Bullets and Last Words

Jenny Jacinto, Guest Writer

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“Cassie, Cassie! Don’t leave me please!” I shouted as I hugged her for the last time.

* * *

April 17, 1999, Three Days before her Death

I finally turned 16 years old. Sadly, my birthday occurred on a school day, which meant it would consist of people I do not even know telling me “Happy Birthday” due to obligation. Honestly, I like the spotlight, so having everyone recognize me on my birthday was great for my self-esteem. An upside to it occurring on a school day: driving to my school, Columbine High School, on my own.

Cassie loved the idea of me finally driving. I would consider Cassie my best friend. She gets me, and unlike my other friends, she has helped me through some of the hardest moments in life. My parents got divorced when I was thirteen. Since then, my family has never really displayed what a normal family should look like.

The day started with driving to school on my own. I pulled into the school, and Cassie saw me. She had the biggest smile on her face. When I stepped out the door, she gave me a big hug.

“Happy birthday loser!” She yelled at me with big eyes.

After minutes of just seeing her, she made my day the most special day ever.

“I know you don’t like when I give you gifts but I just had to. I hope you like it!”

She gave me a dainty necklace with a cross on it; I loved it. Cassie knows I struggle with my relationship with God sometimes and the necklace she gave me meant everything to me. After school, I went out to eat with my family and some friends. We reminisced about the past fifteen years. I drove home that night with Cassie. She spent the night.

* * *

The day of her death 

“Cassie, do you want to go do homework in the library? I have a lot to catch up on.” I asked, hoping she would say yes so I would not have to remain alone.

“Sure, I will help you with your homework,” she replied.

Cassie has so much intelligence. She basically has to accompany me anytime I do my homework to make sure I am not doing it wrong. While Cassie and I were doing homework, I noticed this boy who I found quite attractive. His name is Corey and he is seventeen years old. Just a year older than me; Cassie’s age, actually. She likes to tease me about my childish crush on him.

“Looks like someone seems a little distracted,” Cassie said with a big grin on her face.

“Shhhh!” I said, hoping Corey had not heard her.

“He doesn’t know who and what I’m talking about, Sally. You should go up and talk to him.” She said, knowing I would not do it.

“You don’t actually think I would talk to him do you, Cassie?” I said trying to display my mature side.

“I didn’t say that, but I know you wouldn’t,” Cassie said in a subtle mocking voice.

I looked at her, got up, and started walking towards him.

“Hey, Corey!” I said, hoping I would not get rejected.

“Hey, Sally! Are you doing homework?” he replied.

I looked at Cassie to only see her laughing at how I had proved her wrong. My heart started beating so fast as I sat next to Corey. Corey DePooter is the cutest guy I have seen. I have known him for so long, I do not even know why I get nervous to talk to him. He started helping me with my math homework. The library got quiet as we began to do homework. Then I saw the substitute skyrocket out of his chair.

“Everyone get down under your desks and keep quiet!” Shouted the substitute in the library.

What is going on? I thought to myself. I looked at Cassie. She looked panicked too. I felt like I needed to calm her down. Cassie does not handle troubling situations well. I felt terrified myself and confused about what was happening. Cassie looked and me and mouthed these words: “Please pray, I’m scared.” I immediately began praying, hoping it would help her stay calm and also for me to stay calm and to have faith we would remain fine. I forgot I sat next to Corey. He looked at me.

“Sally, I do not know what is happening, but I wanted to be honest with you and admit that I have a crush on you,” he said, holding my hand.

My heart dropped and my fear went away.

“Do not talk like we are going to die, Corey. I like you too, so let’s just say you can take me out when we get out of here,” I said with the most confident voice I have ever had.

He looked at me and smiled. We just sat in silence after trading our secret.

BOOM. The door slammed open. I saw two guys with guns. I immediately started to pray. I wanted to close my eyes, but I did not want to stay blind to this life threatening situation that remained in front of me. They banged on the table Corey and I were under and said, “Peakaboo!” Corey looked at me with his fearful eyes. I could tell he was terrified but he looked at me and squeezed my hand hinting that we would be okay. We stayed still but then they came under and shot Corey. I held his hand and the minute they shot Corey, I felt him die. I felt a tremendous amount of pain, not physically but emotionally. I was frustrated on why this had to happen to Corey. He did not deserve this outcome. I should have taken the bullet for him. I looked at Cassie and saw her trying to hide her eyes from this pain. The shooters walked toward her after they shot Corey. I could not hear what the shooters were saying to Cassie. I think they just asked her if she believed in God. I saw her lips form the word yes. The shooters lifted the gun toward her and pulled the trigger.

“Nooo!!” I shouted. My heart filled with anger and sorrow.

I ran toward Cassie, not caring what would happen to me and hugged her. She instantly died from the bullets instantly. The shooters looked at me. I thought they were going to shoot me but they spared my life. They took my pain and sorrow as a joke. They walked away pulling the trigger on themselves. I heard the guns go off and felt the ground rumble as they both fell to their death. They had killed themselves.

“I am still alive.” I whispered to myself. I cried while I held my best friend in my arms. I looked down at my necklace that Cassie had given me. I felt like God had saved me. I don’t know why he saved me and not Cassie or Corey. Instead of letting my frustration get the best of my relationship with God, I calmed down knowing Cassie would have wanted me to just pray to God. I prayed a sad prayer. I will never go on the promised date with Corey and I will never get to tell Cassie about it.

 

 

 

Bibliography

Editors, History.com. “Columbine Shooting.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 9 Nov. 2009, www.history.com/topics/1990s/columbine-high-school-shootings.

Fast, Jonathan. “Ceremonial Violence: a Psychological Explanation of School Shootings.” Duckworth, 2009.

Gerdes, Louise I. “The Columbine School Shooting.” Greenhaven Press, 2012.

Langman, Peter F. “School Shooters: Understanding High School, College, and Adult Perpetrators.” Rowman & Littlefield, 2015.

Shepard, Cyn. “4-20-99 a Columbine Site – The Columbine High School Shootings.” “4-20-99 a Columbine Site – The Columbine High School

Shootings.” acolumbinesite.com/.

“Home – Columbine High School.” Go to Columbine High School, columbinehs.jeffcopublicschools.org/.

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