To The Friend I Couldn’t Save

I should have known. I should have detected a strain in your smile or a crack in your laughter. I should have sensed the reserve in your embrace or withdrawal in your gaze. But you shined so brightly—dare I say too brightly—that I developed a blind spot to the darkness that consumed you.

Was there more I could have done for you? Was there more I could have been for you? Why couldn’t I grasp the severity of my obligation to help you until you were already beyond help?

If only I knew then what I know now. Knowing it now is mere torture, a haunting call to action that has come too late. I feel like I am being pumped with adrenaline in an impenetrable cage. I march to your honor with aimless conviction. I am ready to go to war for you, but you have already fought your last battle.

I wish I could go back and wrap every inch of myself around you; I’d be a blanket to comfort you and an armor to protect you.

I wish you could have experienced the joy it was to be loved by you. I wish you could have loved yourself the way I loved you.

I wish I didn’t have to live in a world that you’re no longer in, where the days are gloomier and the nights are impossible to bear. I’d give anything to go back to the innocent days when the world was our playground and the future was our paradise. We had no clue where we’d end up or who we’d become, but one thing we knew with all the fibers of our souls was that we’d always have each other.

I should have uncovered your pain when you were within my reach, but I had no idea you were slipping. I was so captivated by the beauty of your sandcastle that I neglected to grasp the grains as it collapsed.

I will miss the parts of me that danced to the beat of you. I will miss the way you admired the random quirks of mine that nobody else ever noticed. I will miss hearing our memories from your point of view. I will miss the person I was through your eyes. I will miss the pieces of me that belonged to the entirety of you—the pieces that flew away with you when you flew away from me.

Although I could not save you, I will forever savor the many parts of you. I will hold onto the moments you impelled the air in my lungs to a whirlwind of awe that left me breathless.

It saddens me that the demons inside of you prevailed, but I will rejoice in knowing that they departed your soul once and for all. You deserve the peace and love that you so easily gave to others but struggled to find for yourself. May your new home bring you the peace that neglected you here on Earth. Safe travels on your exciting new journey, and I can’t wait to see you again, my friend.

About the author

I desperately want to live in an apocalyptic world.

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