ALBANY, GA (WALB) - "Some days are worse than others and I'll wake up and think it's still not real," Rachel Harrod recalled as she thinks about what has happened in the last two weeks.
21-year-old Harrod was the girlfriend of Americus Police Officer Nicholas Smarr, who was killed in the line of duty less than two weeks ago.
It was a typical Wednesday for Rachel and Nick. He dropped her off at her place before heading to work early in the morning.
"He was like well I know you are about to go to sleep so just text me when you wake up and I'll come over and sit with you while you get ready for work," recalled Harrod. "So I woke up and texted him and told him I was awake and he didn't text me back."
And he wouldn't text her back. Little did she know he was on the call that put the university she attended on lock down. But even knowing that he was shot, Harrod was in denial.
"On the way to the hospital we found out the other officer was Jody and I was like they are fine, they are strong, I know they had on their vests," said Harrod.
Harrod said she never had any fears about dating a police officer. Smarr was a Marine Reservist. She said that frightened her the most.
"I was always scared that something was going to happen and he was going to get shipped off somewhere," said Harrod.
She says even today she can't believe it happened in Americus.
It's the same city where they met, the same one where he gave her this ring and the same city where they shared many memories, including their first kiss, which she can remember like it was yesterday.
"He was like okay goodnight I hope you have fun. And he grabbed my face on either side and I mean I felt like I was floating," said Harrod with a big smile.
Now that moment replays in her head a lot. As she goes through the stages of grief she thinks about how incredible Smarr was and how he died not thinking about himself, but saving his friend.
"I mean he's always been so selfless anyway. It's amazing. I would have liked to think I would have done the same thing but I don't think so," said Harrod.
Now all she can think about are the good times they had and what she misses the most.
"His laugh and his voice and just being around him. That's what I miss the most," said Harrod.
Rachel says the community support has been incredible.
She said Nick would be proud looking down on everything his city has done in the wake of his death.
A memorial race is in the works to honor Officer Smarr and Officer Jody Smith.
The three day event will be a benefit race and proceeds will go to the families of both officers.
It's scheduled for January 27 through the 29.
It will be held in Albany at the Chehaw RC Raceway.
You can sign up for the race at the Officer Jody Smith & Officer Nicholas Smarr Memorial Race page.