A Letter from Aurora

“All the other kids/ with the pumped up kicks/ you better run/ better run/ outrun my gun!/ All the other kids/ with the pumped up kicks/ you better run/ better run/ faster than my bullets!”

I love Foster the People. That track entitled, “Pumped Up Kicks” is by far my favorite in their début album, Torches. They make music like they’re infecting your DNA. You just can’t escape from tapping your feet and bobbing your head when it plays. I can’t, even though I don’t know what it means. I want to be a musician someday, just like them. There’s another reason I’m playing my favorite song in my iPhone. Why, it’s my birthday. I’m now officially sweet sixteen. As a gift, my parents allowed me to watch the last full show of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Century 16. It happens to be the première night. Any minute from now, my friends will come. Can’t wait.

While waiting, I stuck around the living room and came across the film, “We Need to Talk About Kevin” on TV. I wasn’t able to begin it, but the remaining scenes showed an adolescent shooting random kids with his bow and arrow in a school gym he locked. How they ran and screamed. I think he’s a psycho. Another scene showed policemen and medics outside, as well as people crying, waiting for the shindig to end.

That incident isn’t new to me at all. In fact, school and mass killings/shootings date all the way from the 1700s here in United States. Four Lenape American Indians invaded a schoolhouse somewhere, present-day Pennsylvania, shot and killed the head of the school along with nine or ten children. More of these would occur like the James Foster New York incident, University of Texas Tower shootout, Columbine High School and Virginia Tech massacres and so on, painting a bleeding sky in American history. They say bullying and depression are to be blamed. Why, such has ballooned globally be it in Canada, Australia, Germany, Russia with as high as 385 casualties, and China with 15 children and their teachers stabbed and another 28 in less than a month. I don’t know who can do such a thing. Maybe it’s because we sell guns like lollipops in candy stores and sit through violence like comedy sitcoms.

I have seen people shoot each other in my Xbox and Playstation, but I had the slightest clue how it would look like in reality. Yes, I play those bloodbath games such as Assassin’s Creed, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Tomb Raider, Max Payne, and Call of Duty. I heard kids from the Philippines play games more than they study. I can’t really blame them. I mean, kids as we are, we like games. We like coinages like “first blood,” “megakill,” “mindfuck,” and so on.

But, this was no game. This was real. I didn’t know what ruckus dying brought. I thought it was quick, painless, easy… But here I am now, a victim, lying on the floor with pain in my blood-soaked white dress. I can’t move and I feel cold. I see a man shoot people up north inside the theater. Some are running, their screams deafening my now fading hearing. Some are dead bodies outstretched on the carpet, sprawled on the seats; their eyes too shocked, too scared to close. I don’t recall much, but I thought the smoke was part of the movie’s special effects. The last thing I remember was, I was clapping along with the rest of the audience, before the mad man unleashed his madness.

Maybe after all of this is through, you will ask, “What goes inside the minds of these criminals?” “What’s the use of gun bans, laws about firearms?” “How do we prevent such anarchy?” “How can we cease this routine?”

Will it ever stop?

I thought death only came to collect the wicked in eerie, scary places, but I was wrong. Even the safest places on earth devour the innocent.

Have you prayed enough today? Have you thanked for your life enough today? Have you lived enough today? Sigh, I want to sleep. It’s quiet and I’m really tired, now. I think I just foreshadowed my dream. I was praying that this tragedy does not happen to you. I was praying this never happened at all.

Love, Aurora.

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