A couple weeks ago Mr. T sent me two cans of Mace in the mail, completely unbidden. I always meant to buy some for myself while I was attending evening classes at Sac State but I never got around to it as my friends and I made certain the parking lot trek was a joint venture. Something about me being at the largest (by populace) university in the country must have lit a fire under T and I really appreciate his thoughtful surprise package.
It irked me a bit though. I’ve mulled over a cranky blog entry, indignant about even needing to worry about pepper spray. It’s not fair, I thought. Why should a woman (or anyone) need to worry about being accosted in the parking lot? How sad that this is a real, valid concern for me and others… we shouldn’t have to be afraid…
And then my sister called from Brooklyn. In her blunt Brenda way, she said “I love you, are you being safe?” I laughed, wondering at the sudden concern for my welfare until she told me that she was friends with Annie Le, a 24-year old doctoral student at Yale who’d just disappeared a few days ago before her upcoming wedding. It turns out that Brenda and Annie both went to Union Mines High School in Placerville. Annie was the valedictorian. She and B had lunch together often. The story already hit close to home–I’m a 20-something doctoral student who is getting married soon. That my baby sister knew her made it all too real. I prayed she would turn up safe and sound.
I kept up with the story, even holding out hope she might turn up alive, despite the finding of bloody clothing in the building she was last seen entering. I’m devastated that today, on what should have been Annie’s wedding day, police have discovered a body that is probably her, stuffed into the wall of her lab building.
Why? Why such a senseless waste of life?
Stories like this never cease to boggle me. It’s simply not fair. Why should a young woman, a promising future doctor set to marry the love of her life have to die in such a cruel and callous way? Why should anyone be treated in such an inhuman manner? As I’ve asked the same questions about the senseless deaths of dearest family friends, I realize I have no answers. I just know that I will be clutching my Mace and praying that I don’t become another victim, too.
Until we get a better world, I will continue to pray for the Le family and the Pogacars and all those people who’ve had their loved ones taken away by cruelty.