Henry was a man of routine. Every morning without fail, he would get up without hitting snooze once; something he prided himself on. He would brush his teeth, get dressed, and then go prepare himself a cup of coffee. Once it was ready, he would read the morning newspaper front to back while drinking his coffee. Once he read the paper, he would get up, meticulously clean his mug, grab his suitcase, and leave for work.
Henry was also a rational and pragmatic man.He was not a man predisposed to ponderings, speculations, and whimsies and could not be bothered with maudlin sentimentality. He saw the world in black and white; there were better things to do with his time that to waste time thinking too deeply about current events.
So Henry was quite surprised at himself one morning when he sat down with his coffee to read the local news and found himself lost in thought. He had heard about the murders of the two high school students the night before their graduation at his workout class the other week. He had stayed out of the conversation as everyone discussed the case and contemplating why the two young men lost their lives. What use was it thinking about it? He couldn't do anything to bring these two lives back so what's the point of talking about it? Simply put, while he felt bad for everyone involved, it was none of his concern as to the whys and hows let alone to concern himself with the emotions of the case.
A week later. he read, the case was still unsolved and no one knew why.
"Mr. Goodale, the county spokesman, had no updates about the investigation, but he did indicate that everything is still in play."
Henry found himself wondering "what's everything?" That alone was a shocking thought to him. Usually he would have ignored such a line but he was intruiged. He put his paper down and leaned back in his chair lost in his imagination.
What were they doing out late at night the night before graduation? What were they doing that they were not close to home; the neighborhood that they were found in was districted to another local high school and not their own? Who were they with? Who was out to get these two young boys in the prime of their lives?
His first thought was drugs. He had read several weeks before about about another crime in which a man robbed someone for drugs and shoes and then was stabbed to death later that night. What if these two boys were tangled up in a drug deal gone wrong whether buying or selling? Somehow that didn't sit right with him though.
He shook his head.
Maybe gang related? No, he reasoned, one of the gangs would have already claimed responsibility.
It couldn't have been them attending a party; someone would have spoken up about having seen them at party before now.
Could it be a hate crime? Henry hated to think it could be living in such a liberal, diverse county, in a city seen as not just one of the most diverse in the state but in the nation. He had to admit though, one of the victims was Muslim, it wasn't farfetched. How could anyone though kill someone simply based on their beliefs? He could not begin to understand that level of hatred.
He sipped his coffee; by now his coffee was cold and he was already running late to work but on this morning, Henry was captivated by his thoughts, too busy to pay attention to the passing time.
What if this was a love story gone wrong? He frowned and examined his thinking.
What if they were two young men in love? Henry saw nothing wrong with that...but wait...what if someone did find something wrong with that? What if they wanted to be alone (which, he rationalized would be why they were nowhere near their neighborhood late at night) and someone followed them and waited for the right moment to take their shot?
Or what if it was a tragic Romeo and Juliet situation; a well crafted murder suicide where the two could not be together due to their families' beliefs?
He thought back to the conversation at the workout class. Someone had pointed out that the young men had no enemies and seemed to be well-liked. But what if that wasn't the case after all and they were lured there by an enemy, an ex girlfriend, an angry family member?
His phone beeped at him, letting him know that a work email was coming through. Henry glanced at the time, finally processing how late he was to work. This was not like him at all, he thought, as he jumped up, leaving his mug on the table without a care, and rushed out the door.
As Henry drove to work, still lost in thought, he realized that his heart hurt for the families dealing with their loss. He hoped that somehow the police would solve the crime and there would be some answer for the families and the community.
This week's LJ Idol topic was current events in which we had to find a current event in our area and write about it. One of the biggest things going on right now here is the unsolved murders of two 18 year old young men who were found dead in a car the night before their high school graduation. I have spent way too much time lost in thought (as has my Bootcamp class) wondering why this happened so when this topic came up, I wanted to find a way to use this story for my writing because it's on my mind. I hope the police are able to get a lead and soon and help the families and the community to begin to heal.
The article where I quoted Goodale
If you're interested, this is the case Henry refers to when he thinks about the man stabbed to death after robbing someone.
And last but not least, Henry points out that this is is a liberal county and he lives in one of the most diverse cities in the nation. According to Wallethub, Germantown, MD (where the young men are from) is the 9th most diverse city in the country. The city that borders Germantown, Gaithersburg, is the 7th most diverse, and Silver Spring, where I grew up where the stabbing case happened, is the 5th most diverse in the nation.
RIP Shadi Adi Najjar and Artem Ziberov.