Picture of Elliot Rodger as a Child with Blond Hair
I was eager to re-bleach my hair to a fully blonde color, after the disastrous failure of my previous attempt. This time, Soumaya took me to the right salon, and they gave me a short haircut and bleached all of my hair blonde. When I looked at myself in the mirrior, I felt an intense level of satisfaction.
I went to James’s house soon after I acquired my new hair color, and the look of surprise on his face when he first saw me gave me a good laugh.
A couple of weeks later, my hair started to grow and my black hair would show at the roots, but the blend turned out to suit me well, and this would become my hairstyle for the next year.
Mother took me and my sister on a short vacation towards the end of the summer. We drove up the 101 Freeway to Ventura, where we stayed at the Holiday Inn (which has now been replaced by the Crowne Plaza). I found the hotel to be comfortable and luxurious. It was located right on the Ventura Promenade, a beautiful walkway along the beach that led to a long pier.
At this stage, I was very enthusiastic about my new interest in skateboarding, and I took my skateboard with me. I enjoyed practicing on my new skateboard all along the Ventura Promenade.
During this trip, mother took me to my first skatepark, which was called SkateStreet. It was humungous, and I was awed by all the towering ramps. I attended a beginner’s class, and the instructor taught me the basics of riding on these ramps. I was absolutely terrified at first, but by the end of the class, I was able to go up and down the smallest of them, and I had a blast.
When we got back to the hotel, we had a nice room-service dinner, and then the three of us watched the movie Finding Nemo on the hotel television. It was a lovely little trip.
Before Fifth grade started, I went with my father and Soumaya to a dinner party at their friend’s house. I forgot who these friends were, but it was a nice house in Beverly Hills. There were lots of guests, and I did what I usually did at such dinner parties… I sat around eating snacks and talked with my sister, sometimes going to father and to ask for a sip of wine.
During this party, I found myself having a conversation with father, Soumaya, and one of the party guests, a boisterous middle-aged man who I can’t recall the name of. Father and Soumaya were talking about how I just turned ten years old, and we discussed life and what the future had in store for me.
This man we were talking to… he patted me on the back and told me that I have a great life ahead of me. With a grin on his face, he told me that “in the next ten years, you’ll have a great time… a great time”. I had no idea what he meant by that. I wasn’t even thinking about my future at that point; I was living in the moment.
Now I know what he meant. Childhood is fun, but when a boy reaches puberty a whole new world opens up to him… a whole new world with new pleasures, such as sex and love. Other boys will experience this, but not me, it pains me to say. That is the basis of my tragic life. I will not have a great time in the next ten years. The pleasures of sex and love will be denied to me. Other boys will experience it, but not me. Instead, I will only experience misery, rejection, loneliness, and pain.
At that moment in time, I didn’t think much about this man’s comment. I don’t even remember who he was. But after those ten years have passed and I’ve experienced what I’ve experienced, I can’t help but think about that moment. If only I knew what was in store for me, right then and there.
It was time to begin Fifth Grade. It started out excellently. My teacher was named Mrs. Damart, and she would always be very kind to me.
For the first week of Fifth Grade, I was at mother’s house. I considered myself to be very “cool” by now. I had gotten better at skateboarding, I had blonde hair, and I dressed like a skateboarder. I felt great anticipation for what the cool kids would think of me once they saw my transformation.
To my disappointment, no one really cared. They were all in their own worlds. I don’t remember any kids showing recognition of my new “coolness”. Eventually, I was regarded differently than I was in Fourth grade, which I became content with. The cool kids talked to me more, and I started hanging out with them during recess and lunch.
When father’s week came, I felt frustrated because I didn’t have enough cool clothes there, and it took a while for me to get father to find the time to buy some for me. Mother always got me what I wanted, right when I wanted it. At mother’s house, all of my needs were met with excellent precision, whereas at father’s house, there would always be a time delay because father and Soumaya had less time for me, and paid less attention to me.
Shortly after my Fifth grade year began, my mother decided to move out of the Red House to a small house in Woodland Hills. This new house was located on Topanga Canyon Boulevard, near Dumetz street. Father’s house was just up the hill from there, so it was practically walking distance to father’s house.
