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Always Gone, Never Forgotten
The person I trust, confide in, and think knows me like the back of his hand is De’Laughntae, Taetae for short. He is the one who knows me best. I can’t even hide my feelings from him. When I first met him I would have never thought I would feel this way about him. But when we actually started to catch feelings for each other, it was the most beautiful moment ever!
De’Laughntae Malachi is my government name. Most people call me Taetae, and my basketball brothers call me Racks. I prefer De’Laughntae, but everyone says it’s too long. I was born in December 31, 1996, in an island called Melanesia. I am mixed breed. My mom is European and Samoan, and my dad is black. I get most of my genes from my mom, but I still consider myself black. I have a caramel skin tone, I was born with blue eyes, but they change colors depending on my mood. I was born premature, I weighed only 4 pounds, but I have grown to be a very healthy young man, 6’10 and weighing 180 pounds. Even though I’m skinny, I got to admit I’m kind of handsome.
My childhood was not nor good or bad, it was mutual. But I was glad to have a family because most children parents in my village were split up, but still lived in the same home. Unfortunately for me, when I was 7 my mother died from a bad disease. She was battling with it basically her whole life. She was the most beautiful women I had ever seen in my life. My mother had the warmest, brightest, most welcoming smile any one could have. When she left, she took all that with her. It was gone forever. She was gone forever. My father was so devastated. He tried his best to raise me as a single father. When I was 9 we moved to the California to start over, to start a new life. It was hard leaving my home, the place that I grew to love, the place that I was raised in, and the place that held all my memories with my mother. My dad promised me that we would come back on every holiday. I didn’t want to go but I knew and my father knew that it was a good choice.
When I moved to California, my dad enrolled me into César Chavez Intermediate School. I was in the fourth grade. The first day I already had friends. Everyone was so nice to me. I really liked the school. The only thing that I didn’t like was that, the teachers always taught about every ethnic group, except for islanders. But other than that I learned a lot there. I had a good at that school. It was cool to be around different ethnic groups other than my own. Unfortunately, 2 years later, my friends and I were split up. It was time for middle school and some of my friends were going to the same school as me and some were going to different schools. My life was still new and exciting. I had new friends and I was starting middle school.
For the first half of my summer I spent it in California and the other half I went back to Melanesia. My first day of middle school was everything I expected, Awesome. I met a lot of new people, once again, and I started to have girl problems. My dad had to give me the talk! I wish I could have heard it from my mom but dad was okay. Even though I could have had any girl, I wanted to wait for the one. 7th grade year went by super fast, and then came 8th grade, the year I had been waiting for! I was really mature and had lots of friends, and I felt like a king. Being in the higher grade can give you that feeling. Every girl, and when I say every girl I mean every girl, in 7th and 8th, liked me except for this groups of girls in the 7th grade. They were all pretty there was just one though that had reminded me of my mother, which had made her the most beautiful. She reminded me of my mother so much. She had the same brown almond shaped eyes, and the same dark skin that glowed brightly. Even though she reminded me of me of my mother she still didn’t seem like the one, there was something missing, something big. I found out her name was Shupri, and she went to elementary school with me. I started seeing her more and more. She had 3 classes with me. She was really smart, also really mean. Me and Shupri started talking more, and ended up friends. Over the months we started getting closer, like best friends. She started opening up to me and telling me her feelings. She told me the reason why she was so mean is because she didn’t trust anybody. She also told me that the only reason that she and I were best friends was because I was different than other boys that she knew. Shupri also told me that I impressed her because I was one of the few boys that she has met that actually cares about school, isn’t in a gang, and respect young women. I always appreciated the things she said about me. She was so nice and so mean at the same time, but it was her personality which made her different and unique.
My life In California kept getting better. I was getting promoted to high school with straight A’s and my dad was finally happy again. He finally found somebody special. Her name was Uhuru. She was French and of African descent. He met her at work when we first moved to California and they have been talking every since. I didn’t think it would get serious, but I’m glad it did. Her and my father is engaged. He wants to marry her in France on her birthday, which is the same day my mother passed. It was a surprise for me, but I thought it was good idea. The plan was to get married then after the ceremony, go back to Melanesia and visit her grave. I couldn’t wait to go to France and put flowers on my mother’s grave.
After my father and my step mother got married, and we visited my mother’s grave my father had decided to spend the night at our house In Melanesia. After we ate dinner, my dad had an announcement to make, which surprised me. His announcement was that I would be spending half of my summer in France and California, and I would do my freshman year in Melanesia. The news made me very upset with my father. Me and my father were too close to not talk about stuff like this. Also he didn’t even ask me for my choice. It was hard for me to hold It in. I just wanted to leave. I didn’t understand why my father couldn’t just talk to me about what he wanted to do. I lost all trust for my father, which was bad because he was all I had in my life. My father tried everything to gain my trust. But the only thing he didn’t do was change his decision. My summer was a lot of peoples dream, but not mine. My summer was ruined. And so was my first year of high school. It took my father and I 4 ½ months to get back to the way we were.
