Richard Allen Jennings

Reads: 351  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 3

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
My Senior year of HS, a friend of mine died. This is an essay I wrote in College about my memories and feelings.

Submitted: May 11, 2008

A A A | A A A

Submitted: May 11, 2008

A A A

A A A


I met Richard when I was in sixth grade. We had English, math, and social studies together. I was one of those quiet types that read a book and kept to herself during classes. Richard, on the other hand, was the class clown. He always had a way of getting into hot water with one of our teachers or another. One thing I will always remember
about him will be his yearbook photos. They always made me laugh, because he always tilted his nose like a snob.
In eighth grade, our American history teacher sat us in the back of the room, side by side. That was the first time I realized how cute Richard was. Richard had dimples and a smile that could light up the entire room. It was then that I developed a slight crush on him. So just to get him to talk, I would start debates about anything. Most of these debates would revolve around his determination that guys always had been and always would be better than girls. It was a battle of wills everyday at ten and we loved it.
When we went on to high school, Richard remained the same class clown, while I matured into a theater major. We only had one class together during high school. We occasionally saw each other in the hallway or I heard his name over the intercom, yet I missed my debate partner.
On Monday, about a week before homecoming of our senior year, I arrived at school early. I went into the cafeteria, as I always did, to talk with friends. As the bell rang to dismiss us to first period, I remember hearing an announcement. The people around me were noisy, so I couldn't make it out. I turned to my boyfriend, Chris, and asked him what was said.
"You know Richard Jennings?"
I smiled. "Yeah."
Chris' face went blank. "He was in a motorcycle accident. He's dead."
The smile faded and my heart dropped. I even thought that he was joking at first, but I could tell from the look on his face that he wasn't.
"Oh, God." I didn't feel anything but shock. Numbness seemed to take over my entire body. When then numbness cleared fear took its place. Both enveloped me from head to toe as though I was drowning.
"I'm sorry. I thought you knew."
As I tried to keep myself composed, I went on to World Geography. As I sat there with some girlfriends, memories of eighth grade came back. Even things Coach Crook said made me well up with tears. Finally, I dropped my head to my desk and started sobbing. I didn't understand why God could take someone so young and full of life. As I finally got myself to stop crying, I felt a pain. It was like someone was tightening a chain around my heart.
During second period, we, the seniors were asked to go to the auditorium to talk with youth ministers. One of them even asked us to share memories of Richard with him.
I remembered a good friend of Richard's and mine stood up. "Richard has done a lot of putzy things. But one thing that sticks out in my mind is when he'd take my hairspray and start fires in geometry. One time he even set fire to a desk and the teacher never realized it." She smiled and brushed back a tear. The youth minister smiled and said, "I didn't know Richard, but I bet he'd laugh and say, 'What can they do? Give me detention?" The following Wednesday, we attended Richard's funeral. I don't remember every detail about the funeral, but what I do remember is vivid. The entire senior class attended. Richard's pall bearers wore Kansas City Chief's hats, Richard's favorite team, and everyone had roses. The preacher gave a sermon that made me think about life and what we had lost.
When it was over, I told Chris that I couldn't go to the cemetery. So we waited on the sidewalk for my mother to pick us up. All of a sudden a breeze blew that sent a chill down my spine. That chill was the key that unlocked the chain around my heart. Chris' strong arms wrapped around me as I sobbed for five minutes. It was as though someone had wiped the fear and sadness from me and the tears were there to wash it away. Afterwards I smiled and knew Richard was still there watching over us.
In August, as I packed up my belongings for college, I found a picture that I had taken of Richard on the Belle Carole in eighth grade. Along with it was the button I had bought to tick him off. I smiled as I remembered his reaction and the face he made at the
saying on my button:
 
"Let's face it girls are better."


© Copyright 2017 Nita Eads. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:

Comments

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply