I woke up this morning to news of a deadly shooting spree. It took me back to a few years ago when I lived in New York. To the night when my friends and I were so messed up on cocaine. To the night when we decided to go flirt with some guys down at the corner bar.
We walked in and looked around for them. We were so messed up and giggly and stumbling around. Then it seemed like everyone was pointing at us. Suddenly, I heard gun shots and people screaming. It seemed like it was all in slow motion. I turned around and saw a guy in a mask pointing a gun at us. He shot it just as he fell backwards, from what I later learned was a gun kept behind the counter and used by one of the bartenders.
My best friend fell down. I looked at her, not believing she was gone. She was. My other friend grabbed a couple of drinks from the bar and splashed us both so it would seem as if we were drinking. The cops bought it. They could tell everyone was shaken up in the bar.
I called my parents later that night and they drove from New Hampshire the next morning to get me. They took one look at me and they could tell. I was not the same Tania they knew. Before the sun was down I was in a residential drug treatment program. Not only did I get clean, the counselors there helped me to get through some of the trauma I had gone through that night at the bar when my best friend died.
I am doing better these days. I moved down south near my cousin and went to work at the company she works for. Still, when I wake up to news of a shooting spree like I did this morning, it brings it all back. I picked up my cell phone and called a friend in my NA group. She listened for a bit. It helped. I went to work and then went to a meeting right afterwards.
There, I can pull out the picture I keep in my wallet of me and Angie. I can show them and they know, many of them having lost someone. See, I feel like I lost my best friend not just through a shooting spree, but also because we were messed up on coke that night and wandered down to the corner bar. Maybe if we hadn’t been on drugs, we would have been at the movies or a party or somewhere else and she would be here today.
It’s still on the news, having only happened this morning. But with the help of the meeting and my sponsor, I am able to get through it. My heart goes out to those who are starting a nightmare of deja vu I live nearly every day, a nightmare that Angie did not survive.