“Meet me back at my house in ten minutes”. My cousin Albert said as he revved up the engine to his bike and pulled away. So I reached in my pocket grabbed my keys and walked into my house and headed strait for the fridge.

Looking for a quick fix I push the milk to the side and grabbed some left over chicken from the night before. After deciding how to make it I put it in the microwave and slammed the door shut, and set it on high for 5 minutes. While waiting for the chicken to be reheated I changed my clothes and washed my face. Soon after the microwave-beeped ad I went to the kitchen to eat the day old food. When I was finished I brushed my teeth, grabbed my jacket, and was out the door. I jump into my car and was off to meet my cousin.

On my way I reflected on my life and how much fun I have.I drove up to his house and found it odd that he or his bike wasn’t there. I waited and waited. Five minutes passed, and then 10. I started to worry so I knocked on the door but there was no answer.

I didn’t think much of it. I figured he probably went to the corner store before he headed home.I got back into my car and took the usual route to the neighborhood deli. I never made it there- My ride was cut short by a wall of ambulances and yellow Police line do not cross tape. And at that moment I knew my live would never be the same.

Now it’s been about 12 months after his death but these wounds are way too deep for time to heal. Things aren’t supposed to be this way, not at this age. At times like this you begin to look at life in a different way. No longer is it something to be taken for granted. After the incident I realized that life isn’t a game anymore. So I was on my way to straitening my self out.

I noticed myself taking things slower and safer. As apposed to being adventurous and taking risks. Another thing I realized is that I can’t stop myself from living. Forward is the only direction I want to go.

I now focus on my priorities and set goals for myself, Job applications started to get filled out and I though it was about time to take school a little more seriously. I now know what my goals are and so far I'm reaching them even if it is at a slow pace.
One thing I came to realize is that death became real to me, and it can come at anytime. SO while I’m around I feel that I should fulfill all my dreams or do whatever I could to achieve them.

Today I look back to that dreaded day of October 3rd 2000 like a big slap in the face. It might have been the wake up call I needed, but I just wish I didn’t receive it in that way. Realizing your not invincible is not something I took too easily, but then again no one said life is easy.