And His Name Was Todd
By Soraya, age 17, Texas
Ninth grade year was a big blur! I was just beginning to understand life a little bit more than my middle school years. It was a time for maturing and I knew it was going to be great! I refused to take P.E. I absolutely dreaded the idea of having to dress out. Therefore my first choice was "tennis". Wow, it sounded so great, and it would be a great start to my athletic life, so I signed up for it. Soon summer flew by like a force of hot humid Texas air. My schedule was handed to me and I went through my day trying to make the best out of it. 7th period, tennis - Perfect! I thought. That way I won't have to worry about going to lunch or my next class all "stinky". I was super excited and looking forward to meeting new friends.
I got to my destination becoming a little shyer as I got closer. The room was full of boys and girls just looking around as if searching for something unreal; they were just as lost as I was. Over the next few days we became less and less quiet and began to talk among our "groups". Girls usually stuck together, and boys, well, boys stayed at their distance. Our tournaments became my most desired school event and I looked forward to those days with anticipation.
I was in a doubles team, and my partner's name was Kara, a very nice and respectful girl. I immediately became friends with her. Karissa, Kara, and Lorena were super close. I loved to see how three amazing girls shared a special bond. It felt like good, truthful, and loyal friends were still out there in the world. I became closer to Kara because she was my partner. I talked to them more and more, and soon I felt I was part of their group - it was wonderful!
I knew about Carlos, Lorena's boyfriend at that time, and also about Todd, Karissa's boyfriend. We would stay after school to practice. As I watched I realized how amazing these girls were. Todd and Carlos would stay after to try to cheer on their girls. I remember how once they tried playing ... and they truly sucked! It was our laugh of the day to watch as they would "show us to master tennis" when in reality they couldn't hit it over the net, and when they did, it would fly over to the next court! I had fun during those days.
I had Karissa for health class and I sat near her. She would always do her work and was very outgoing and super smart. The whole school knew about Todd, the love of her life. 10th grade was hard for me. I moved and so did Lorena. So it was down to only Kara and Karissa, and they became closer. When I came back the second semester of 11th grade things were finally going to be "perfect", or so I thought.
Karissa and Todd were still a couple, and I felt so happy for them. While they created their romantic love story, boys came and left my life. I was so glad that at least she had found her soul mate, her high school sweetheart, the love of her life.
I remember always calling him "Toad", from Mario Kart, the funny looking guy with a "mushroom head". I would often see him and he was always so cheerful. One time he caught me in a bad mood. I was having problems and felt so alone and frustrated. I was walking alone down that hall and I felt someone push me. I immediately turned and found out it was him. Instead of getting mad at him somehow he managed to put a smile on my face. I turned and I smiled and immediately screamed "TOAD!!!" and he started laughing and pinched my arm.
As the year flew by I often saw "Toad & Kah-ri-suh" together and I always smiled; something about their love just brought happiness to everyone. The year was going well so far, full of great friends and many different issues. I was single at the time and I felt happy. I would see Todd and Karissa walking together hand-in-hand, so joyful.
On April 21, 2008, I remember seeing Karissa sad, walking alone holding a teddy bear so close to her. I was late to class, and glancing I just thought they had gotten into an argument because they weren't together. I got to class and I kept thinking about it. Todd is not the type to let her walk alone, even if they were in an argument. He is not like some other guys. I didn't want to get bad thoughts in my head so I worked hard to concentrate on my work. When I got to 6th period, some people looked so sad. I was confused and didn't know what to do.
I was sitting in class when my teacher made an announcement that he had an email he needed to read to the class. I sat there as he started, "Dear Nimitz Family ... One of our beloved students at Nimitz High School, Todd Davis, passed away this morning." I stopped ... my heart sank so deep. I couldn't believe it, refused to believe it.. I couldn't move. I was frozen in my desk. Deep inside of me I was screaming so loud; the tears just rolled down automatically and I put my head down. The whole class began to cry. This couldn't possibly be the same Todd, it just couldn't. My mind immediately flashed back to this morning ... Karissa! No!! I had seeing her alone and that was the reason why. While I was so worried about my class, her heart was breaking into thousands of itsy-bitsy pieces, and I didn't even know.
I think I take my friends for granted, that's my mistake. I feel like the people around me are untouchable. I've learned that I'm so wrong. Live each day loving your friends; teach your enemies to love too.
I feel like this is a nightmare. At his funeral I couldn't stop crying, and I looked around as thousands of kids assisted. I looked up to the sky and knew that "Toad" was watching over us.
As sad as losing a friend is, life goes on. Of course, it's never the same, but I'm so happy I got to meet such a wonderful person. I wish I could heal Karissa's pain. The twinkle is her eyes has gone away. It's heartbreaking because she lost her soul mate, yet she gained an angel. A wonder angel named Todd Davis. Rest in peace. We love you and we miss you. I know that when I'm in a bad mood I can always count on Todd to make me smile, and then pinch my arm ...