In the course of our lives, inexplicable events occur that mark us forever; yet nothing is so disturbing as the death of innocence, particularly by its own hand. One of my classmates, S.K., took his own life when he was twelve in a manner quite similar to the prologue of Donna Tartt's The Little Friend. The squandered potential, the loss to society of an individual who might have made a difference, who did make a difference with the manner in which he left the world, is a mystery that has haunted me for 34 years. Not a whodunit mystery, but a mystery of human motive. Why? The question I continue to ask myself. Why?
More people of my acquaintence than I care to count have left this planet through their own devising. I will never be among their number. I have a picture of S.K., one of those wallet sized school portraits that he gave me the spring before the summer he died. He wrote in my annual, "Remember me," like an echo of the Ghost of Hamlet's father. And so I will. I will endure until it is my natural time, so that I might witness, record, and testify. That is my calling.