I have been too busy. I know this because I woke up on April 8th and it didn't even hit me what day it was until Catherine texted me. I mean a week ago I knew what the 8th meant, but when it came I just didn't put two and two together. Well April 8th is when my life changed forever, along with a lot of people who were close to me. Four years ago on April 8th, Austin died.
I can remember it all like it was yesterday, yet it is all blurred in a way as well.
I had spent the night at my best friend Nasime's house, it was Easter. I remember we watched Borat that night and Austin always imitated Borat, but I never understood why he did until I saw it that night. Anyway, we went to bed and I got woken up by a phone call from the guy I was seeing at the time around 8am that morning. We didn't have school that Monday, I can't remember why. He went to a different school, so he was already wide awake and delivered the news to me..."Do you know a guy named Austin?" Well of course I did, I knew a ton of Austins. I asked he why..."Because on the news there is this Austin guy that went to Dobie and he died last night." Well I was half asleep and responded with saying I knew an Austin that was a bit on the wild side, so it was probably him. I asked if he knew the last name..."Jones? I think yeah Austin William Jones." My heart stopped. I couldn't believe it. I accused him of lying and being wrong. It can't be. Not the Austin that I have known since kindergarten. Not the Austin that could make me laugh just by a facial expression. Not the Austin that was about to graduate and had a full life ahead of him. Not the Austin that I was getting closer to daily and was suppose to hang out with last night, but instead went to Nasime's house. NOT HIM! I didn't say all of that. I couldn't say anything. I just hung up the phone and started crying. I couldn't believe the voice on the other line. I woke up Nasime, got on his Myspace and saw the truth. Already people were posting "I miss you" etc. It was real, Austin was gone.
We quickly flipped on the TV and yet again our fears were confirmed. News reports of Austin and 2 (or maybe 3) others being in a car crash the night before. Austin was the only one killed. Why him? Why not the idiot driving? They were driving "recklessly" and crashed into a tree. The truck collapsed right where Austin was sitting. The news reports were vague and wrong. Accusing them of drunk driving. I hated them making Austin sound like they did. He was an amazing young man, how dare they say what they were saying in the midst of this pain. It also turned out that the girl in the truck whose name they couldn't release was my close friend Amber. This didn't make the situation any easier.
I left Nasimes, went home, showered through all of my tears. I didn't want to stay at my house, I had to go be with my friends. I went to Lovelace's house. He was one of Austin's best friend. It is there I found out that everyone was trying to get a hold of me since midnight last night. I had just changed phone numbers and the only people who had it were Austin, Nasime and the guy who told me Austin had died. I remember we kept calling Austin's phone to hear his funny voice mail. It is there that we decided Austin deserved a candlelight vigil. I made a few calls and with the help of Myspace and MANY friends, we scheduled one for that night at the local fire station where Austin's dad worked at. It was amazing the number of people that came out, but that's all I can remember. The rest is a blur. I cried myself to sleep.
The next day, I had to go to school. The morning was the toughest because that was when all of us would see Austin. No Austin today though. I remember that they announced his death over the loudspeaker. I tried so hard not to cry. It was impossible though. I broke down. That week of school was hard. It was hard when Amber returned to school. I just wanted to take all of her pain away. As bad as I was feeling, I knew her pain was unexplainable. The funeral was that week. I wrote a note to him, gave him a kiss and saw him buried into the ground. I try to forget all of this. I remember going up to his mom, who is one of my "moms" now and saying sorry. That sounds so dumb when I look back on it. You should never have to bury a child. Her words healed me more than anything anyone had said to me that whole week. She told me that Austin spoke of me often and she knew how much I meant to him. Thank you Momma for telling me that. I have never told you before, but it put me at peace to know Austin cherished me as much as I cherished him.
The next year or two after, I was a mess. A song would make me cry, I was afraid of losing everyone close to me. I still think of these things, but try not to obsess. I know people who were not with me during this time just don't understand and I don't expect them to. You had to know Austin to understand this pain.
Austin is the first and only close friend I had ever lost. We all thought we were invincible and then it all changed. I have tons and tons of funny stories of Austin and that's how I like to remember him. I love spending time at his house and with his family. Especially his little sister Jessica who is growing up way too fast. I love that she calls me sister. I love having a little sister and I know Austin is proud of how amazing she is.
It seems like every year around his death I hear of another friend of mine that is thinking they are invincible. I makes me sad that they don't cherish life and their loved ones enough. I pray for these friends as much as I can. Thank y'all for spending the time to read this. It means a lot to me.
Here is the Dobie News Candlelight Service Video