I was starting my school work when the phone rang. I ran into my parent's room and dove onto the bed as I waited for the answering machine to get the phone call. I never answered the phone, but if it was someone I knew leaving the message on the machine, I would pick it up and talk to them.
"Tiffany, pick up, it's me."
Why was my brother calling? He was a Junior in High School. I picked up the phone. "Hey, what's wrong?"
"There's been a shooting at Santana."
"Call Mom and Dad and tell them what happened." Daniel continued. "Let them know I'm alright. I have to let someone else use the cell phone now."
"Okay." I was in shock as my brother hung up.
A shooting? At my brother's school? It didn't seem possible. I'd heard of shootings before, particularly Columbine, but I didn't think a shooting would happen in my hometown and local high school. I ran to the kitchen and looked at the numbers to find my dad's work number. I called him and let him know what had happened. My dad seemed to be in shock, and we only talked for a few minutes so I could call my mom.
I called my mom's school, and I was transferred to her classroom. One of the parent helpers picked up the phone. "Mrs. Hayden's room."
"It's Tiffany, is my mom there?" I went in frequently to help that year, so all the parents knew who I was.
"She's at recess."
"My brother's alright, but there was a shooting at his school."
After a few minutes, I hung up and waited. My mom called me back within what felt like seconds. She had me repeat the little information I knew, and she found out that the parents of students were meeting in the parking lot across from the school. She told me to call my dad back and tell him. She left school right then.
I called my dad back, and I told him where to go. After that, I did something which I never did. I turned the TV on and watched the news. The phone started ringing a lot, and tons of relatives and friends called to find out about my brother. At first I kept going to the answering machine, but soon I just picked up the phone.
One such phone call was my sister, who heard about the shooting while in her college class. I forgot to call her and tell her our brother was okay.
After my brother was finally allowed to leave the school, he quickly found my dad and aunt. My mom wasn't far behind. My dad and brother came home, and my mom went back to school. Dad, Daniel, and I continued to watch the news, and my sister came back home.
I asked about my brother's friends, and most of them were alright.
But then we got the phone call. One of my brother's good friends, Randy Gordon, had been killed on campus. In that moment, everything became a whole new level of real. We called my mom, and she immediately came home, forgetting about school.
March 5, 2001 was a Monday, and it was the day of the Santana shooting. One of my brother's friends was killed that day, and it is forever seared into my memory.