In 4th grade, I swooned for the first time. I met a new boy in my school. He was from California and had the stereotypical beautiful light blond hair and big blue eyes. He was the first boy that I ever met with an earring. He was cute and charming. To all the girls in my class (in a small town), he was the coolest boy to walk through the schoolyard.
After I got over my swooning of that first year, we became friends. He was fun to talk to and laugh with.
We shared many classes together over the years. I was sad when he moved away, then pleased when he moved back. I knew him well. Or at least that is what I thought.
After graduation, he joined the armed forces. We lost touch.
I heard that he had gotten into a little trouble. I thought it was probably something minor (btw - it turned out that he had fled from the army). So, when we met again over facebook earlier this year, I did not even give the decision to add him as a friend a second thought. He lives across the country and he seemed to be getting his life on track again.
Today, I found out that the boy I knew was long gone. The man that he became is no one I knew or ever want to know. The facade I saw was just a charade. I found out that he was responsible for kidnapping, raping and strangling a 19-year-old girl to death.
It makes me literally sick to my stomach.
My head is full of thoughts - what in the world could possibly cause this man to do these inhuman things? Was it something that he saw while serving in the army that broke something inside of him? Could it have been prevented?
We are all one bad decision away from a life of devastation. I can never understand how some people make such drastic decisions - ones that will ruin a family forever.
All I can say now is that I hope that he can get the help that he desperately needs.