2 years and two days ago, I had never shot a gun. I didn't want to touch a gun. I didn't want guns in the house, didn't want guns in my life. No, no, no. No guns. No. I didn't like guns. A textbook case of hoplophobia, that was me.
Mike spent a long time talking me into going to the range. I almost chickened out. I remember sitting on the couch, so afraid that I was near tears, saying, "No. I can't. I just can't, I don't want to..."
"Just try it once. It'll be okay, nothing bad will happen, I promise," Mike said patiently, clearly not understanding why I was so upset. To him, it was just a gun, no big deal.
Me, I was freaking out inside, alarms going off full tilt in my head. "Gun! Oh no! Gun! Scaryscaryscary!" Looking back on it now, I realize that my reaction was completely ridiculous and irrational - and I wouldn't be able to tell you exactly what it was that frightened me so much.
Mike held out his hand to me, saying, "Come on. Let's just go." And because I'm deeply infatuated with him and wanted him to like me, I put my hand in his, stood up and went.
I was silent in the car on the way to the range, shot 5 rounds from a Smith & Wesson model 642, and cried in the car on the way home.
But if I had known then how my life would change - the things I would learn, the inner strength I would find, and the amazing people I would meet - all because of that one simple act, I might have gone out and celebrated.