You guys know I try to keep things upbeat on this site. There’s a lot of sorrow in this world, and I like to think this website helps people take their minds off their troubles. But today I received a comment from a young man named Bradley. He lives somewhere in Florida, he didn’t say where. He told me this:
“My best friend since middle school has always been Zach; we always did everything together: going to the movies, shooting baskets, bass fishing, and going to the beach. I always thought I knew Zach. I never suspected he hid things from me.
“Last week, our junior year of high school ended. Zach and I went to a party at a friend’s house whose parents were out of town. You know how that goes. People had liquor and nearly a hundred people showed up. I drank and so did Zach and I guess things got a little out of control.
“A guy was at the party, someone I recognized from school but didn’t really know, a good-looking dude. At some point during the party, I guess he and Zach were off by themselves, and Zach made a pass at this guy, grabbed his ass or something. This guy went off on Zach in front of everyone, calling Zach a faggot and everything. The whole thing was awful, and Zach started crying. He kept saying, ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry.’
“I drove Zach home ’cause he was drunk. I tried talking to him about the situation, but he told me to leave him alone about it, so I did. I just left him on his driveway and went home.
“This morning, Zach’s mom called. Zach shot himself in his bedroom last night, not long after I left him at his house. He used a gun his dad kept in a desk drawer. I can’t believe this happened. Why didn’t Zach ever tell me he was gay? Didn’t he trust me? I feel terrible. I called a friend to talk, she’s pretty cool, and she told me about your website. I’ve been reading the posts all day. It’s unbelievable how many people hide their gayness, but I guess I don’t realize how hard it can be to be different.
“I’m not gay, but now I can understand how sad and depressed Zach may have felt about being gay and having to hide it from me and everyone else. And I miss Zach so much. He had a great future ahead of him. He was smart and funny and good-looking, but now he’s gone. Just like that.”
Jesus, Bradley ….. what can I say? I’ll reply to you privately, later on tonight.
Rest in peace, Zach.