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Chapter 15: My Best Friend Died

I've been somewhat avoiding this topic till now... I say this because I already covered being 15, but something else was going down around the time I was 15. I had a very close friend, he was awesome, and will always be remembered as awesome. I say "remembered" thanks to the fact that he unfortunately is no longer alive.

This guy, was a very skinny, very pale boy about five feet 8 inches tall. He had kind brown eyes and always slicked his hair in a way that made him seem very professional and put together. Did I mention he loved The Simpsons yet? Like, specifically Homer Simpson? He was also a HUGE Metal Gear Solid series fan. Had to beat it 100%, every time, on the highest difficulty (where available).

He was one of the first people I had ever made comedy sketches with. Back in the old days, we didn't have a lot of home video cameras lying around. Back then it was VHS tapes or even Hi-8 tapes (is that right?) smashed into a massive plastic recorder. Basically not efficient for comedy sketches unless you were fine with there being little to no editing.

So my friend and I would just record audio sketches... jokes, you know? We would make funny little bits together that made us laugh and want to make more. I think I got the idea from Adam Sandler, David Spade and Nick Swardson. I'm pretty sure they were making sketches at the time, via audio.

My friend was really harsh with the truth sometimes. If I made a song he didn't think was very good, he'd say it. In fact, he thought pretty much all of my music sucked. One time I made a song with a MIDI composer and he said "This sucks.", so I said "Wait, listen!" and turned it up. He replied saying "Just because you turn it up doesn't mean it will suck less!" and, at the time, I didn't laugh, but looking back, it's kinda funny... really funny. I don't think my songs suck, as to this day, they're better than a ton of video game soundtracks... but, from a "pop-star" standard, yeah, not incredible.

Regardless, being his friend came with major perks. He had an XBOX and I had a PlayStation, which meant we could play all the games from both consoles together. He had a car so he could drive me from his house to mine and vice versa. He also introduced me to awesome games, like HALO. We would play HALO and Metal Gear Solid from the moment the sun went down to moments after the sun went up. It was crazy. I almost never stayed up all night with anyone but him.

We didn't share any classes together at school because he was older than me. He sure seemed more mature than me, I was just some silly goth kid, hanging out with a dude who loved Homer Simpson impersonations and wearing the most Old Navy-looking clothes one could buy.

We were a cross-console, cross-social clique friendship. Whenever I didn't have a girlfriend around, he was there to hang out and just play games to kill time.

I didn't have a lot of time with my friend due to the fact that he was a grade ahead and getting on with his life faster than me. The time we did have together involved him introducing me to some of the most life changing aspects of my continued existence... like, Anime.

The first anime I ever watched was called "Akira" and boy was it... weird. I actually wasn't in love with anime right away due to the fact that Akira itself is more of an acquired taste. It is very popular in some groups, but others look at it like I do: "Oh wow. Hey! Ew... gross." It's a bit much. The characters aren't designed to be pretty, but rather, realistic... and I just think "Who wants background characters to be most the main characters?" Or am I remembering that movie wrong?

Later in life I would fall in love with anime shows that were more my type, like: Full Metal Alchemist, Death Note, The GetBackers, My Hero Academia and Bleach. There's even more anime shows I like out there, but those will do for now.

In my book, Stones To Abbigale, I based the character "Davis" on, partially, this same friend. My real life friend wasn't gay like Davis was... not to my knowledge at least, and Davis was thought to be younger than the protagonist instead of older. Basically Davis was a little dork, and my real life friend was a bit more tough. Maybe a more refined, collected, mature dork.

Eventually my friend left my life to become a Missionary, initially in Japan, then Brazil. In Japan he told me through a snail mail message, that people in Japan were kind of rude, but he liked it there. I imagine Japanese people were probably kind of rude because our country has nuked theirs in the last hundred years, twice actually. That and he was a missionary... who likes door to door missionaries? The in-country equivalent is what? Those door-to-door Mormons? Of course the Japanese were rude because they're just like us, right? I mean, some of us, are Japanese. It's why America is so... cool.

Regardless, I did not reply to his first message because I was simply not as good of a friend as he was. He wrote me again, this time about Brazil. My friend seemed to like Brazil a lot more. He said he liked to play sports with the kids there. He also said he wanted to move there and start a video game store so he could bring video games to the community. As I understood, despite his very pale skin, he was half-Brazilian himself.

