the crowd gathered in the high school library.
we stood around uncertainly while a man read scriptures aloud attempting to lift our spirits. i
can't recall a word he said, I only looked at the floor. cries played around me unceasingly.
i tried to fathom never seeing someone again, i tried to understand god. I thought of brandon,
i couldn't picture him without a smile. i thought of his family. i thought of those surrounding me.
those present had come immediately. teenagers scattered around the room; some in work clothes,
some covered in wall paint. but all were somber, all were heartbroken. we leaned against
bookshelves awkwardly, sat upon desks uncomfortably. a boy kneeling on the floor cried the
hardest. friends gathered around him, they held him. we reached out to him as if we could heal
eachother. more gathered slowly until all of us stood there. we huddled in a circle holding
each other and cried. we tried desperately to comfort one another, to say anything that would
help. "we're going to be okay, you guys. it's going to be okay." zach repeated. and we held
eachother tighter, weeping as we never had before. there was a hole in my chest, one i couldn't
explain. it tore deeper and deeper every moment. Adults pressed helplessly against the surrounding
walls, but we stayed in our circle. we didn't need our parents, we didn't need our teachers... at
this moment we needed each other. we put our hands together in the air and chanted the name of
our friend. Brandon.
We were lost souls. Nobody knew what to say. Nobody knew what to do.
Summer air crawled in the window cracks of the stifling library. hearts ached and bodies sweat
while we held each other between those bookcases.
We held eachother close. Friends, enemies, it didn't matter. Everyone belonged.
We abandoned our pride, our cliques and our prejudices. We let down our walls and let each
and in that moment... we were remarkably human.