life is deserved

Benjamin - San Diego, California
Entered on June 3, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe in many things. God, friends, family, but most of all, I believe in life. It was a bonfire. No different than any other. People drinking, smoking, and partying; they were living how they believed was socially tolerated. I was the one who didn’t do much of anything or at all. I don’t drink much, I don’t smoke, I just thought that there were better things to do with my time. I remember seeing one of my best friends smoking and drinking. I was with him days before when he told his family and friends that he was too good to smoke. I was disgusted.

But the bonfire isn’t the point of my story. The moment that changed my life did not affect me how people are affected on a daily basis. I wasn’t injured or made fun of; I didn’t rip my pants in front of my class. I was merely a spectator. I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. The party had died at our previous location, so we decided to move to my friends house to go party some more. We were walking next to the local hotel when four loud piercing noises caught our ears. We thought they were fireworks. The bright, white flashes weren’t what caught our eyes. It was the screaming and running of everyone in the parking lot. We decided to run. My best friend was in the crowd of people next to me crouching behind an electricity box and a group of smaller palm trees. A Cadillac pulled out of the lot, and made a left on the busy street. It must have been a second after when ten police cars were storming towards it. We were safe. We waited five minutes to walk back to the house so the police could make sure everything was under control. We walked past the hotel and the sound of crying filled our ears as we walked past him. He must have been in his early thirties. His green shirt had turned blood red. The sight of the woman clutched onto his arm as he lay unconscious, was one you would expect to see in a movie. Every movement of the paramedic’s arms pumping his sleeping heart seemed like hours. We walked back to the house. Everyone still high or drunk was talking over the situation as if it were merely an experience that caught them off guard. I wasn’t either of those people. The next few days were not as full. They were not as joyful. They were spent in a blur.

Since then I have looked at life a little differently. The experience hasn’t made me lose sleep, or go into a state of depression, but I have definitely looked at the people and the choices in my life in a different way. What do I believe? I believe that life is deserved. It’s not a mere human’s decision to end one.