Step by step, I approached my fellow peers in the hopes of friendly banter and companionship to help relax from a long day’s work. But just a couple steps away, my friend caught my eye and made a gesture that suggested I avoid the group and go no further. Instead, I pushed forward, determined to find out what had happened.
My mouth dropped in disbelief as I listened to a story on what my two good friends, Chris Birdsall and Cody Nicosia, had allegedly done. They were arrested and are now being charged for the murder of Birdsall’s step-aunt, Barbara Latiolais.
I realize now that I went through an initial feeling of shock, the body’s natural way of coping with sudden changes. My mind hummed and suddenly everything I heard around me turned into an utterly frustrating crowd of gossip; I just ached for some sense of truth.
However, after staring at a computer screen for hours, reading Facebook posts, scanning different articles, and watching various news reports, the realization left a dull ache in the pit of my chest. The Chris and Cody that I knew were not these hideous monsters portrayed in the media, but supportive and caring friends who took the time to lend a listening ear to troubled souls.
Upon hearing the news, several close friends cried, many chattered incessantly, and some remained silent, but all together created an air of solemnity and mourning. Personally knowing both boys, I couldn’t fathom why they could commit something like this, and I understand how hard it must be on their loved ones. My sympathy goes to them as well as Latiolais and her loved ones.
This made me realize just how frail and mortal human lives were, how easily (and morally wrong) it is to take another’s life. One simply does not have the right to take away another’s right to live. Although I was not a victim, I may never feel the familiar trust and friendship I had once laid upon them. If anything, anybody could be a victim, and it’s something we must learn from and carry on.
Chris was somebody who showed genuine concern for those around him, taking the time to comfort or listen to one’s troubles in a time of need. Cody was a friendly, laid-back guy who was good company, and overall had good character. This was how I remembered them — and how I will continue to remember them — but a taint stains their images and ultimately serves as a reminder to be cautious of those around me.
As social creatures, we confide in others who will sympathize with us to soothe the flares of emotion that rise from the stress of traumatic events, and sometimes this is the best way to cope. With time, things heal. People start to gradually fall back into rhythm, and memories start to fade. But one question I can never seem to get off my mind is: “Why?”