When I got his second letter, I waited a while to reply. I put away the message he wrote me and moved on with what was my military life at the time. Eventually I found myself going through some old things, and came across his letter. I became inspired, reading his letter, and decided it was time to give him a phone call. I didn't have stamps before and I still was just not a snail mail kind of guy.

The phone call I made went something like this: *ring ring* His mom: Hello? Me: Is (friend's name) there? His mom: *silent* Me: *silent* His mom: *crying sounds* Me: *silent* His mom: I'm sorry Greg. (friend's name) passed away.

Me: *silent* His mom: He had a blood condition and passed away in Brazil. Me: ...I'm so sorry. His mom: He always had such a good time with you. You were such a good friend to (friend's name). There were other words, but you get the idea.

I was actually surprised she would say something so nice to me. I felt bad about not writing my friend back when he wrote me. Obviously, I could have been a much better friend. If I could go back, I'd probably just tell him to stick around, inform him about his condition early (because I guess I'm a time-traveler in this scenario) and hang out the rest of his life so I could be a bigger part of it. In fact, I would go through all the bad times I've experienced in my life again if it meant bringing him back... but of course... that is not an option... just some random show of how much he meant to me in the short time we had together.

My lost friend was also one of the first people to ever see me animate anything... it was, awesome really... I could have been an awesome animator if I had the patience for it, but, so far? I'm just a big ole dumb writer and actor. Not an animator.

It was nice because not only did he actually support my animations, but he showed my animations to other people, and he said they loved it too. My friend was also into drawing little pixel characters. He would have loved the Steam store (for computer games) considering how many "sprites" there are in the games they have there.

But, of course, he passed before a lot of amazing things happened... in fact, the future is one of the biggest reasons I don't end my own life... what comes next? The movies coming out, the games coming out, new technology, the family that needs me... reasons to live on.

Another person I lost, who was more of a bully than a friend, was someone I would later work with in the military. I thought he was so handsome. I'm talking about a guy that's around my height, 5 feet 11 inches. He had tan skin, black hair, and big muscles. He kind of looked like a pacific islander, but more handsome than any you're probably thinking of. His hair was slicked to the side, nice and short, just like a real professional would have.

This, enemy, I guess, we'll say, was hilarious in my opinion. We got posted on the job together a couple of times, and all this guy would do is insult me. We're talking 9 to 11 hours a day, driving around Tinker Air Force Base in a big blue van, roasting me. He would tell me how dumb I am, how useless I am, how lame and incapable he thought I was, stuff like that. My reaction? I was ear to ear smiling whenever I got to be posted with him because his insults were said in a way that was funny. It was like a Comedy Central roast with this guy. He was smart, one of the most handsome guys I ever saw... and yes! Maybe I found him funny because he was hot, whatever.

Not long after I had just met him? He died too. The story of how he died is extremely tragic. He died because he was trying to protect someone else... from me. JUST KIDDING! Oh my god I am just kidding. Wow! Did you expect that? No, oh my god, I hope you can forgive me putting a dark joke in here but I kind of set it up as him being the "enemy" ugh! Sorry, ok, back to being serious. But I mean, I never insulted him once so I deserve at least a joke at another's expense right? No? He's no longer alive and that's not fair? Yeah, I agree. Whatever, this is who I am. Unfunny, just like he said I was. Onward.

No, in reality, he passed away because he was a motorcycle rider, and unlike my dad, he actually shared his helmet with the girl on his bike. Wait... did I forget to mention that?

Yeah, according to my mom, my dad is the reason there is a dead woman out there. As my mom tells it, my dad chose to let a woman ride his motorcycle with him, but didn't give her his helmet. He then took a spill on some gravel, and she died. Just like that, dead woman, passed away thanks to my dad.

But back to the handsome pacific islander guy who hated me, he, is a hero. Unlike my dad, he was going to ride his bike with a girl on it, and he gave the girl his helmet. So, when they got in an accident, he died, and I assume, she lived.

Motorcycles are dangerous folks, especially ones with passengers. Now that I think about it, my dad & his wife used to point at people on the road without helmets and say "Organ donors!". The problem is, wasn't that how my dad's girlfriend died... because of him? No helmet? Suddenly them saying that all the time seems like it deserves a good open handed slap (as the late Sean Connery might say). Domestic violence is wrong by the way. We are not gorillas.

