you weren’t there. your smile on your face tells the truth of it, you didn’t see me stagger as i read that message, the message you sent because you were too much the coward to tell me face to face. you didn’t see how every word in it was a body blow, how my eyes flared and then died as they witnessed a future cease to exist. so you can’t know. you can’t know how seeing you even now lays me to waste, the ache i feel inside when i’m in your presence. i came because you asked, but i realize the error now, too late. i hid it from you because even after all of it, i didn’t want your lasting memory of me to be of my weakness, of my failure. of course i drank. but both she and you had the wrong of it. i wasn’t drinking to forget. i was drinking so i would always remember. i made sure that i remembered that pain, that loss, that incredible sorrow, to make myself strong, to make sure i would never succumb to such a thing again. and also, maybe because i didn’t want to forget you, i didn’t want you to become a memory, because i loved you fiercely and well and completely, and i don’t want that feeling to go away.