I believe in never losing contact with the ones you loved.

Joanne - Los Angeles, California
Entered on February 20, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: setbacks

October 18th 2008, Emanuel M was shot in Sacramento.

I believe in never losing contact with the ones you loved.

I lost a friend on February 17th. 3 months after his death.

We knew each other inside out. We were more than friends. It was like we’ve always known each other. When I went back to Hong Kong after summer we still kept in contact on MySpace, email, and phone calls. We spoke everyday; he would tell me about his day and interesting happenings and so would I. Every conversation felt like the first time we’ve ever came across each other.

Communications with Manny relied mainly on emailing and phone calls. Phone calls started from 1 a week to 1 every month or two. Emails started from 2-3 per day cutting down immensely to 1 every 2-3 weeks. Manny kept the emails going even though he couldn’t make time for the phone calls. On the other hand, I was so into my life in Hong Kong, that I kept forgetting to email Manny back and I just assumed that everything was ok with him so I didn’t even bother calling. Or as I always told myself, “I will call him on the weekend” but the “weekend” never came.

As I write this essay, it is February 19th, 2009. Two days ago, I was clearing out junk and old emails and I came across the emails from Manny. Then I realized I’ve been the worst friend ever. I counted the emails as I read them. There were 23 emails from Manny that I read and didn’t reply. I immediately replied them all. Then I decided to go back onto MySpace after 3 years to check if Manny was online and this was when I felt my heart shatter into pieces. This was when I knew everything was too late.

I went onto his MySpace, and found pages of wall writings telling him to RIP and that he was in a better place. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Is this the right Emanuel Michel’s page that I am on? I was so shocked. I tried calling his phone over and over again. I needed to find out what happened. I fell asleep in tears.

I couldn’t believe my eyes, and I didn’t want to believe that this was the truth. I looked on news websites for his incident. When I typed in “Emanuel Michel, Sacramento” headings came up about “Emanuel Michel was fatally shot” or “18-year-old Emanuel Michel was gunned down and killed”. I browsed the web for 3 hours to read the same stories and trying to put everything together.

I blame myself for not being there, for not making the time to drop a sentence or two to catch up, for forgetting the one who was always there for me. I couldn’t believe this was happening and I didn’t want to believe it. If I had a chance of going back to 3 years ago, I would never lose the bond with Manny. If I hadn’t, I could’ve been speaking to him the night he was murdered, that way he could’ve been home for longer and he might’ve had the chance to survive and live his life which he appreciated.

So this I believe… in never losing contact with the ones you loved because you never know when it’s going to be too late to catch up with them again.