So I said yes, against my better fourteen year old judgment and with that one word we belonged to each other (in a loose sense of the word). I was his. He was mine.
Life continued on pretty much as usual. Our best friends started dating each other to spend more time with us. I had a high school sweetheart who was completely enamored with me. He knew my family. I knew his family. His parents approved and both my mother, second mother (Auntie) and father approved. Life was fun. Life was easy. Weekends involved movies, football games, cruising, a big family dinners. During the week, we walked to class together, ate lunch together, and worked on our homework together while watching Scooby-Doo. We were just kids.
One long weekend in early October, the boy was asked to tour a college with a friend who was several years older than he. After encouragement from his friend, his mother, and myself, he agreed to go, though college and adult choices felt a long way off for him. My best friend and I decided to have a girls weekend complete with snacks, a sleepover, and movies. The boy called, they arrived safely and I told him to let us have our girl time and to go have fun. We stopped at my grandma's to chat with my Auntie (the baby on my mom's side of the family) and my grandparents, wait for my mom to give us a ride home, and eat candy corn (a family favorite).
When my mom arrived, we stood on the sidewalk chatting before parting ways. My Auntie told us to be good and have fun as she walked the short distance to her own home and family.
I awoke at what I thought was a very early hour, based on my late night movie watching, to the phone ringing repeatedly. My mom was at work and my dad was out doing chores. I figured it was my mom or the boy calling as I fumbled sleepily to the phone.
When I answered, I knew it was not that kind of phone call, and was as brutally pulled from my sleepy state as I would have been had someone thrown a bucket of cold water at me.
It was not my mother.
It was not the boy.
It was my uncle.
Go find Grandpa. There's been an accident. Auntie's dead.
Just like that. The water had been thrown. I froze.
Go find Grandpa! He's hunting near your house. Go find Grandpa!
My friend was now awake, but somehow knew to just follow. We jumped in the farm pick up and took off down the driveway. I only made it a quarter of a mile, before I found him. I flagged him down and said, "Uncle called, there's been an accident. You need to call right away. He said Auntie is dead. That can't be right, can it!?! That can't be right!?"
"No." was all he said, but I barely heard it because he was already gone.