He squeezed her hand tightly as they walked hand in hand down the seawall on Ocean Road in Narragansett, RI. Matt Finnegan Jr (AKA Finn) looked out over the Atlantic ocean wondering how we would ever be able to explain to his parents that he wasn’t going to walk in his graduation ceremony on Saturday. As they approached the door to the Coast Guard House, a swanky oceanfront restaurant, Sarah Cohen looked reassuringly at her long time boyfriend as if to say everything will be OK, but she knew that wouldn’t be the case.
I guess it’s time to face the music” said Finn as he slowly pulled opened the massive gold inlaid oak door leading to the foyer of the restaurant, hoping his family would be late.
It was only four days ago that Finn and the class of 15’ had been living it up on a party boat in Narragansett Bay, one last booze cruise to cap off his four years at the University of RI. And what a four years they were.
A star baseball player who had a shot to be drafted, Finn was a big man on campus so to speak. That all changed on a cold April day game against UMASS when he blew out his knee. Finn played catcher threw right handed and was a switch hitter. The tragic injury occurred during a collision at home plate and sent his life spiraling out of control. More booze more girls, and less school that is until he met Sarah. He’d found something in her that gave him passion and drive again. He wasn’t able to put his finger on hit but to paraphrase Jerry McGuire, she completed him.
As they reached the restaurant, Sarah stopped him with a stern look. “Maybe we should wait to tell them, I mean you saw something out there, something that you made you jump, do you know what or who it was?”
“It looked like body, floating face down, so I told Riggs to yell man overboard, grabbed a life ring and jumped in” said Finn.
Riggs, was Finn’s roommate and best friend since they were paired together freshman year in Coddington, a dorm tower dorm in what was affectionately referred to as the ghetto. They were both on the baseball team, both in the same fraternity, and dated roommates from the same house too. They both focused on business degrees in finance with dreams of working on Wall Street, almost as if they were twins sharing the same brain. They were inseparable.
“By the time I got there, there was nothing. I swam down about fifteen feet but the water was so murky I couldn’t see a thing.” said Finn.
As they opened the door, his family arrived at the restaurant and Finn was swarmed with hugs from his sisters; Jamie, who was 3 years older and now lived in Boston’s Back Bay working as a graphic designer for a marketing agency; Maggie, 1 and half years older who was in her last year of dental school at Tufts University; and Shea, 2 years younger and also attending the University of RI and studying pharmacy.