Thursday, December 29, 2005

Scott Erke

I believe it was my junior year when Scott Erke died. He killed himself. He skipped school one day and sat in his closed garage with his car running for so long that he asphyxiated, inhaling fatal amounts of carbon monoxide. Rumor has it that he turned the car off right before he died, leading some to believe that he tried to stop his slow suicide, but that it was already too late. I think he was just being courteous.

I don't know why I took Scott's death so hard. I barely knew him. I had only talked to him a few times. Actually, he didn't talk much at all, just listened and grinned out of the corner of his mouth. We had mutual friends, but never hung out with them at the same time. Both of our little sisters were best friends, but we had little else in common.

I suppose I reacted less to his death and more to the way people talked about him after he died. People pretended to care so much more about him now that he was gone, when, if they had showed even a fraction of that caring to him when he was living, he might still be alive.

I remember seeing Scott's sister, Kara, and my sister talking and crying shortly after the news got around town. They were both crying. Then Kara inhaled deeply and wiped her eyes, repeating a mantra, "I'm not going to cry. I'm not going to cry." That's when I felt most sorry for her. I remember other people crying, too, other people who probably didn't know him very well and just wanted to cry about something. I remember my sister talking about them with disdain and saying that they didn't deserve to cry.

I wrote a letter the day after Scott died. It wasn't to anyone; it was just a letter to vent my feelings. I wrote in the letter how I felt bad for his family. I wrote that I hated the phrases "cry for help" and "warning signs." I wrote that I knew what feeling all alone was like. I wrote that I wished I had gotten to know him better. I wrote that I was angry that those closest to him didn't somehow see it coming; they must have suspected something! I wrote that I was angry that suicide was the only way Scott could feel safe.

I wish I still had this letter to read now. I don't remember all of what it said. The only thing that I remember verbatim is how it started, "I killed Scott Erke," and how it ended, "We all killed Scott Erke." I cried after I wrote it, even though I didn't deserve to.

1 comment:

  1. I was close friends with Scott and out of curiosity I just googled his name and came across your blog you wrote over 4 yrs ago.

    Now it will be 10 years this October since it happened...crazy how fast time flies.

    It is sad how being "close friends" you still had no idea this was coming. Even looking back at everything.


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