It was halftime; the score was tied. The Lower Dauphin Falcon Basketball team was playing with such charisma as we started to soar over the Susquehanna Indians in the second half. It was one shot after another, and soon we were winning by 2 points. The star of the game was of course our number 33, Evan. He shined on the court like an angel in disguise.
The crowd was cheering with excitement as the final minutes were winding down on the scoreboard. The game was tied at 44 with 5 seconds remaining, and of course it was our ?angel? who came to the rescue again. He caught the ball at the edge of the three-point line, squared up, and let it fly. We watched with hopeful eyes as his shot sailed towards the basket. It was a success; we had beaten our rivals for the second time this season. The crowd rushed the court; tears of joy fell from the player?s eyes, including Evan?s.
After the game we all went over the Evan?s house to celebrate. Many of us not knowing that the rest of the weekend would change our lives. We played pool, ate pizza, and watched the 11:00 news to see highlights from the game. Evan sat with me and thanked me for coming to watch him. After all, I wore his jersey and his number painted on my face.
I left that night at 12:30. I was unaware of the big party that was taking place at another house, or I would have stayed with Evan so he would not have gone. Instead I went home and went to sleep. Besides, I had a pretty incredible night as it was, and I wanted to savor the moments captured.
?Yes,? I said politely, not having a clue as to why she was calling so early. With her voice trembling, as something terrible had happened, she asked me if I had heard the bad news.
?Evan was in an awful car accident last night,? she said.
?Kristen? he was killed.? Tears instantly began to roll down my pale white face. So many thoughts, memories, and funny encounters ran through my head in a matter of seconds until my train of thought was broken. Mel offered to come over, being that she lived two houses away. I turned down her offer, and told her that I had to call my mom.
I finally got my fingers free from clinching the telephone so tightly that I was able to call my mom. She answered, I tried to speak but my throat was dry and nothing was able to come out. Then all of a sudden I blurted out?
?Mom, Evan Gourley was killed in a car accident last night.? She didn?t understand a word that I had said, so she asked me to repeat myself. When I finally came around to it, she told me to calm down. Her offer was also to come home; I quickly rejected her as well and called my boyfriend Brandon.
While dialing his phone number, teardrops were pouring from my eyes. There was no answer, just the monotone recording of the answering machine at the other end. It must have sounded like I was screaming into the phone while I was leaving the message, but I was sure that someone would realize there was serious news awaiting them and call me back soon.
Seconds later my phone rang.
?Evan died in a car accident last night,? I responded.
?Do not move, I?ll be right there.? Brandon spoke these comforting words to me.
Until someone arrived at my house for me to grieve with, memories upon memories ran throughout my mind. Evan was a star basketball and baseball player, member of the homecoming court, and just an all around great guy. He was the funniest, sweetest, and most charming guy in our class (well, maybe not but he sure did try). He only had one flaw, drinking and driving.
His red Ford Probe hit an icy pothole at 2:00 a.m. It then collided with a bank along the side of the road and came to a landing on its roof. He was pronounced dead at the scene when someone finally found his dismantled car forty-five minutes later.
Even though that is how he died, none of us judge him by his poor decision that night. Yes, it could have been prevented, but it wasn?t.
Going to his funeral was hard, but going back to school on Tuesday was even harder. Besides, Evan had sat next to me in every class except for one. For the first week I would go to say something to him, or wait for him to make a funny remark at one of the teachers or students, and it just wouldn?t happen. Finally reality had set in.
Although we know that Evan Cooke Gourley made one crucial mistake in his life, we had come to realize that his time here on earth was precious and that he made the best of it. He knows that he could never be forgotten, and that he made an incredible impact on each of our lies. He is not remembered for making that three-pointer to win the game, or striking out the last batter for a no hitter. After all, Evan was our friend, and my ?angel?. He will continue to live on in our hearts as someone very special until we can all join him in eternal peace.