A boy and a girl who exchanged heartwarming “I love you” texts each night will spend eternity together.
Ten-year-olds Xavier James Lopez and Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez, who were among the 19 children killed in the Uvalde, Texas, massacre, will be buried next to one another this week, ABC News reports.
Though they were just a couple of kids, Xavier and Annabell’s love story became more than just passing notes and exchanging smiles in class.
Annabell’s mom, Monica Gallegos, first learned about the youngsters’ feelings when she came home from school on the first day of fourth grade and talked about a boy who dressed and smelled “really nice,” ABC reported.
Gallegos and Xavier’s mom, Felicha Martinez, soon found the pair were trading sweet text messages at bedtime.
“Me and Felicha would laugh, like, ‘How do y’all know about love?’” Gallegos told ABC News.
Their respective families arranged frequent cookouts together so that both kids could spend more time together, often playing tag.
In what was yet another gesture of romance, Annabell proudly wore a picture of Xavier around her neck at school.
As her grieving family prepares to lay Annabell to rest on Wednesday, Gallegos told the outlet she’s “not ready” to brave the bleak reality of life without her little girl.
Xavier’s family said their goodbyes and laid him to rest on Tuesday.
The pair’s paths first crossed back when they were toddlers, although they did need some reminding from their mothers.
Annabell’s grandfather and great-grandmother lived at a nearby trailer park in the same town where Xavier lived. The two often played outside together.
“She had this big old crush on him,” Gallegos told ABC News.
Xavier and Annabell’s love was not news to those at school, according to her mother. Even their teacher, Arnulfo Reyes, was in the know about the two.
Reyes, who is still recovering from his own injuries sustained in the mass shooting, tragically lost all 11 of his students, including Xavier and Annabell, on that fateful day.
“He would make things for her, he would write notes for her,” Reyes told the outlet. “It brings a smile to your face just to think they really loved each other.”
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