So there I was, realizing how it feels to lose someone you love unbearably-the feeling of that sharp tug in your heart. I have never forgotten that moment, and never will. It always came back to me. I always imagined a five-year-old Lisa running in the fields with her mother. I remember that sharp pain in my heart, as if someone had pricked me with a needle. I fell to the ground and only thought of one person as I grasped my chest. Pant,pant. I blocked everyone and everything else out of the world. Including the sound of my mother calling my name as her alarming voice faded away. ‘ Dad, Dad, Dad, DAD.’ That’s the only thing I could hear inside my head.
“Wh-What happened?”, I asked in a perplexed tone as I sat up in front of my mother, rubbing my head dizzily.
“Honey! Are you alright? I was worried that you passed out.” , insisted my mother.
“I-I’m fine..” I stuttered as I stood up and brushed the grass and bramble off my shirt. My mother patted me gently on the back as she helped me up onto my feet. Then it struck me, the memory of about 5 seconds before I passed out. “MOM WHERE’S DAD?!”, I spat.
“What? What do you mean Lisa?” questioned my mother.
“No time to explain. WHERE’S D-” My mom’s phone rang with her “Barking Dog” alarm/tone, interrupting my shrieking, She slowly pulled her phone out of her back pocket in her bright blue denim jeans.
“Hello?”, my mom said as she accepted the call and put the settings to speakerphone mode.
“Hi. This is Kate from Maryland Hospital. I have some..um.” She paused.
“Proceed?” said, my mother.
“Sorry. What I meant to tell you was that I have some unfortunate news..”, continued Kate.
I stood there, frozen, thinking I knew what the bad news was.
“Okay please proceed.” insisted my mother.
“ Y-Your husband… he was shot at his office, and he didn’t make it.”
‘I knew it. I knew I had lost someone I loved so much. I had a father one moment, the next minute, he’s gone like I never had one. Someone I loved dearly had been stolen away from me-simply because another human being decided to shoot a single bullet.’ I cried a whole river of tears and I couldn’t stop. I never thought this day would come as early in my life.
My mother stood there for two split seconds, shocked. The next thing you knew, she was bawling her eyes out, begging to take her with him to heaven.
“I am very sorry... I know it especially hard to lose someone that takes such an important role in your life.” comforted Kate. My mother didn’t care. She smashed the “end call” button and threw her phone into a riverbank nearby.
“MISS LISA ELIZABETH PARKER!” chided Mrs. Rivera, interrupting my thoughts.
I blinked my eyes rapidly as my eyelids fluttered open. I realized that I was back in my eighth grade classroom, day-dreaming..AGAIN.
“Yes, Mrs.Rivera?” I said, rubbing my eyes.
“Everyone in this room, including you knows the rule; no sleeping in class. Detention for you, young lady”
I groaned softly. A few students around the room chuckled as I walked to the front of the room to receive my detention slip.
After my father had passed away, I never really found myself again, I was so lost inside and out. I was always a straight A student, but that changed forever after I lost my dad. I found myself just shrugging when a teacher asked me a question, and now achieving straight F’s.
Later that school day, I remembered seeing a boy with glasses being bullied, having his body hung by his underwear-band, as people crowded around taking videos for instagram, snapchat, and other useless social media. I wanted to go up and help him, I knew it was right, but I took a step forward and immediately regretted it, stepping back from the sealine of students crowding around the bully and his victim. I then think ‘Heyy.. why not join in on some of the fun?’ I looked around me and smiled slyly. I shoved through the crowd of students and grabbed the victim’s backpack, and all eyes turned to me. I unzipped the backpack, and turned it upside-down, making all the contents spill out. The contents of his backpack included breath spray, pimple cream, and a pack of floss.
The crowd of students burst out in laughter, pointing and screaming at the “freak boy”. Everyone thought of me as “cool” now, and they all walked alongside me in the hallways of our middle school. I looked back at the boy on the ground, his underwear ripped halfway out of his pants and him storing his contents back into his backpack. I felt a ping of regret, but felt confident again. ‘ Your cool now Lisa’ , I told myself.
The next few weeks, I had a blast, laughing it out with my new bully friends and making fun of more easy targets.
Within a month, I was a totally new person. But what I didn’t realize was that it wasn’t a good change. I had turned into a cruel, evil monster. I didn’t notice until I was called up to the office one day.
The loudspeaker gave static, then the familiar voice of the office secretary spoke. “Lisa Parker, please come to the office. I repeat, Lisa Parker please come to the office immediately.” I stood up from my seat, and walked casually out of Room 37, into the hallway, not expecting what was to come.
Later in the principal’s office, I didn’t even flinch when the principal, Mr. Braggs, shoved a phone under my nose, displaying a video of me dumping the contents of that kids bag on the ground in front of everybody.
“Do you even know how much your hurt and embarrassed this boy?”
I shrugged. I didn’t even care at this point.
“Do you know his name?”
“No…” I replied glumly with an annoyed expression on my face.
“ You should have gotten to know him first. His name was Justin. Anyways, I’m very disappointed in you Lisa.. Although teacher after teacher after teacher has come up to me complaining about your behavior, I always had faith in you that you could change your attitude towards life. Now that faith is gone. You should have learned to be like Justin. He was such a smart and good-natured kid. ”, Mr. Braggs remarked with sorrow in his eyes.
“Why do you have to make such a big deal about it anyways?”, I sighed.
“Lisa, it is much of a bigger deal than you think of it as. You made-”
“Fine. I’ll apologize.” I interrupted, rolling my eyes however so dramatically.
“ I’m afraid it’s too late for that. He was extremely broken over your friends and your hurtful words, that he took his own life. Imagine how much he has gone through.”, Mr. Braggs said, shaking his head, downcasted and dismayed.
I paused. Everything around me seemed to stop as I realize what actions I had took.
I had broken someone else down to make myself feel better and in a higher position. I finally felt like I stood above someone, when in reality I was hanging below everybody. Using somebody else to take out my depression and anger on?...what was I thinking?
I was so insecure about losing my father, but I took it out on Justin, which was never okay. And because of some of my hurtful words and actions... I cost a family their son,a brother, something I can never repay to them. Imagine what Justin could have done with his life- I mean he was such a smart kid. It made me feel disappointed in myself, and I felt like such a horrible person. I couldn’t believe myself. ‘ How could I do this?’ I asked myself repeatedly. The videos that the bystanders had taken and posted on social media had gone viral, and now I felt like a huge idiot, which I was for the most part.
As I walked out of this situation, I felt so guilty for what I had done, and it can never be undone. At first I couldn’t believe that I had lost my father, and I felt so sorry for myself. I don’t know why someone shot my father...but I represent the shooter because I did kill someone - not with a gun, but with my words.