(A photo of Andrew given to me by one of his friends, Mallory Gill. It’s cropped, but in it he’s next to Millsaps’ Gandhi statue.)
I don’t know what to say. This is not like any entry I have ever written, nor is it one I ever thought I’d write. But I’m going to.
My good friend, Andrew Thomas, died last week. I found out on Friday the 17th, right after my Physics class. We had gone looking for him the night before, since no one had seen him since Sunday. The last time I had spoken with him was Monday night, late – our phone call kept cutting, so he sent me a text saying whatever it was he was going to tell me wasn’t that important. It probably wasn’t, but I will never know. I wish I could.
I didn’t know Andrew for all that long, if you look it realistically – less than a year, most likely. But last year we lived right next to each other, and it wasn’t until Devon forced an encounter (to put it in simplest terms) that we became friends. We all studied for Chemistry together, and Andrew was incredibly helpful in the production of the Millsaps version of Trouble in Paradise, where he helped in the writing process (and was a Zombie).
(Andrew was an incredibly private person. Most pictures of him I took were deleted, whether or not he said I could keep it. Thus, this is the only picture I have of the two of us – pretending to be asleep after the completion of a prank.)
We were hall mates again this year. Andrew took Organic Chem over the summer and was supposed to help Devon and I study for the tests, all the while laughing that we were suffering through it. He wanted to be a doctor, probably more than I want to.
Andrew was incredibly intelligent, a fact that everyone who knew him was aware of. His ability to explain complex ideas in the simplest of terms was unrivaled – the last time I saw him, Sunday the 12th, he helped me understand some Organic Chemistry. This guy did mathematics proofs on his whiteboard, and was excited about a Number Theory class, something so beyond me I tried not to look at his book while it was open.
(Andrew asked if I could take a picture of a proof he had been working on and and send it to him so he could continue it later. Maybe it makes sense to you?)
We pulled pranks together. He planned to start a Culinary club this year. He was taking 20 hours of classes this semester and seemed to enjoy it all.
He helped keep me grounded, and is one of the few people that would be completely honest with me; brutally honest if necessary. It made his compliments that much more powerful and his criticism that much more important.
I wish that all of you could have met him. My friend with three first names was a frequent commenter on this blog, a hall mate, a member of many clubs I was in, and most importantly, a dear friend. Though he is gone, I know I will never forget him.
There are things we’ll never get to do, friend. The promised chess game, a Pokemon card game, making our own “Great Board Game Project”, dinner theater, finishing Arrested Development, and so many other things. But you know what? I’m glad we did what we did. I apologize for all of the times I annoyed you – but I take solace in the fact that you still hung out with us. I clearly wasn’t too annoying. There will never be enough words to describe you, nor enough time. I hope this is, at least, adequate.
Thank you, Andrew, for the memories. Thank you for everything.