Generally, there are few regrets that I have in my life.
This particular one stands out the most.
As I was in the process of moving things from my old wallet to my new one a few weeks ago, I stop at one picture and take a lengthy glance at it.
This particular picture is of my friend Aundria Richardson, who passed away on Oct. 11, 2007 at 18 years old.
Sadly, I remember that night vividly when I got a MySpace message from a person she was going out with saying that something was wrong and that she was in the hospital.
I planned to visit her during our fall break at ULM on the next day, but it was too late as she passed away.
Gone was a friendship that lasted four years, beginning on a school bus. A friendship that also could have been much more.
This particular loss hits me hard from time to time, especially on her birthday (March 19) and Oct. 11, because I really loved her and she legitimately loved me.
Although the mutual interest didn’t really take off when I was at Byrd, it was when I was a freshman at ULM that it got its legs.
I added her on MySpace, then we’d talk, etc…
As with everything, the talks got more and more in-depth. You know, she’s feeling me as a person and more than a friend and vice versa.
As she was set to graduate from Byrd in 2007, I wanted her to come to ULM. Badly.
I felt that if she did, we’d be together forever and that I would forget about a person that I was pursuing who initially liked me because of a friend, but tailed off due to my great personality.
Sadly, she had to be home schooled for her final semester at Byrd due to health reasons and those same reasons scrapped her plans of going to ULM – settling for LSU of Shreveport so she could be in close proximity with her family.
Despite this, she really wanted to go out with me.
Sadly, I balked at it, despite knowing deep down inside, I liked her.
I guess my logic at the time was to not give up on the girl I was trying to go out with ULM because I would see her eight months out of a year, then to go after my friend despite seeing her four months.
In the aftermath, the one at ULM shot me down twice – first by saying I didn’t try hard enough and later by saying I tried too hard.
I’ve often wondered what would have happened if I went with my brain – and really, my heart – and went out with Aundria. Even to this day.
Would she still be alive and would we be together?
Would it have worked, thus putting the friendship in limbo?
Or would the same thing have happened,? Leaving me distraught and not wanting to date for a longer period of time.
The answer to those questions are not simple, but I do know she cared.
Weeks prior, my roommate and I were visiting his grandparents in Mississippi and we nearly went into the Mississippi River because the fresh rain made his tires slick.
After getting on MySpace and telling Aundria about what happened, she was sad and said that she didn’t want me to die and told me she loved me.
That was my last conversation with her.
Gone were the playful memories of us telling each other to “shut up”, etc…
All that are left are memories such as seeing her graduate from Byrd in my last face-to-face encounter with her and her message to me in my senior yearbook in 2005: “Hey! Wuz ↑? I will miss you so much. You are a great person, don’t ever change. If you do, I will hunt you down.”
Staying true to those words, I’ve never changed unless it was for the better and ever since she passed away, I’ve kept her photo as a constant reminder that she’s always with me in spirit no matter where I go.
However, I still wish you were here physically because Primetime the Prince misses the Port City Princess.