To the 13 Year Old Boy Who Shot His 17 Year Old Lover at the Mall (Notes on a Murder-Suicide)

This piece was originally published here and is being re-published in The Manila Survival Guide with minor edits.

It was with a peculiar, and perhaps less than noble, fixation that I read about your crime.  A crime which was extraordinarily morbid, and sensational.  And I gathered the following details: You were thirteen years old. You stole a .22 caliber pistol.  You wrote a suicide letter; short, but it got the message across.  You went to SM City Mall, Pampanga.  You met your seventeen year old lover in front of the Astrovision store in the mall’s Building 3.  You shot him in the head.  The bullet lodged in his brain and left him brain dead.  You then turned the gun on yourself and pulled the trigger.

And then there are the things I imagine:  How you walked up to him, angry and hurt; how you made a speech, hoping that he would understand; how he rejected you; how you pulled a gun, and felt some small bit of satisfaction at the fear that suddenly came into your lover’s eyes; how you shot him in the head; how he bled, and bled, and kept on bleeding; how you realized that he was going to die for real; how you kept on repeating that you didn’t mean for any of this to happen; how you realized what a lie those words were; how, in your heart, you knew you meant it; how you didn’t want to die; how you felt you had you no choice; how cold, metallic and uncaring the gun felt in your hand; how thoughts of dying felt better than the idea that you would go through life without him; how you pointed the gun at yourself and pulled the trigger; how you didn’t realize that there would be so much blood. That you would have so much blood. As if the flow of blood would never end. A river of blood.

How you lay on the floor gasping, waiting for the darkness to consume you. Hoping that in death you could be together. Frightened of the possibility that you won’t.

Then a moment of silence. Perhaps stubborn righteousness. Perhaps regret.

How you died.

And then a call to two sets of parents unmindful of the strange, compelling drama that has just claimed the lives of their two sons.  How they did not understand.  How they wailed and cried and mourned.  How they railed against anyone they could blame: the mall security, God, the world.  How they wanted to have their sons back, questioning how the world can continue going on. How the world remains unchanged and unconcerned.

How they blamed themselves. How they blamed themselves. How they blamed themselves.

How their lives are never the same again.  How they died, in their own way. How there are more victims to this story than those dead.

Featured photo taken by Olivier Bruchez, “Murder (Suicide?)“.

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