like no one could stop us. Eventually the stock go-peds just weren’t fast enough for us. So we began to purchase high performance parts so we could fly. Eric and I were like the neighborhood go-ped mechanics. We would help put performance parts on a lot of the neighborhood kids go-peds. We would ride so much that my engine eventually burned out on me so we rebuilt it and was up and running again. I remember this one day after school us three and Eric’s brother were all going to go for a ride and we would meet up by the hourse stables. When I arrived I was the only one there so I decided to ride to Eric’s house to see where he was. Half way between his house I noticed the he was laying on the ground and he was really messed up. He took a really hard fall. I remember that he was laying there with no shoes on. He fell so hard that his shoes flew off up the road.

We all loved to fish. Jake was the pro I was the amateur and Eric was the rookie. Weather it was after school or during the summer we would ride our go-peds down to the lake/pond and fish. Jake would usually catch a few and I would get one once and a while but Eric on the other hand would usually not catch many. I remember the first time I saw him catch a fish he was so excited. It was not his first fish ever but he acted like it. The last time we went fishing a fish had jumped close to the shore line and I remember Eric yelling “I got it” and he went to cast by the shore where the fish had jumped but he completely missed and ended up casting and hooking a house that was by the lake. When we weren’t fishing or riding our go-peds u could find Eric and I making things out of duct tape. Anything from wallets to hats to shoes. We would always try to out do one another creation.

The jump from elementary to middle school was interesting. Going from an elementary school with 180 kids and everyone new each other to a school where there is no way you could ever know everyone. On the first day we were all split up into different classes and really didn’t see much of each other during the day. But we would always ride the bus together. That was the time of day that was the best because we either made fun of the bus driver or screwed around. We would have to get on the bus at 6:30 every morning. Eric being the smart one would always bring snack. We always would tell him to share. So one day I decided to bring a snack of my own. My mom had bought me these little tiny cheese that were dipped in wax. So I brought those because I thought they were sweet. I gave one to Eric and he loved it so we both started eating those every morning. We started saving all the wax and forming it to a shape of a ball. We continued this for a while the ball probably had the diameter of 3 inches. We always said we wanted to make it huge and send it into giniouse book of world records. We always would talk about the wax ball. It was awesome because everyone thought we were really weird for making it but Eric and I thought it was pretty sweet. Till this day I still have that wax ball. The bus would always stop at the high school and drop them off first and than drop the middle school kids off. But when the high school kids were on the bus they got the very back of the seats. So when they would get off the bus Eric, Jake and I would race to the back to get the very back seats. It was always a race because there are only two back seats.This is because we took a back road that lead straight to Carmody. And on this road there was a stop light that had a big jump in the middle of the intersection and when the bus would catch the green light we would go flying.

8th grade came and went and before we knew what hit us. We were all so excited to start high school. The only thing was that I made the decision to go to columbine. But Jake and Eric wanted to go to bear creek. We hung out that summer but not as much as in the past because Eric went to camps and camping so it was more of Jake and I. but before school started a bunch of friends got together to play poker and Eric came because he was back from camp. We used to always call each other by are last name but when we said them we would us load deep voices. After we finished poker Eric said “see ya CALABRESE” in the voice we used and I yelled back saying “see ya BOOTH”. Who would have ever thought those would be the last words I would ever say to one of my best friends. Eric Booth past away on august 31,2004. I Received I phone call from another good friend Emme, frantically she tells me that Eric had been in a bad accident on his way to school this morning. And broke both legs and hit his head hard and is in a comma. But she said he is doing better and will be ok. I began to shake hysterically and ran out to the living room where my family was sitting. I told them what I had just found out. My begins to worry and called jakes mom and begins to ask many questions. But jakes mom could not answer them. At this point I don’t know what to believe. While my mom was calling around I decided to call Eric’s house to see if anyone was home. I new they would have answers. The phone rang 5 times and just before the answering machine picked up I haerd a hello. It was a sad soft voice of Eric’s brother. He was only in 4th grade. I said to him so what’s going on with Eric. And in 5 heartbroken words he says “I don’t think Eric is coming home”. I fell to my knees and tears began to fall down my face. I told my mom and she told me she didn’t know anything more. Than she called the hospital to find out more information they told her all they were allowed to. I could see my mom tear up. I ran up to her with my body shacking and I asked what did they say. She said nothing, she didn’t want to tell me. She didn’t know how to tell her son that he was not going to get to say good bye to one of his best friends. I could not stop begging her to tell me. Finally she said that Eric had been put on life support and is fighting for every last breath. So it went from broken legs to life support. I could not even think straight. I stayed home from school the next day because I wanted to be the first to hear about what’s going on. My other friends mom was a nurse at the hospital that he was at and she was able to get more information about his situation. I will never forget I was laying out on the couch and my dad came out of the room after hanging up the phone. Walked up to me and said Dave “he’s no longer with us”. The tears would not stop flowing. I tried to be strong and fight the tears off but I couldn’t hold back. I was told that his skull was shattered along with his arms and legs. He was basically killed instantly. After I found out Jake and I along with other friends got together to support one another. I had talked to Eric’s sister who was driving the car that was hit. And she said right before impact they looked at each other and didn’t say a word but the look they gave each other said good bye I love you. A few days after I went to visit his mom and she told me that Eric wanted to go to columbine so bad. But he couldn’t because his sister went to bear creek. After hearing that it broke my heart because he would still be here with us if he came to columbine. The next summer Jake and I stayed with Eric’s brother everyday to comfort him and make him feel that there is still some one there

His death was caused by a truck driver that wanted to save time and cut across 285 and use the emergency turn around zone instead of using the exit ramp. Life is so valuable and should not be take advantage of. Don’t take short cuts in life because they can cut your life short.

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