February 14, 2018 I will never know what it was like to be there that day. Screams and gunshots echoed through the hallways of Stoneman Douglas High School. 17. Dead.
I will never know the way the students and teachers that hid in fear, while the gunshots sounded and bullets flew. They held each other close, protected by closet doors and barricaded classrooms. Silent tears running down their cheeks. I don't know the way they consoled each other or the way they prayed together on their knees, telling themselves everything would be okay when they all knew it wouldn't.
I will never meet the heroes from Stoneman Douglas. I won’t have the chance to shake their hands and thank them. As they quickly ushered students into classrooms or blocked the unforgiving line of fire, they risked themselves, their own precious lives, to save another’s.
One thing I know for sure is that I'm going to die a 16-year-old girl, in this lone school in Parkland, Florida, killed by a madman with a gun. Of course, I'm scared, who the hell wouldn't be? I didn't think I would be dying today. I thought I was going to give my history presentation, The one I had been working on for two weeks. I am prepared for that, I even have notecards to go along with the presentation. I am not prepared to die today. I am not prepared for my entire life to be over. I am not prepared to live out my final moments trapped in a cramped classroom filled with 20 other petrified kids. I thought my life would be more than 16 uneventful years. I thought my life would consist of adventure and excitement. I wanted to travel the world, and fall in love. Speaking of love, I just realized today is Valentines Day. How ironic.
UPDATE: Gabe and his Mom were interviewed Friday on All Things Considered on National Public Radio (the audio player button on the right) and we thought you might like to hear the interview. It's fascinating.