The day that changed my life forever was a cool, breezy day in late August 2013. The weather was not surprising for Michigan. After being born and raised there, I was used to the severity of the winter weather and the unpredictability of summer. Still, the chill in the air that evening set an uneasy feeling within my heart.
My phone began to ring off the hook really late one night.
Oh no! How am I supposed to answer that now? Darn it!
I took a step forward and swallowed the pain inside as I answered without looking at the caller ID. “Hello?” I said, barely breathing.
“Mia, are you awake?” the voice on the other end of the line asked. “Yes, I am.” Then I recognized who was calling. “Courtney?”
Why is she calling me so late? I hope everything is okay.
“Mia, I’m sorry to call you so late, but I saw something on the news a few minutes ago….”
“Okay,” I said, cautiously noting the pause. “Courtney, are you there?”
Her silence intensified my worries. I gasped for air and gripped the phone in my hand, waiting for her to say something.
After about five minutes that seemed to last a lifetime, she finally spoke, “Mia, I don’t know how to tell you this.”
By now, the pain in my chest was almost unbearable. I gritted my
“Courtney, what is it?” I asked.
Oh goodness! What is going on?
“I think something terrible has happened to our guys.” “Wh-what d-do you m-mean?” I could barely speak.
“Listen, Mia, I overheard on the news just now that there was some type of accident after the game.”
I loved Courtney, but she could be a drama queen at times.
“So you automatically thought of Leo and
Gosh, I hope she’s wrong.
“No, I’ve been calling Matt for the last two hours with no answer.”
“Courtney, please listen to me.” I took a deep breath to stay calm.
“Mia, you know it’s not like Matt to not answer me!” “Please calm down. Let me try Leo’s phone.”
“Okay, Mia. I hope you have better luck.”
I dialed Leo’s number and tried to remain calm, but the pain in my chest increased. My hands shook more with each ring. Finally, I heard someone pick up, and I heaved a sigh of relief. “Oh, thank goodness, Leo!”
“Mia, this isn’t Leo. It’s Matt!”
“He-llo, Matt—can you please call Courtney?” I said, struggling to speak.
“Mia, listen to me,” he said.
I didn’t want to hear it. “Okay, Matt. Please call Courtney. She’s losing it!”
“Mia, please listen to me!” he exclaimed.
Something in his voice told me I couldn’t fight it anymore. “Goodness, Matt. What is it?”
“Mia, there was an accident, and something terrible has happened to Leo!”
I honestly don’t remember what happened next. My mind went blank.
“Mia, Mia. Please, Mia!”
What’s going on? I can’t breathe!
“Mia!” Courtney screamed. Everything turned dark.
All I remembered was the poem I recited for my love: Withering memories get in my head, and then I see your face.
I begin to see what is only an image. You’re gone and will never be back.
Inside, I’m dying each time I recall the moment you left me. I wait for the day when we will be together again.
Until that day, my heart will never mend. I will long for you forever.