I met Frank years ago while playing League of Legends. We had a whole group of friends that raised hell and did crazy 'trolly' (not hurtful, just in game tactics that were not the way the game was intended to be played) things. He was younger than all of us but fit in fine with our 'out there' personalities. Frank was brought up in a household that was very close minded. He didn't trust any of us for a very long time to even tell us his first name. Though, in part, he didn't like his first name. Even after we knew his name we all called him Shang. He changed his alias multiple times, but I always called him Shang. We had ups and downs and even a time where he completely disappeared for months. I don't know if he needed space, needed a break from gaming, or what. But it was a dramatic falling out and sucked.
Once Eric and Brandon moved here we spent less time online and more time together. We played Magic: The Gathering and designer board games often which prevented us from playing League or other games we ended up playing over the years. This made it so we talked to Shang less. Then towards the end of the 2015 school year (maybe April?) Shang talked to me at great length about issues he was having at home. From his side of the story he had to go to the hospital to have his head stapled because his brother threw him through a glass door. Prior to this event we had brought up that he could move here and get a job if he worked well with kids, after he graduated high school. This event was the last straw for him. He did whatever he could to make it possible. Including telling his family that he was going to school in Maryland. Which made it so that his family helped him financially and with his truck. He drove from Tennesee to Maryland the weekend before Memorial Day in 2015.
His first week here was a huge transition for him. It was strange for him to be loved and accepted for who he was. It was strange for him to be able to be whoever he wanted to be and be a successful member of society. He quickly showed that he was willing to do anything and everything to get hours at my family's gym. He proved that he took initiative (which is hard to find in young people we hire these days). He proved that he was kind, compassionate, and an awesome person who was learning how to have internal personal relationships that weren't online. We of course had some crazy ups and downs, but communicated through all of it.
A month or two after he moved here, he turned left on a green light. I don't know how it is other places, but here you have to wait for oncoming traffic to stop. If you have a green arrow, you have right-of-way. I don't know if he didn't know that or wasn't paying attention. He hit another car and the cop wouldn't allow him to drive his car home because he didn't have valid insurance. I guess his dad sent him here on expired insurance... or gave him bad cards? I don't know. They towed his truck to the impound and he never bothered with it. I 'parented' him and asked him what he was planning to do with it and stuff like that. He just went to nap or something and I told him that's not how the real world works when problems arise. He of course was pissed at me for some duration of time. He then started biking to and from work (2-3miles). At first he was borrowing my bike. My bike is old, I probably got it when I was 13. The frame and tires are excellent, but I dunno about everything else. Something happen and the bike got messed up. I don't think it's his fault though. Just a maintenance issue.
He then bought a bike from Gio for $50. It worked fine and all but I guess he was a klutz? And sometimes the bike had issues with the chain. On multiple occasions he fell off the bike and got scraped up. My dad was concerned about him getting hurt and wanted to fix the bike. He did what he could.
My family has a secret santa every year which includes Brandon and Eric, and we included Frank as well. My dad picked Frank and decided to get him a bike. It was a really nice Trek that he found on craigslist.
3 days after Christmas he was riding his bike home from work. The rest of us were still working. Around 7:30 my dad heard on his first responder radio that a cyclist was hit at an intersection on the way to our house. He contacted the rest of us at work to see if he was still there. He wanted to make sure it wasn't him. Over the course of the next few hours we connected the dots and found it was him. Here is an excerpt from the book I have started:
Here is a photo and facebook post from December 31st, 3 days after he died.