Gone But Still Here

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a true story of a high school shooting, and how the members of that schools community cope.

Submitted: December 07, 2008

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Submitted: December 07, 2008

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The smell of cooking bread, the unique feeling in the air of baking goods. It was a wonderful day, my older brother was in the kitchen kneading his sourdough bread, preparing the next loaf to go into the oven, my other brothers a sisters darting around him, trying to cut a piece off the loaf on the counter. We all laughed when my little brother dropped his bread, butter side down, but we soon had that fixed and he had a new piece of bread and butter within moments. Smiling he ran outside to help the workers we had laying flagstones, planting trees, and moving boulders around for our new patio.

It was warm, with a slight breeze that day, the 27 of September 2006. Music floated in from the patio where the workers were, competing with my older brother as he practiced piano, while he wait for the next loaf of bread to be done.

We all had fresh bread for lunch, except for the workers, they went somewhere. At about 12:45 p.m. the workers came back, they asked if we had heard that the high school was in lock-down. Mum told us later, that right around that time our neighbors came whizzing down the road, they usually drive fast, but they were driving very fast even for them. As soon as we heard about the lock down, we went online, trying to figure out what was happening, the radio was now on, no one was laughing or smiling anymore. It was not long before we got more information; a man had walked into the school at about 10:00 a.m., he walked around pretending to be a student, at 11:00 a.m. he went into a second story english classroom, and pulled a gun. He forced everyone in the classroom to leave, except for five girls, when those girls classmates and teacher tried to stay, he fired two shots, they had to leave. The police, FBI, fire department, everyone, was there within moments. The man sent girls to speak to them through the door to keep himself safe. One by one he released the girls, until he had only two in the room with him. At 1:00 p.m. he refused to speak to the police at all, telling them that something would happen soon. He threatened that he had bombs, and that if they did anything he would blow the school up.

Finally at 2:00 p.m. the police could not wait any longer, the man was again threatening that something would happen soon, they had to act, to try and save the girls still in there with him. As they broke down the door, he fired two shots, the police and FBI tried to stop him, but it was too late, one of the girls had been shot in the head, and the man had killed himself.

The girl was rushed to the flight-for-life helicopter, but they could do nothing to save her. That afternoon the girl died, her family did not even get to say goodbye.

Emily Keyes was shot, and killed in a high school shooting. I couldn’t believe that our neighbor, my neighbor was dead, that she would never drive up our driveway again, that I would never see her and her twin brother together again, I wouldn’t get to be in speech with her.

Our little town of Bailey came together in that time of need; everyone was doing everything they could for Emily’s family; making meals, some of the loaves of bread my older brother made that morning were given to the family, offering condolences, anything they could. Unfortunately the press was there too, it got the point that we could not go up our own driveway without showing proof that we lived there. A huge memorial was set up, everyone took part, my older brother and I were asked to play and cello and piano piece at the service.

Despite that awful thing that happened, something good came out of that tragic day; the last words that Emily Keyes sent her family were in a text message: “I luv u guys” and that has been Bailey’s motto ever since. Whenever possible the people of my town will do random acts of kindness, to make up for the random act of violence that kill a beautiful, wonderful girl named Emily Keyes.

I will always remember that day, and for the rest of my life, whenever I smell bread cooking, I will think of Emily Keyes.


© Copyright 2018 ElizabethLloyd. All rights reserved.

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