Sophie Runing P.2
I am going to tell this story exactly how I can remember.
It all started back when Kevin and I were in kindergarten together. He was new in town and I was adventurous. Kevin moved into the house right across the street from mine. We would always play house together in my tree house, or run through the sprinklers in our bathing suits, or on the days when I really felt nice we would play dress up for me and super heroes for him. We did everything together that year, and every year up until our sophomore year in high school. As far as I can remember back, Kevin and I never got into any fights, sure we disagreed, but we were the best of friends and a silly argument was not going to break that.
I remember back in the third grade, we were at recess one fall afternoon. It was a little chilly out and I had spilled juice all over my jacket. So Kevin kindly offered me his. It was extremely large and had patches all over it. I looked like an overstuffed marshmallow in it. A group of boys came up to me and started teasing me; they pushed me to the ground and threw rocks at me. Kevin saw this and ran over to the group of boys, you could see the anger in his eyes, his face flush red. He approached the boy who initially pushed me to the ground and threw a punch right at his nose. The boy fell to the ground crying, while the others started to push and shove Kevin. Teachers came running to the scene to take him to the principal’s office. He told me later that day that when the principal asked why he did such a thing he said,
“I don’t like seeing Rachel get hurt.”
That night Kevin’s mother got a phone call from the principal, and explained everything that happened that day. When the principal told his mother what he had said his mother burst into to tears, hung up the phone, and hugged Kevin for the longest time.
I will never forget that day. That was the first time anyone had really stood up for me.
When Kevin and I got into high school we were still very good friends, but we had other friends and choose our own paths. Kevin was smart, athletic, and popular. I was weak, and socially awkward. I became involved with drugs and alcohol. When a big party over the weekend was busted by the cops everyone blamed me for it. I had been in the upstairs bedroom with a guy that I don’t even know the name of. He pressured me into having sex with him and when I refused he hit me over the head, the next thing I remember was waking up on the bed around midnight, and it felt like I had just been hit by a train. I called the cops suspecting I had been raped. I had no clue that everyone was still downstairs. When the cops showed up they initially asked for Rachel Windorff, but when the police noticed the aroma of alcohol in the air, that’s when everyone was in trouble. Many of the kids at the party were fined and given a minor, unfortunately they never figured out who was in the room with me that night.
For the next few months I was teased, threatened, bullied, humiliated, picked on, and anything else that could make you feel like you’re the most worthless piece of shit in the world. That was when I turned to Kevin. He took me under his wing, walking me to every single one of my classes. He drove me to school, and even sat with me at lunch. He couldn’t stand the fact that I was being tortured the way I was for something that wasn’t my fault.
Everyday I would walk home after school. Kids would drive by and yell vulgar words, and say horrible things. They would throw things at me: soda cans, food, even rocks. When Kevin found out that this happened he took action into his own hands. Unfortunately it was not the least bit healthy way to take care of the problem.
Rewinding back to the third grade, we were playing super heroes in his house on a rainy afternoon. Kevin was hiding from me in hopes that I, being the villain, would not find him. I ran downstairs into the basement as my last resort and hope to find him. Sure enough I did. When I got downstairs he was holding his dads riffle. It was enormous for his hands and the weight was unbearable for a third grader. He gave it to me and I immediately dropped because it was so heavy. His mom raced downstairs with the sound of the thud emanating on the floor. Kevin was holding the gun when his mom reached the end of the stairs. She froze in her steps, and said,
“Honey please put that back right where you found it right this instant!”
Kevin did just as his mother told him to. She raced towards us and started reprimanding him. Kevin had no idea what he was getting in trouble for; he didn’t think he had done anything wrong. A couple years ago we talked about what happened that day. He said he never even thought about how bad the situation could have ended up. That was the first, but not the last time he held a gun.
The day was April 26th 2010. Exactly two months after the party incident had happened. The teasing was still going on. Kevin told me not to worry, that everything was going to okay; he would take care of it. I thought that meant that he would go and talk to the kids bullying me. That is not what it meant in his mind though.
I believe that everyone has a little depression in them. About four years ago, Kevin’s dad committed suicide. It came from out of the blue. No one even would have thought he was the slightest bit sad because he always seemed happy. As Kevin and I took our separate ways, we didn’t have the same connection we had had before. I couldn’t tell when he was having a bad day, or he just got grounded at home.
7:30, April 26th 2010, the bell rang; everyone took their seats in homeroom. The day was going completely normal; the usual push or shove in the hallway, degrading comments said from across the hall etcetera. When lunch came around Kevin showed up late. I didn’t think anything of it until he sat down and said,
“Sorry I’m late, I was just getting prepared, you know?”
I acted like I knew what he was talking about when really I had no clue in the world what was going on. The straight out of the blue, Kevin pulled out a hauntingly familiar object, the gun we had “played with” as kids.
“Kevin, what the hell do you think you’re doing right now? Put that down!” I exclaimed at the site of the riffle sitting comfortably in his hand, as if he had been practicing.
“This is for your own good, Rachel.” He said. Then climbed up on the table and proclaimed himself as if he was king of the school.
“LISTEN UP! Many of you have been torturing my best friend Rachel, for a mistake that didn’t mean any harm. I am sick and tired of all the bullying that has been happening to her. IT ENDS NOW!” And with those words, he opened fired on the cafeteria filled with innocent kids, students, athletes, merit scholars, big sisters, little brothers, captains, band enthusiast, friends, and family. I covered my head, the next thing I know I am being carried out to a crowd of people and at least twenty ambulances. Slowly I awoke to come back to reality. Then the shock set in. I started screaming and once again passed out in the EMT’s arms.
When I woke up I was laying in a hospital bed, my family all surrounding me. A bullet had ricochet off of me and hit me in the arm. Waking up and feeling the love from my family, everything turned to a blur from there.
Kevin is in jail for what he did. He wants to talk to me but I don’t think I will ever go and talk to him; maybe when I am older. For now I will carry with me that fact that a sick minded teenager, stuck up for me in the worst possible way. That day 4 teachers, 13 students, and 2 faculty members were shot and killed. This memory will be something that stays with me forever and ever.