MONTREAL – Montreal police are investigating the city’s 28th homicide of the year after a man was found shot to death at about 8 p.m. Thursday outside an apartment building in the city’s Little Burgundy district.
The man, 21, was found laying dead on the ground, near the corner of Des Seigneurs and St. Jacques Sts., after neighbours called 911 to report gunshots.
Police say the victim was known to them.
His name is Orlando. He died last night, I was told he was shot three times in the head.
I didn't know him enough to tell you if he liked his eggs sunny side up or scrambled, or if he rather drink Pepsi or Coca Cola. I couldn't even tell you if he was a Scorpio or a Libra, if his favorite color was blue or black. I met him when I was sixteen, I was in love with his close friend S.; they looked like brothers, I joked with S. that they probably shared the same father. Both their daddies weren't around much, they were both spawns of the stereotypical inner city household; single mother, a stack of unpaid bills, half sisters and half brothers.
The next time I heard about Orlando was a couple years later. S. and I had broken up but we kept in touch, wavering in and out of each other's lives. S. told me Orlando was back in Juvie, he robbed the same corner store twice, didn't bother putting a mask and ran all the way home(down the street). The Police picked him up a little later. I remember laughing, telling the story to everyone who knew him. I remember thinking how stupid it was, sticking up the same place twice. When the story telling ended, I realized Orlando did it on purpose, he had been in and out of Juvie for some time, I had heard his house wasn't a home. I guess he felt like he belonged there; being locked out was better than being free.
It's funny how I started writing this post, thinking I'd run out of things to say quickly. I didn't know him, he was a stranger, yet I do have some anecdotes...
Orlando was good looking; he looked like a blend of Asian and Black, he had long hair, he was tall. He had a crush on Malaika; when she was going back to Trinidad he told her she could hide out in his closet. He must have been 17 back then, Malaika always said he was a sweet guy, just so damn confused. When I dated R., we bumped into Orlando and his friends at the metro station. R. greeted them, before we continued on our way, Orlando gave me a smile and told R. 'Hold on to her, she's a good girl.' It was genuine and it made R. proud.
Tonight, S. called me with news of Orlando's death. He couldn't believe it, he said he had spoken to Orlando a couple weeks ago. "Did he have any babies?" I asked, although I knew the answer. "Yeah, he's got a baby in the states, and another here. Orlando was good with women, he kept on trading one girl for the next. Who knows how many babies he had?" I paused, bit my lip and got angry for a second. The circle continues, some more fatherless children.
"A lot of people will talk about the bad experiences, but I'm going to remember the good times. Orlando just wanted attention, you know how he was, man, all he ever wanted was some attention..."
Orlando had a lot of faults, his reputation preceded him. But I chose to remember him as the15 year old boy I met, my then lover's body double. Back then, we didn't know who we would become; the future seemed endless. I hope that the After life offers Orlando what this Earth never could.
God of faithfulness, in Your wisdom You have called Your servant Orlando out of this world; release him from the bonds of sin, and welcome him into Your Presence, so the he may enjoy eternal light and peace and be raised up in glory with all Your saints. Amen.