It’s hard to believe, as I sit by your grave, we lost you almost a year ago. I know you understand why I haven’t been back to see you since the day we lowered your coffin into the ground. I thought I’d lose my mind the day your brother showed up at my doorstep, sobbing, tripping over his anguish. Even when I finally understood his words, my mind shut down and refused to believe it was true. All I kept thinking was how much I took you for granted, believing you’d always be there. I lost my best friend, my soul sister, the godmother to my unborn children. Even now, my heart still hurts just the same as that pivotal day. If I could undo that day…. that moment. If I could undo the chain of events which bring me here today.
This is the first birthday we won’t celebrate together but I wanted to keep up with our tradition, although I felt a little……..unsure when I ordered your birthday cake. I avoided our usual bakery so I wouldn’t have to endure the weird looks from old lady Smith. Remember how she use to stare us up and down like we were space aliens freshly transported from our mother ship? What is she, a mere hundred years old? How is it some of us barely live a life and others essentially live a few people’s lives?
I have a tremendous secret I’m keeping from everyone. I’ve even tried to keep it from you. I imagine you looking down from Heaven, shaking your head, your halo shimmering with each shake. I picture your wings trembling from anger and betrayal. I can almost taste the tartness of your tears, as they splash onto my guilt. I’ve resisted your presence in my dreams.
I know everyone thinks he’s a monster. So did I at one time. I had weeks of nightmares about him. Always chasing me, yelling he needed to make us angelic sisters. I’d wake, my heart slamming against my throat. I could never shake him, even in my waking hours. It became unbearable. I wanted answers. I wanted the truth as only he could confess. I fought it, denying the hell living within my soul. I pretended not to feel his pull, the weight of his need to answer.
When I was on the edge of my mind snapping, needing to know if he took you from us, I went to see him. Over and over I pictured us sitting across from each other, me demanding to know the truth. Him staring back at me. No matter the different ways I played the scenario in my mind’s eye, he could never quench my thirst to know quick enough.
I wanted to be free from the unknown. To have my pain eradicated within the breath it takes to create a mere moment of time. I wanted to be able to lay my head down at night and find you alive and well in my dreams. He gives that to me, Kelley. He releases the demons from within and takes them on as his own. He loves me in a way that proves he wasn’t the one to take you from us. I believe that within the entirety of my existence.
I don’t know if I will be back to see you again, Kelley. I’m torn. Conflicted. I think, sometimes, I can almost sense your presence, hovering, stalking. Maybe it’s guilt. I can’t say for sure. He calms me when I tell him of these feelings. He is not what the world seems to think he is. He is the man who loves me.
Happy Birthday, my dearest friend.
I gave Andrea this prompt: It isn’t every day you trip and fall into the arms of…………….