The following is a short excerpt from my true crime story Lost Youth, due April 2015.
Whenever I did run into Colette, she had a huge smile across her face. I remember red Kool-Aid stains in the corners of her mouth, which was not uncommon among the kids in her age group. I saw her the most in that summer of 1981. That she died so suddenly is something I now look back at often, trying to find answers that exist, but are elusive in nature. Some events in our lives simply have no sensibility. They can twist one’s brain into a knot trying to search for reasons that simply don’t wish to be uncovered.
I look back at my high school years, and know that Colette wasn’t with us. I think about the 1984 World Series Champion Detroit Tigers, and know that Colette wasn’t with us. I reminisce about when I was a teenager playing outside until 10 o’clock on hot summer evenings, and know Colette wasn’t with us. I contemplate today, and know that a 40-some-year old Colette isn’t with; at least not in a manner that makes sense to us as humans. She is surely present spiritually, just on another plane or in another state. Death was not the end of Colette, but rather a new beginning for her; a beginning with no end. If ever there were an angel in Heaven, Colette the wings perfectly.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on where you are in life, time moves forward. It continues with no prejudice. It doesn’t care what we think or what we feel or do; it simply passes. It has no personality or mood, no feeling or emotion. Time doesn’t worry, cry, suffer loss or experience happiness; it simply continues forward, never back. Time is both a friend and an enemy. In either instance, it has its way with us every day.
As much as we wish Colette was still with us, it’s not our choice. I’ve found that life has certain unwritten rules; and one of them is that everybody dies. There are no exceptions. You, me, and them; we all will die. Babies die, middle-aged people die, and old folks die. Unfortunately, 13-year-olds die too. Death is much like time in that it carries no emotion prejudice.
Sometimes I’ve wondered if it’s fate, karma or pre-destiny. When death strikes the way it struck Colette, I tend to throw the pre-destined theory out the window. I feel that she died before her time. Human choice, or free will, caused her death. Had the murderer(s) decided not to kill on Devils night/ Halloween morning of 1981, Colette may well be here today. Of course I could be wrong, as theories are tossed aside every day. Is it fate or is it simply what is meant to be? None of us were able to foresee the events of October 31st 1981, and were unable to intervene.
No matter how it’s looked at or sliced, the tragedy struck. It was immediate and harsh. It left the people who were still here to deal with the aftermath. Is life fair? Unfair? Neither. It is life and we have to follow its rules