First and foremost,
Thank you to those who have bugged me about the whole blog situation. It was very nice to hear that people have read and enjoyed major parts of my life. It helps me get me over this hurdle, issue – thing.
I’m not terribly emotional on the outside. But I think I avoided doing Will’s post (he does deserve one) because he is one of my best friends that has died. I feel it needs to be perfect, so I’ve put it off. I’ve debated to myself as to how to approach it, treat this post special or not.
I want to honor him in the best way possible, and I think the way to do that is to not give him a special post, and don’t give him special treatment, because he wouldn’t want it. This is not about his life, but about mine, and his influence on me.
Keep your friends close, and your loved ones on your arm.
Will and I met in 8th grade. We met in band, he played trumpet, I played bassoon. He had a bowl cut haircut and I was buzzed. It’s an insignificant detail, but one amusing to me all the same. Anyway, him and I weren’t close friends, but always joked back and forth, and for some reason I knew him and I would be good friends if we tried. But band was where we kept it and the occasional board game at Andersen Jr High.
It wasn’t until 9th grade where he joined our group of friends. At that time, Daniel and I started hanging out again often, and it was about the first or second actual day of school where I introduced the soon-to-be twins united. We hung out on the bus every day and a couple hours after school at the bus stop. That was because our bus stop was at a four –way stop. His house was to the left, Daniels to the right, and mine straight. So we hung out there till one of us had to go home, sometimes as late as 5-6pm, and then all of us would go our separate ways.
I can only remember one time ever being truly mad at him. Long story short, he was the first out of our trio to lose his virginity and didn’t tell us. Now, this wasn’t a common subject that we talked about regularly, BUT we had higher morals than those in the movies going “we MUST lose it!” I was still very naive (we all were) and thought we’d all wait for.. Well I dunno, something worthwhile. But he had lost it to his girlfriend and didn’t tell Daniel and me. That night I was livid. Totally upset as to how I found out, the fact that he had lost it, and the fact he hadn’t said anything. But it took a day and a half and I was over it.
Like I was to Daniel helping him when he walked out on his house, he definitely helped me. There was a night where Didi (girlfriend at the time) and I had talked dirty on the phone to each other, and her mom had picked up and overheard. What’s funny is that I heard the *click* of someone picking up, but I was too horny to pay attention to it. So she overheard and the next day told my dad while I was at school. Didi was told she was not allowed to go to the dance (Homecoming or Prom, I don’t remember) and she was grounded for all eternity. I got home from somewhere kind of late, ready to talk things out man-to-man with my dad, ready to hash it out like we’d done in the past. But he wasn’t home. No one was, they were out to dinner. I felt embarrassed at that point thinking they were out talking about what happened. So I wrote a mean note and started walking. And walking, and walking. I made it to downtown Chandler before stopping. It’s not terribly far from my house, but I went up and down familiar neighborhoods near our school. So there I stopped and sat before my phone rang. It was my dad. I didn’t pick up. A few minutes later, another phone call - It was Will.
“Heyya. How are ya?”
“I could be better, and yourself?”
“I could be better, and yourself?”
“Good, where are ya?”
“Dad ask you to call me?”
He shuffled a bit (walked to his room and closed his door), “Yeah, he came over looking for you and told us what happened.”
“Well, I can tell you, but I don’t want you to tell them.”
I ended up telling him and we hung up. It was always a scary thought for the two of us to go against our parents, because they trusted us to the fullest extent. He didn’t lie to my dad about where I was, but he did say he couldn’t tell him and he’d be picking me up. When he got there we sat and talked for a long time. Him about his situations, mine about mine. We sat there for close to an hour looking at downtown Chandler and just talking. He drove me home and I faced the music.
One thing Will and I did was skip school. Now, we did it a LOT (hated our 4th hours, lunch right after), and never really got caught. We had a route that we knew security didn’t monitor, and we could walk home every time scot-free. Him and I never called ourselves out; we just left it up to the fates. Normally, it worked in our favor. For me, this particular time, it did not.
We skipped the whole day, walked to my house and hung out. We talked during the walk about one of us, not both of us, getting caught, and how we wouldn’t rat each other out nor would we rat ourselves out. We felt we can’t be properly punished if there was no phone call from the school. Anyway, the school had called my dad, he had gotten home from work around 4pm to the Daniel, Will, and I in the backroom playing games. He calls me out on skipping Math, I submitted and told him. He asked where I was, and I said at home...... Now, if you weren’t paying attention like I didn’t that day, he said Math.. Not school. I did not catch this, so he replied, “It’s a bit of a walk home just to skip Math Brandon.” I felt stupid. I admitted that I skipped the whole day. He turned to Daniel and asked if he had skipped. He hadn’t and said he hadn’t. He turned to Will and asked, he said he did. My dad called his dad and we both had to go straight home from school for the next two weeks and were grounded. I had to ask Will what was he thinking when he told my dad about what we’d done. His response: “I figured that your dad wouldn’t have thought you skipped alone. He would have thought you were lying if one of us wasn’t with you. So my choice was for your dad to not trust where you were, or to have me skip school. Might as well be honest.”
Another thing he his completely and 100% responsible for indirectly, was get me in shape. Him and I, at the beginning of our junior year, signed up for a semester of PE (prerequisite), then a semester of Weight lifting. I suffered through PE, hated every day of it, and then the day came for weightlifting. I was excited, because Will was in the class with me; after all we made SURE to be in the same fourth hour… But he wasn’t there. Almost hit him at lunch (I was REALLY out of shape and the class kicked my ass), he said that he liked having PE and Isaac was in his class so he switched it and forgot to tell me. I remained in that class for the semester and my life choices were forever changed.
This last thing is huge, for those who know me. Will got me into computers. He introduced me to them when he first started building his rig, encouraged me to join the computer classes he was in (thus meeting Ken Magnum), and assisted in building my first rig. We each set up our own servers and constantly tweaked them. He was far more experimental with his than mine. But I awed and ooed every step of the way. He definitely taught me the basics. And the rest is history. Everything with Ken, my college, career, all began when he first took his computer apart and showed me.
Will was one of the most genuine person’s you would’ve ever met. He always kept quiet and always ready to go along for the ride. He always had my back through struggles, and always encouraged the best out of me. Will invited me to church often, but never pressed when I declined. he definitely changed my life for the better. Every influence he had in my life was a positive one. My first and probably only tattoo I’ll ever get is for Will. “Forever in our hearts, not far from our thoughts.”
Keep your friends close, and the one’s you love on your arm.
~Just a thought.
“Please know he was a good man when he was around you, and he was a good man when he wasn’t.” - The last thing I said to Will’s father Jeff at the hospital after he got done making funeral arrangements for Will.