life in and around NYC is insane

Saturday, April 26, 2014

She could have been my daughter

Her selfie is all over the news today. Not a beauty queen, just an average 16 year old girl, with an ear-to-ear smile that draws you in.

The papers say she was a good kid. A member of the National Honor Society, former class president, manager of the swim team. She'd performed in the school talent show, was looking forward to the drama club's upcoming production.

She was excited about the junior prom. So excited, she was going with her new boyfriend. So excited, she posted photos of herself in her teal blue prom gown.

Instead . . .

There isn't much in the news about the boy. The more responsible journalists won't print his name because he's a juvenile. The trashier news media have identified him from local gossip. He was a nice kid, the class clown, he'd been friends with the girl all her life. Some say he carried a torch for her. He was enraged when he asked her to prom and she turned him down.

Yesterday morning at school, he pushed her down the stairs, choked her and stabbed her with a kitchen knife.

She died in the hospital just a short time later.

How could this happen? The boy had never been known to be violent. They were friends. Two lives ruined. Over a dance. A high school dance.

And her friends and classmates . . .they painted a boulder purple (her favorite color) with her name and date of birth.

And there they were, in their gowns and tuxes, gathered on the beach. They brought her prom gown to the beach, they held a memorial service. They released purple balloons.

I see the look in their eyes . . .i know that look. I saw it in my own daughters' eyes.

Not an act of violence, but a car accident. Not the prom, but Homecoming. The student council president. And a halftime that was silent as a tomb.

Traditionally, the student council officers and class presidents have reserved spots in the student parking lot. They can personalize the spot, paint it to reflect their own tastes. And that's where the memorial service was held.

Four years later, when the school administration finally painted over the spot, Becca cried,

My heart goes out to the family of the young lady who died. And to all the kids in her school, who are far too young to be dealing with this grief.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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