Castles Made of Sand

Yesterday was St. Benedict’s Day and being one of our Patron Saint’s there wasn’t any school. Around eleven I walked around off campus to buy a new tie for the formal dinner that was later that night as well as some new socks. I managed to find a very snazzy tie that really complemented my blazer and suit shirt, so I headed back to campus. I casually checked my phone and received a text from my mom that read “Give me a call when your done with your classes 2day,” and for some reason I had a gut feeling that something was wrong.

So I called her and she informed me that my best friend from junior high died in his sleep on Monday; she refrained from telling until yesterday because she wasn’t sure how I would take it and was I afraid I would function right in class. I hadn’t seen my friend in maybe eight or nine years and he was completely out of my life, I honestly didn’t think I would ever see him again. I am very sad about his departure, but I am not devastated by it. Last year he had honorably discharged from the Marine Corps, after serving in Afghanistan. Initially I had assumed he was killed there, not taking into account the war is almost entirely over know. No he completed his service, got out, and a few months later went to sleep in his own bedroom and never woke up.

For a perhaps a few years we were inseparable. We had conversations about whatever crossed our minds, nothing was beyond discussion. One of our favorite things to do was to have improvised live action roleplaying games outside, for a few hours at a time we would become wizards, elves, dwarves, and so on fight hordes of invisible goblins, trolls, and dragons. One thing he always talked about was how much he wanted to be a Marine, so when I heard he enlisted I was very happy that he lived out his dream though nervous about what might happen in Afghanistan.

There is never a good reason to die before thirty, but death in sleep is probably the best way to die. Had he been killed in Afghanistan at least their would have been closure and meaning, its difficult when there’s no clue about what caused it. I am more sad for his family than anything else. Bafflingly, he had just gotten an acceptance letter to my school and was going to start in the Fall. He was going to major in history, just like me. I honestly never thought I would see him again, so I was shocking to find out that I would have. We don’t know how much time we are given, but that can be easy to forget and sometimes we get a rude reminder. When you say goodbye to someone, you never know when it will be the last. Now I am more grateful than ever for the friends I still have.

A little Indian brave who before he was ten,
Played war-games in the woods with his Indian friends
And he built up a dream that when he grew up
He would be a fearless warrior Indian chief
Many moons past and more the dream grew strong until
Tomorrow he would sing his first war song and fight his first battle
But something went wrong, surprise attack killed him in his sleep that night

And so castles made of sand melts into the sea, eventually


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