(photo from crisis-support.helium.com)
On October 12, 2002 Selena had gone out bowling with her friends and her boyfriend (he was also the father of her child who was 5 months old at the time). Friends who were with her said she was laughing and smiling. Selena and her boyfriend returned to his mom's house, but she would never get out of the car. He shot her in the head then turned the gun on himself.
I met Selena when I was in 7th grade during a track and field clinic. I got to know her freshman year of high school. We played on the freshmen basketball team and ran outdoor track together for four seasons. Senior year we were Co-Captains of the track team. She always found a way to make me laugh. I remember freshman year we were running outside and it was so cold. Despite the fact that I was lazy, I also had no desire to run in the cold. Selena made up a song "It's cold like the crack, but I keep on coming back". She would chant it over and over while we ran. That stupid little song made me laugh and kept me going.
Senior year she had this thing where she would respond "1-800..." to everything. For example, if you said something stupid she would say "1-800-NOT-FUNNY". In addition to making me laugh, she was good for getting me in trouble. We got sent home from Penn Relays Senior year and almost stripped of our Co-Captain titles. Oh Selena.... I never got to say goodbye or tell her how much I appreciated her friendship.
I'll never forget October 13th. I was in the car driving from grad school in NY to visit my sister in MD. I was running my mouth on the phone with a friend and my call waiting kept going off. It was seriously like 5 or 6 people from my hometown calling me back to back. I knew something was wrong. The next call that came in was Autumn, so I took the call. Her exact words "He shot Selena in the head. She's....." Then it was silent for what seemed like an eternity. Autumn broke into a cry. She never finished the sentence. When I got the call I was a few miles south of Wilkes-Barre, PA. I really don't remember driving the rest of the way to MD. I was on autopilot while fighting tears the entire ride.
After a few days with my sister in MD, I drove to NJ for the wake. I walked into the funeral home to where she was laying. Selena always wore her hair in a ponytail or bun, but they had her hair down to cover the bullet wounds. I remember saying through the cries "Selena would never wear her hair like that." Next to the casket was a collage of photos. There was one of us from basketball. That would be the last time I would ever lay eyes on my friend.
Ms V doesn't get too personal on this blog. However it is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and if my personal story saves a life then it's worth it. If you are being abused, know someone who is being abused or who is abusive, please contact the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence to get help. There information is below:
DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence
5 Thomas Circle, NW
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: (202) 299-1181