Abe's Story: Part 1


“When one person is missing the whole world seems empty.

In the minute of silence that fell after I handed out all the Final Exams my  eyes scanned the room, so proud to see this group cross the finish line.

 I don’t need a roster to tell me who is missing, and even though I am sure they aren’t there, I call their names.

Dina? Khalid?

Their classmates look up, look around, look concerned.

We look towards the door and then I shake it off and say to the class, “I’m sure it’s car problems, or… something…” and send Dina and Khalid – brother and sister -  an email asking where they are even though I’m completely 100% sure that they fell victim to the confusion that buzzes around finals week and they MUST think the exam is Thursday instead of today.   

I’m just sure I know exactly why they aren’t here where they should be, taking an exam and getting their lucky rock. 

Their brother Abe got his lucky rocks from me both semesters he took my classes, and in return he brought me treasure from his travels visiting family overseas.  

This is a good family, these are strong students who come from something and are going somewhere to good things. 

I’m sure everything is ok.

Because I think I know everything,  I go on with my day waiting to hear back from them.

 I don’t hear back from either of them.

 Instead I get an email with one of their names in the title (NEVER good, never ever good) and as I skim it quickly the word death pops out in the paragraph that follows.

Oh no. Ohhhh no. No. NO. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

 I hand my phone to Zoe and demand she reads it to me, then I pull my phone back, because I can’t make my daughter read this to me.

It says that their cousin notified TCC that their brother passed away in an accident, and attached a link to a local news story about the incident.

Oh no, oh no.NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.


I cry for Dina, for Khalid, for their parents, for their little brother Ibrahim who was just with them at Veterans Village just days ago, handing cold cans of Dr. Pepper to Veterans.

 Last Thursday now seems like the last minutes of the whole first part of their story, the part where Abe was here, and we were laughing and everything made sense.

(to be continued ---)