Remembering My Friend Who Was Killed in the Pulse Nightclub Shooting
It was a mass shooting that hit extremely close to home for me, losing someone to the senseless hate crime of the Pulse nightclub shooting.
I remember where I was when I found out I lost my friend, Eddie Sotomayor. I was having brunch on a rooftop during a Pride event in Richmond, Virginia; his was the first name to be announced and my heart stopped for what felt 10 minutes.
I had literally talked to him days before. He and I had a past, a failed relationship that involved distance and lack of trust – mostly from my end.
He actually called me the Wednesday before. I didn't answer for some reason or another but he texted me and simply asked how I had been. He wanted to talk to me and tell me he sympathized with how I felt when we were dating. He was experiences trust issues with his partner at the time and said, "I now know how you felt when we were dating."
I responded with, "It's something I think we all feel at one point in our lives," and that he should surround himself with his friends when he feels that way.
I'm still regretting not hearing his voice one last time, but I swear sometimes I hear it when a new dance or EDM song comes out that I know he would love. We shared an intense passion for dance music. Clicking on the "See Friendship" button on Facebook, all you see is him and I sharing YouTube videos of dance songs that we love.
He actually came to the Fun 107 studio once when I was the host of Club 107, which was called the SuperMix at the time.
One of the last times I saw him was back in 2008. I was driving from New Bedford to Denver for my first real big-time radio gig. He hated that I was driving all that way by myself. So, even though he hated long car rides, he met me in Chicago and drove with me all the way to Denver. I swear it was during that drive that he and I created a bond I would never forget.
It's been four years to the day since we lost him. He truly left his mark on me, as he did with so many.
While we continue our fight against hate and the senseless crimes to which it leads, I'm reminded of what hate has taken away from me and know that only love can eradicate it.