Last night, I typed in my old pen name and read all the letters I wrote in that second half of high school. It was eye opening, for one.
I found the letters I’d written about you. Some, I still remembered. Other memories exist solely in my mind, never given the courtesy of ink. Like when you waited for me after I held the door open for half the school.
I can’t believe it’s been 7 years since then.
I can’t believe you only made it for 6 of them.
Today, I went by your grave. I hadn’t been by since before I left the state, since before the storm. Even then, I didn‘t get to see your gravestone. I knew I had to go once I came back. I’m sorry it took me so long.
Selfishly, I wish I could publicly grieve. But they were piranhas last year, circling in the days after your death, waiting for me to say something. Waiting to pounce, and gleefully argue, “How dare you mourn him? How dare you express any sadness at his passing, when you so callously broke his heart 6 years ago?!” I know how to keep my silence.
It is true. I won’t lie. When you and I were together 7 years ago, I cheated on you. I could argue that I was 18 and we all make mistakes at that age, but I don’t want to. I’d like to take full responsibility for my actions. For breaking your heart. I suffered for it, if you were wondering. On top of the remorse, I lost nearly all my friends. I can only wonder how my life would have turned out if even one of them had treated me with grace.
It’ll be a year in 12 days. I argue with Him sometimes, asking him how on earth this was fair. Other times I thank Him for allowing your mother to be by your side those final days in the hospital.
All I have to remember you by are the letters, a yearbook entry, 2 pictures and a New York Yankees baseball hat. I saw that they put a Lakers logo on your headstone. I wish they had put a Spurs one too. You were so proud to be from San Antonio.
I can (and will) recite mea culpa to myself in those silent moments. I’ve been doing it for years. I will never stop punishing myself. You deserved better, so much better than me.
Wherever you are, I know you’re smiling.
I love you. And I am eternally remorseful.