May 27
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A Final Love Letter

Today, I woke up early to watch the sunrise.
 
I’d forced myself out of bed when it was still dark, got in the car, and drove to the hill that you had taken me to last May, when we watched the stars as we fell asleep. It was every bit as beautiful in the early morning as it was at night.

On the way back, I thought about this time last year, back when I visited your place for the last time. You’d written up a detailed list of things you wanted to do with me. You wanted to go to the carnival and win me one of those giant stuffed animals. You wanted to walk along the beach with me, and brag about how good you were at building sandcastles. You wanted to write a song about me, and then you wanted to share it with the world. You wanted me to fall asleep in your arms, and watch the sun rise as we lay in its golden light.

You always had everything planned out. You even ended up writing that song. My guilt is like a wild animal, clawing at the steel cage in my mind, as I wonder how I could possibly move on from someone who would do that for me.

Guilt was a word you used often. You’d been so guilty about so many things, most of which weren’t even your fault. I remember when I saw you cry for the first time, an eternity ago. Even though you never said it, I knew you were afraid that I loved you.

I didn’t think it was possible to not love you. You were perfect in every sense of the word.

I’m still angry. I’m angry because I only found out what you’d been going through when it was too late. Angry because you didn’t have the heart to tell me when I should’ve been one of the first people to know. Angry that I could barely sleep afterwards, that I felt nothing for weeks. Angry at myself for being so selfish when it was you who had suffered the most. Yet, you hadn’t gone through it alone, had you?

So, I didn’t go back home after watching the sunrise. For the first time since it happened, I visited your family. 

Your mother started crying when she saw me at the front door. Your brother and I watched TV together for hours. Your father prepared an amazing meal as soon as he found out that I was coming over. Your pictures were all over the walls, and your room was untouched. Most importantly, your family is healing. These things take time, but they’re doing well.

I guess I’m healing too. I know we never ended up watching the sunrise together. And I know I’ll never get lost in your eyes again and think about how beautiful you look, even when you’re tired and cranky in the morning. Losing you had been the most painful thing that I’d ever felt. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to truly move on.

I think I’m okay with that, especially if moving on means forgetting how you made me feel—the bad as well as the good. I want to hold onto every part of you.

And when the years have come and gone, maybe I’ll be able to see you again. 
 
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