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Grade
9

     I lay here, listening to the sounds of mourning cries. I lay here, listening to the sounds of weeping whales. I lay here, listening to my life story that has been cut short. I lay here in a coffin, dead. I lay here while people put flowers on my skin that is grey like a cloud about to rain. Familiar people gently put candies on my favorite shirt. It has little slices of watermelon embroidered. It is my favorite shirt because every time I wore it made me think about a summer barbeque. The chicken being lathered with BBQ sauce and being grilled on the sizzling hot grill. Eating the tangy chicken with the sweet, cold lemonade and warm baked beans. But of course, finishing it all off with watermelon. That first bite of crisp, watery, sweet goodness can never be beat. The refreshing melon striking the back of your dry throat is a feeling like no other. But now that has been stolen from me. Instead, I am lying here in a coffin. Never to breathe again. 

     I want to leave this coffin and comfort my mother. She will never recover. I have no brothers, no sisters and my dad left one day and just never came back. I don’t really have any grandparents either because my mother never went back home after college. She never felt welcomed, like she was an outsider. I have never met my grandparents and for all, I know they are dead like me. So as you can see we were all alone. So now she is all alone. I am now alone. No friends in my coffin with me. No family in my coffin with me. I will be buried into the ground in a few hours. Just me in a coffin waiting to rot. Die again pretty much. I guess by now you are wondering how I ended up in a coffin when I an only 15. It wasn’t my bad; I wasn’t drunk or on drugs. I didn’t text and drive. I wasn’t brain dead, and someone pulled the plug. And no I was not in any sort of transportation accident. It wasn’t any sort of accident for that matter. I was simply sitting in my geometry class, doing trigonometry and learning when I was robbed of my life. 

     Thursday, May 17, 2018, was the day I died. I was in room 106 at the time. We were working on trig. I had just gotten the hang of it. I was so happy because math rarely came easily to me. I thought that my day could only improve from there. But I was very, very wrong. In fact, that day was probably the worst day of my life and also the last day of my life. The teacher, Mr. Berkstein had just finished explaining the work of the day to us and passed out worksheets. They were crisp and clean. Still warm because they had just come off the printer. The room was as silent as a spider crawling across a wall. Barely touching its feet to the last layer of paint. Or a feather flying flawlessly through the air. Not making a single sound. You could almost hear people thinking… BANG! CRASH! 

     I looked up as fast as the speed of light. There was a gun. A man. A broken window and a dead body next to me. I was in the middle of a shooting? You hear about this type of stuff on the news but never expect it to happen to you. Until it happens to you. I froze for a split second and the started to hide under my desk like everyone else. The shooter was right in front of me. If he looked down, I would be dead. My options were to stay put and most likely be shot, or crawl to the back of the classroom and well… probably be shot as well. I figured that getting away from the shooter gave me a better chance at living. So I crawled. I don’t know how I did it. I was so scared yet so determined to live. There were bullets flying everywhere. It was like a war zone. Wait, but wasn't that school? Wasn't I supposed to be safe there? I didn’t come to pick a fight or wage a war. I woke up that morning to lean. To read boring books, sit through long documentaries, do math until my brains fell out of my skull and write ten-page essays. But I didn’t go there to die. 

     I was crawling as fast and as low as possible. People were scared, and a lot of people who were closer to the shooter were shot. I crawled through two puddles of blood. I will never forget that scene or that day. No one dared moved to help the people who had been shot while bullets were still flying about. There was nothing to do to help them. They just had to lay there in pain until they died, the shooter left, or an ambulance arrived. Which would not be for a while. I saw Mr. B get up from his desk and try to protect students. He was shot down in a matter of seconds. He tried standing up again but was shot multiple times. He got up again barely standing and was again shot down. After he didn’t get up, I knew he was gone. It was the worst thing I had ever witnessed. Innocent students and a teacher lying on the floor and bleeding to death. I didn’t think it could get much worse, but it did.

     I had almost reached the teacher's desk when... BANG! A sharp burning pain hit my leg. I had to keep going, but I knew I had been shot. BANG! A bullet hit my back. BANG! BANG! Two bullets hit my arm. There were sharp burning pains all over my body. It felt as though someone was taking a burning rod and sticking it through my body. The pain was too much. Blood was pouring out of everywhere it seemed like. I could not continue. Just then I no longer heard the sharp sound of a gun. Instead, it was more muffled and off in the distance. The shooter was gone. Moving to the next classroom to slaughter innocent students.

