Saturday, September 29, 2012

Christian and Alex

Don't give off too much personal information on the internet is a rule that deserves to be broken right now. He went to my school.

The plan was not to make a post about this. I feel like in the wake of Christian's disappearance, everyone at the school has been struggling not to turn this around into their own tragedy. Making a blog entry about it would just be disrespectful, for I didn't know Christian that well and people go missing every day. Yet it feels like I should document it. Should write it all down from the way I saw it.

On Monday morning, as I got off the bus, I stole a glance at one of the girls who sat towards the very front. Her phone was open to a news page with the picture of a boy or man (I couldn't see) against a blue background. I figured she was reading about a fugitive or something.

In the front of the school there were vans moving around. Channel something something news.

In the cafeteria, my classmates told me of the news. It still hadn't sunk in, and I just rolled my eyes at their idiotic comments about Pandora's Box and shit happens and everything's possible. I feel like telling them he's a human being in a terrible situation, not some stand in for their pathetic philosophical musings, but I'm not really angry. I'm annoyed because it's just another piece of information floating around. Ren and I have to worry about AP Environmental.

In first period my teacher is missing. He went up state to be in the search parties. They're looking for him. At this stage, I hear about the attacker. Pedro Bravo is being questioned, but he's made threats against his own life. No charges.

I'm getting all these little pieces of information throughout the day. There's a debate meeting right after school, but the teacher needs to go to a presentation. They're going to talk about Christian.

On the wall of last year's graduates, people are pining post it notes underneath his frame that say, "come back safe." As the days pass, the picture is overcrowded with notes. Every time I pass by, I try to scan the wall for Pedro's picture. I can't tell if it never was there or if they took it down.

Tuesday and Wednesday we hear more about the crime. No blood at the scene, but Pedro bought a shovel and duct tape a day or so prior to the disappearance  He's being charged with denying medical attention to Chris. I wonder why "attempted manslaughter" is not mentioned, but I don't understand the law system enough to make good judgement.

Twitter is exploding. #helpfindchris. Every two seconds there's a new tweet. At school there's a Jean Day (pay $2 to come in jeans), bake sales, concert, and candlelit ceremony either to honor Chris or to raise money. My mom gives me a check of $30 for the Aguilar family. They need money to send search parties up there. It's bad, the area is large and dangerous, there's crocodiles, and they're only allowed to search with police up to 5 p.m. 

Chris's father breaks down crying on television, but he's not going to give up. He says his son is still alive.

On Thursday and Friday my first period teacher makes us write letters to the family and the police and mayor. I write a long letter to the family, but I can't decide if it's right or not. I tell them that though I've never met them, I know that they love their son, and they always will, no matter what happens. And I'm certain Chris knows that too.

Friday, midday, I haven't done the required reading for AP English Language. After I squeeze it in while stuffing lettuce in my face the whole 30 minutes we have of lunch, I come back to class. My teacher has posted up a letter our principle sent. We crowd around the projector to read it, but I just want to scan it. Is there news about him? Did they find him? No. It's almost a page long, but it's pretty standard. Our principle is proud of those who are searching, but nothing's been found. I turn away pretty quickly. My teacher is silent for some time. She asks everyone about his brother, Alex. They talk about him, but I barely listen for I'm certain I've never met him. Then she says when he comes back to class, we shouldn't crowd around him, we shouldn't ask him questions. We need to be the class that helps him. I turn to ask a girl who sits behind me if Alex is really in our class. She doesn't seem fazed by the question, even though she nods and says, "Yes, he sits right there," and points at the empty desk not far from me--two seats over, on the row beside me. And then I remember. I know who Alex is.

Friday night I'm reading tweets again and my eyes are blurring out important words. I keep reading "body has been found," and I have to force myself to see it correctly. There's still hope. Why are my eyes rejecting it? Some girl, probably from my school, says God has a plan and always had a plan for Chris. I want to punch something.

Pedro is being charged with his murder, the tweets say. I wonder how exactly the death penalty works in Florida. My extent of knowledge about it only revolves around serial killers.

Right now, in the Starbucks I'm sitting in because my mom needed to come in for work with her classmates, there's pictures of him in the bulletin board. Missing from Gainesville, Florida, Christian Aguilar, #Helpfindchris.

Whenever I close my eyes, I start to imagine Christian, his present and his past, and maybe hints of his imminent future. I imagine the woods. Imagine stumbling around, going somewhere, completely disoriented. I imagine the fight with Pedro and the hour leading up to that moment. But I also imagine last year, his prom, his friends, everyday interactions with his teachers. Getting accepted to the University of Florida, and how happy he must have felt.

And ever since Friday I've started to imagine Alex too. I don't try to visualize his past, just his present. Hearing the news. Going up north. Searching every day. Has he lost hope yet? Will he read the letters we wrote? And I imagine his future a lot more clearly than Christian's. Going to school after the fact. Catching up with Dual Enrollment work. Feeling all the eyes around him. Will he be distant? Angry? I think he had a girlfriend, so, is he going to be able to speak to her? What will she say to him? I think he's going to know what we're all thinking. Or maybe he just won't give a fuck and the thought of others will never enter his mind.

I'll never approach him, we don't know each other at all, but now I can't stop thinking about the two of them.

I want them to be okay.
~Becky

P.S: I realize this post is all over the place. I just don't know how else to write about it all.
Also, I guess if anyone read this, here's a link to donate.

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