News travels fast. Sometimes slow. On a day like today it can feel like you wish news couldn't travel at all.

She was doomed. I always knew that. She used to lay out in traffic, can you imagine? She cut it too close sometimes. I was bumped by a car trying to stop in time just as I was trying to pull her out of the road.

She was doomed. I always knew that.

I have been trying to write a novel since early 2007. She was in it of course, she had to be because in my mind she had come to be something more than a small girl. In the novel I knew she was doomed but I wanted the magician to save her.

I have been writing the last chapter for almost a decade trying to save her.

But I couldn't.

I found out today that a little over a year ago she was murdered. That's a long time on one hand or super quick if you consider that we were children the last time I saw her.

A decade to know with final certainty that I can at last finish the book, to finally understand that I cannot save her.

I looked for her a few years ago online, couldn't find her but I found her brother. I thought about contacting him to see if he would let her know I was looking for her. I never did, maybe because it seemed stupid to ask that of somebody who once threatened to kill me because he saw me kiss her. Or maybe because the very real possibility that I didn't even rate being remembered was a little too much to bare.

I decided I would wait, until the novel was done, so that I could send her a copy. There's a lesson for you.

I loved her. I did. Not an adult love. But by now I like to think I know enough about love that nobody should second guess me on that just because we were young. It was a small love, immature, a flower that would and could never turn to fruit, but it was love.

At a time when I needed every reason not to be home, she was one of those people who always asked me to come over or out. Even if I mattered little to her, I still owed her a thank you for that. Along with a handful of other people she spared my hide and kept me from being as terrible as I could have been.

I went back to her brother's Facebook today, after finding out the news, and like a ghoul scrolled all the way back to find what I desperately needed to see and knew I would find there: pictures of her as an adult, happy, smiling. And like a ghoul still I stole them.

I scrolled back through my own activity wondering if I had by chance written something profound on the day she died. Of course not. It's just me arguing politics endlessly. Maybe there is a profundity to that in the end.

I looked at my art page, hoping maybe I had done something there. No. But there was this written about her a little less than a month before she was killed in almost the same manner I wanted to save her from in the novel:

'Why is she beautiful?

There are certain facts to consider: The glorious symmetries of genetics which account for the contours you'd seek to touch with your words as well as the ones you'd seek to touch with your hands.

But that is mere beauty. Vulgar beauty.

I have a ghoul's eye, can see the shape of her loss, and tremble at the love which returns to the world through that wound as surely and eternally as the cicada's song.'

She was doomed. I wanted to.pretend it could be another way, but my art knew the truth it seems.

Good bye Angel. If I had been the great magician you thought I was, perhaps I could have saved you.

Thank you for saving me.

Brian Shaughnessy