When I said that this is not a romance between the narrator and Neal, I was simply stating the obvious: not only Neal clearly claims he is not gay (maybe even a little too clearly), but I haven’t neither read any vibes in him he can be interested in the narrator, at least not in him as a possible lover. Neal, in his way, his mourning the loss of his best friend Jack, who was gay, but that was only a friend; Neal is quite clear on this point, arriving to stating it to the narrator more than once, wanting for the narrator to believe it… or maybe wanting for himself to believe it.
Jack is dead and nothing could bring him back; with his death, unwillingly, he destroyed also Neal’s life and not only in a material point of view. I think that, once Neal lost Jack, only then he realized Jack was really important for him. Neal was always jealous of Jack, true until the moment Jack had no serious relationship it was not an issue: Jack was promiscuous, but he was not in any relationship if not the one of friendship he had with Neal; so in a way the only real relationship was that one and Neal was happy with that. But when Jack met Lonnie and he wanted to build a life with him, Neal saw the future was holding for him nothing. He didn’t do anything drastic to end Jack and Lonnie’s relationship but he also did nothing to help them and in doing so, he directed Jack towards the path leading to his death. It was not Neal’s fault. But Neal felt guilty, and I think he was right in feeling that. What he did after that, again I don’t think he did to vengeance Jack, I think it was more a vengeance to himself, an ultimate act of jealousy.
This short tale is extremely well balance, full of suspense and simple in its drama; the ending is surprisingly “quite”, but it’s a quietness that silently scream hurt, pain and yes, also a little bit of horror.
Amazon Kindle: A Man Of Principle
Publisher: Amber Quill Press, LLC (December 11, 2010)