That Fatal Night This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   When I was ten years old, I can remember a family with a father, a mother, a big sister, me, the middle child, and a little brother. We lived in a big house out in a tiny town called Scipio. We had fields on either side of us, and like all tiny towns, the neighbors were always willing to help and were very kind to all the kids.

But this perfect little family, in this perfect little town, came to a halt on the night of February 28, 1990. I was only ten at the time, so things are a little fuzzy as to what happened exactly that fatal night. Back then Nintendo was very popular, and of course we had one, and on that night I was playing that Nintendo when all of a sudden I heard a knock on the front door.

At that time I knew it could not be my older sister. Why would she knock? Anyway, I thought she was already home. She only had to go to Auburn to drop off a friend and then to the house of my cousin who lived a few minutes away. But then the knock came again.

As I opened the door, the only thing I can remember was looking up into the sullen faces of two cops. They asked for Dad and when I came back to the kitchen door with Dad, I was asked to leave the room.

I remember a lot of things running through my head, but not what was coming next. What seemed like forever but was actually only five or ten minutes had passed. My dad called me out of the living room to sit on the couch with him.

I can't remember whether he was crying, but I remember everything after that. My dad told me there had been a bad accident. My first reaction was to cry because I thought it was my mother, who had also been out that evening. When I asked if it had been my mother and my father replied, "No," I wondered who it could be. He told me it was DeeDee, my older sister. I just cried and cried and cried. I didn't want to believe that the only person in the whole world I had ever looked up to was gone. I would never be able to tell her how much I loved her or what a wonderful sister she was or even be able to say good night to her again for as long as I lived.

Being only ten, I didn't understand why it had to be my sister. Didn't God realize how important my big sister was to the family that had been perfect until then? I guess I still wonder what it would be like if she was here, even though this happened five years ago.

I'm not writing this for pity or sympathy. I, and the rest of my family, have learned to deal with what happened. At times it's not easy, but we pull through somehow. Now I have two little brothers, Lee and Josh. Joshua is only my half-brother, but each time I look at him I think of the sister he will never know: his half sister, DeeDee. I will never be able to give him the love and attention his sister would have, but I can try.

I wrote this because I want people to know it can happen to them. When I was ten, I thought nothing like this could happen, but it did. It can happen to anyone at any time. That's why now I try to live each and every day filled with love and happiness and not bitter feelings toward anyone or life in general. Life is too short for that stuff. c


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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