I loved you.
There. The two things I’ve always needed to say to you and never have. You don’t deserve it. You never have. I can’t fathom why I didn’t ever say it when it mattered, when we were together, I mean. There are no consequences now. It feels safe, or at least safer. Nothing is ever safe with you, I suppose.
Why did I ever love you?
It was an awful four years. The worst. We were awful to each other. I don’t know, now, why I was so against telling you how I felt. I loved you the whole time, but saying it would have made things real, and that terrified me. I already felt trapped, and calling it what it was would have made it worse. I was so scared to be in love with you, I think I always knew you’d break my heart.
I always knew you’d die.
It’s a little hard to process. How do you rethink your life, once the most important person isn’t there anymore? Every memory from the past eight/nine years is tainted. Everything feels like foreshadowing to your death and I should have put it all together, I should have seen it coming. If I go back and rethink it all, redream each dream, remember you, it will be so obvious that it was all leading us here. To this moment when I am palpably alone. None of us saw it barreling towards us. How could we have been so stupid? Whoever wrote our story, whoever set it in motion, is an asshole.
No one is handling this well. Ethan is barely holding off a mental break-down of his own. He’s full of rage and fear, and those are crystallizing into hate…for me. He hates me. He blames me. But I know why. I see his logic. I know…somehow…that he’s right. Zack is all alone and all he wants is to come lay on your grave and hold us close and sing a good-bye song to you. He wants to mourn you with people who can help him do that. There’s no one left for him anymore.
Lori, Jesse, Rona, Penny, and all the various people…seem aware and unmoved.
I’ll admit to how I feel about it. For once. I’m not doing very well. Every day starts with appearing average, calm, and controlled. I think about you more and more as the days goes on and I remember “Oliver liked to text me at 12 precisely, because that’s when lunch started and he wouldn’t be interrupting me” or “Oliver once packed me a lunch of two apples and a fruit roll-up covered in ash from the spliff we shared” or “Oliver used to put his arm around my shoulder, drag me to the ground, wrap himself around me and whisper in my ear that he thought I was beautiful”
Every intimate memory is painted black. Where you stand, where your face, or hands, or heart were, there’s nothing anymore. A lightless void. These are my memories. Speckled with things I can’t get close to. Any one of them hurts me like you did, a thousand times over, and much worse.
You defined my teenage years. You threw everything into turmoil.
Why like this?
What were you trying to tell us?
What were you trying to accomplish? Why pain killers?
What was hurting you so bad?
Why didn’t you leave a note?
Did you have nothing to say?
Did you just not have anything to say to me?
I wish you could answer me.
The time I need you most, and you can do the least.
I don’t want to believe what Ethan says. He says that seeing me, even for an instant in March/April, undid you. You unhooked from the world and collided with your addiction again. He says I’m to blame. He says I caused you to feel like this. He says so many things. So many true things.
So many people love you and miss you. So many lives are completely altered by your stupidity. You stupid, selfish fuck.
I always knew you’d die. I never knew when or how. I do now.
Now, I feel stupid for letting you be. I don’t feel responsible for this, it wasn’t a mistake or oversight on my part, it wasn’t some play or trick or plan of mine. This was all you. You did this.
You hurt everyone who has ever cared about you, and what’s worse is that you pretended to be getting better first. You gave us hope. All the work, that faith, that love was put in you and you threw it aside because you couldn’t feel the world you were in, just the world you had lost.
Seeing you in March was so strange, and so painful. In retrospect, I’m glad I did see you. I had forgotten how beautiful you are.
I hope I can forget again.
I hope I can forget that I loved you…that I love you.