This I Believe

Eric - Lenexa, Kansas
Entered on January 26, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: courage, death

I remember getting that phone call on July 31, 2006 like it was yesterday. I was busy typing away on my computer when my phone rang. It was my friend Lauren. I picked up the phone and said hello, but all I could hear were uncontrollable cries. I asked her what was wrong and it took me a while to figure out what she was saying through all the cries.

“Monica shot and killed herself!” she whaled.

Those words still ring in my head to this day. I didn’t believe it at first. Monica was an awesome friend and she always seemed happy around everyone. I told Lauren that I would call her back. I tried calling Monica’s cell phone, no answer. This nightmare began to turn into a reality, but I still did not believe it. I called one of my friends who was also friends with Monica and he was crying and he too said that this was true. The tears began to roll down my face and that’s when it hit me.

I try to clutch onto the last memory that I have of her. It was in my backyard exactly two weeks before she pulled that trigger. Monica and her friend snuck over to my house late at night and hung out with me and a few of my friends. It’s amazing how happy she was on the outside and how hurt she must have felt on the inside. We all had a fun time and I remember hugging her goodbye. I had idea that that would be the last time that I would ever see her again.

Since Monica’s death I have learned a lot. I have learned to never take anything for granted. You really don’t know how good you have it until something, or someone, is gone. I now believe that it is never right to judge anyone. Every person is fighting a battle that you know nothing about. You don’t know what someone is dealing with, or who they go home to at night, or what their life is like. And one of the most important things that I have learned is that I am only 16 years old and I have already gone through this much. The world is a scary place. It’s scary to think about how many people die in one day and how many families are heartbroken. Knowing that someone is going to find out today that they’re not going to live very long, or someone is going to get that knock on the day, or someone will be getting that phone call. Tragedy shows strength, you’ll find out how strong a person is when they go through something traumatic. Do they give up or do they fight like hell. I believe that I should fight like hell.