I think now is a good time to delve more into who I am and what I have experienced in my life to make me the person I am today. Many of my friends don’t even know the entirety of the story. Only bits and pieces. The general story. Minimal details.
When I was 15 years old, I experienced the worst day in my life.
The day my father was murdered was the day that my childhood died.
My father was a deputy for the local sheriff’s office. He had worked there for seven years.
It was June 22, mere days after my dad’s birthday and father’s day. It was a hot summer day. I woke up in the late morning hours. My summer vacation had just begun. I was heavily involved in the Medical Explorers group in my town. We were scheduled to work as the first aid responders in the local founder’s day celebration. My father had left for work earlier in the morning after attempting to say goodbye to me, a sleeping teenager (which was pretty much a lost cause. I love my sleep.). Needless to say, it was unsuccessful.
My mother dropped me off at the event a few hours later. We did not receive any first aid needs from the public, but to pass the time and to make some extra money for our group, we painted children’s faces for a miniscule fee. 25 cents for a simple design and $1 for a full face. I had painted several faces, rather horribly (I actually made a child cry when I showed him the mirror after I had finished. He had requested a Barney the Dinosaur on his cheek. I had obviously failed miserably. Mind you, it may have turned out more like a purple blob with white dots for eyes. I have never claimed to be an artist, nor have I ever claimed to be good with children. Yet, I was forced to attempt it.).
After a lull in the customers, my fellow Medical Explorers and I became bored. To alleviate the boredom, we began to paint each other. I received a gecko on both thighs from two different co-Explorers. Whilst we were all having a heated debate about which gecko was better, a patron in line stated that a woman was yelling “Erika” from across the street. It turned out to be the Medical Explorer’s director.
She was at the pay phone (for those of you who are too young to know what that is, it is a phone that was fixed to a location that you put money into to make phone calls. This was before cellular phones were prevalent. And said booths were rather plentiful. I have seen ONE phone booth in the past year. I find that odd.).
Curious and a little scared, I approached her and the phone booth. She was frantically attempting to contact someone over a bad connection. I could not make out what the hell was going on. She then asked if I knew a Deputy Something or Other. I did not know the name. I just knew it had to do with my father. I collapsed right there and then. I knew what had happened. I didn’t want to believe it… but I knew.
I was crying hysterically on the pavement in front of the phone booth when a patrol officer’s car pulled up into the lot in what seemed like it was all of a sudden. It was likely several minutes later. The officer asked if I was Erika. The director said I was indeed Erika. He asked if I knew what had happened (due to my state of dismay). I couldn’t answer. All I could do was just cry hysterically while rocking to and fro. What could I say? I couldn’t put my fears to words. How could I?
My sister’s boyfriend had accompanied the deputy for a familiar face. He stepped out of the vehicle and looked at me, and I knew.
The Medical Explorer’s director asked frantically, “What’s wrong? What happened?”. Then the deputy confirmed my fears… While attempting to get me to stand up and enter the vehicle, he stated that my father had been shot. The director asked, “Is he okay?!”. And then he uttered softly and hesitantly, “No. He’s… He’s dead.”
From that moment I had become a shell. A zombie. That was the moment that I died. I felt nothing. What could I feel?
(This is all I can put to words/blog for one sitting…..)