Nine years have passed since my closest friend took her own life.
For nine years I have been incapable of keeping anyone closer than arms length. Family, partners, friends. Even myself.
Its something that bounced around my head as soon as my thoughts were clear enough to process the sudden loss. "How will I ever be able to replace her?" "I'll never be able to open up enough to someone else like I did with her." "Nobody else can ever take her place, I cant let them" "I cant ever let this happen again" I tried, always, to brush them off. To tell myself that its a ridiculous thought, that life goes on, that she wouldnt want that, that I will heal. I suppose I have healed, in a way. I've been able to live to this point, and sometimes I go weeks without thinking about her. Sometimes that makes me feel guilty, but it is what it is.
I think back on what she meant to me, on who she was to me. She loved me from the start. She shined on me every day, and even when I was burned by her, returning to the warmth of her glow was a welcome reprieve from the coldness of the rest of the world. Years into our friendship I would ask her why she liked me so much and her answer was simply "You're tall"
Back then, she was simple beauty defined. Bright tee-shirts over white long sleeves, honey blonde hair pulled back into a ponytail, sometimes a bun. Wild eyes behind tasteful glasses and a smile that could not be fought back against. The perfect contrast to my dyed black hair, lying heavily around my face. Thick glasses hidden behind thick bangs. Frumpy black shirts over more black, ill fitting outfits and sullen attitude. We probably made no sense to anyone, but even when she left me confused and angry she made more sense to me than anyone ever had. I loved her and she loved me.
Fast forward to now. I wonder how different I really am from how I was back then. I wonder how different she would be. I wonder how much good she could have done. I wonder how different I would be if she were here still. She's not, and deep down I'm still the same. I tried for years to not be. I tried to be happy, and nice, and a light that could keep others warm. Unfortunatly it doesnt matter how warm a light is if you cant get near it.
I blame myself. Then I blame her. Then I blame her parents, her family, her brothers, her father, her girlfriend. As if finding the right person to blame will somehow heal all the pain she felt. Somehow heal all the pain I feel.
I curse her, for making me unable to follow her. Unrelated, or maybe not, I am extremely depressed and think at least once a day about ending my own life, which would be all well and good except I cant to do it. I cant rip someones heart out the way she did to me. So I'm stuck here, resentful and relieved, alive but dead. I sit here year after year dreading the month of my birth, because the first day of it brought her death.
I feel selfish, for being alive, for wanting to die, for wishing we had never met, for wishing she had just f●●●ing not done it, for still needing her here with me because I'm sad. My mental health isnt her fault, but maybe if she were here still it would be easier to bear.
Maybe if she had lived we would have eventually kissed. Maybe it would have just been once, maybe we would be married. Who knows. Maybe I would be able to think of another woman without comparing her to what I lost, and what I never had the courage to explore.
I know how selfish all of that sounds, and I know I have tons to be grateful for. Maybe I really am just awful, because I can feel like this, but then forget her for weeks at a time. Maybe with more time, I'll completely forget her. Maybe thats what I need, and maybe its selfish wether I hang on or let go.
There is no feel good moment here. There is no uplifting message. Its been nine years since she left me and maybe in nine more I can move on.