In the picture I saw, he was sitting in a chair. It looked like hard cold chair. The color made think of oak but I can’t tell one type of wood from the other. Behind him was rows of benches. The same oak color. They seem guide him forward and contain him at the same. In the picture, his face was red and eyes where watery. I couldn’t tell if was due to his relief or his despair. All I remember about him was that is name was Oscar and that he was a para-athlete. He was sitting in that chair because he was accused of killing his girlfriend. What I remember hearing was that she was killed by silencer shooting through the wall she was behind. Maybe it was the door or it could have been both. I don’t know it has been a while. The sentencing was that he was guilty of something like accidently manslaughter or first degree murder.
It has been a while since I was reading about it. When he was charged as guilty of murder, I remember thinking that he got a pretty light sentence. I know if this happen back home, he would have been sentenced most likely for life. This was happening in South Africa. I don’t know how things work there. In the back of mind, I continued to wonder if it was because he is a famous athlete and celebrity in the country. That due to his fame he only got a sentencing of some years or months. I don’t remember the details.
Now he has popped back into my radar. Free from Jail. House Arrest. I wonder what his girlfriend would be thinking of it right now. I have to say that the only things that I know about her is that she was his girlfriend, what killed her and that she was blonde. I feel guilty about it. She has been invisible. A collection of disappearing fragments from reports. As Oscar thrived in the headlines and the story in my head, she was decaying. As the reports continued, bits and pieces of her faded. Oscar the protagonist seemed feed off her written word existence and we where then left with her remains in words. Only her gender, race, and relationship to Oscar remained. Like identifiers such as teeth from the corpse of a crime scene. The most minimal pieces needed to fill in gaps of information.
My guilt comes from my disappointment in not seeing her. Not recognizing her importance to this narrative. I am guilty of letting her slip through my fingers of mental processing. I don’t know if this is due to conditioning or because of the curated information I have received but I want that to change Reeva. I want to you know that I see you and that I am sorry for my part in letting you fall away. You deserve better. You are the protagonist of a tragedy, not just in your death but its aftermath. I know that many accounts like yours have fallen away due an ultimate narrative, but I hope that this will change. That many narratives can co-exist, ones that educate one another. That one day your story will join them.