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“I wish I could talk to him,” I said.

“Aren’t you afraid he’d hurt you?” my mom asked. That thought hadn’t occurred to me.

Though the sun always smiles in California, it spares us little heartache. Three months later, I was at my sister’s house with my 11-year-old niece when the report came on the TV that Andrew had been found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. My thoughts were on Mary Ann. Did she know yet? Would she find out from a news report?

Then I thought of Annie. I found her on the front porch, where she’d gone to avoid the news. Tears were threatening to overflow. “Was Andrew nice to you?” I asked. Her blond head nodded while she bit her lips to keep the dam from breaking. Thank you, Andrew, for not hurting my nieces.

The last time I saw Mary Ann, she was covered up in an old coat and sunglasses with a scarf tied under her chin. It was a hearty spring day that didn’t require a coat, and she dipped a hankie and washed her hands in a fountain at the Mercado shopping plaza. It takes a tremendous amount of faith to be Mary Ann Cunanan. I wish her a happy mother’s day.

Andrew Cunanan was the 449th person to make the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitive list, but the first from San Diego to do so, according to en.wikipedia.org.

[Note: This story was posted on the Rancho Bernardo neighborhood blogs on the Reader website on May 9, 2009.]

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