Below the status update box where she would be announcing her own death were dozens of pictures of the girl, he chose instead of her. Ashely was her name. They found her dismembered body just hours ago. They said it may take time to tell what he had done to her and what was the work of rats.
Of course like the others, she had been beautiful and the handpicked memories being shared with a world that was for the moment completely enamored with her emphasized that fact. The quotes taken from those who knew her grieved the horrible loss of a “passionate, optimistic, and dedicated person. The public who mourned for her by proxy were indignant someone could mutilate the statuesque ballerina in the black shoulderless prom gown. It was an image Elizabeth could never compete with.
At 19 years Elizabeth was between adolescence and adulthood when the so-called “bar girl slayer” began his murder spree only blocks for Elizabeth’s apartment. The perpetually lonely girl was instantly convinced the hand of fate had drawn him to her. She knew in her heart of hearts she was the one he was looking for.
Ashley had disappeared two nights from a trendy dive bar called Lips. The fact a serial killer was stalking the enclaves of the hip most likely between the ages of 22-30 and almost certainly a handsome and charming fellow did little to temper the neighborhood’s vibrant if somewhat rambunctious nightlife scene.
Elizabeth waited by herself at the end of the bar occasionally looking up from her sketchbook anxiously awaiting him to approach her. She was there until last call, and again she went home alone and disappointed. The next morning she read about Ashey’s disappearance. She had last been seen as it turned out at Lips.
Now her worse fears had been confirmed. He had been there, and undoubtedly had seen Elizabeth, and decided to pass over her for someone else. It was more than her delicate heart could bear.
Elizabeth’s life was built around her infatuation with the faceless stranger. It was all held together by a vision of an impossible future where she would be the one to rehabilitate him. The lonely girl believed they were kindred souls and that with her unconditional love he would be relieved of his violent impulses. Now that naive hope was shattered, and she realized her loneliness was a permanent condition. One from which she would never find any relief.
Nothing in the age of social media is private, and Elizabeth’s decision to end her existence would be no exception. Her suicide note was to be an open letter to all 337 friends and acquaintances on Facebook. This would be the first and only time they all noticed her. She tapped the post button and quickly closed her laptop and turned off her phone.
She rested her head on her folded arms and waited for pills dissolving in her stomach to carry her off into a beautiful eternal slumber.