You think you know.

It was a day like any other. I got up, jogged, went to school, tried not to sleep in any of my classes, hung out at the office and finished some tasks. When I got home, I flopped on the bed and watched the news. That day had news you hear about any day. A death here, a kidnapping there, a political scandal uncovered, and the “we’re just friends” line given by generic-faced celebrities.

But there was one unusual story. It involved a death by arson and the adopted daughter was the prime suspect. It was the kind of thing you’d read in Agatha Christie’s novels or Sidney Sheldon’s, not the Inquirer or Star. Crimes like grand theft, embezzlement, fraud, and serial killing usually happen in bestseller lists. Pinoy crimes ranged from killing someone who doesn’t know who sang “Nobody But You” to beating each other to a bloody pulp arguing whether Kris Aquino is prettier than Imee Marcos.

What makes this crime interesting is that the suspect was a girl I went to high school with. I didn’t know her personally because she was two batches lower but our school was small so we pretty much knew each other, at least by face. She was the kind of girl who blends in the background and doesn’t make much of a splash. Because she was so forgettable, I had to dig out my old yearbook to check if it was the same girl. It was, but I was still surprised. She wasn’t pretty, but she looked innocent, angelic even. Granted, her photo was taken when she was in fifth grade but it wasn’t the kind of face that would harbor murderous tendencies. Then again, I doubt Jeffrey Dahmer was snarling in his yearbook picture.

It feels weird knowing someone convicted of a major crime. What made it even more interesting was that she didn’t look the part. She didn’t have the face that screamed killer. But who knows? People aren’t always what they seem. It’s like you think you know a person, and boom. She kills a person. Or boom. She has a baby. Or boom. She’s now a man. Human behavior is so fascinating, so contradictory that sometimes it’s downright scary.

In slasher flicks, the killer is usually the quiet one, the girl everyone ignores or the boy the jocks beat up. They’re the ones who stay in the corner, have no personalities and little to no friends. But when they snap, they really snap. Sometimes, they snap other people’s bodies in half. I’m not saying that all silent types are psychopaths, I’m saying people aren’t always what you expect. I know of a boy who doesn’t say much but has the hormones of a rabbit. There’s also the girl who looks like a snob but is actually friendly.

In our Psychological Testing class, we were asked to administer different kinds of tests to the class. Our group got the objective personality test and part of our grade is to score the test and profile each of our classmates. Because of my current fascination with the dark recesses of the inner mind, I made sure to get the answer sheets of the wallflowers. I bet at least one of them has psychopathic or at least unusual tendencies.

It’s the effeminate guy with the gorgeous girlfriend. The mousy girl with a fetish for whips and chains and the party boy who reads Stephen Hawking. In Psychology, I’ve learned not to judge people. I’ve learned that sometimes it’s the sweetest people who have the creepiest minds and the creepiest people who have the sweetest intentions. I think one of the beauties of human nature is its ability to contradict itself. To see beauty radiating out of an unattractive personality or seeing a Brady throw a bitch fit is what makes real life more interesting than TV. Kim Chiu can’t portray this kind of shit.


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