This is the last time / no this is the last time / there are no last times
I It is cold, and it is raining. I am walking home, and I am on the phone with my grandmother. We are telling one another about our days. And somehow each time I talk to her the word noticias, news can not be removed from both our mouths. Today she started talking about the weather, specifically the local weatherman. Who apparently is getting married to someone who works for the news too. The forecast for the week is cloudy, but there is no rain. It will be hot and humid. I miss it, the humidity.
After a couple sentences of the weather, she pauses. And then says:
“Ay hija escuchaste de la balacera en Colorado, oh daughter did you hear about the shooting in Colorado”
I say no without shock. I ask where and she says it’s other school. A High School with students who have not even lived for more than 20 years. Students who are expecting to through adulthood. And it is another school shooting that proves that are less students are making it through adulthood. My grandmother continues with details and says that it was in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. Which according to google maps if I take US 36 East, it will take me 58 minutes to get there. It is only 46.1 Miles from Boulder, Colorado.
My grandmother asks my grandfather for the students name, who died. My grandfather says Kendrick Castillo. He sacrificed himself, she says. Sacrificed. Sacrificed. I repeat it in my mind.
He helped his classmates escape and have enough time to hide. He saved them. He sacrificed himself. I stop in the corner street of my apartment. It has now stop raining, and I start to feel the drops of water less and less.
I stand here as I continue to hear my grandmother speak of Kendrick Castillo. I think of him, and I put her on speaker, as I search the internet for his photo. I stare at a news article with his face for a while. I think of his life, his mother, father, friends, teachers, his thoughts, his goals and dreams, his favorite movie, his favorite book, favorite type of ice cream, his greatest and most fond memory. I think of him, and I can't stop thinking of him. My grandmother tells me he was only eighteen years old, and was about to graduate. I begin to feel my face become red, and heavy with water. He sacrificed himself.
I think of my modern saints class, I have been taking this semester. And the various definitions of a saint. I think about Kendrick Castillo as a saint. One that is willing to sacrifice themselves for the benefit of others. I think of Tibetan Buddhism and how the praise those who are willing to die to eliminate the sufferings of others. I think about Kendrick Castillo as a saint. I tell my grandmother: “Es un santo, he is a saint”, and responds yes, he saved everyone.
When I hang up with my grandmother and I open my laptop to look for articles about Kendrick Castillo. And in USA today, I find Kendrick Castillo’s fathers words. John Castillo who said he had talked to his son about what do during a school shooting. John Castillo told his son that he did not have to be a hero. His son responded saying:
“You raised me this way. You raised me to be a good person. That’s what I’m doing,'"
Kendrick Castillo. Kendrick Castillo. Kendrick Castillo. Kendrick Castillo. Kendrick Castillo.