I had just returned home from school, I walked in ever so nonchalantly as I always did and tossed my things onto the floor. I was exhausted. I had just finished taking two final exams, and a quiz for one of my core classes and I was looking forward to a nice quiet evening at home. A tall glass of chilled, iced water, a James Bond movie, and a tightly woven blanket along with a cushioned leather couch sounded heavenly to me. I had gotten myself situated, when one of my very best friends had called me and expressed in her cheery disposition, as always, about this carnival arriving in town for a few days.

I was eagerly excited as well since I hadn’t attended a carnival in a couple of months. I grabbed my things and headed out the door to the car that contained my two best girlfriends, Michelle and Sasha.
The carnival was fantastic. It was as loud as a rock concert in an auditorium and it was filled with mothers pushing strollers of eagerly excited toddlers giggling and bouncing about to all of the excitement, and young teenagers looking to have a little fun before the necessary need to start homework hit.

My girls giggled and squealed as people were eagerly pushing and shoving to get to another table to play another game that was probably going to attain them a stuffed animal or a bag of marbles. I didn’t really go for the prizes I just went for the excitement and the adrenaline rush. I was having the time of my life, spinning around on the merry-go-round, chuckling and laughing like a young baby who had just received his first toy. It was an awesome experience, then the POP!

The one loud, echoing, single pop that brought my world crashing down like a ton of bricks. I leapt off the merry-go-round to my friends who had looks of confusion, and surprise all over their faces. Finally, after milliseconds of silence, to the point where you could hear a needle drop, the pop’s multiplied into BANGS and mass chaos ensued. I hadn’t even registered what was going on around me, when people started screaming, running in all directions, and trampling over everybody. Once I finally realized that the pops I was hearing was gun fire I used the only aid in my arsenal, my quick-mind, and found a place to hide that wouldn’t be shallow enough for people to break or trample me to death.

At this point I was experiencing every emotion I never knew I could feel. Fear, adrenaline, anger, I mean everything. As I was running to find a haven, the chaos never subsided, neither did the gunshots. I was headed toward the exit like everyone else until I felt a firm and hard shove coming from the left direction where I lost my footing and toppled over into an entrance to a tent.

As I lay there trying to recover from hitting my head; I don’t know whether it was a hallucination or if it was reality but I saw someone. It was a man running in the opposite direction of the crowd. I haven’t the faintest idea what came over me in that moment but I shouted out to him “Don’t go that way!”. However, he didn’t heard me and he didn’t stop. I was afraid he was one of those young, stupid, high-and-mighty wannabe heroes who wanted to show off. I screamed at the top of my lungs begging for him to not go in the direction the gunfire had come from.

As the man ran past I screamed yet again pleading for him to not get himself hurt and he glanced at me. One cold, scary, bone-chilling look that had shivers running down my spine causing my hands to go numb, and my eyes to blur.  Was he a hero?  Or was he the killer? As I continued running in the direction of the crowd he never stopped running. Once I finally had found both of my tear-filled friends we both hoped into the car and sped for home.

Two days later, as I was sitting alone at my desktop computer I was updating my FaceBook page when I noticed another one of my friends had been witness to the shooting at the carnival. She was one of my best friends in elementary school and I hadn’t talked to her in years. I sat there in complete shock finally allowing the tragedy to sink in. My eyes welled up in long held back tears, and began to quietly sob. I felt the arms of my and mother go around my neck whispering what was wrong. I sat there finally able to pull myself together and told her about the shooting at the carnival that my friend attended.

She clapped a hand over her mouth and whispered how awful that was. She picked up my glass of water and refilled it as I did more research about the shooting.  Thankfully, no one was hurt and there was very little damage to the carnival and the police had the suspect in custody. I felt a sigh of relief and obtained a kiss from my mother as she returned to her room, and at the current time, was unaware of my travesty.

If there is one thing that I learned from this experience, is that anything can happen. I always consider myself better then the odds, I am always thinking “what are the odds that this could happen to me”? I am a good student, I don’t get into trouble, I never drink or do drugs, everything that I thought that people have gone through; these similar types of tragedies, I always figured they brought it on themselves. I never would have imagined that this could happen to me; I just never thought it to be possible. Even though I don’t believe that this tragedy has had a postive impact on me, I do know that I can count this as experience and as an obsticle that I have to overcome, in order to move on with my life.