When his mind started planning against him, leaving deep marks all over his arms, terrified, I sat beside his small hospital bed, tried my hardest not to crawl in beside him, pondered the weight of love and healing. My love would never be enough to keep someone feeling happy and whole and alive, but I still tried. I tried to revive him, clutching his hand, weeping next to him. I tried to revive him, staring numbly at his picture at his funeral. I tried to revive him, slightly vibrating, blaming myself. Abuse, shame, screaming, being abusive, hurt, fake, drugs, tears, years of rejection, he carried this all, he had this all pushed down inside him, he hit me and I didn’t say anything, I left him with guilt, how could he want to live? It’s been years and I still write about the grief because it’s what I know best. My friends call it a bad habit, say maybe, I believe that if I write tragic enough the world will try to fix every broken word that falls through my broken, chattering teeth.
Please be okay. Please be happy. Please be free.
When someone lit off fireworks at a fourth of July party and he kept his eyes closed the entire time, I realised. Emerson, I know what you’re looking for, and it’s not in our small town anymore. It’s not in the steps you count or the breaths you hold, and it’s not what’s in between us. It’s in the car while your sister’s driving and you’re screaming the lyrics to your favourite song without caring. It’s in the stars when the whole world is silent. It is the feeling of holding your hand, the feeling when I remember that you will have to leave me someday to find what you are looking for. It’s there when a mother kisses a child goodnight, the first flower of spring, the last snow storm of winter. When the powers shut off and the whole world is lost and quiet and quiet and quiet and quiet.
You’ve been searching in all the wrong places, you haven’t been sleeping, you’ve been hurting yourself to find it.
It was in the fireworks that night.
One late night, you asked me if I was coming with you. When I asked you were we were going you said you were going to find what you were looking for. Thinking you were just overtired, I went to sleep, and the next morning when you were missing out of your home, everything made sense. Emerson, I get it now. My answer is yes.
Sometimes, I miss how things used to be. A part of me wishes that I never left him before he died, even though another part of me knows it was for the best. I miss my favourite person so much. I feel so lonely.
How does someone decide to kill themselves? I told him that I loved him so much and he kept hitting me. I wonder if he saw me screaming his name until my lungs starting shrinking. I wonder if he saw me staring at his frozen body, hunched over, hands over my face trying to claw my eyes out.
One time, we held hands tightly. I dragged him up the stairs, to the stage where I thought everything looked prettier. He said it was nice but he was looking for someone and he left.
I sat down on the edge letting my feet dangle almost to the floor. I watched the smoke and the lights that split through it. He would be with another girl now and I would never know, I’d wait for him to come back and he wouldn’t.
I have cried over someone who doesn’t think of me.
I want someone who doesn’t want me. I know he said he did, but I see the way he looks at her. I hear the things that he says.