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Teens Separated in Life, Together in Death

November 11, 1995

MIAMI (AP) _ As soon as the first casket began to inch its way into the ground, Xiomara Flores let out a piercing wail.

``Give me strength!″ she cried. ``Why such little creatures?″

Mrs. Flores left before her daughter was laid to rest Friday, her casket placed on top of the coffin that held the body of Christian Davila, the young girl’s boyfriend of six months.

The two eighth-graders jumped to their deaths in a reed-choked canal late Saturday or early Sunday, leaving behind suicide notes that told of a love forbidden by the Flores family and a tragedy that parallels ``Romeo and Juliet.″

The bodies of 13-year-old Maryling and 14-year-old Christian were found Tuesday, floating in the canal. Neither child had known how to swim.

``Why have you left us?″ Mrs. Flores wailed earlier in church as she neared her daughter’s coffin. ``Oh, my God!″ she cried in Spanish and fainted into her husband’s arms.

Maryling left a half-dozen notes scattered around her parents’ home in Sweetwater, a suburb west of Miami.

``You don’t let me see him in this world, so we’re going to another place,″ she wrote in one. ``Please don’t cry for me, this is what I want. I want to feel happy, because I’m going to a place where I can be with Christian.″

The note Christian left for his parents began: ``I can’t go on living. I’ve lost Maryling.″

At the memorial service, the two families sat on either side of the church, the carnation-draped caskets between them in the aisle. At one point in the service, the parents of the children hugged each other.

At Woodlawn Park Cemetery, nearly 100 friends, classmates and family members tossed roses and goodbye notes onto the caskets as they were lowered into the ground.

The families apparently decided to bury the teens together; nothing in the suicide notes indicated the children wanted to be buried together, police said.

``It was just a personal decision, a gesture of respect to the kids,″ said Arthur Arnau, spokesman for the Sweetwater Police Department.

Marlon De Jesus Flores, Maryling’s father, told the Sun-Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale earlier in the week that he had learned his daughter was seeing Christian in June, and told her she had to be 16 to date.

When she told him it was normal to have a boyfriend at her age, Flores, a Nicaraguan native, recalled saying: ``It may be normal for this society but it is not normal for us.″

Both children were excellent students and had perfect attendance records at Ruben Dario Middle School. Their friends said they never let on that about their plan to end their lives.

``How can you leave your life for a girl?″ asked Frank Cardenas, 14, a friend of Christian’s. ``That’s wrong. There are better times in life. You’re 14 years old. You’re young. You’ve got to take advantage of your life.″

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