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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Manuscript (04/29/10)

TITLE: The Bridge of Submission
By Rikki Akeo
05/05/10


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Who says men shouldn't attend baby showers? Certainly Luke didn't get the memo because his sarcastically funny self showed up, obnoxious as ever.

"Dang, girl. What happened?" He was referring to my [teensy] weight gain in-between our irregular visits. "It's good. It's all good.

Luke stood greater than six feet tall, and by all appearances, he would not be one to cross. I think that made our rare talks most invaluable. Ever see a big bear cry? I have. It was through my baby brother.

"Oh yea, Luke. Get this. Your name is all over the internet. You've been up to a lot of no good!"

"Really?"

"Gotcha."

I noticed that he actually had a glimmer about him that emanated through his continuous interrogation following my little joke.

"Hey. I'm planning our first family reunion. We all need to connect more often. It'll be sometime in June."

That was Luke. Always finding ways to pull the family together although the ends never seemed to meet. His bashes always included a barbecue that he oversaw, fitting as he relished being master of ceremonies. In fact, a great majority of my photos are of him with a spatula or tongs, standing beside the pit.

He stayed for the length of our niece's baby shower, then left with his wife and six-year-old daughter.
___

I answered the phone at 6am, eight days following the baby shower to hear our older sister sobbing uncontrollably.

"Luke...Dead...Accident".

Dear God. He was only twenty-seven.

Being Hawaiian descent, mourners were told that family members would wear white instead of traditional black. On that day, hundreds attended, adorned with hibiscus necklaces and clothed in white. It appeared that everyone considered themselves family to Luke. Indeed, the ends had finally met.

I went home and Googled his name. There were fragmented reports of his accident. That was all that was found in my search. Eventually, his obituary surfaced. Hardly a momentous occasion. It was the obituary that almost didn't happen since the draft was difficult to prepare. Who could possibly consider details in such a time as this? I checked my Myspace, searching for his name, to no avail-- not on my watch. I created an email in his name and established for him a Myspace so that his memory could live on. All his photos standing by the barbecue pit were uploaded. His legacy would live on through the memories each person would post. I designed his Myspace according to his interests. His desires. When I was satisfied, I hit 'Submit'.
___

Our niece had her baby. She named her after Uncle Luke. Occasionally, I run his name on Google. His Myspace returns- along with articles from that dreadful day.

...and now...even now...as I write of his memory...I hit 'submit'.
___

Rest in Peace, Luke.
Sunrise September 13 1978 to Sunset April 30 2006.


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Beth LaBuff 05/07/10
Oh, so heart-breaking and a reminder that we are not guaranteed tomorrow. It sounds like your memories of Luke are wonderful. Very good work here.