dear little leonard

I haven’t known what to say the last 24 hours. I woke up yesterday morning to news that you had been found, but not in the way I last remembered you. A few of your teachers and I were speechless, wondering how something so horrifying could happen to someone so gentle and kind and bright as you.

Today is my birthday, but I had wished it wasn’t. I felt guilty. The days were just too close… while I felt obligated to celebrate my life, I grieved the loss of yours thinking about how scared you were, how hurt, how alone. Leonard, I’m so sorry. I’m furious and confused… why didn’t anyone help? why did they wait until it was too late? why you?

I don’t have any explanations. No understanding of the reasons. It makes me angry at the way life is. This beautiful, precious thing. Beaten, stolen, ignored, neglected. Found floating in the river.

You were only my student for a few days, but it didn’t take long for me and the other volunteers to agree that you were one of our favorites during Miss Ari’s camp. That soft voice of yours and that smile that spread so wide across your face, none of us could forget. None of us will and the world should know that that’s the kind of boy you were. The kind of boy you’ll always will be to those who knew you. You were loved.

I’ll be looking for your smile in the stars tonight, little Leonard.

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