The reason so many songs get written about love, particularly young love, is simple. It’s wonderful. It’s magical. It’s what we all want. To fall head over heels, to love with abandon. Even the most bitter and cynical among us can’t help but make a subconscious cute cooing sound when confronted with a couple in the full throws of puppy love. It’s hard wired into our DNA. So when that love is ended, not by a broken heart but something far more sinister, it seems as if the natural order of the world is askew.
The horror of what happened to 19-year-old Mollie Judith Olgin and 18-year-old Mary Kristene Chapa in a park in a small Texas town over the weekend is just now setting in. The couple, who friends said had been together for five months, were doing what young couples often do. Hanging out together at a park on a Saturday night. I’ve done that. You’ve done that. Find a romantic spot and snuggle with your girl. When I see a couple, particularly a young couple, doing just that that automatic awww sound can’t help but slip out. Awww, young love.
But for someone last Saturday night the presence of two teen girls in love didn’t bring up those warm, puppy feelings. They brought about sinister, angry, hateful feelings. Just being in love brought about this horrible, horrible fate. Both girls marched out to the tall grass and shot execution style in the head and left to die in the dark. One dead, another clinging to life. Police won’t confirm it was a hate crime or they were targeted for their sexual orientation yet. But it’s hard to imagine another reason. It’s even harder, of course, to imagine why any two people’s happiness might elicit this evil.
In my corner of the world it was Pride over last weekend. I was surrounded by thousands and thousands of people, all happy and proud. Some in love. Others looking for love. All just being themselves. All letting everyone else be themselves. Which is how it should be. But then, we remember, we remember when something horrible happens that some people don’t think we should be allowed to be ourselves. Some people think our love should be destroyed. Some people think our very existence is an aberration. And this, this is why we will never stop fighting. Yesterday vigils took place for the girls across the country and in that very park. Because hate should never defeat love. We should all be able to sit in a park on a Saturday night with the person we love and be happy. It’s the simplest thing. It’s why songs are written. Have a happy and safe weekend, all.