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When You Lose Somebody You Love
With the stress of the spring musical behind them, Kim and her two friends, Sarah and Becca, could enjoy their free time without any thoughts of stage presence or dance rehearsals. Instead of going to the school’s pitiful excuse for an auditorium, they could now go to the mall. Instead of rushing to rehearsal, they could now spend time at each other’s houses. That’s exactly what they were doing that Friday night.
“What do you guys wanna do?” Sarah asked, turning on her side to face us. Glancing around her room, Becca and I shrug our shoulders.
“We could watch Pearl Harbor,” I suggested. “I’ll probably fall asleep in the middle though. But it’s my favorite movie.”
“We could do that,” Sarah said, scooting off of her bed to grab the movie. “Is that okay with you Becca?”
“Yeah. I don’t care,” Becca said with a big goofy grin. She could care less if we watched Pearl Harbor. She was just glad that we didn’t have to be at rehearsal anymore. All three of us piled onto Sarah’s oversized bed as the movie began.
“I’m gonna cry. I always cry on this movie,” I said quietly, hoping they wouldn’t tease me too much about being a big baby.
“That’s if you stay awake long enough,” Becca said.
The movie began with two boys in a field. They were playing around in an airplane. One of the young pilots flipped a switch and the plane roared to life! As it went faster and faster through the field, the front of the plane jumped up and then back down again, like a injured bird wanting to fly, but couldn’t get enough wind under its wings to keep it from falling back to earth.
I fell asleep to the sound of war and crashing planes. The sound of the machine gun lulled me into sleep, rocking me back and forth, back and forth, until I could hear it no more.
I woke up the next morning with echoes of disaster in my head. I leaned up to look around and see if Becca and Sarah were still asleep. They both looked at me with sleepy eyes and memories of the previous night’s dreams.
“Good morning,” Becca said, with a sleep yawn to follow. I roll my eyes in a sarcastic way and yawn in return.
“Yeah, yeah yeah. Whatever,” I said, as I sat up a little bit more.
“I have to leave at 8:30,” Becca said, frowning a bit. She had had enough trouble convincing her mom to let her spend the night.
“But we haven’t even gone swimming in Sarah’s field yet!” I complained loudly.
“Yeah, I know. It’s my mom, though. She won’t let me stay longer because we have some things to do today,” Becca said. She rolled her eyes and started to crawl out of Sarah’s bed.
“We will have to do it some other time then,” I said, my mood brightening a little bit at the thought of another free night with my friends.
“Yeah, for sure!” Becca and Sarah said together.
Becca’s mom came to get her at 8:30, as she said. Now it was just Sarah and I.
“So…What do you want to do?” she asked, looking at her fingernails.
“I have no idea,” I said back, as I shook my head.
“We should go out to the field and swim a little,” Sarah suggested. I smiled and nodded in agreement.
Five minutes later, we were finally motivated to get off her bed and go outside…right when my phone rang.
“Ugh,” I groan, “It’s my mom. Probably wanting to know if I’m ready to come home yet. Hang on a minute, Sarah.” Opening my phone, I greeted my mother as sweet as possible, hoping she would let me stay longer. “Hey, mom.”
“Hey. I’m on my way to come and get you,” she said.
“Can I please stay awhile longer? It’s still early and we haven’t even gone out to the field to swim yet,” I said, as I crossed my fingers. Please let me stay. Please let me stay.
“Kim, I need to come get you. Okay?” she said. I frowned, completely missing the urgency in her voice.
“Kim. You don’t understand. There’s been an accident,” she said, her voice thick with tears. I sit straight up on Sarah’s bed. It felt like she had just slapped me in the face.
“Mom, what are you talking about?” I said, unable to comprehend what she was saying.
“It’s Skyler. Skyler had an accident,” she bluntly stated.
“Is he okay, mom? He’s gonna be okay, right?” I said. There was a certain feeling in my very core that I had never felt before. It was a sinking feeling. A deep realization that something terrible had taken place.
“No, Kim. He’s gone.”
The day that Scoots was buried was the hardest day that I have ever had to endure. The shining sun seemed to be mocking life. Why couldn’t Skyler still be shining?
At Skyler’s funeral, we sang. We all sang together. And it was beautiful. The music brought each and every one of us together. Brother to sister. Mother to son or daughter. Stranger to stranger. That is what happens when people are brought together by some uncontrollable force. Whether it was a natural disaster or losing a family member, people came together through that rough emotional experience. Though it may have been hard, they ease the pain through another emotional experience- music. And it doesn’t have to be music. It can be through God, or even with a counselor.
Saying that it wasn’t fair was an understatement. Wishing for him to come back did nothing. People coming around and saying ‘I’m sorry for your loss’ didn’t bring him back. I found myself saying well maybe if I do this or pray every night, he will come back. No. The day of his funeral was when it really set in. Sky was gone and he wasn’t coming back. What bothered me the most is that I couldn’t remember the last time I had seen him. It was a constant sense of … I don’t even know. No words could describe it. He was fourteen. So young. So careless.
I think about him every day. He is my motivation to do the mundane things of everyday life. But somewhere in the back of my mind, it still feels like he is only on vacation, that he will return next week, bringing back with him memories and stories to tell. Many things are taken for granted. And life is one of them. If those people that take life for granted only knew…