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I was… a friend of Ross Alameddine

I knew Ross because he and my older brother, Peter, were best friends since they were six years old. Ross was always a part of my life; he was really a part of the family. He even jokingly and affectionately called my mother “mom thing,” and we dubbed Peter and Ross “son one” and “son two.”

I was sixteen and living at home in Massachusetts when Ross died. The morning of April 16th, my mother told me there had been a shooting at Virginia Tech and that no one had heard from Ross since the shooting. She went to Ross’s house to be with his mother, Lynnette. I kept calling my mother, hoping there would be good news—there never was. I spent all day desperately checking AIM hoping Ross would come back from being idle on instant messenger—he never did.

I didn’t know what to do. I sat on our couch holding my brother while we both sobbed.

As the day wore on without any word from Ross, I began to lose hope. Peter, then twenty years old, drove home from college to be around family. We just sat and continued to wait and worry. About thirteen hours after the shooting, Lynnette finally got a call with the news about Ross. Shortly after that, someone from Lynnette’s house called us to let us know that Ross was dead.

I didn’t know what to do. I sat on our couch holding my brother while we both sobbed.

While we were sitting there, they announced on the nightly news that Ross was one of the victims. It felt so foreign to hear his name on TV. To them it was just a news story, but to myself and my family, it was one of the most tragic and personal things that could ever happen.

Ross will always be like family, and we will always miss our “son two.”