The earlier writing prompts left me feeling like I had too great a choice — not so with today’s prompt. I was never very popular with anybody, and my friends through my school years can be counted on one hand. However, there was one constant: Ryan McGee.
Ryan and I went to the same elementary school. We went to the same after-school activities. We went to the same church. We were part of the same Cub Scout troop. It seems only natural then that we hung out a lot. We wasted many a day playing video games, building things, browsing through a collection of Lady Death cards he’d found somewhere…
Ryan’s father was an ex-marine. Ryan was, well, much less hardcore (though still cool in his own way). In fact, he was a very gentle kid, who loved all kinds of animals, and for a long time didn’t do too well on scout campouts out in the boonies. A few times, Mike (Ryan’s dad) had to be called to drive out to the campsite in the middle of the night and comfort his son. I always wondered how he felt about that.
Ryan’s family was also Catholic. We often went to catechism together. One year, on his birthday, we weren’t allowed to order any good pizzas, because it happened to be on a Friday. It’s neither here nor there, really – just a random memory I have about him.
Lindo Lake Elementary became Tierra Del Sol Junior High. Cub Scouts became Webelos. Arturo Gomez joined our little group. Junior High passed uneventfully.
Soon, Tierra Del Sol became El Capitan High. At least for me. Ryan went to Santana High School in neighboring Santee. Life went on.
Then one day, the school went into lockdown. There had been a shooting at Santana High. 2 dead, 13 injured.
Eventually, I was able to find out that Ryan was not part of either count. He later related to me that a student running away next to him was shot and wounded. Ryan went to therapy after that.
A little while later, my family moved from Lakeside, CA to Denver, CO, and although we planned to stay in touch, Ryan and I, we never did. I’ve tried a few times to look him or his parents up on Facebook, but haven’t had any luck so far. Maybe some day I’ll manage to get in contact.
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Niki: Sometimes I Write