As I knew David

This was written by a school friend of Davids. Person wants to be anonymous so I have posted for person.

This is the first time I have ever written anything down about how I knew the Bain family. I have not done it for fame or for sympathy but just to get out my feelings, ones that are stirred up every time the case is mentioned on the media or elsewhere.

I am the same age as David and we were at the same high school – Bayfield. I was not a popular student and in fact was bullied horribly most of my time there. The teachers were more like friends to me and I used to live in the library when I wasn’t doing drama or singing. I was in the Madrigal Choir with David, and we were also in the ordinary choir and the Show productions. (We were in the Sound of Music together, he was Captain Von Trapp, I was Mother Abbess. I have the show on video. His mother cried during the Wedding scene. He sang Edelweiss so well, it used to be my favourite song, I can’t listen to it anymore. I couldn’t watch The Sound of Music for years afterwards because it reminded me too much.) We got along ok, he had his small, quiet group of nerdy friends and I had mine. When it came time for the Senior Formal I really wanted to go because it was going to be my last. David and I were talking one day at choir and decided since we both wanted to go we should to go together as friends. My friends paired up with his friends and we were all set. All the seniors had to have ballroom dancing lessons as part of the formal process and so of course David and I partnered up. I had never danced before but David could really dance and when we were partners I could too. Every time the teacher got someone to demonstrate it was us. David loved it, felt important; I on the other hand was highly embarrassed as I thought it was just another thing to be bullied over.

David decided that we should start hanging out in the weekends as well and initially that was ok with me, he was a friend. His dad drove us to the ice skating rink in Kaikorai Valley one Saturday afternoon. I couldn’t skate but once again David was really good at it and helped me skate. I had a fun afternoon. On the way back to his place in the car he said, “We should go swimming next, got to get you fit somehow” That really upset me, not that he knew or could tell. As someone that was bullied my whole life about being unfit and overweight (and I wasn’t but the kids knew it got to me so I ended up believing it), I really closed off to him after that. I couldn’t believe that someone who was supposed to be my friend, who was a bit of a geek and quiet like me could say something like that and believe it was an ok thing to say.  Back at his place I met his mother. They were a lovely family, very sweet and kind and very happy that I was there. They already knew my youngest sister as she was very good friends with Laniet and had stayed overnight there before. They invited me for tea, David was making lentils which so weren’t my thing, inwardly I was feeling really uncomfortable and hurt so rang my dad to come pick me up.

Every day after that David used to call me after school and want to talk for hours and hours. I wasn’t into that at all and didn’t really listen him on the phone and really didn’t want to hear from him, he was acting very controlling. I kept making excuses on the phone; it was really uncomfortable for me and felt wrong. My gut kept telling me it was bad and I was still hurt that he didn’t like me for me and just wanted to change me and mould me to what he wanted. It just reinforced how badly I already felt about myself and my body image.  I had to avoid him at school as well. Finally one day after about a week of him ringing every day, he asked what was wrong, why I was withdrawing.  I had to tell him in the kindest way that he was acting over the top, that I didn’t want him calling every day, that I didn’t want to be anything more than friends, that it was too much and I was feeling harassed. He went quiet and said that’s what Arawa had told him when he asked her advice. After that he completely ignored me. Didn’t talk to me at school, didn’t call me, complete and total pull away. For David it was all or nothing. There was no middle ground for him; I don’t think he really understood how to behave socially. The night of the formal all our friends  met up at the restaurant for dinner, they all got corsages and I didn’t because David didn’t know he was supposed to get me one, again no awareness of protocols. We barely spoke. Thank goodness I was with friends and not alone. We were nominated for best dancing couple and never even danced together; we didn’t even sit together except for the formal photos themselves. After the formal things went back to being strangers again. When the formal photos came out, the only ones that didn’t turn out so well were the ones with David and myself in them. They seemed overexposed compared to all the rest. I really wanted a photo because I did look really pretty. As soon as I got the photo home, mum cut David out of it. I only have the photo of me sitting in a chair with a ghostly hand on my shoulder. I remember Laniet saying at the time that it was because of David’s aura the photo didn’t turn out.

Laniet was such a sweet girl and one of my librarians. She used to give me birthday cards and presents all the time. I still have them.

The morning we found out about the tragedy before the media released their names I knew, I just knew deep inside that it was them and what he had done. At the time I was living in Somerville Street, just along from where Every Street branches off. For two weeks after that I had to sleep with the light and the TV on and sleep on the furthest side of the bed away from the door. Intellectually I knew that he wouldn’t come bursting in, but knowing he ran past my house that morning and what had happened terrified me emotionally. At the funeral when I noticed that all the speakers for the family were teachers from school and it seemed focused on that, and that he had controlled a lot of the funeral I began to think that he was obsessed with that period of his life and wondered if my rejection had anything to do with it. For a long time I wondered if I was to blame. Silly I know, but it was such a traumatic, grief stricken time for so many people I wasn’t really thinking straight.

I still don’t like talking about David and it’s been very difficult over the years for all of us that were friends with the family. Every time it is brought up in the media we feel that loss all over again. Generally when you lose a friend you grieve, you get over it, you think of them fondly over the years, but its not thrown in your face over and over and over again. I believe with all that I am that David is guilty; I have no doubt, never have.  I hate the way his father has been portrayed as a monster in the media as he was the total opposite. I hate that these bright beautiful children have had their futures taken from them and that they are no longer here to enrich our lives. I just want it all to go away. He does not deserve compensation; he does deserve to still be in jail.