(PRETORIA, South Africa) — Friends of model Reeva Steenkamp describe her relationship with Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius as seemingly healthy and normal, and they say that’s why it’s so hard for them to make sense of her Valentine’s Day gun death at Pistorius’ hands.
“We just want to believe that justice will be served,” said Gina Myers, Steenkamp’s friend and roommate. “And we trust it. We trust and we have faith in the fact the truth will come out.”
Pistorius, a double amputee known as the “Blade Runner” because of the carbon fiber prosthetics he runs on, has admitted shooting Steenkamp repeatedly through a bathroom door during the early morning hours of Feb. 14. He reportedly has told investigators he thought Steenkamp was an intruder in his home. Prosecutors have charged him with premeditated murder.
Regardless of the circumstances of Steenkamp’s death, she is gone — and Myers told ABC News she hasn’t been able to change a thing in her friend’s room at the house they shared with Myers’ parents.
“Even when we were in rooms next door to each other,” Myers said, growing emotional, “she’d still send me messages saying …’Goodnight my G, I love you.'”
“She was just always happy and smiling and always just, and the most … amazing outlook on life,” she added, pausing as her eyes watered up. “There was not one day ever that she complained about anything. It doesn’t matter what’s going on inside of her head and heart, she was always just happy.”
Myers noted Steenkamp planned to give a talk to high school girls about abusive relationships the day she died because “she had been in an abusive relationship that she had experienced.”
“I think it was just like Reeva to want to help people,” she said.
“This was something that she could try and voice because she had experienced it,” she said, putting her hand to her chest. “Whatever it is. And it was something she believed in.”
However, Myers did not see anything amiss in Steenkamp’s relationship with Pistorius.
“As far as I knew, she was happy,” Myers said. “There are problems in every relationship. It happens to everybody. Anything else we’re not aware of. We don’t really talk about it.”
Sitting next to Myers, Daren Fresco, who said he was a close friend of Steenkamp’s, seemed to echo Myers’ thoughts on the Pistorius-Steenkamp relationship.
“Every relationship has its ups and downs,” he said. “You find me one that doesn’t and I’ll tell you it’s not a proper relationship.”
“What’s done is done,” he said of the shooting and the legal process playing out in its wake. “It can never be undone. Now we just wait.”
Kevin Lerena, who described himself as a friend of both Pistorius and Steenkamp, painted their relationship in more glowing terms.
“If Oscar was to ask her to get married she would have said yes,” he said. “That’s how happy and joyful their relationship was. That’s why, to us, it’s such a shock. Because after what’s happened, it’s really a freak or tragic accident.”
Lerena said he thought Pistorius did not have a particularly bad temper.
“No, not at all,” he said. “We’re all guys. We’ve all got testosterone and there’s certain people that aggravate you — certain guys that aggravate and irritate you that you do lose your temper with. But Oscar on a whole? No, not at all. He has a very…humble person — very quiet…to himself.”
He, too, is torn apart by Steenkamp’s death at Pistorius’ hands.
“It’s very hard because we’ve got a friend who’s hurting for what’s happened and we’ve got a friend that’s passed on,” he said. “So our group of friends, and not just our group of friends but the whole community of South Africa is hurting, you know? Nobody knows what happened, what transpired. That’s where there’s this whole huge investigation. At the end of the day, a lady has died and that’s the hard part. An innocent girl has passed on. It’s heartbreaking, you know?”
“It’s still hard to realize,” he said. “It was just two weeks ago I was speaking to both of them, and now one is gone and one’s in a whole lot of trouble.”
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