My father and I chose a good time to reconnect. We reconnected right before our way to France. Although it really hurt to say goodbye to everyone for a whole year, I was happy to go to France I have never been there before. I couldn’t wait to see what everyone said was beautiful. I on my last day in California my best friend and I had decided to make a list of the 5 places I will go when I go to France, so I can take pictures and make a collage. I also was going to write a poem for each picture, about how I felt when I was there. The first place on our list was Chateau de Chambord. It means Valley of Giant Castles. I have never seen a castle before so I thought this was the perfect time. The next one on the list was Arc de Triomphe. I had seen it in a picture that my teacher had showed me one time when he went on a trip to France. It was also really beautiful. The 3rd place on my list was a museum named The Louvre. I think it would be really interesting to write a poem on. The 4th was a place I knew I would have fun at and it was Disneyland Paris, I had the perfect poem for it already. And the last place was the Eiffel Tower, it’s in a lot of movies so why not.
My trip to France was wonderful. The pictures were nothing like they were in reality. I had the time of my life. I also bonded really well with my dad and my step mom. France taught me a lot of educational things and life lessons I needed. I learned about the culture of France and the language. On our way to Melanesia, My dad surprised me. He told me we could go back to California for 3 weeks. I really appreciated the time. When I went back to California the first thing I did was put my bags down and called all my friends to hang out, including my best friend. My dad let me throw a little welcome back, get together, party for myself. At my party my best friend and i went through my collage. She was amazed. For the rest of the weeks I had left in California, all me and my friends did was party like it was no tomorrow. My last day in California was sad, I had to say goodbye to everyone for a whole school year. I promised everyone I would call often and oovoo them.
My freshman year began really easy in Melanesia. I already knew everyone so it wasn’t nothing. It was also going by really fast. I had great grades too. Because of my good grades my dad bought me a new laptop, it was much better to oovoo on then my other laptop. It felt good to be in my hometown and to eat my cultural food. Every night after school I would do homework, then out fishing, then home to shower, and then on the computer to oovoo with my friends. I did this routine until Christmas break. During Christmas break my dad let me go to California, but alone. On my way there I was lonely, but I was lucky I had internet connect, so my whole way there I oovoo my best friend. It seems like every time I was gone for a long time, it brought me and her closer.
After I went to California for Christmas break, then back to Melanesia. It seemed like the rest of the school year was gone. It went by so fast. My father wanted to stay in Melanesia for 2 more weeks after school was over. Then move back to California permanently. I was happy about the plans because all of the plane and visits made me exhausted. The 2 weeks were weird. I tell my best friend everything. So I told her I was starting to develop feelings for her. After I told her, I felt a huge relief but a huge weight of nervousness. She said she felt like it was always something there but she didn’t want to jump to conclusions. The night before I left back to California, I couldn’t stop thinking about what it would be like to see her. Like would it feel weird or comfortable? If she really feel the same or is she just telling me what I wanted to hear? I have never felt this way before but I really hoped she felt the same.
This story wasn’t even half way over. On Sunday DeLaughntae was supposed to come over to my house to finish the story but something really horribly tragic happened. On Saturday night, DeLaughntae was walking to one of his “play brother” house. He walked passed this house that was throwing a party but he didn’t go because he never goes to parties alone. While DeLaughntae was walking passed, someone in a car started shooting. DeLaughntae tried to run but he only made it 1O steps before the silver bullets from the revolver blew his back out. He died immediately. He didn’t feel any pain. Till this day I wonder what his last thought was before he died. It hurts that he is really gone. He went from being my best friend to the one I loved. I never expected anything like this. Why did he have to go? He was a good person. He always got good grades. He played sports. He didn’t smoke or drink. He didn’t gang bang.
DeLaughntae and I ended up in a relationship. He made me so happy. I thought he was everything I needed and then some. He never let me feel alone. My mom loved him. She said he was like the son she never had. His father and his mother would always invite me over for dinner. We were the perfect couple and many people told us that. We had been together for at least about a year and a half. I actually fell in love with him.
When he died my heart was broken I couldn’t eat or sleep. It was hard to concentrate or to focus in school. But it’s like I can always feel him near me. On day I woke up out my sleep and my light was on and my computer was too and there was a picture of him on it but I didn’t put it on there. I busted in tears. I felt like it was a sign from him. Evert now and then I get little signs from him but it always brings back memories of me and him that I miss.
His death is the reason why it took me so long to do this. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know if I should just start over on my research, or just finish the story.
It’s been 3 months now since his death and it still feels the same. I feel so empty without him here, but I have to stay strong for him. De’Laughntae will forever stay in my heart. He is gone but never forgotten.
I LOVE YOU MY BABY TAE
December 31, 1996-March 31, 2O12
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