The Drowning Gull 1 - Page 77

disappointment abounds. I have learned to live without you, but I still miss the friendship we shared-- the comfort of your presence.

I remember coming home from an extended trip abroad in my early twenties. Brimming with excitement and tales of adventure, I could not wait to share with you the photos I took and the stories I collected. While we flipped through my photo album, your mother walked into your bedroom, glanced at several pictures of India and exclaimed, “Wasn’t your mother worried while you were gone? How could she let you go? Anything could have happened to you?”

I didn’t know how to respond. Now, as a mother myself, I know the terror that must have lived in my mother’s heart while I was away. Your mother was right. Anything could have happened to me, and lots of things did-- but I survived.

You never went further way than Boston, and you were killed less than five miles from home in a car your older brother was driving. He was thrown from the car and suffered no more than a shoulder injury. It wasn’t fair.

Seventeen summers ago, I was living in Pennsylvania when my father called. It was the most difficult phone call he had ever made; the most painful I ever received. Upon hearing that you were dead, I sank to the floor and cried. My world collapsed. The person who always held me up, the person who always protected me and the only friend who was always there for me was gone. You had left me for good, but not without memories. You accompanied me through my childhood when I most needed a friend. And in doing so, you made me feel wanted.

The Drowning Gull