Miguel's Journal



Entry #5: The hole in my heart...


When I got to school this morning I decided that I was going to talk to Dee and explain to her who I really am inside. I just don't want her thinking that I'm some jerk who has no respect for women because no way am I into that macho crap. I had it all planned out. What I was going to say and how she would look at me when I told her I really do care about equal treatment for people of all races and between men and women too. But when I got to English, Dee wasn't there. Ms. Phipps told us that Dee's grandmother was very sick and that Dee would be out of school for a few days.

I wondered if Dee's grandmother was going to die and if she did, how would Dee feel. I have had an experience with death and I know that when someone you loves dies, it leaves a hole in your heart.

My grandfather, my father's father, was killed in a drunk driving accident when I was 12. Some teenager was driving the other car. He had just gotten his license about a week before and he and his girlfriend were coming home from a party. The kid was drinking beer... right in the car and he tried to beat out a yellow light just as my grandfather's black 1975 Chevrolet was going through the intersection. My grandfather's car was hit so bad they had to cut the door off to get him out. But it didn't really matter because they said afterwards, at the hospital that they were sure he died instantly.

When my father got the phone call from the police he cried. It was the only time I saw my father cry and I think that scared me more than knowing my grandfather was dead. I don't know why but it just felt, at that moment, that I would never feel safe again.

When Ms. Phipps made the announcement about Dee's grandmother I started thinking about my grandfather and how he used to take me for walks with him, in the hills not too far from where he lived. He knew the names of all the plants and flowers and he could recognize birds from the sounds they make. He told me stories about growing up in Mexico and how he felt when he first came to this country. He and my grandmother had loved each other very much but she died when my father was born and my grandfather never remarried. But he was never lonely. He made friends easily and he played the guitar and sang songs that sounded like warm nights with stars. When he died I felt like I lost my best friend. And even though it has been four years, I can still feel the hole in my heart.

I wonder what Dee is feeling now?




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