I had just turned sixteen, and the world was a dark, melodramatic place of unrequited love and friendships betrayed. I'll tell you something about boarding school: you don't have anywhere to go to escape a bad social situation; the offenders are always there, not just in classes, but at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It wasn't just some deceitful teenage lothario who plagued me, however; everything was impossibly wretched. Classic teen anger and angst, hormones pounding the shores of my self-esteem. No one was any help, so I thought. It's all quite cliché On one particularly Gothic night—that is, dark and stormy, doom and gloom—I was feeling empty, without much hope. Not suicidal (never had a serious thought about that), but just this side of it. Then, a note from a friend arrived at exactly the right moment. Three words, written in tiny block print with a lot of white space surrounding them. The single imperative was neatly written in pencil on a quarter sheet of white paper and stuck in my pigeon-hole mailbox in the lobby of the dormitory: don't • give • up, just like that with the little dots and everything. I kept that message for years, well beyond high school, always tucked in my journal of the moment. I may have it still, somewhere. But even if I don't, and even though the friendship itself has disappeared over the years, those perfectly timed words of encouragement are still having their effect, still shoring me up. Thanks, B. D., wherever you are.