Sophomore year of high school Devin, Jon and I sat in the back of Mr. Michael’s Algebra class. Mind you, Mr. Michael was a little off ccrraazzzyyyy. We were fairly certain that his water bottle contained vodka and not water… we also witnessed, almost weekly, him flip out and grab a desk and turn it over. It was hilarious.
Needless to say, the three of us found our spot in the back left hand corner of the room. We would constantly compete to try to get the best scores on our math tests. It was a strange thing as none of us liked the class, but we all thrived on competition and therefore did well in the class… although we were constantly in trouble for talking.
Devin was on the football team and the baseball team (though I believe he quit the baseball team before his senior year and stuck with football). Jon was on the baseball team (Varsity for three years). Sophomore year was Jon’s first year on the Varsity team and he was on cloud nine. We all thought that he would for sure go pro. We believed that Michael Okwo and Devn would become pro football players (Mike is now with the Colts) and that Jon would become a pro baseball player.
One day in class I said, “You’re so not going to go pro-” clearly I was just looking to pick a fight with him that day. He responded definitively stating, “I’ll bet you anything I’m going Pro.” After starting at about a billion dollars, we agreed on $20. Jon had said, “Listen, I don’t care if you’re a homeless prostitute, when I see you begging on the street I’m going to kick the $20 out of you.” We laughed and created different stories of how we were going to strip one another of $20. Secretly I was hoping that one day I’d get to run up to the dug out from the stands of Dodger stadium and pass him $20 through the fence.
I watched the draft intensely in both 2007 and 2008. When the final list was published in the paper I was crushed to not see his name. B said that he could have been grabbed by the minors and that his name would not have shown up (I was then explained the whole minor process). I talked with a couple of friends who said they believed he was not picked up. I didn’t have the heart to text him and ask… though I stalked his facebook constantly and saw no sign of a career.
A couple of months ago I saw Jon at a friend’s house. As soon as I went to give him a hug he reached for his wallet. I let out a sincere “NoooooooOO!!” Almost as a “Say it ‘aint so!” He reached into his wallet and pulled out a 20 dollar bill and handed it to me. I threw my hands up in protest and refused to take it (mind you, this was 7 years after we had made that bet). He then said, “Heather, I was serious. I honestly would have kicked it out of you.” We laughed and I finally contested and took the 20 (I late used it to buy him and I a drink).
Since then we’ve become friends again and I swore I’d set him up with a good girl. He is SUCH a good guy. I wish so much that I didn’t have that $20. I wish that I had it to hold over his head to get from him. The latest news that I have gotten is that they induced him in a coma to keep his brain from swelling. Get well Jonny! We love you and our prayers are with you for a recovery.
On another note… I hope the drunk driver that hit them has the weight of three bodies on his shoulder. I have so much disgust for him. You can read the terrible story here.
UPDATE: Jon had an internal decapitation. You can read about that here. He’s lucky to be alive… and has already made it onto Wikipedia! I seriously believe he’s going to pull away from all of this and have the most amazing story to tell!
UPDATE 4/13: Jon is blinking to yes and no questions. He has serious brain stem injury… we’re all just praying we get our Jon back. His personality is so vibrant and he’s so incredibly loveable… I just want him to be Jon. KEEP PRAYING PLEASE!!!