Seven years ago today.
Monday, April 16, 2007.
I was a freshman in college.
After finishing up my Religion class for the morning, I headed to the Johnson Center to meet up for lunch with a few of my roommates/hall-mates. I was sitting on the main level waiting for them to show up when I received a text from my friend from back home. It said something along the lines of-- There's been a shooting at Tech. H.M. was shot, but is alright.
My body froze.
I was internally panicking.
What was I supposed to do?
How is one supposed to react?
My friends finally showed up and I told them that there had been a shooting at Virginia Tech. I went to lunch. Worried. I remember talking to my friend, Taylor, on the phone about it and if anyone had anymore information about what had happened and about H.M., to call.
One of my roommates and I had an IT class right after lunch and I remember going to the class together, but stepping out before it started to call my Mom and let her know. As I was explaining to her what I knew, I broke down. One of my best friend's had been shot. I went back in to the class after getting off the phone with her and told my roommate, "I can't stay here...I have to go." It was too hard to grasp.
This was one of the hardest days of my life. To find out that someone so close to me had been hurt. Hurt for no reason at all. Hurt by someone who didn't know my friend and who my friend didn't know! Nobody deserves that kind of pain. Internally or externally.
The story of what exactly happened to my friend isn't mine to tell, but I have never written about what happened to me that day. How it affected who I am. The pain that it caused me. I am fortunate to say that my friend survived that heart-wrenching day; that she did not give up on anything because of what happened; that she is one of the strongest people I know; that she has taken on so much since then...has seen the world, has shared her story. And I am beyond grateful to still call her my friend today.
H.M. I love you. Thank you for showing us that we can still move on despite what happens in this ridiculous world.