She moved into our rural community the year before we started 5th grade. She sat in front of me, every day in the morning as our teacher allowed us to go to our lockers to get a snack she and another girl would make me give mine to them. My mom often packed a fun sized candy bar for me, a valuable snack for an impoverished farming community. I really didn’t like her, but the other girl had been a friend until she came along. Together the two girls were increasingly difficult, I dreaded seeing them at school each day.
Word spread through the telephone tree. Later confirmed by the local paper. She had died. Shot by her brother as they argued while playing a card game in the dining room. When we returned to school Monday morning our teacher, Mr. Monfort looked like he’d been crying. He pulled her desk to the hall. Mrs. Martin, our school principal came in the room. They stood and talked. Mr. Monfort tugged the desk back in. I don’t recall any discussion, or support. Just the empty desk.
The visitation was held mid-week but my family decided to not have me attend. I remember feeling so sad. But also, so guilty for feeling relieved that the two mean girls were now only one.