In Loving Memory

October 16, 2007
By Zachary Scroggins, Sachse, TX

As I pull up to the crash sight, all I can hear is the deafening roar of sirens. I am nearly blinded by the array of flashing lights. Many of my friends are already there. I frantically searched for a parking spot and quickly find one. First thing, I run to my friends and hear the horrific news. At first I didn't believe it; I couldn't believe it, not until I looked over and caught a glimpse—through the wreckage that used to be a dirt bike, but was now a tangled mess under the formidable bulk of a Chevy conversion van—of the familiar clothes that one of my best friends was wearing earlier that day. I immediately broke down, hysterical, disbelieving, grieving.

It began as a normal Friday would. I awoke, took a shower, and then, unfortunately, headed off to school. I saw my friend several times throughout the day. Briefly, in the halls, we conversed about the parties that were going on during the weekend and which ones were actually worth going to. My buddy told me about a party he was throwing that night at the lake. There were going to be four wheelers and dirt bikes there to take us from where we parked our cars down the short path that led through the woods to the lake. At the time, I thought very little of plan, but I could not have known then that a dirt bike would tragically seal my friend’s demise.

After school, twenty of my friends and I gathered at the mall laughing, snacking, texting, and discussing our plans for the party. Using a cell phone, we called our friend, Micah, to include him in our scheming, but he never answered. Soon after, another friend's aunt called me to inform me of an accident that had occurred just down the street from her house. She reported that a sixteen-year-old boy was riding a dirt bike down the street, and that he had collided with a van. Rumor had it that the young man was dead.

Fearful that the rumor might be the reason Micah was not answering his phone or returning calls, we immediately headed that way. There was a sickening silence between us all as we rushed to the crash sight. No one was laughing or texting. Our faces bore the pallor or shock, emotion, and dread. None of us were particularly religious, yet at that moment, we all prayed that the victim wasn't one of our friends. When we arrived at the scene of the accident, our worst fears were confirmed. Our very close friend, Micah Barnes, had passed away.

Micah was a very important person in the lives of many people. He was a son, a brother, and a great friend to countless people. He was the kind of person that I would always walk away from smiling, no matter what problems I was facing. Even if he was having a wretched day himself, he would still go out of his way to bring joy to every person he came in contact with.

Micah’s death was one of the most traumatizing experiences in our adolescent lives. Even though his death was a horrific experience, it did have a positive affect in that it brought many people closer together. Micah may no longer be with us physically, but he will always live on the hearts of his friends and family.

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