I would miss the Red House, despite its smallness and the fact that I had to share a room with my sister. I had some very good times there. This new house was more convenient. It was still a two bedroom house, but one room was big enough to be split in two, and so by having a wall built in the middle, my sister and I each got our own room.
As I got better and better at skateboarding, my mother made an effort to take me to a skatepark every week. By now, skateboarding wasn’t just a sport I was doing to copy the cool kids. I was truly interested in the sport. I even had hopes and dreams of becoming a professional skateboarder. That became my life goal. I loved skateboarding so much. I pictured myself doing amazing tricks in front of a cheering crowd, just like I saw Tony Hawk do in some videos. I pictured the admiration on their faces, and it was awesome.
The skatepark my mother took me to was Northridge Skatepark, and she would take me there every Friday. Northridge Skatepark was an average-sized outdoor skatepark with fine wooden ramps. First, we would have dinner at the Northridge Mall, and then I would sign up for the 7pm to 10pm session at the skatepark. I usually went alone, but after a few weeks of going I made a few acquaintances there, and people knew me. This became a Friday tradition during mother’s week.
On the following Saturday, James usually came over for a sleepover. We would play Nintendo 64 games like Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and Donkey Kong late into the night, and then on Sunday morning mother would take us both to Skatelab, an indoor skatepark in Simi Valley. James had become really interested in skateboarding too, or so I believed. I was always better at it than him though, and I liked it that way.
This was the way every weekend went during mother’s week, and I had the time of my life.
I was so interested in skateboarding that I took my skateboard trick-or-treating for Halloween. My costume, of course, was myself as a skateboarder. We went to the Lemelson’s for a nice dinner and then set out to collect our candy. It was quite tricky to hold a bag full of candy while skateboarding, but I had fun. I remember some teenagers seeing me on my skateboard and saying “why didn’t I think of that”. Hah, that was gratifying.
For Christmas, my mother bought me the new Playstation 2. I had been wanting it for a long time, and when I unwrapped the present and saw the box, I felt so elated. Beforehand, the only video game console I played was the Nintendo 64 (and the Gameboy, if that counts). The Playstation 2 was much more advanced in graphics, and it amazed me.
When mother announced that I would have to share it with my sister Georgia and that I can’t keep it in my room, my excitement turned to indignation, and I threw quite a tantrum. After crying for a bit, I calmed down and settled to sharing it with Georgia. She wouldn’t be using it much anyways, I told myself.
Even after getting a Playstation 2, I still played my Nintendo 64 a lot because I loved the games I had for it, and I had an emotional attachment to it. The Nintendo 64 was the first video game console I played, and it would always have a special place in my heart.
One day during winter break at father’s house, father and Soumaya went out for a few hours and left me and my sister with Tracy. When they came back, they had a little puppy with them, and announced that it was our new pet. It was mainly a present for Georgia. Georgia had been desperately asking father for a pet puppy for the last year, but I didn’t think he would actually go through with it. I was so shocked that we now had a dog. I was always afraid of dogs when I was little, and I never imagined having one as a pet. The only pets I’ve had previously were my turtle and iguana, who both died within a year of acquiring them. Georgia was given the choice on what to name the puppy, and she named it Lucky. I thought this was a very lame and stupid name.
When I returned to school after the winter break, I noticed that all the cool kids had another interest: Hacky sacking. It was a simple sport consisting of kicking a bean-sack into the air as many times as you can without it landing on the floor. They all had hacky sacks, and they would spend recess and lunch kicking them with each other, since skateboarding wasn’t allowed on school grounds. I didn’t have a hacky sack, and I decided that I needed to do something about that. Mother took me to the store Pac Sun where I got a hacky sack with an orange and green design. When we got home from the mall, I started practicing. I remember struggling with it first, but I spent the next few afternoons concentrating on getting good at it. I spent many hours well into the night practicing in my backyard.
Once I was able to kick the hacky sack properly, I made a big deal of the fact that I was now interested in it. I would go up to the group of cool kids and show off my skills, and I played with it every single minute I spent outside during school time.
The Upper playground was rebuilt over the break, and there was a brand new playground to play on. I always loved brand new things, and the new playground was quite engaging. On the very first day that we were allowed to use it, I played tag with Philip Bloeser, Addison Altendorf, Bryce Jacobs, and a few others.
