June 15th

June 7, 2010
By
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Final Goodbye

I ran down the steep path off the side of my mountain driveway, grass clumps and rocks sloping

downward to the shed. The path was a shortcut to the shed. In the shed, the size of a house, we stored our

Inflatable Fun pieces- inflatable moonwalks and slides and many other things that we rented out to

parties, events, fairs, festivals, etc. From running this short but tricky path so many times, I was a pro at

it. Coming to the foot drop off at the end, I leap, land, stumble from momentum. Most young kids

wouldn’t have this much energy at 6:45 in the morning, but the thought of seeing the work gang gave me

drive.


The way I felt about these guys was as close as I felt to my family (besides my sister, who meant

the world to me). They also felt this way about me; the five of us together made our own separate family.

Brother, sister, even father-daughter figure bonding. I was the youngest, and the only girl. Besides me

there was Travis, two years older than me, Caleb, around seven years older, Evan, five years older, and

David, ten years older. There were other workers who also found places in my life and heart, but us five

had a bond that surpassed any average connection between people.


In our group, we were connected in even more ways. Travis and David were brothers, and Caleb

was their cousin. Evan I’d been around since I was in the second or first grade, Travis I met in second

grade. David I met the summer before or after fourth. On the fourth of July that summer, the first night

we had a real conversation, we talked for hours while we sat on the obstacle course piece and monitored

the kids going on and off the play-thing. After that, he became part of my family.


David wanted to protect me through everything. When I told him pieces of a story about a boy

who terrorizes my past, right after we’d broken up, Dave went crazy. I had never seen him that mad. If

anything like that happened again, or anything at all that I wasn’t ok with, with anyone, I was to call him.

Everything we did for one another couldn’t be counted or measured even if I wanted to try. He told me I

was like a younger sister, but at the same time he would say the protectiveness he felt for me made him

feel like I was a daughter. His own baby girl was given for a middle name my middle one as well.

Travis was always getting into all sorts of trouble. So when someone asked me if he was alive, I

didn’t think much of it. Rumors were always flying around about his demise. From a separate event over

the weekend, I didn’t have a phone that Monday due to my parents taking it away. If I’d had it, I would

have found out sooner. A year ago, sophomore year, my friends and I would always go to Coach Miller’s

room to eat lunch and hang out since it was more relaxing. If we didn’t have lunch at the same time as

other friends, we’d leave class and go up to Coach’s just to visit. I was on one of these visits when a

close friend came in and asked me what I knew about what was going on.

“About… what? What do you mean Maddi?” Sitting on a row of desks I swung my feet back and

forth.

“About… who was it… your friend? One of the people that works with you. You know. Your

friend…”

My tone got serious. “Which friend. Maddi. And what happened to them.”


“Ahm I don‘t know I think they… got stabbed or something? I really don’t know, but I’m so

sorry. That’s what Steffi said, and she’s been looking for you all day. I was coming to find you because

she’s been looking for you.”

“Who was it? Was it Travis?” I was frantic now.

“No I think… Travis’ brother… I don’t know his name.”

“Devin? Which brother?”

“I don’t know, I’m sorry. Find Steffi though.”

Steffi was a friend of mine, but with no phone, I couldn’t text her. The only way she knew about

the situation at all was because she was Travis’ most recent girlfriend When it was my lunch time I

immediately went to the office to find Steffi. She was crying in the counseling office. On the verge of a

panic attack, I made her spit out anything she knew about what happened, which wasn’t much. She

choked out that it was David who was dead, and even though she didn’t really know him she was sad for

Travis. I left, about to break down.

One of my best friends and I never went to fourth block that day, our teacher gave us a pass so I

could cry in the hall way until school was over. At home I begged for my phone back so I could sort

things out. Evan had texted me early that morning, so I called him back and asked him to meet me. We

went to the house I take care of and sat in numbed silence as Requiem for a Dream played in the dvd slot.

My head on a pillow in his lap, I felt the warm tears falling onto me. Not being someone who cries much,

I already didn’t have any tears left.

At 2:50 a.m. Monday morning, Andrew Sheets stabbed David in the neck. Andrew had been

feuding with Travis over something Travis had been set up for. Dave by chance was walking his dog at

that time. He saw Andrew Sheets advance on his little brother and intervened. That night, one of my

oldest friends was murdered by someone we don’t even know.

The last time I ever saw David’s face, it was cold, swollen, and pale white. His eyes were cold,

and color seemed to have drained out of everything. His ever beautiful lips were closed, softly, as if they

could still part to speak words to his loved ones. Standing there next to his casket, I looked down

remembering anything that he’d said, anything we’d done together, whatever managed to come to my

mind from years of memories. And how the eyes behind those closed lids used to sparkle, they would

light up and shine. His smile was infectious, and anyone would agree. Knowing it was the last time I was

ever going to see him was one of the hardest things I had to try to grasp. I couldn’t let go of him. I

touched his face, his lips, his shoulders and hands over and over trying to memorize the already familiar

feel of everything. When I finally felt like I needed to go, I walked away with the feeling of his icy

forehead burning on my lips and last words ringing in my head. I couldn’t believe that it was our final

goodbye.

Running towards the shed so I can return to my house, a movement catches my eye and I halt in

place. The outline, the shirt, the stance, the placement. I knew all those things. David! My heart skipped a

beat seeing him standing there in the shadows, standing by to help unload the trailer. Yet something was

tugging at the back of my mind, a nagging, some piece of raw yet forgotten information. My hand shoots

up to my lips; at least some part of me remember even if I don’t. My David has gone someplace else.

While my heart falls out of my chest, my hand raises in a weak wave to the crew members in the shed,

and I walk dejectedly back up the path to my house.





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