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Learning I Didn’t Need

Earlier this week on Twitter someone asked “Do you know anyone who was murdered?” I actually replied, saying “no” without thinking too much about it.

I first met {T}Z at a retreat way back in 2012. As part of the retreat the organizers had given us someone to “follow” and be able to boil them down to one word. You were supposed to keep it secret, but I was pretty sure within an hour I had caught {T}Z, who was presenting a class I was in, taking notes on me.

The theme of the retreat that year as “Putting the pieces together”. The organizer had a big children’s puzzle she had spray painted silver with each of our names on a puzzle piece. At the final meeting the organizer stood up and held the piece of the person she’d been observing and described the target of her observations in a sentence justifying the single word. She then wrote the word on the puzzle pieces flip side. Next, the person who the organizer had just described was asked to do the same.

When we were done, we put the pieces together and took a photo. I look at the photo today and the pieces that made up us include things like ‘terrior’ and ‘competent’.

It also includes ‘loving’.

On the reverse side of the ‘loving’ puzzle piece is my name. To this day it sits in plain view in my office.

When {T}Z said she had been assigned to me, I burst out with “bitch, I knew”. She then described watching everything I did that weekend and the every single thing was done with love, so her word for me was ‘loving’.

The next year I was on staff for the retreat. The year after that I was the only returning staff. When I assembled it {T}Z was my first pick. Three years after that she succeeded me and retired as head staff after last year’s retreat.

In late March she left a very odd Facebook message, defriended most of us, and disappeared. A search began and soon people noticed her roommate was selling her stuff, including very personal items such as matching rings she shared with her late husband. Two days ago the police searched the home and arrested the roommate for fraudulent credit card use ({T}Z’s cards), theft of household property, and several other crimes.

Today the officially stated she is a person of interest in the disappearance of {T}Z.

The case has already made the round of amateur detective groups on the net. I fear I will see my friend’s story on some cable channel and learn first hand how divorced the shows are from reality.

I have lost people to untimely deaths due to disease and accidents. I have never lost one to malice.

But this, this is even worse than malice. This is losing a friend to someone’s greed, so shallow as to think aiding in the death and disappearance of an average women with average wealth is worth what she can recover in cash.

I miss my friend and I am not nearly as angry at the roommate as I thought I’d be. I’m more stunned at how uncaring her actions, to {T}Z, to {T}Z’s family, to her closest friends, and even to me are.

This is part of life I did not need to learn.

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