The school week had started out like any other school week. I was in fifth grade the when it happened. I went go to school all day and then came home and hung out with friends until dark. One day after school, my friend Jesse and I decided to ride bikes with our friend Michael. Towards the end of our time hanging out, we decided to stop at Felipe’s bright red house. Felipe was one of my closest friends and first friend in Wauseon. We then went home not knowing that would be the last day we would hang out with either of them ever again.
The next morning I went on with my daily routine. I’d wake up and get ready for school and walk down to the bus stop with my brothers. The morning was warm, and the sun looked almost pink as it rose. The birds chirped and tweeted, and the grass was wet from the dew. Michael and Felipe both rode my bus, but that day neither of them were picked up. Later on in the bus ride, Jesse was picked up. Jesse asked, “Why aren’t Michael and Felipe on the bus?”
“I don’t know, I answered. On the way to the middle school, the bus always passed the dark green high school football fields. People in the front of the bus were murmuring about something in the field, but I couldn’t hear what they were saying or see what they saw. However, when my window passed the field I saw the blue and white life flight in the field, and I wondered, ‘It must be for some old person who had gotten hurt.’ We arrived at school, and every now and then, I’d hear someone ask about it.
The school day was relatively normal and quite. However, when lunch came, the mood for the day changed. As I walked in the brightly lit cafeteria, I saw all the middle school kids in groups with their heads down, and they all looked sad. I asked my friend Gavin, “Why are they like that?” and he couldn’t tell me. Some kids tried to go over to them, but the teachers wouldn’t let the middle school and elementary kids talk. I didn’t know why. Eventually, my middle school friend Gabe managed to sneak to my table to talk to me. I had asked him, ‘what is wrong?”
He told me “ I am bot allowed to say what happened and that you’ll know soon.’ After lunch we went back to class, and we were all in a good mood and making jokes and laughing. However, at the start of class the teacher stood in the front of the class in her red jacket and blue pants. She told us she had something important to tell the class. She began by asking “Does anyone know or is friends with Michael?” I raised my hand, and she nodded and asked if anyone else was. After a minute or two, she then told us what had happened, and at first I didn’t understand. She told us that Michael had been shot and killed that morning on his way to school. I tried to process that my friend was dead. She then told me to go talk to the guidance counselor, and I did.
I stumbled out of the classroom thinking about what she told me. As I walked down the hall, I leaned against the sky blue wall and began to cry. I couldn’t understand how a friend that I hung out with just yesterday was now dead. I walked down the hall some more, and the new kid at school stopped me to ask, “What is wrong” He was a taller and bigger kid and was shy around all of us since he was new. However, he could still tell something was wrong and was nice enough to ask me if I was okay. I looked up at him. I tried to talk but I couldn’t think of anything to say. I just kept walking. I walked into the office, and the secretary knew why I was there. She gave me a hug and told me, “It will be okay.” I then walked by to talk to the guidance consoler. He let me sit there for a while and clean myself up, so I could talk without stopping to cry. A minute later my friend Tristan walked in also crying. I remember him asking Tristan and me “how do you feel about happened? It’s why it’s not safe to be around guns without parents. He kept going on and on about guns, and I could only think about Michael. After a while we had to go back to class.
Before we left his room, he told us, “It is okay to cry. You are men.” Then he sent us to gym. Still sad about what had happened, we hung our heads in gym. Tristan and I didn’t participate in the activities; instead we sat there in silence and thought about what had happened.
When I arrived home from school, no one hung out, and everyone stayed home. The following morning I walked into the school to hear numerous rumors about how it had happened. However, Michael’s cousin who was my neighbor told me the real story on the bus ride to school. Michael, Felipe, and a third boy decided to walk to school that morning. On the way to school, they stopped at the third boy’s house for some reason. Felipe found a 12 gauge shotgun lying around and started messing around with it. Somehow during the time he was messing with the gun went off and shot and killed Michael. The first thing Felipe and the third boy did was call the cops and blamed it on a drive by shooting. The third boy then passed out, and Felipe ran away. When the cops arrived to the house, they found Michael had bled out to death and that Felipe wasn’t there. Later on they found him hiding and took him into custody.
The school day after Michael passed, the school was quite and gloomy. Everyone decided to wear purple to honor Michael, and the entire school went to his house afterword’s to sign a bench with his name on it and to say sorry to his mother. Felipe was sent to jail and had tried to take his life multiple times. His mom disowned him. I will never know what really happened or why it happened, and I feel sorry for Michael family and Felipe himself. I chose to believe that what Felipe had done was not on purpose and on accident, but I will never really know. I will never forget that last sunny day I hung out with Felipe and Michael or the following days after Michael had passed.