On Friday, a friend of mine had been in an accident at school that caused him to have an aneurysm and go into a coma. He passed away on Wednesday at the ripe young age of 13. He would have been 14 in April. A talented visual artist and friend, my school mourned for our loss and pulled together a memorial for him. We all dressed in white in his honor and came to school with flowers.
When I showed up, no one knew where to put the gifts and flowers. So I went over to the stone steps of my school and set my pot of flowers down on the top step with the picture I drew for him. Others followed suit and soon the whole staircase was filled with photos, cards, drawings and flowers.
At lunch, hundreds flocked to the memorial all wearing white. I decided to go onto the platform looking out and everyone was just…staring at the stairs. Some were crying, others looked…sad. Like they were in pain. The kid was a huge Hunger Games fan. Was an active member of the HG club at school and a friend came up and suggested we do the three finger salute from the series. The salute is a sign of admiration and also used as a “goodbye” to a loved one in the District the main character Katnis is from. Going up in front of everyone, I said my request and showed how the solute was done. Hundreds to maybe a thousand hands rose up following my lead. People closed their eyes and looked up at the sky as though praying. I captured this moment that I know will haunt me forever.
Ajay, you were such a good friend and the sweetest little brotherly figure anyone could have. A star was gained in the sky and an angel was reunited with heaven. Your skills were beyond your years and I can’t believe you’re gone. I hope you saw what we did for you, because for someone so young, you captured the heart of thousands. And we can’t thank you enough.
Rest in peace Ajay Anderson