I do this often; this thinking about you and writing little notes in my diaries. This leaving messages for you on sticky notes all over my house. This speaking to you, in the darkness of night, and saving these voices in my safest of safes. This waiting on you, at my door, as if you are coming back, in no time, into my arms. This living my life as if you are watching me, smiling, and urging me on. This telling my heart and soul that you are still here, with me, hiding within the folds of my skin, filling me with life and light.
I do this often; this sinking to my floor, burying my head in my knees, and weeping until my eyes run dry. This wailing, in the middle of the night, as if someone just broke into my house. This seeing you in my dreams, jolting awake, looking to find you around me. This wandering into the darkness in my heart and soul, looking for bits and pieces that will remind me of you; your softness, calm, and warmth. This living my life as if I am undeserving of life itself; as if there is nothing else that can break me as much as you did.
I do this often; this going throw my old diaries trying to find your name, and regret eating me up on the insides, wondering why, not even once, did I write about you. This wondering why your memories are still stuck with me, freshly so, as if you are still here, making more of these. This finally accepting that there will never be another like you, despite all these beautiful memories, and my life will go on, always, with a deep dent inside my heart.
I do this often; this wondering what I would do if I could change the hands of time. This wondering what difference, if any, it would have made if I had picked more and more of your calls, replied to more and more of your texts, and maybe, just maybe, heeded to more and more of your wishes. Like you asking me, over and over again, to let you into my heart. To let my heart, body, and soul feel your love. To let you call me yours, and give your heart the one thing it longed for; genuine love and care. And even though I kept saying, ‘not now’, ‘not today’, you still kept me close, under your umbrella, accepting that these things could never be rushed; they would come whenever they wanted.
I do this often; this wondering what difference, if any, it would have made in my life had I let you in. If I had stopped living in my head, for once, and accepted that there is no perfection in love. If I had stopped seeing you as someone whose achievements were way greater than mine. If I had stopped telling myself that letting you in my life would wash away my ambitions, now that everything I wanted to work for, was readily available with you.
I do this often; this imagining that maybe, just maybe, things would have been different if I had let you in. That maybe, that was the only thing you needed to keep breathing.
Sometimes, when I talk to our mutual friends, they jokingly mention your name, and say I would have been a widow at 25 had I let you in. I would, maybe, have been a single mother at 25, even though they know I do not have any intentions of birthing a child. I laugh at this, on the outside, but my insides keep breaking and bleeding, knowing your name will forever be attached to mine, no matter how far and wide I travel.
So that, with time, I pushed them, these mutual friends, further and further away. Letting their calls go unanswered and their texts unreplied; until they started showing up in my dreams with you in tow. So that, like deja vu, my heart began feeling the guilt of abandoning you right before you died.
I do this often; this writing letters to you, pouring my heart out, but still unable to give you that one thing you wanted; my whole heart and soul. This writing letters to you, as if your spirit is here with me, guiding my hands in the dark, but letting go when I try to tell you how maybe, with time, I would have let you in. It knows, I know, that this is a lie; a way of trying to rid my heart of the guilt. It knows, just as much as I do, that I would have never let you in, no matter how much time you gave me.
I do this often; this willing my heart and soul to accept that there is nothing I would have done to stop you from dying. That even though it hard to accept that your heart just stopped beating, suddenly, none of this is my fault. Things like this, like death and grief, come at their own time, taking a form and shape they deem fit, and no amount of human intervention could ever stop them.
But it has been two years since your death struck us, and none of these things I often do has been able to lessen my burden of grief. So that every time night begins to fall, my spirit folds in twos and hides deep in the ocean of my darkness. My heart races the rest of my body into the coldness of my bedroom floor, so that I am constantly knocking my head against my knees, letting the pain travel throughout my body, trying to get your still face out of my mind.
It has been two years since your death struck us, yet none of these things I often do has been able to rid my heart of guilt. So that day by day, my heart grows darker and darker, so that I am almost always rolling into the deeps, too afraid that this weight I carry will be the end of me.