     I was like a waterfall but with blood. I had turned into one of the dying students lying on the floor. I wanted to cry my heart out and scream so that life on another planet could hear me. But it hurt. It hurt as nothing had ever hurt before. Puddles of blood formed around me. I felt as though I would drown. I still had hope though. I hoped that any second a paramedic would arrive and save my life. But nobody came. 

     I laid like that for I don’t know how long. Sweat started pouring down my face like a river. I was burning at times, and I felt like an ice cube at other times. Some people tried to apply pressure to the places I had been shot, but it didn’t work. By the time they got to me, I had lost too much blood and I was bleeding uncontrollably. There was nothing anyone could do. There was nothing I could do but lay on the floor and wait to die. I tried staying conscious, alive, and hopeful. I held one of my hands to my arm to try and stop the bleeding, and the nicest girl in the world was holding my hand. I didn’t know her very well. In fact, I didn’t know her at all. But she was comforting me and making me feel loved. She held my hand for I don’t know how long. Everyone helped each other and made sure no one died alone. It didn’t matter what race, religion or social status they were. Everyone helped each other. It was one of those rare times when you see the beauty of humans coming together and putting aside their differences. Such good and beautiful things can come out of awful and tragic events. I held out hope that someone would come and save me, until I knew I was dying.

     I knew I was dying and there was no hope and when I started feeling nothing. I knew I was going to have a last breath at any minute. I was numb and almost warm and fuzzy. The pain and burning went away. The hot rod feeling disappeared. In the last moments of my life, I decided to look around and see the world. See the greatness in this time of tragedy. See the beauty in the world. Even though I never visited any other countries, I claim that I have seen the world because I have seen the beauty in humans. I have seen the resilience and persistence it times of need and hurting. I have seen how they can unite and be part of something that changes the world. I know they changed my world. Just seeing humans getting along and putting their differences aside should give everyone hope. In times like now where it seems like all we do is fight and bicker, this is a glimmer of hope. This is a glimmer of hope that at some point in the future we will see that our enemies are humans too. That we have things in common with them. That they just want to be loved and cared for as well. I hope that there is a day when I look down from the clouds and people of all genders, religions, and races can get along. I know it can happen. Behind that iron face that most people have, there is a human. There is a person who is weak, self-conscious, has insecurities, problems, and wants to be loved. Once we can see that in ourselves and other people, only then can we become one united world.

     That girl (I think her name was Emily) changed my life. Even though she didn’t save it, she changed it. She made the last few minutes of my life happy. She made sure I did not die alone. That I was loved and cared for. I will never forget that act of kindness. If I had lived, I would have thanked her every day for the rest of my life because she made my world and my short life happy and good.

     My head was in her lap when it happened. My life was over. I was not scared because I had accepted the fact that I was going to die. But she still stayed with me. I knew it was my last breath when I took it. Before I took it though I tried to thank Emily. But I didn’t manage to get anything out because I used my lungs for the last time and died.

     I was dead. No more beating heart. No more working brain. No more talking mouth. No more blinking eyes. No more life. It was over. I lived for 15 years, 174 days, 47 minutes, and 29 seconds. No more and no less. I died an innocent student on the floor of my geometry class in a puddle of blood. Why? Because I came to school to get an education.

     It wasn't just me whose life was changed on that awful day. My friends and mom will never be the same. They will have to live with the grief of loosing me for the rest of their lives. My mom will have to pick herself up out of bed and get through the day. Try and get through the day without crying and breaking down. She will have no one to help her. She is like a shattered glass bowl, with no one to glue her back together. No shoulder to cry on. No person to pull her out of bed and make sure she knows it will be okay. It wasn't just me who died on May, 17. In a sense anyone I knew also lost a part of themselves that day that they will never be able to regain no matter how hard they try. Because that part of them is in a coffin, in the ground. And in that coffin there is a 15-year-old girl in a watermelon shirt who died from a gun at school.

State
OR
Zip Code
97202