Dearest Sinai,

You know I love you, but my life is becoming unlivable. Despite your support and constant caring, I have decided that this world is better off without me. I have craved peace from my mother's drinking and my father's beating, and I hope that this will bring me the peace that I crave. I hope that, finally, I have found the solitude I desire. I hope God is, indeed, forgiving. Thank you for everything. Words cannot express the love I hold deep in my soul for you. Keep smiling, through everything.

We'll meet again in Heaven.

I love you. Know that, above all else.

-Jeremy

Sinai's hands shook as he read the letter.

"I thought we should give it to you," said Jeremy's sober mother as she looked for a reaction. "You were the person he was closest to."

Sinai turned from them as he searched for something to brace himself. He found nothing and instead collapsed slowly to the wood of his front porch, his face contorted in a grimace of pain as he clasped the note in his fist. Tears started to flow, each one burning Sinai's closed eyes, as he let out a howl of defeat. His Jeremy, his precious Jeremy, had left this world.

Footsteps sounded from inside the house as Sinai's mother appeared in the doorway, drawn by the cry of her only child.

"Sin, what's going on…Sin?" She crouched down next to him and put a comforting arm around him.

"What's going on?" she demanded roughly as she looked up at Jeremy's parents. "What the hell is going on?"

Jeremy's mother had burst into tears as well, but she managed to say "Jeremy committed suicide last night."

Sinai couldn't stand it. He could have heard it if it were implied, but hearing it stated so boldly, so plainly—so final—was unbearable.

Jeremy committed suicide last night.

Somehow, the blonde-haired boy found a way to get up, race up the stairs to his room, and shut the door before collapsing again on his bed.

Thoughts of Jeremy ran through his head. He remembered the first day they met, that uncomfortable first day of middle school when they were both completely new to the surrounding area. They had become friends that day and the friendship had blossomed like a lilac bush in the warm spring sun. Their friendship had changed its dimensions in the ninth grade, for the better of course, when Jeremy confessed his deepest secret to Sinai.

"I need to talk to you, Sin."

Sin sipped his hot chocolate and nodded to his friend across the kitchen table.

"Of course. Anything," he had replied.

Jeremy looked uncomfortable, which was not really like Jeremy then.

"Well, it's something I've never told anyone before—it's a secret."

"I can keep a secret."

Sinai watched Jeremy intently with his green eyes. After saying so much, Jeremy looked unsure.

Sinai scooted his chair closer and put an arm around his friend. Jeremy avoided his eye contact.

"Jeremy, tell me. I'm here for you."

Jeremy still didn't look up, only nodded and said something under his breath.

"What?" Sinai asked. "I didn't hear you."

"Sin," Jeremy said, looking up into Sinai's bright green eyes. "I'm gay."

"What?!" Sinai said, clearly shocked.

Jeremy looked nervous.

"Are you mad?" he asked.

"No. Of course not! It's just that…"

Sinai realized that if Jeremy could be that bold, so could he. There was safety and courage in numbers.

"I am too," Sinai said softly as he pulled his best friend into a tight hug. "I was just too afraid to say it."

Jeremy paused.

"It was eating me up inside," he said after a while. "I knew you were the first person I could tell. My parents would never understand. My mom's been drinking kind of heavily, and my dad's been gone for days. My family is falling apart. You're the only stable thing I have left, and I knew that even if you weren't like me in this way, you'd still be there for me."

"Of course I would be. You're so brave, Jeremy. I wish I were brave like you."

The memory faded into the black abyss of Sinai's mind. He remembered it just like it was yesterday, though it had been three years ago. Sometimes that specific flash of memory would jump in front of his mind's eye when he walked into the kitchen in the Christmas season. That day had sealed them together, safe from the invading world. Until now.

Rain started outside and another memory started playing in Sinai's head.

"This was such a stupid idea!" Sinai yelled as he ran down the rain-soaked sidewalk next to Jeremy. "Why did we decide to walk home today, of all days?!"

"Shut up! How were we supposed to know it was gonna rain?"

"Oh, I dunno, maybe the dark clouds and the brutal wind?!"

"I dunno, I happen to like the rain," Jeremy laughed as he stopped to catch a breath. "Stop being such a drama queen."

"I am not a drama queen."

"Are too, for a junior."

"Shut up! I am not!"

"You're just proving my point, Sin."

"Well, I have a point to prove!"

"Do you, now?"

Sinai pulled Jeremy down in the grass as the rain continued to pummel them. The blades of spring grass pricked their faces, ears, and arms as Sinai pushed his lips to those of his black-haired best friend and made them more than that. It seemed like ages passed before Jeremy yielded his lips to Sinai and kissed back, though it was really only a millisecond or two. Jeremy's arms wrapped around him and pulled him closer. When their lips finally broke apart, Sinai brushed the black locks out of Jeremy's eyes.

"Wanna go to prom with me this year?" he asked.

"I have an answer for that, Sin," Jeremy said, kissing Sinai delicately.

"I'll take that as a yes…"

More tears issued from his eyes as he remembered how distant Jeremy had been lately and how hurt he was by his mother's constant drinking. He remembered the night he saw the huge welt across Jeremy's back and a huge bruise across his thigh.

"It was my dad," he had said when Sinai had questioned him.

Sinai had learned from his years as Jeremy's friend that when he was vague, he wanted to be left alone. Usually, the topic came up again and they could discuss it at detail while there was a welcome shoulder to cry upon.

Why hadn't he called that night? Why had he just let it all go?

"I would have come over and gotten him. I would have taken him anywhere he wanted to go, as far away as he needed," Sinai sobbed into his pillow. "I would have helped him."

Sinai pulled the paper in front of his tear-soaked eyes and five words jumped out at him vividly. He realized that there was only one thing he could do.

With all of his will, Sinai searched through his father's room. He knew it was there somewhere. He could hear his mother shouting at Jeremy's mother about the matter at hand. Sinai found what he was looking for and headed back to his room. He scribbled a note to his mother and then left through the back door.

He marched through the rain with a mission in mind. The path behind his house led right to that same patch of grass where he and Jeremy had kissed that day in the rain. He knew that he could go there to think…and if not, well…he patted the cool steel in the pocket of his hoodie.

He looked back on everything that was his life. He thought back on the highly-poetic note he had left for his parents. It read:

Dearest Mom and Dad,

You know I love you, but my life has become unlivable. Despite your support and constant caring, I have decided that this world is now better off without me. I have craved peace from the pain that comes with losing my precious, precious Jeremy, and I hope that this will bring me the peace that I crave. I hope that, finally, I have found the solitude I desire. I hope God is, indeed, forgiving. Thank you for everything. Words cannot express the love I hold deep in my soul for you. Keep smiling, through everything.

We'll meet again in Heaven.

I love you. Know that, above all else.

-Sinai

The pain was insurmountable.

Sinai lay down in the grass, the memory of the boy he loved most in the world washing over him like the spring rain.

That day was their one year anniversary, he realized with a sad smile.

Holding Jeremy's note in his hand, