I lost my boyfriend Garin almost four months ago. We spent an amazing year and a half together. He taught me how to love and be loved, even with my terrible anxiety and unreasonable trust issues.
I’ll never forget the day I met Garin. I just turned 21 and started my second semester of my junior year of college at Chapman University. I was tired of being treated terribly and I vowed to not get serious with someone until after college. That changed in February of 2019. We matched on Tinder (very modern, I know). From the second I saw his picture, I thought he was so cute that I actually messaged him first, which I never do. On Friday morning, after talking for a few days, he asked if he could take me on a date that night. I was weary to meet someone online, so my roommates and I came up with a plan: They would go to the same restaurant and sit far in case I needed help.
The second I saw him, I was instantly infatuated. He was so cute, my exact type: brunette, skinny, a skater boy, just like I like it. He was wearing an 80s grandpa blue sweater (which I have and will cherish forever), black jeans, vans, and a hat. After dinner, he came over and hung out with my roommates and me. This wasn’t some guy who kept motioning to go to my room like in the past—he truly wanted to just hang out with me and get to know my friends. I remember when my roommates went upstairs to bed. It was just me and Garin on the couch and he was shaking, for sure nervous. He asked if he could hold my hand and I said yes. We just sat there watching TV holding hands, and it was so innocent. I’m not sure if I believe in love at first sight, but it felt like that with Garin.
Our first date turned into the entire weekend. I felt like I knew Garin my entire life. We literally connected the second we met and just clicked. For someone who is normally shy, especially around a cute boy that I don’t know, I felt extremely comfortable with him. The next year and a half were amazing. We talked about our future together and he showed me what real, pure love was. I’m so blessed to have been loved by him in his final year.
I woke up May 8, 2020 without a good morning text from Garin. The night before, Garin stopped responding around 4 p.m. I wasn’t worried, because he was known for falling asleep super early and sleeping all day until the middle of the night, when he would text me, “Oops fell asleep lol.” On top of this, he had a cold, so of course that makes you want to sleep more. So when he stopped responding, I texted him a few things and said I loved him and that I would see him tomorrow.
When I woke up the next morning with a text from Garin’s mom, I knew something was wrong. She asked if I had heard from him because she had not in 24 hours, and I said no. He had work at 7 a.m. and it was about 7:30 at this point. His sister then texted me asking for his address because she was going to go to his place. I texted his roommates. Justin, his best friend who was also his roommate, was already at work, but reassured me that Garin fell asleep early and that he was okay. I texted his other roommate and he said he would go check on him. When he didn’t respond within the next few minutes, I knew something happened.
Around 10:30 a.m., I got a text from Justin saying, “Call me as soon as you can.” I called, already knowing what he was going to say, but I still held onto hope. All he said was, “Hi Mel. I’m so sorry.” He probably said I’m so sorry about 10 times until I said, “About what?” But I knew exactly what the answer was. He said, “He’s gone.” I asked how, and he said he didn’t know. I hung up and fell to the floor. All that went through my head was, “What am I going to do?” I must’ve said that to myself one hundred times.
I honestly don’t remember much of the first day, week, or month of grief, I just remember a lot of friends visiting me, getting flowers and food sent to our house, and my parents helping me move out of my college home because I physically could not be in that house. It reminded me of Garin and my college life that was now over and all of our memories we had together, a future that will never be fulfilled for us.
It’s only been four months, but it feels like a lifetime. Garin consumes my thoughts every second of every day. Everything reminds me of him, and I’ll randomly go into crying spells. I can’t give much advice yet, but this has taught me that life is extremely short. Garin was seriously the one person I thought I couldn’t live without, that I would die without, yet I’m still here. I’ve also learned that no one is immune to tragedy.
Garin was the closest person to me, and the last person I would’ve even imagined I would lose. This may sound cliché, but please hug your loved ones and tell people you love them. You truly never know when it’ll be the last time.