As much as they think they know it all, teenagers are just learning all there is to know about life. That includes what it means to really, really care about someone. Fifteen-year-old Emily Lalinsky was convinced that 37-year-old Robert Messer was the "love of her life." Messer, who has been a friend of Lalinksy's family for years now, and Lalinsky disappeared this past Sunday, leaving behind a note expressing their love for each other worrying both of their families. Police confirm today that the missing couple has been found safe and they were transported to separate hospitals to be treated for self-inflicted wounds.
One has to ask -- how close were Messer and Lalinsky before they fled together, and how could Lalinksy's mother Lisa Schwartz not be concerned? Schwartz told a local news outlet that since her daughter doesn't have a father-figure in her life, she entrusted that role to her friend.
A family friend she trusted. Now, a family friend who manipulated her daughter.
Schwartz told a local news outlet:
With me having so many kids I could not just take her and do things with her. So he was like "I’ll take her to Ann Arbor, I’ll take her to Botanical Gardens."
Even so, this is never something Emily's mother could have saw coming. All this mother wanted was for her daughter to have that father figure. Because she didn't know of Messer's potential ulterior motives, she was probably thankful to have him take her to do the things she wanted.
But Emily and Robert's running away together, I can only imagine it felt like betrayal. I can only imagine how scary it is to think of your young daughter being taken advantage of because she didn't know any better. The most heartbreaking part for Schwartz? The "goodbye" letter by her daughter:
Try not to be sad and don't blame yourself. Nothing could be done, I love you.
Love. If only Emily Lalinsky knew that someone who truly loves you would never EVER make you leave your family at age 15. Someone who loves you wouldn't want you to piss away your future.
Would you be surprised if Emily's mother blames herself for this?
Image via Tokyo Space Club/Corbis