When we are children, it is natural to be oblivious to things that adults are aware of. Kind of like the time when my sister, when she was two years old, was saying words that rhyme with ‘hiss’ and said ‘piss’. She had no idea that that word was one not fit for a two year old and that if it was said she would get scolded. I will use this concept of ‘adolescent obliviousness’ as an excuse for an event that took place in my young life that changed the course of it at least until I got out of grade school.
The old school bell was seconds away from dismissing Mrs. Maddox’s second grade class and Mrs. Maddox just finished a horrific story of a school shooting that took place in Colorado. I did not understand the motives of the students involved but I did understand that a young girl’s life was taken from her that day for a reason justifiable only to a madman.
The bell rings and everyone races to the door of the classroom. In a hurry I gather my belongings and rush to the door. I drop my soccer ball and one of my classmates kicks it across the room. I turn to her and in a snide annoyance I say the most regretted words I’ve ever said: “Hey! If you do that again, I’m gonna bring a gun to school and shoot you!”
My heart sunk as a tear rolled down her face and the class full of rambunctious children suddenly became silent. I knew I had said something very serious because the teacher told me to sit down and then hurried my classmates out of the room. She returned inside, went to her desk, and picked up the phone. I don’t know who she was talking to but I heard my name and she glanced at me occasionally. I prayed to God that it wasn’t my mom. She hung up the phone and walked out of the room. There is a thick knot in my stomach now and thoughts are racing through my head: What are they going to do to me? And even worse; what is my mom going to do to me.
She returned, what seemed like hours later and she was followed by an older woman in a suit. I had never seen her at...