According to science that I won’t bother citing, humans are the only species that are concerned about the date and time. It makes sense. My dog doesn’t care that it’s Wednesday, March 2, 2016. I’m also sure she doesn’t count how many hours of sleep she’ll get tonight – probably seven hours. Or how many hours she has left at work – exactly 1.5 hours for me. However, dates mean something to us. Some dates are etched into us since birth, such as my birthday – August 15th, Halloween – October 31st, Christmas – December 25th, Mom’s Birthday – February 6th, and Cinco de Mayo – May 5th. There are dates you kind of know, like your best friend’s birthday – September something. Early September. Before September 11th. Maybe it’s late September, but it’s definitely in September. Let me check Facebook. September 4th! Wow, I’m a shitty best friend.
Then, there are dates that cause great sadness, like March 2nd. On this day, three years ago, I received a phone call from my friend Adrian. I was washing my dog, who was making the biggest fuss, when my phone rang. I contemplated ignoring it but Adrian never calls, so I answered. That 3-minute call ended with me rushing to my parent’s room for comfort. I remember crying, but my mother remembers me screaming. On this day, three years ago, I found out that one of my best friends, Omar, was killed in a car accident.
A passage from the article “Five Hilarious Times Your Friends Will Die In Their 20s” still resonates with me:
Some people are supposed to die. That’s insensitive, but it’s a little true. There are times when people die and it’s just not unexpected. The girl who was texting and driving was supposed to hit that tree. That’s what happens when you text and drive. The guy with the drug addiction was supposed to overdose. It’s sad, but it’s completely on course with the cosmos. It’s the fulfillment of all the warnings we got from our parents as children. Keep your eyes on the road at all times. Don’t do drugs. Then, there are people who just die, people who never did anything wrong, people whose brilliance seemed to extend to every subject except how to hurt someone. Those people die too. There was no warning our parents gave us to avoid that kind of fate. Oh, also, don’t be a perfect person. Don’t make everyone around you laugh. Don’t be blazingly intelligent, and so genuine in your lack of pretense that no one has a bad thing to say about you. If you do, you might die. Our parents spent a lot of time telling us about all the things that might kill us. They didn’t often bring up how even the perfect ones will die.
Now, I look at every tragedy with a new perspective, and I always feel like someone is missing. It’s a bitter feeling; one that can only be washed away by the reminiscing of fond memories as well as the love and strength of friends and family. I will never forget this date, but I hope you never have to remember one like it.