I never really became good friends with the so-called “cool kids”. I would see them more as competitors than friends. During recess and lunch, I mainly played with Philip and his little clique which consisted of Addison Altendorf, Kevin, and T.J Tassone.
I made a few Fourth Grade friends through hacky sacking, though I forget their names. I mainly played with them during recess and lunch. One day, after I stayed an hour after school at the Upper, I was hacking sacking with them and I kicked my hacky sack up onto a roof. It wasn’t first hacky sack, thank goodness, but I was quite fond of it and I was sad to lose it. I wonder if it’s still up there… No, it would have been cleared away by now.
I still refused to have any playdates when I was at my father’s house due to the incident with Soumaya in Fourth Grade. Because of this, my father and Soumaya became concerned that I didn’t have any friends.
Soumaya forced me to befriend some of the neighbor’s kids who lived just down the road. They would often skateboard outside of their houses. I was aghast… the prospect of walking up to a bunch of kids who I didn’t know and asking to play with them was terrifying to me. They were “cool” skateboarders, and that made it even more intimidating. Of course, I wanted to be friends with them and join in their fun, but I was too scared that they would think I’m weird. I have always been shy by nature.
Soumaya didn’t understand this, and she gave me no choice in the matter. She sent me out of the house and wouldn’t let me back in until I introduced myself to them. I tried pretending that I was playing with them, but instead I would hide in a quiet street corner. To my surprise, Soumaya somehow knew I was doing this, and she came to confront me. She then got Tracy to take me down to where the kids were playing and push me into it. Tracy went up to the kids and asked if I could play with them. I felt embarrassed and timid, but they welcomed me.
I always had the subconscious preconception that the coolest kids were mean and aggressive by nature, which is quite true, and I was shocked that these kids were being nice to me and letting me play with them. After a fun afternoon skateboarding around the streets of Woodland Hills, I regretted not befriending them sooner. They went to Woodland Hills Elementary School, the school my sister would soon go to.
A couple of weeks later, Soumaya forced me to befriend yet another group of Woodland Hills kids.
This second group lived nearer to my house, and they weren’t skateboarders, however they liked riding bikes and scooters. One of them was a black boy named Lucky Radley, who I thought was very nice at the time. I found it strange that he had the same name as my dog. He was a fourth grader, and he would later go to the same middle school as me, where he would become an object of my extreme jealousy and hatred. Looking back, I can’t believe I actually played with him as a friend in my father’s neighborhood.
In the spring, uncle Jonny and the cousins came to stay at father’s house. Cousin George bunked with
me in my room, and the two of us became instant friends. I hadn’t seen him since my last trip to
England, and back then we were little kids. I enjoyed having a friend to play with on a daily basis without
having to arrange a playdate, and the week that they stayed with us was great fun. I once took him
along to play on scooters and skateboards with the neighbor kids, and we also went to the beach a lot.
Indeed, it was a great week, and I was sad to see them go. I looked forward to seeing him again when
we were to go on our vacation to France and England in the coming summer.
After Jonny and the cousins left, Soumaya’s mother Khadija came to stay for a few months, and I was
made to share my room with her, because father had converted two of the guest rooms into his office,
and Tracy was staying in the downstairs room. I had an extra bed in my room, so I suppose it made
sense to them. I was a bit annoyed with this at the start, but I bonded well with Khadija, so I soon
became ok with it. She was like a third grandmother to me.
My mother attained tickets to the red carpet premiere Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones. We
received four tickets. Georgia was old enough to go, and I persuaded mother to let me give the fourth
ticket to James. I was awestruck by the time the movie ended. It found it to be absolutely phenomenal.
James and I talked about it for hours afterward.
My life at school was starting to become mediocre again, and I became frustrated with my struggle to
be cool. I didn’t have a regular group of friends who I always played with. I was like a nomad, moving
from group to group and trying to fit in with each one, but never fully integrating. I feared that the cool
kids didn’t regard me as one of them, and even Philip’s clique never considered me one of their core
friends. Despite all of my attempts to be cool, I didn’t feel as if the other kids respected me as such. I
was still quite the outcast, as I always will be.
