BY Jane Larkin
Yesterday, as her murderer pleaded guilty, her friends told 7.30 they did not remember her for the way she died but rather for the life full of fun, love and colour she lived.
“She was so unique. There was no-one that I could ever say, ‘you’re exactly like Masa’. She was just so flamboyant,” friend Chloe Fulton said.
Chloe was in her final year of school at Canterbury Girls College with Masa. They shared a passion for anime and Cosplay — dressing up in character.
“She loved all the pearls and jewellery and big fluffy skirts and everything like that, and she just loved getting all the photos and all the attention and being called beautiful,” she said.
Masa’s boyfriend, Timothy Draper, spoke exclusively to 7.30, breaking his silence since Masa’s death.
“Out of everything, she wanted to be a princess,” he said.
He told of how Masa loved her pet rabbits and how “she was just a fantastic person to be around”.
“She was funny and nice to talk to,” he said.
Timothy was chatting to Masa via text just before she left home to go on the evening walk from which she would never return.
“She was talking about what dress to take to the formal … and I’m like, ‘you know, whatever dress you like. You’re a female you’ve got so many dresses’,” he said.
He did not receive a text back from her that night but rather was woken up at 2:00am as police came to his house and told him what had happened.
“I was in shock. I couldn’t believe what happened. I couldn’t stop thinking there was something I could have done to stop it,” Timothy said.
“It really hit me when I checked my phone to see if she’d actually messaged me back and she didn’t.”
‘She really wanted to stand up for people’.
Masa was in her final year of VCE and was an aspiring lawyer.
“She was very smart and just an incredible person … she really wanted to stand up for people,” Chloe said.
She said that although she was relieved to know who was responsible for Masa’s death, the past few months had been difficult for everyone who was close to her.
“I can’t really stop thinking about her. Just everything reminds me of her in some way,” she said.
Timothy said that although Masa was gone, her legacy would live on.
“She was such a beautiful person, you know, kind to everybody and a beautiful friend and beautiful girlfriend. She’ll always be with me. I will never forget her,” he said.
Chloe believes Masa would have wanted her friends to continue to live their lives and pursue their dreams, and that is helping them to cope with the loss of their friend.
“It doesn’t really matter what anyone says or what anyone thinks, just do whatever makes you happy, and I think that’s what she’d want — for everyone to be happy,” she said.
This post originally appeared on ABC News.
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