Today is a sad day, two years ago I got the horrible news that a close friend passed away. It was under horrible circumstances and I miss him every single day but I think it's because of him that I'm the person I am today.
When I was in high school I lost a few people that I was close to in elementary and middle school, but never anyone that I was close with in the here and now. This is our story, and I hope to do it complete justice.
Shakey Shane was a close friend of a couple of my cousins. It had been many years since I saw those particular family members and I was never really close with them. In the summer of 2003, my sister and I ran into our cousins, three brothers, Cody, Mikey and Mitchell. Shane was always around then, and when they started commuting to Monroe to stay at Angie's house for days on end, Shane soon followed. We all became inseparable, doing the dumbest things together including a "Dead End Fight Club." Shane and our friend Robby would go down to the dead end by our house and beat each other up. It was oddly hilarious.
Anyway, we all were together constantly for a few years before they kind of drifted away from Monroe in 2005 or 2006 (not that I blame them, I left myself.) I still kept in contact with my cousins, Shane and our crazy friend Adi but that was about it. Shane would come to Monroe and pick me up and we'd just drive around for the day or go to stupid concerts that he always hated. Though, I did somehow convince him to see Green Day with me once. I felt bad for dragging him along but it was my birthday after all, so he obliged. He kept me free, and we always had fun. It was nice to be able to sleep next to him and not feel pressured or threatened. That's true friendship.
In 2006 our relationship hit a rocky patch and we had some differences. So he stopped coming around as much because it basically sucked for the both of us. Eventually he landed himself a girlfriend, and it wouldn't be until the spring of 2007 that I would see him again. He started calling again, and we would just chit chat like old times, but I only saw him once after that. Things had changed and though we loved each other, we were different now, we had grown up.
In the summer of 2007, I got into a fight with Adi about something, and Shane was dragged into it. It was mutually agreed that we just wouldn't talk anymore. I hate thinking about this, because I lost any chances of seeing him again by being threatened by a girlfriend, and being a stubborn jerk.
On January 23rd, 2008 after several nights of dreaming about Adi and Shane, I sent Adi an e-mail giving him my number and telling him I miss them and didn't want to fight anymore. (This is completely true, Adi will back me up on this fact.) I can't explain why I was having these dreams, I'd say coincidence because everyone who knows me knows that I don't necessarily believe in fate, or any type of psychic abilities. Anyway, I waited a few days with no response and then on January 25th I was sitting in my apartment getting ready for the night when I got a call from my sister. She told me that Mikey called and said that Shakey had died. I hung up the phone without saying much of anything, sat down at my kitchen table and smoked the first cigarette of my life.
It wasn't until two hours later, after sitting by myself and looking at all of our pictures that reality hit me. Shane was gone, and I was never going to get to apologize for giving up on him. Even though I had lost a few other friends, and been broken up with on a couple occasions, this was the first time in my entire life that I ever felt wholly and completely heartbroken.
It took me several months before I could sleep alone and not toss and turn reliving our lives over and over. I cried every day because the silliest things would just trigger me to think about him. The truth is, I felt guilty, it was illogical guilt but it ate at me none the less.
You always think you could have saved someone, until one day you wake up and realize they probably couldn't have even saved them self. There isn't anything that could have been done because people were given impulses and they will do what they want to do. I realized that I am not God, I couldn't have saved him and neither could anyone else. Things are the way they are and there is no changing any of it.
I usually wouldn't say that things happen for a reason, but I will say there is a reason Shane was in my life, and there is a reason he was taken out of it. I don't know if I'm ever going to experience someone loving me the way that he did again, I hope I do, but if I don't, I can leave this world knowing that I have been loved from an outsider even though I wasn't brave enough to accept it. That is possibly the best feeling someone can have, being loved. I also know that if I didn't lose Shakey, and know the feeling of complete loss and heartbreak I wouldn't have been able to pick myself up again when my dad died this past September. I know for a fact that I would still be in bed every single day, and I wouldn't have the drive to reach people the way I want to. Shane's death prepared me for this, as odd as it sounds. People always say you can never imagine the pain of losing your parents. Yes, it was the worst pain that I have ever felt but I had already tasted it because Shakey Shane introduced me to my old friend, Grief.
I feel deeply for his family even though they've only met me a few times. I know that it never gets easier and that time really doesn't heal anything. I miss him every day and I'm sure they do too. I will forever be grateful for all he has given, shown, and taught me. I know he is finally at peace.
Rest in peace my friend.