3:15am July 2, 2003

Sandra Lynn is dead.

She's been gone for over 3 hours (it is now around 3am) and the world as I know it is breaking into little pieces. But this is hardly the place to start... so we'll back up to 9am, Tuesday.

Life seemed blissful...serene, almost... awaking to the sun peering gently through Shaun's linen curtains. I vaguely recalled the night before.. time spent with a certain someone, and a ride to Shaun's house to do the dessert thing. My friendship with Shaun is nothing short of eccentric; every so often we get together around midnight and eat Tiramisu, or Creme Broulee, or Brownies, or Cheesecake... and sometimes when it's really necessary, we'll share ice cream. We do this as a well exercised habit. I am his counselor, and he counsels me also. Life's problems seem so much simpler when shared with a fellow human, hugs, a couch, and dessert.

As usual, just as I was getting dressed, Shaun's phone rang. It was 10am now, a female friend wanted to meet him for breakfast. Shaun never says 'no' at 10am. Apologizing profusely, he dropped me off downtown, left to my own devices. I went to work, and as I leaned into the day, it unfolded in every typical way.

Brain-dead and tired, I watched the sun set to allow my mind to relax, wander, escape. 9pm found me with a friend, a fellow geek, a current inspiration.

Midnight and I was on my way home... only, I didn't make it that far. Chris said he needed me, it was important, if I had a moment to stop by. His tone of voice... I felt earthquakes.

A little later, we're sitting on his bed, facing each other. He touched my hand, and I know it was just to feel assured I am alive and not a dream. Looking into his eyes I felt a pain I wasn't ready for.

"My eleven year old daughter died two hours ago."

Sandra Lynn is dead.

The story unfolds in whispers, his tears on my face, and shoulder. I am always here for you, my friend.

Sandra lived in Germany. She had recently needed surgery for brain tumors, but she was fine until tonight. Sandra was raped and beaten, 16 broken bones.. two brain tumors ...she died from hemorraging and internally bleeding to death. She wasn't found for an hour after the rape.

Chris is one of the strongest people I know, well placed within society, I always considered him a pillar of strength. Every ounce of his emotions peeled away and puddled into tears on my shoulder, I know grief, and I know him. It's going to be a long one....

Deadened and motionless in shock, I hugged him for hours until morning. I'm still sad to I know I will leave him for work in a few hours, praying that when I return to check on him later, he has not drowned within himself and lost grip on reality..