I wish you’d left me a note.
I don’t blame you for going, for leaving me. If you can read this, wherever you are, please know this most of all: I don’t blame you.
How could I, right? You were always my best friend, the guy I could go for a midnight McDonalds with; the guy that was always up for going to the cinema, for doing anything that made us both feel alive. Do you remember that night, say maybe eight years ago, when we ordered Chinese from the Garden Palace or whatever it was called? The power went out right after we phoned it in. We sat in the dark, a single candle between us, and talked and talked until the sun came up. It was only when the power flicked back on, the fridge began to whir again, that we realized the Chinese hadn’t arrived. You phoned them the next day and complained and they said – you’ve got to remember this? – that the food did arrive, but because there was no electricity, the buzzer downstairs didn’t work and the delivery guy was too scared to attempt to clamber up the stairs. You remember?
Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. Either’s okay.
I can’t stand to think of you somewhere cold. Isn’t that weird? You’re dead but that’s what keeps me awake at night. I’d hate for you to be cold and alone wherever you are. It makes my stomach hurt. I took a few weeks off work, y’know, for the pain. Every time I try and sleep I see you in a stone room, lost somewhere, and you’re so cold. So, so cold. I sleep with the window open, no blanket over my body. I know it won’t bring you back, but if you’re cold then I will be too. You jump, I jump, right?
I don’t think you’re selfish. A lot of people do. Forgive them, yeah? They didn’t know you like I did. They won’t ever know you like I did. They tell me not to let it get to me. That you couldn’t have really been my friend because what friend would do something like that? What friend would cause the people that love them so much such pain?
A sad one.
A friend that spent too long – far, far, far too long – just trying to be okay. Just trying to be normal. You fought. I know you did. I saw it, day in, day out. You fought with every single piece of who you are. You pushed back against the feelings, the sadness and bitterness, I saw you do it. You just had nothing left.
You know that episode of Buffy where she’s injured and Willow gives her some of her strength to heal herself? That’s what I wish I could have done for you. Even if it only lasted an hour, a minute, I’d have given you every ounce of strength I had so that you could have felt happy for those precious few seconds. But I couldn’t, I can’t now, I let you down and I’m sorry for that. You’ve got to believe how sorry I am that you’re not here anymore.
I just wish…
I wish you’d left me a note.
Something I could hold in my hands when I miss you most. Something that looks like you, your handwriting, your words. A piece of you in my hands. Even a shopping list would do. Because I never need you to tell me how much you love me, nor how sorry you are. You have nothing to be sorry for. You tried. You didn’t fail. You tried.
It was me that failed you.
Forever and always.