FUCK. I STILL HAVE TO PRESS FORWARD.
On September 5, 2009, I went to the county fair with my friends and met the man I thought that I would marry. We were inseparable. We pretty much grew up together and were best friends. When it came time to pick schools, I decided to stay close to home to be close to him.
Although he didn’t have a plan when we graduated, we worked it out and he finally chose to go to the Army Reserve. He left for Basic Training at the end of 2014 and was done by the time I finished my spring semester. Every day of the semester we wrote letters to one another because he didn’t have access to his phone while at training. When he came back from his training things were different for us. There had been problems that had not been resolved before he left that continued to plague our relationship. By the end of the summer, I decided to end it after 6 years.
Suddenly, he began developing suicidal behavior. One evening, he called me and my friend took my phone and began to curse him out for how he treated me. When he finally convinced her to give me the phone, he said “I just wanted to tell you that I love you”. I asked him what was going on and if he was alright. We closed the conversation with “I love you”.
I woke up the next morning with an odd feeling. I went back to sleep and when I woke up again, I had a text message from his mother saying, “Stinky killed himself.” I called her to confirm the news and was hysterical.
He died on August 27th, 2015. He was laid to rest on September 5, 2015; exactly 6 years after we had met.
My "Nah, Fuck That." moment came after his death. I had the option of returning home for a semester to get some peace and come to terms with what happened. Instead, I chose to push ahead with my aspirations and my goals. With his will sustaining me through the rest of my college career, I was able to become a leader and I am now the First Multicultural Program Specialist for the Cincinnati USA Convention and Visitors Bureau. I used the pain as resolve to ensure that he didn’t die in vein. It’s always hard to lose someone you love, someone you grew up with, but those experiences should never reduce the person you are.