This November 26, 2008, makes it 20 years ago. WOW.
It was November 26, 1988--two days after Thanksgiving. I was 15 and my boyfriend Robert was 16. We used to hang out at an arcade, among other teenage places. That particular day I spoke to Peanut (his nickname) on the payphone in the arcade. I asked if he were planning on going to 'Shakers' that night, a teen dance club that we frequented. He told me he wasn't going and he wanted to come to the arcade, so I could give him some money (that's a whole other story--where I got my money). I told him I was leaving the arcade and going to 'Shakers'.
I'll never forget the last words he said to me,
"You're leaving? Well, I'm leaving, too, then."
He hung up the phone.
I walked up the sidewalk of the plaza to the grocery store where our friend Sam worked as a bagger. I asked him if I could ride with him to the club and I did. After being there for about an hour, Sam got called to the front door. My heart fell, I knew it was Peanut but I didn't follow Sam to the door--you know how stubborn teenage love can be. Sam came back and told me that it was Peanut, he was with Jack and they were cruising around drinking and they were totally smashed.
I thought, Damn, why didn't I go to the door with Sam?
I really wanted to see Peanut.
On the way home I asked Sam to stop by Peanut's house and he told me,
"I can't, I have to get the car home and they probably aren't there anyway."
He dropped me off at home, I went to my room, turned on the radio and contemplated calling Peanut, at the late hour it was. Finally, I picked up the phone and dialed his number.
His sister answered the phone, "Hello"
"Hi--is Peanut home?"
She hung up the phone.
That was odd because I babysat for her and she was friendly to me, even if I called late at night. I lay in bed, tossing and turning and yearning for Peanut to call me.
I slightly dozed off and the phone rang.
"Hello", I said hopefully.
The sobbing coming from the other end was uncontrollable and incomprehensible, I couldn't tell who it was.
"Who is this?", I asked.
That's when I heard between the sobs, "Peanut shot himself in the head."
"I'll be right there", I replied.
"No don't, the paramedics are taking him out right now," his sister informed me.
She told me to call back later, at this time it was around 4 AM.
I lay in my bed stunned, shocked, flabbergasted, dumbfounded--there is no word to describe the feeling.
The song on the radio caught my attention--"Ohh Baby I Love Your Way."
I began to cry and I kept hearing her words, he shot himself in the head, in the head. I told myself not the arm or leg, the head.
Face it Meagan, he is dead.
I got up and went to the bathroom, closed the door and splashed cold water on my face. When I turned off the water, I heard a sound and I opened the bathroom door and stood at the top of the stairs. I heard the sound clearer; it was coming from the downstairs closet. The metal coat hangers were clinging together and I was in disbelief, confused--no word can describe this feeling.
I thought--are one of the cats trapped in the closet?
I stood there for a few seconds and the sound became restless and louder. I ran to my room, got into my bed and threw the covers over my head.
I thought--don't haunt me Peanut.
I kept repeating, "find the light, find the light, find the light."
The next thing I remember: the sunrise shining through my window (I hadn't fallen asleep). I wanted to call his house but I couldn't bring myself to do it. I called my best friend and told her about the call from Peanut's sister. She came right over and informed my grandparents about what happened. Then she came upstairs to my bedroom. I felt like I was stuck in my bed and I couldn't move. Eventually, I arose and went downstairs.
I opened the closet and stared into it--every single coat hanger had something hanging on it and no cat jumped out.
My friend took me to her house and she called Peanut's house. I just couldn't bring myself to do it.
She didn't have to tell me, I already knew--he was dead.
This is a true experience and I know that when we die, something happens, our energy leaves our body. You never truly understand, unless you experience it for yourself and this was my experience--well, one of them.
The reason his sister hung up the the phone so abruptly--the phone rang at the same time she heard the gunshot.
RIP Peanut, your as free as a bird now.
I ended up in a psychiatric hospital diagnosed with depression. I wrote this poem as I looked out the window in my room there.
Through the inch spaces
implanted in the blind
in a shatter proof window
I look at the pine tree
green with a pure white blanket
covering its ground
from which it grows
Its branches slightly swaying
then the cold wind--swoosh
and now it's shivering
just like my soul
in this cold, cold world
I fight back the tears
strength I feel
oops only two teardrops
The sky is blue
and ever so bright
with hope of a brand new light
which you have found
I'm sure of that
I just wish you were still
It wouldn't be easy
but a whole lot better
'cause then at least
we could shiver together
I feel like I left you
when you needed me most
'cause that is how I feel
like I need something
no one else can do
but you did though
I may have hurt sometimes
there still was a lot of
the twinkle in your eyes
the way you calmed my insides
good and bad times
but now time doesn't
it keeps passing by
just like a cold breeze
through a tree
which is me
You did what you pleased, not a care in the world.
That's a lie, look at all the pain you had inside.
Only covering it with pride.
I can't believe you died.
Without saying, at least--