I debated whether to post this, but it’s been on my mind for 24 hours, which warrants it. I recently got in touch with an old friend from high school via the internet and he gave me some news…
It’s old news at this point, as this happened September 28, 2001. A friend of mine from high school, who I used to carpool to school with, married his girlfriend sometime after high school (interestingly, my father carpooled with his father to work). I knew him and his girlfriend really well and, as a group, we hung out often. He was a geniunely nice guy and about as happy-go-lucky as you can get.
Four years into marriage, she left him. At 7am on Sept 28, 2001, he went to her parents’ house and, in front of her father, shot and killed her and then himself. She was 31, he was 32. I am still in shock over this…. I’ve been thinking about them since I found out about it. I went back through many high school memories with him. I remember one repetitive event the most: he used to come to my locker after school almost every day and ask “Hey man, get a ride?” in his shy way, even though he knew I always gave him a ride home. I’d just laugh everytime and say “yes” (of course, with some witty comment;) and he’d say “Cool, man” and reach for his can of Copenhagen as he looked around for school administration (tobacco was illegal at our school) – he was getting ready to chew some Copenhagen as soon as we get out of the building and he wanted to be sure everyone knew it. He wasn’t that cool, he was trying to be cool. He was just kind of a goof, but so harmless.
I think back to innocent times like that and realize I was standing next to a future murderer. Then I think about her and realize I talked to and joked with a future murder victim. I just wish I knew what would happen and could have done something to prevent it. I hope I never understand what kinds of things went through his mind to bring him to that end. I’m very sad about it, but I’m also damn thankful that I have a great life and (hopefully) many years more to live.