A possibly pointless thing to add to this is: Would that woman have died if my dad gave her his helmet? Maybe he would not even crash? Like maybe having the helmet on blocked his side vision or something, which would have saved them both? And what about the handsome enemy coworker of mine? If he wore the helmet? Maybe that would have given him the ability to avoid whatever caused the accident, like maybe he had too much wind in his eyes? No telling I guess. Life is like that. One day you're fine, the next you're a lottery winner, you have a disease all of a sudden, or even maybe you're just, dead.

At the hot enemy's funeral, one of the guys who spoke about him talked about how they got their muscles to grow together. He said the fallen friend would tell him to look at his biceps and say "Grow!" Apparently that worked. Probably part of "The Secret".

And lastly, the times I've nearly died.

When I was a little boy, as I mentioned, my sister saved me from choking on an orange. I really felt like I was going to die then, and she saved me. Props for that. But also, when I was a 2-year-old boy, my head got split open in a church floor, so to this day, I still have a scar on my forehead.

What happened was: I was swinging back and forth on the back end of a church pew, and a boy sitting near my head, grabbed me by the hair and puled me down. SMACK! I landed on the hard church floor and in that moment God gave a loud and clear "Don't care about this dude! I'll let him get a major head injury in my own house! And he's a baby too! #Sociopath Mua ha ha!"

So my mom ran out of the church, panicked as my blood soaked her dress. Apparently they had a really hard time getting me to avoid the wound or otherwise leave it alone. I just kept picking at whatever they put there to close the wound, so eventually they just put tape around my whole head, over and over, like a mummy. That fixed it. No I would not say my mom is a monster for "letting" that happen. She was right next to me, but guess what? Accidents happen. I have a cousin whose son broke his leg, very young. Did I blame him? No. Accidents happen. I knew of another family, lost their 10 year old to a pool drowning, do I blame them? No. Accidents happen. People make fun of helicopter parents, then they say everything is your fault the moment you're not a helicopter parent. Sometimes horrible things happen, and if I were to condemn all those people, I would lose my humanity due to the fact that only an idiot or a robot thinks parents can be perfect and all-seeing/all-knowing beings.

Later when I was 7, and this may explain why I don't remember much of my childhood, I fell on my head again. This time? Stepdad was supposed to be watching me. I fell from about 20 feet up in the air, onto cement.

There was a fishing boat, a commercial-level fishing boat, that was being worked on by my stepdad. Yeah, the awesome kung-fu dirt bike enthusiast stepdad. This boat was propped up in a shipping yard, and I was crawling around the very front of the boat. No one knew I was up there as far as I know. Naturally, there were chains, massive ones, at the front of the boat, and as I crawled around the front of this boat, my hand slipped on one of the chains. Imagine putting your hands on flat sheet metal, then putting your hand on a chain. The chain slides on the sheet metal and whoops!

THUNK! My head smacked against the cement ground 20 feet down like a watermelon... only this watermelon, didn't explode. In fact, I just had a bump on my head, that's all. Maybe God is a fisherman? He hangs out in shipping yards, not churches?

Anyway, as I recall, I was bribed with a bike so I wouldn't tell my mom what happened. I was happy to get the bike, and later I was happy to spill the beans and tell my mom too. I could have easily died. I figured she should know.

So yeah, thanks guys! I had a great time writing this chapter because it wasn't about women, yay! Sometimes you gotta take a break and write about boys! But, we all know, women run the world, because if we don't say they do, they torture us! Haha! So, it's just a break.

To my fallen friend, I love you brother, sorry I didn't hug you more. I wish I could hug you today, and I hope, if you knew me today, you'd still love me just the same. I'm sorry if I let you down, maybe I do suck, and that's ok if you forgive me.

To my fallen enemy, I love you dude, not as much as my actual friend, but, you're still great. Did that ruin it? I mean come on I barely knew you... anyway I'm sorry you hate me, but from what I know of you, I'm glad I got to meet you, and hear how funny you are. I'm really sorry I was one of the only people to wear black to your funeral, I don't know what happened there. Did you see that dude in the Hawaiian shirt? What an asshole. I know.

Have a great night guys! Remember to hug your loved ones while you're still kicking!


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Losses are never easy, especially when it someone You care about! I've had to deal with loss more times than I can count, so this particular chapter resonated on a very deep level. Thank You, though.


I'm glad you did too. It took me back to people and memories that I guess I needed to revisit. Thank You.

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