She seemed nice enough, my new roommate that I had been stuck with. Bubbly and outgoing. Pretty in a chunky, fresh clean faced girl next door way. Really, I was so NOT interested in sharing a room. I thought I was going to be lucky and escape the whole roommate ordeal when I moved into my new dorm. I had just switched out of a closet sized room that I shared, all of 1st semester, with a girl that was BEYOND polar opposite of me. Apparently though, having my own safe little haven wasn’t in my college deck of cards.
So, I had to make due.
Turned out, Kim was awesome. Her enthusiasm for life and laughter was contagious. She was a huge Dolly Parton fan and her dream was to sing at the Grand Ol’ Opry so she was training to be a country and western singer. And she could belt out those twangy country tunes with her strong voice which she entertained us with quite often.
We became very close, along with our suite-mate. The three of us hung out all the time. Hitting the Spaghetti Bender or Theo’s in Ypsilanti on Thursday nights, smoking AND inhaling, watching Breakfast Club and Bill and Ted over and over while yelling out the lines. Oh yeah, and doing our homework, but that kind of stuff we don’t like to talk about 😉
The year passed quickly. Soon it was time to say goodbye and go home for the summer. Laura and Kim were still going to room together that following fall. I was moving into an apartment off campus with some other girls, which was a BIG mistake but that is for another post.
I don’t remember if Kim went back to Eastern Michigan after the summer break. I only went back for a semester before I did something really stupid like…drop out.
All I remember is how cold it was. I was sitting on the living room floor with my friend Mark. We were watching television and from what I remember, we were playing War. A preview highlighting stories on the 11 o’clock news came on. One story was going to be of a local girl who had been murdered at a gas station in Redford. I froze.
I distinctly remember saying, out loud to Mark, that I hoped it wasn’t my roommate Kim.
Turns out, quite sickeningly, it was.
My friend and college roommate had been murdered while working the late shift at the same gas station she worked many weekends while in school. She would steal cartons of smokes to bring back for all of us. This very same gas station where, a couple of years earlier, a young girl had been violently gang raped in the bathroom.
It happened late at night. The murderer had been someone she had known because she had let, what I’m assuming was a man, into the locked gas station office.
A customer found her, half alive and bleeding in the parking lot. She died on the way to the hospital.
That was all I ever found out. My old college friends and I had our assumptions and our ideas about who did it. But, I never saw anything else on the news about it and have never turned up anything doing research on the internet.
But. I think about her often. I wonder sometimes if she would have lived out her dream and become the next Dolly Parton. It amazed and saddened me that someone could have hated such a kind, big hearted girl enough to stab her multiple times and leave her to die on the cold, hard concrete.
I don’t know why I felt the need to write about her. It was 20 years ago! Maybe to introduce you to my memory of her. Maybe to somehow, some way, let her know that I will always have fond memories of her. All I know is, this post took me days to write. Which is quite ironic considering my memories and feeling didn’t seem to translate all that well.
I just hope that someday soon, if they haven’t already caught the bastard that killed her, they do.