My social life changed somewhat when Mrs. Damart announced that we would have new seating
arrangements in class, and the process of deciding on who sits where was up to us. Our class consisted
of tables that seated about five to six people, and when our name was called randomly, we could choose
anywhere to sit, meaning that everyone had a chance to sit with their group of friends. I didn’t have a
core group of friends, so I was thrown into a state of panic.
Originally, I was sitting at the table where Philip’s clique sat, but all of their names were called before
me, and I was booted from their table. At this point, I just chose to sit anywhere, and I ended up sitting
next to John Jo Glen. Matt Bordier and Danny Dayani also sat at our table. These were kids who I
regarded as cool, so I was content with sitting with them.
I never really interacted with John Jo Glen that much in the past. He was one of the biggest jerks of
the school, next to Trevor and Keaton. We quarreled a bit at the start, but soon enough we started
socializing, and I talked with him about some new games I got for my Playstation 2. We became friends
when John Jo suddenly asked me if he can come over to my house. I felt happy that he asked me this… it
would be the first playdate I would have without my mother arranging it for me. This would spark a fun
new friendship that would last well after Fifth Grade. The random seating arrangement next to John Jo
was the best thing to happen to me in Elementary School.
Despite my struggles to be regarded as “cool” and my obsession with attaining such recognition, Fifth
grade was my favorite school year in Elementary School. I played with more people than I ever did in
previous grades, I was less shy, I wasn’t a dork, and I had an awesome time learning how to skateboard
and hacky sack. It was memorable year filled with joyful experiences.
I didn’t want the school year to end. Once Fifth grade was over, I will have to go to Middle School,
and the prospect filled me with anxiety. My little innocent mind always looked at Middle School as
something far in the future, when I grow up. I didn’t want to grow up. I was enjoying my life as a kid
right at that moment. I didn’t think about the future.
Kids in my class told many rumors of Middle School life that filled me with fear and sent a shiver
through my spine. Even through watching movies and T.V. shows I got a glimpse of what was in store for
a Middle Schooler. There was talk of girls, and how it would soon be “cool” to be popular with the girls.
Girls were like completely foreign creatures to me. I never interacted with them… I wasn’t expected to.
In Elementary School, boys played with boys and girls played with girls. That was what I was used to.
That was my world. I heard stories of how boys are expected to start kissing girls in Middle School! Such
things overwhelmed me. I tried to dismiss it as much as I could and enjoy my life in the present moment.
My school arranged a camping trip for the entire Fifth Grade class before graduation day. At first I
didn’t want to go because I would be away from my parents for five days, something I was never used
to. I was afraid I would get too homesick. I never spent more than one night away from my parents. On
the rare occasion that they had to go out of town for a few days and left me with a nanny, I would cry at
My teacher Mrs. Damart came up to me one morning before class started and persuaded me to go,
saying that the graduation trip was something I wouldn’t want to miss. It would be a once in a lifetime
experience, and after some hesitation I agreed to go along.
I forgot exactly where this camping trip took place. It was located at a special camping retreat
somewhere in the forest to the north of Los Angeles. It was very secluded… a small village of cabins and
tents surrounded by wilderness and hiking trails. For the trip there, I decided to go with my friends Bryce
and Charlie in a car instead of taking the school bus with everyone else. This was much more
comfortable, and I was glad to have snagged a spot in the car with them.
Everyone was assigned to groups of five to share a cabin or a tent. I was originally placed in the group
with Charlie, Bryce, and a few others… but that group was given a tent to sleep in. I was appalled by how
drab and uncomfortable the tents looked. I wanted a cabin. So I went to my teacher and asked to be
transferred to a group that was sleeping in a cabin. She placed me in a group of some cool skateboarder
kids, including Michael, Sam, Trevor, Matt, and Stephen. I felt a sense of pride to be part of this group.
During the daytime on this trip, the whole Fifth Grade class participated in games, outdoor activities,
nature hikes, and barbeques. It was great fun. Nighttime in the cabin was like having a sleepover with
five people, and it was a new experience that excited me. Before bedtime, Michael Ray took out a
magazine that had pictures of beautiful model women, and all of the boys gathered around and looked
at them. So… even at the early age of ten, boys were starting to be attracted to the female body. I didn’t
understand this… I hadn’t yet reached that stage. I pretended to be interested just so that I wouldn’t
appear uncool. All of those boys probably lost their virginity by sixteen. Damn them.
