Celebration of Life

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The bay windows placed behind my bed let in unforgivable beams of sunlight nearly every morning around 7 A.M. For over a month I had been throwing my blankets over my head cursing the fact that I kept forgetting to buy curtains. I was almost used to waking up so early, but on the 9th of September, 2009, the sun was letting me sleep. When I finally woke up, I felt different, and my dog hadn't come to lick my face when I called her name. Outside, it was cold, dark, and wet. I could tell today was going to be one of those days.

Even though I wasn't looking forward to my day I found the strength to roll out of bed. Especially because I was worried my dog Daisy was causing trouble. Sure enough I had found her whimpering in the corner because she couldn't get a bag of crumbled Doritos open. She had already demolished a half eaten roast beef sandwich from Arby's, and what I believed to be the remains of a rotten banana peel. I cleaned up her mess and quickly grabbed her leash to see if I could exhaust her on a walk. After a half hour spent in the rain I realized I forgot my keys and didn't have my cell phone. At the time I was living on the third floor, and the only window that I could access was up an old rusted fire escape. Thankfully, my window was unlocked and easily opened.

It felt like my day couldn't get any worse. So, I decided to waste it by watching TV. As soon as I made myself comfortable, a loud annoying sound began chiming every minute on the dot. I unhappily got up and went to find my phone. It had several missed calls from my best friend Rachill, and a text reading, “CALL ME ASAP. VERY VERY IMPORATANT!” My day had just gotten worse; I knew something was wrong. When I called her back, my heart was pounding, my hands were sweating, and I was bracing myself for the worst. Her voice answered with a very faint, “Hello.” The words, “What's going on?” flew out of my mouth. She informed me that our good friend from high school, Collin Bates, had been missing for the last two weeks. My mind was already racing, wondering what could've happened and where he could've gone. There was a long silence, “I think you should sit down.” I knew what was coming. She started to cry, trying hard to hold her voice steady. As I sat down on my bed, the words I feared most were spoken, “Abbie, C..Col..Collin killed himself, he was found hanging behind the mills.” I asked her if it was a joke, if there was some kind of mistake; it wasn't. Before I had the chance to respond she said she was coming over, and hung up.

Trying not to let my mind run too wild, I thought about what could've brought this on. Why didn't he come to one of us? Why didn't any of us notice that something was wrong? Collin had a big heart, and he was constantly worrying about other people. He was always making everyone laugh. He was very involved in the community, especially with children. Vivid images of him flashed rapidly behind my closed eyes. Unfortunately, the vision of him hanging had entered my mind. My stomach began to tense up and my face became very hot; I needed to vomit.

When Rachill arrived, so did the tears. We held each other and cried until we were dry. We didn't talk about what it would be like without him. Instead we pulled out an old photo album reminded us how lucky we were to have him as our friend. Our emotions were rocky, and we needed to go home to be with our family and friends. The funeral was on the 11th of September, so the next day we packed our bags, and left without a word to anyone in Manchester.

The four hour drive felt as though it took more than a day. It was raining hard, and the clouds in the sky matched our sentiments; gloomy and cold. As soon as we got to Orono, ME, the sun began to shine, and the first place we stopped was where Collin was found. We got out of the car; the air was humid and the wind was strong. With each other held close, we walked down the path following the...
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