Some people live to the ripe age of 96. Others lose their lives at the young age of 16. Six years ago today, that is exactly what happened. I will never forget it, and I guess now is a good time to reflect back on it:
It was the first day of tennis tryouts: I was a freshman; he was a junior. I was finally ready to try something new, but I was a bit tentative, considering my high school experience up to that point was not really stellar and I had never really tried my hand too much at tennis. The girls’ team tryouts were first, followed by the boys’ team. It was a horrible day outside, weather-wise: a blizzard was brewing, so the preliminary try-outs were going to be held in the gym and cut short in half. The girls tryouts were just about to end, and the boys were coming in and warming up. I had heard all about him, seen his name everywhere. “So this is him. No wonder they make a big deal out of him,” I remember thinking to myself.
I finally got the chance to meet him: it was only for about 5 minutes, but that was all it took to completely brighten my day. Now I know why people raved on about such a studious, wonderful, kind gentleman, which is hard to find in high school! I came back from school that day so excited to have met such a nice person, hoping that this was a sign of change for my high school experience. Little did I know that when I got home, a mere 45 minutes later, his life was taken in an instant, with the flip of his car on black ice.
Of all the tragedies that I saw through my high school, this one is the one that gets to me the most. Maybe it was because I actually had met him personally. Or maybe it was the fact that he played tennis. Or maybe it was the fact that he seemed to always have a smile on his face. Or maybe it was the fact that he was just totally amazing. Whatever it is, every year, on March 18th, all I can think of is him.
So now, it is 6 years later: so quick, yet so long. I think of where I am: in my 3rd year of college. He would have graduated from college last year, no doubt with some sort of honors. He probably would have kept on playing tennis. In fact, I’m sure he would have won an award with the high school team too. It’s been 6 years to this day, and still, I have not forgotten (nor anybody else for that matter): every time I drive by that spot, I think of him. It has been 6 years: I have not forgotten, nor will I ever forget. What have I learned? Well, lots of things. But mainly: life can be short, so cherish every moment, and unfortunately, it just happens to the best of us sometimes. So, make sure to live, laugh, and love every second of your life, because you never know when you won’t be able to anymore.
3.18.2002: Here’s to you… this one’s for you…
Forever in our hearts