The trip ended up being so fun that I didn’t cry at all about being away from my parents for so long.
And finally, it was time to graduate from Elementary School. Before the ceremony, our whole class
watched a video full of footage of school life throughout the year. I saw a few glimpses of myself caught
in the footage, and I felt gratified. My life at Topanga Elementary School was a blast, full of memorable
experiences and wonderful times.
I dressed in a nice shirt with a tie for the ceremony. All of the Fifth Graders lined up and walked down
an isle through the center of the Auditorium, with the audience of parents and siblings on either side.
When I saw my parents, they looked so proud of me. Each student had to walk up to their teacher on
the stage and receive a graduation award. We weren’t required to give a speech, to my relief. I would be
too nervous to talk in front of an audience. The graduation theme song was “Time of Your Life” by the
band Green Day, one of my favorite bands. Whenever I would hear this song again, I would think about
that glorious day, and the memories would make me feel an extreme sense of nostalgia. In the
afternoon, there was a graduation party at the Top of Topanga community recreation center, a lovely
place that provided a view of the whole Valley.
My mother took me to have dinner at the sushi restaurant Kabuki afterwards. It was just me and her.
As we sat down at the restaurant after all the excitement, I took a moment to fully ponder over the fact
that Elementary School was all over. It was done. I felt so accomplished and proud… I was happy, things
were good. But along with that happiness was a feeling of sadness that I will be leaving all of those
experiences behind. A whole chapter of my life had just passed, and a new one was beginning. That day
was such an extraordinary day. A day to remember, a memory to cherish.
For the first few weeks of summer, mother arranged playdates with various friends and
acquaintances I made from Topanga Elementary, including Trevor Bourget, Matt Bordier, Charlie
Converse, John Jo Glen, and Philip Bloeser. It was interesting to have Trevor and Matt over. I never
thought I would have playdates with them. Matt was one of the coolest kids in the school; he was a
skateboarder and a baseball player who seemed to garner respect from everyone. I envied him during
Elementary School even when we were friends, and I would deeply envy and hate him later on in life,
when I find out how much success he would have with girls.
Again, I repeat, that as children we all play together as equals in a fair environment. Only after the
advent of puberty does the true brutality of human nature show its face. Life will become a bitter and
unfair struggle for self-worth, all because girls will choose some boys over others. The boys who girls
find attractive will live pleasure-filled lives while they dominate the boys who girls deem unworthy. Matt
Bordier will go on to live a life of pleasure. Girls will throw themselves at him. And I will go on to be
rejected and humiliated by girls. At that moment in time, we were just playing together as children,
oblivious to the fact that my future will be dark and his will be bright. Life is such a cruel joke.
My mother continued to take me to Northridge Skatepark every Friday, and I also attended a
skateboard camp at Pedlow Skatepark for a couple of weeks. At this camp I bumped into one of the kids
I played with around father’s house.
I had been trying very hard to get better at skateboarding, but when I saw that there were boys a lot
younger than me who could do more tricks, I realized that I sucked. I was never good at sports or any
physical activity, and when I discovered skateboarding, I thought that finally here was a sport that I
could excel in and even became a professional at. It crushed me a little inside to see that I was a failure
at skateboarding after more than a year of practicing it. I could never master the kickflip or heelflip. All I
could do was the ollie jump and ride down a few ramps. I saw eight-year-old boys at the skatepark who
could do a kickflip with ease, and it made me so angry. Why did I fail at everything I tried? I asked
myself. My dreams of becoming a professional skateboarder were over. I felt so defeated.
Because of this, my interest in skateboarding slowly faded away during this summer. James had
recently told me that he was no longer interested in the sport, so I no longer had him to skateboard with
anyway. I just decided to forget about it for the moment.
James’s family moved to a new house in Malibu. The house was owned by the Lemelson’s, and they
were staying in it temporarily. Mother took us there a few times where I adventured with James in the
wilderness area that surrounded the house. We would often go to a small plaza in the center of Malibu.
There was a playground there, with a few shops and restaurants surrounding it.
It was time for my 11th birthday. I was at mother’s house and just decided to have a small playdate for
my birthday. I invited James over, along with another kid who I had befriended at the Woodland Hills
recreation center. My mother made a small cake, I blew out the candles, and that was it. I was eleven years old.