My head’s a minefield. Focusing on any one thought makes me feel like I’ll explode. I close my eyes… try to escape the chaos. It only intensifies the darkness. Mouths are moving. I think someone is talking to me. My brain no longer comprehends. The room feels small and it’s hard to breathe. It’s like my fears are a living entity, closing in on me. I concentrate on the sheet music in front of me. Remarkably, my fingers still move. I hear only the discord of life. Hollowness. Yet words slowly make sense again. “Let’s take it 8 measures from the end.”
I race for the privacy of a practice room. Still no messages. I deliberate calling while pacing the room. No part of me is able to keep still. Are they back yet? I sit at the piano, distracted. Suspense has never been so cruel. Captured in some timeless flow, every second takes its toll. Every minute so prolonged. Waiting for a moment to respond. Somehow, a lifetime manages to pass. When the phone finally rings… the atmosphere is cold. Hello? My mom’s voice is soft, slightly strained. She’s trying to keep it together. I’m sorry… Mimi… she has a heart disease. They said we need to put her down.
Everything happened. The air went away, the ceiling collapsed, the world gave out. It was like being overpowered by some otherworldly force that showed no mercy. Like waves upon waves of sensations that had enough force to tear out your very core. It wasn’t something describable. It wasn’t something that should’ve been real. How do you accept it? I was halfway across the world, studying abroad. I wasn’t going to be there for her. Not for goodbye, not even for just seeing her. In a moment like that, when you suddenly realize there is an end… you go back. You see the beginning, see the sweetest memories that become even more beautiful and more precious than you realized. You realize that loss is incredibly impossible. You feel paralyzed amongst colors so gorgeously vivid they blind you. You see it so clearly yet it’s not something you can hold ever again. No matter how desperately you cling, that single thread of life that intertwined with yours is gone.
I wanted to forget at first. Each picture, trinket, and plaything hurt. My heart was so thoroughly bruised. I needed to walk away, pretend I was okay. Grief left me empty. In an overwhelming way, it bared my soul to me, and then vanished. It was too much. I had nothing but a blank void to stare at. It was as if the very existence of my dear friend had been erased. In the wake of such horror and loneliness, you have no choice but to grab what little hope is left. Protect the value in what once was yours. Because the alternative is far worse. You can never afford to not remember.
So Mimi, this is for you. You’ll never read this, but I really miss you. There’s this deep ache whenever I’m reminded of you. A heavy regret that I couldn’t just look into your gorgeous eyes and say I love you. Shake your adorable little paw and give back the warmth you shared. Your warmth that was steady and ever so gentle. A wondrous light that will always live on. You are my beacon, my spoiled princess, and this is my small but undying dedication to you.