pop! pop!

With the first, my eyes fly wide open. The second, I flinch in pain. Someone I knew shot herself the last time I heard that sound. That time it'd been in the Wal-mart parking lot and it wasn't loud. We hadn't even raised a concern, and those who heard it didn't realize what it was. Later I found out it was smack of death. The end of Christmas joy. The end of Christina.

Today the sound was louder. Closer. Maybe right outside my door. Was this before or after I thought I saw red and blue flashes on the windows of the store? I can't remember.

We saw no hordes of cops this time, we cracked no donut jokes. No white trash quips could be made. We went about our business.

At the time of Christina's suicide almost a year prior, I didn't realize its implications. Aside from a dear friend's dive into depression, I, sadly, was unaffected. Almost a year later new feelings were brought to life by a backfire, a firework, an unknown something. I filled with fear, wondering if I would soon hear of another tragic end.

No word from Man came, but a realization left me with a clarity I somehow had lacked. Everyone matters. Everything that happens once can happen again, and we're never prepared for it. It sneaks up on you. Usually a "the trick is-" would be here, but I have no trick. There isn't one. The only thing you can do is hope it doesn't come too close and pick up the pieces afterward.

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