Ever since I was 14 years old, whenever I hear the haunting echoes of the sirens of an ambulance weaving their way throughout my memory and the streets of my hometown, I drop everything and pray. I cross my fingers, toes, arms and legs, and hope to God that those sirens aren’t coming for anyone that I know or love in the way that they came for you.
I guess there’s something debilitating about seeing a fellow 14-year-old classmate’s body on display and having to say a final goodbye during the time in our lives when we all still thought we were invincible. I may not have been a strong presence in your life, but your departure, as well as its representation of my own mortality, fucking broke me.
Through your death, I acquired a lesson that most people are fortunate enough not to learn until much later in their lives.
Time is a privilege, not a guarantee. Age doesn’t mean shit in the eyes of death, and you are not special. Everyone and everything is temporary, and loving anything too much is just asking to have it taken away.
If I’m being honest, I’m pretty sure I suffer from abandonment issues now. Your death, and the deaths of all of the classmates and friends that followed, made me realize that people will always leave, even if it’s not voluntary. Now I fear truly committing to anyone out of the fear that something unexpected will happen to them, the way it did to you. Now I have developed the coping mechanism of pushing people away before I can get too attached to them or they can leave.
I know you didn’t leave by choice. Neither of us expected me to miss you this goddamn much. But here I am, 11 years later, still missing you with every god particle of my existence, in the form of bad poetry and failed relationships. So maybe I am not okay.
Perhaps acknowledging it is the first step to fixing it.