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Goodbye for Now
July had a warm welcome after the month of June scared me forever. Huge plans for the fourth would soon be in smoke. My best friend would never speak to me again. June 29th was the worst day of my life and always will be. Nothing would ever take the place of that horrific day in my mind. Since that day, I have learned to hate everybody that says “get over it”, or “what happened, happened.” I will never look at motorcycles or quads without reflecting about June 29th because of the fear they have put into my soul.
I don’t remember the day except June 29th because of the special paper, but my best pal, closest friend I could ever dream of having, was staying at my house for a few days while his parents went east of the mountains. We had plans for going on Playstation network all night long, staying up until 5 a.m. drinking mountain dew, making milkshakes, what every kid does when they have a friend sleep over. All was great. Two hours into the party we had going on; I spoke the words that would make me kill myself later on.
“We can play playstation at night if we want. It’s still daylight outside. How’s about I show you something a little more daring?” I asked.
Sure as can be, Jason replied.
“Brother, I’m always down for intense things.”
I told him.
“So I see you take after your Dad.”
He chuckled and asked
“What do you have in mind?”
What we did wasn’t what we would call daring. It’s what we didn’t do. I unlocked the shed and there stood the 350 banshee. I pointed and said,
“That is my Dad’s quad. Be careful.”
He was so stoked, he was speechless.
I hustled to get the banshee out quickly since it was already getting dark. I decided to let him ride the banshee. I turned the choke on, and the electric start gave life to the motor. The rumble from the exhaust was most attractive. I got off then let Jason mount the beast. He was new at all of this clutch, shifting business. I didn’t tell him how to shift for his safety. That didn’t stop him though. I gave him my helmet, but he did the stupidest thing a human being could ever do. He turned down that life saver. That would later bite him in the butt. Too hard. After we were all set up and ready I told him of this gravel road which lead to this huge gravel pit. Before the hour was over we were at the bottom of the gravel road off of South Pass; One of us about to spend eternity somewhere else.
This gravel road that had a lot of sharp turns. I said, as we came to a stop.
“Stay behind me.” And he nodded.
We were off. Our hair was off of our foreheads whipping in the wind. Before we even started to have fun, Jason decides to pass me and ignores my halt to him. I was amazed that he grabbed second gear like that. He was pro in my eyes. I had that what the heck feeling and I gunned my brother’s Suzuki to catch up to him. Before I knew it there were the sharp corners that I was talking about. Jason didn’t even slow down. The cost would unfortunately be Jason’s life. I was swearing at him. I was trying to say that the corner was blind. I screamed so loud I saw purple dots in my eyes. I had to speed down otherwise I would be over the edge. My voice box stretched, the rev limiter on my brothers Suzuki popped over and over, trying to get J’s attention, the tires screeched on the gravel, but the loudness of that banshee drowned out everything.
Before my brain even came on, instinct told me what was going to happen. The quad takes a while to slow down from going 60mph on gravel. I was at a dead stop when I heard the tires grinding against the gravel. Jason’s quad slid sideways out of control.
I was yelling,
“Bail you idiot!”
There was no possible way he could have heard me. When I saw that banshee plunge off the cliff I knew Jason would soon be with God. The front of the banshee crashed into the front of a tree, slamming his head into the alder. My thoughts were telling me BS! That didn’t happen, but it did. No helmet or gear. There was about a 30 foot drop to the ground. I hauled down to the road below never letting off the gas and saw Jason’s motionless body and the ball of banshee laying 50 ft. from him. That moment for me was like looking into a strobe light. I was shocked, blinded by agony. I just couldn’t believe what I had witnessed. I had to find help. I didn’t even get off the quad, or check if he was still breathing. I raced down to the house and barged into my house. As soon as I said
My Dad almost knew what happened. I was dazed. The next incident that I remember is the ambulance. I led the ambulance to where he was laying. The ambulance guy wouldn’t let me come near him after I showed him. All I wanted to do was give him a tap on the shoulder again like when we were little kids. My mentality had turned into one big kaleidoscope.
An hour later Jason was laying in a body bag being stowed into the gurneys in the ambulance. I never would have guessed that that quad would claim the life of my almost brother. I think about that moment all the time. I feel as if I have a 20,000 pound burden of my back. It was my fault. I had to be the brains and suggest going riding. No matter when anybody says,
“It’s over. “
It never will be for me. Every time I fire up my motorcycle or quad I hear Jason’s voice coming out of the tail pipe as soothing words to my ears.
“Brother, I’m always down.”