Listening to: My Beautiful Rescue by This Providence

When you hear that one phone call can change your whole life, make sure you never think that it can’t. So many things can change in the blink of an eye. Each person’s life is just a constant collision of people and personalities. The possibilities are endless and the outcomes are always unknown, all we can do is move through life and let it carry us around as if we are a piece of driftwood stuck in a current. Many people act as though nothing bothers them and many may not be affected by the little things in life. There are always moments and events in a person’s life that transcend all will and reason, constantly reminding us that without love we can’t survive.

December 11, 2008 Morning

“Alright now class, we are done for the day, don’t forget your final is next Tuesday at 10:00,” the professor said.

I packed my books and my laptop into my bag. I used to tell everyone I had to always carry a bag with me so I could use my other hand to hold up my pants that were always hanging off my ass. It’s a struggle when you’re a 6’4” 160 pound college student to find anything that feels like fitting well on your body, even harder for myself because I enjoy loose fitting clothes. You wouldn’t believe how many people comment on your pants when they are sagging, but some people wear the ugliest pants around and no one says a word. Of course if you’re going to wear loose clothes you have to have some beautiful long hair to go with them. Everyone will have an opinion on your appearance no matter what you look like, so always do what you like and what you think looks good because at the end of the day the only person that can truly judge you is yourself.

During class I had been texting Jeff, my two years younger brother, he had been asking how the basketball game had gone the night before because it was away. He also had his usual witty comments about all the happenings in sports from the night before. Jeff was never one to let the opportunity to jab at your favorite basketball team losing the night before pass him by. Hating on my Duke Blue Devils as always, he asked me if I saw that they lost, even though he knew I had checked the score. Jeff was maybe the most hardcore St. Louis Cardinal fan outside of the state of Missouri, so I retaliated with my usual Albert Pujols/Pooh-Hole joke, which to me never got old, but I am sure he had heard them all by now. He had to get ready for school and I had a few more things to take care of this morning, so we had to give each other a break.

I walked out of class thinking that the final was going to be a breeze, the class hadn’t been very hard and it was entirely multiple choice. Multiple choice tests were always a personal favorite of mine because if I hear something once or twice I tend to be able to remember it long enough to pick it out of a group of choices on a test. As I thought about all this I was on my way to Coach’s office.

I play college basketball, not a star, not even a great role player, just a kid who likes to chuck threes up and have some fun being part of a team. I had a played a few minutes in the game the night before and was going to meet Coach to talk to him about my play and probably watch some game film. I walked up there and met with him, we talked about a lot of things from the game, and a few having nothing to do with the game. He told me the same thing he always does, I do a great job on offense, but am such a liability on defense that it is hard to keep me on the floor. When a coach doesn’t trust you to play defense it is damn near impossible to stay on the floor for more than two minutes at a time and that was the exact problem I had.

After we had finished talking we walked down to lunch in the cafeteria at school. The cafeteria was in the same building as the gymnasium and athletic offices. Weird I know, but welcome to the University. Everyone must swipe their school ID to get a meal at the cafeteria; we walked in and sat down with a few other players on the team, Legend and Dirk. Dirk, our starting center, may be the most interesting person you could ever possibly meet. Long blonde hair all the time, if you threaten to cut it or even suggest it, he will give you a look like when you tell a 7-year old its bedtime. He will not be happy with you in any sense of the word. Also, about half the time he has a nice full beard he is more than proud of, it is like his baby. In a college full of people who try to recreate themselves and pretend to be people they are not, Dirk will be the most genuine person and will always act on his own thoughts as well as dressing and acting the way he wants. He once told me he has had an impossible number of teachers e-mail him just to try and get him to shut up during class. It is the thing I envy most about him, I would love to be so unaffected by other people that I just could go on living my life and never cared about what anyone else thought as long as I was happy. Legend was a different story all together, he was always in about the same situation as me on the team, struggling to find playing time. Everyone has a different opinion on Legend; I have a very unique take on him as opposed to everyone else because he was my first roommate and probably my oldest friend in college. I have seen him change more than any person has in a short period of time. I met him as a skinny college freshmen on move-in day. I wouldn’t say he was shy, but he definitely was not very sure of himself, but always managed to tough out the things that came his way. He lived his life as if he was wandering around and just rolling with the blows. However, by now he had found himself and decided that he was going to decide what happened in his life. He had filled out his frame, however did not change his old number two haircut, most days wearing a tie and slacks because he was giving recruits tours of the campus. People may see his new outlook as an aura of cockiness that they dislike in a person, but I see a self-assurance that allows him to accomplish most of the things that he sets out to do.

We sat at a table, ate and talked for awhile like we did almost every other day. However, this was not every other day for me. As I was eating I felt my phone vibrate, I assumed it was one of the hundreds of text messages every college student gets a day and ignored it. It kept vibrating though over and over. I finally stopped eating and got my phone out of my pocket and realized I had three missed calls from my mom and she was calling me again. I answered her call and she started talking immediately in a frantic voice.

“Scott, where are you? I am coming to pick you up; I will be there in twenty minutes, be outside your dorm and be ready to go.”

Of course I asked immediately what was wrong and she wouldn’t tell me because she said she couldn’t tell me on the phone, making me only more worried. Many things ran through my head, the first and foremost that my dad had been hurt at work considering the time of day thinking that’s where he was and that my brother had been at school for a few hours now. I was so nervous that I couldn’t eat anymore, Dirk kept asking me what was wrong, but I had no idea, so I couldn’t even explain my feelings to him. I got my things together again in the lunchroom and holding my pants up as usual I ran from the cafeteria to the backside of my dormitory building near the parking lot. I stood there for a few minutes waiting anxiously for my mom to arrive. Moments later a police car pulled into the parking lot and the passenger door opened and my mom came running toward me balling, I started to ask,

“What happen…”

Then she uttered the words that will haunt me for the rest of my life,

“Jeff was in a car accident on his way to school, he didn’t make it.”



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