I have not been very active this week on the Internet. I have not kept up on forums or Facebook as I usually do, I have not created or participated in writing prompts for a few days, and I have not played any chess. Why? Well, that’s simply complicated.
On Monday, a good friend and Jeep club acquaintance of mine was found naked in his apartment with a four-year-old girl that wasn’t his. She was naked, as well, and yelling out of his window for help. Her dad finally broke the door down and saved her, sparing my friend’s life in an unimaginable show of self-restraint. I didn’t then, and do not now, know how to process this information.
This man had been to my house on several occasions, and I to his. Hell, I even helped the guy move. We have put countless miles behind us on four-wheel drive trails together, and shared a campfire more than a few times. Now my wife and I get to be the people we sometimes see interviewed on TV who say, “I never saw this coming!” We didn’t.
This guy was outwardly a good guy. He laughed a lot, he was always ready to drink a beer with ya’ and he had a family. His views in general were very similar to mine and we always hit it off and had a great time whenever we hung out.
And then he hurt a four-year-old. This news could not have been more left-field and unexpected. It’s on the same level as if someone had told me the moon was overcome by Earth’s gravity and would collide with us in two weeks. I can’t even comprehend it, much less process it.
He has affected a lot of people with his actions. That little girl will never be the same, her family will never be the same, and his Jeep club has turned on him like a rabid dog. My wife and I are just completely stunned and depressed over it. She has been crying, I cannot seem to concentrate or feel driven to do much of anything. This man was our friend, and welcome in our home any time.
And now his life is over, too. Never again will he have an enjoyable shower, or celebrate a birthday with a few Budweisers and good friends. He’ll never drive an off-road trail again, he’ll never walk into a store again, he’ll never sleep comfortably again. All that may not matter in the long run; people accused of these type crimes tend not to last long behind bars.
And for what? For one decision that will haunt droves of people for the rest of their lives, myself included. One decision that changed everyone even remotely involved. One decision that hurt more people than he ever would have imagined.
I have been following the case as closely as possible. He is charged with five counts, ranging from kidnapping to, well, worse things. The little girl was hurt. If convicted of everything, he’s looking at three life sentences. Even if he somehow manages to plea out and reduce some of the charges, he’ll die in prison sooner or later.
What’s the point of this entry? I guess there isn’t one, really. It has been on my mind constantly and so I thought I would share here. But I implore all you parents out there to please, please watch your kids closely. They cannot defend themselves and they are so trusting. Be very careful with them. This is really scary shit.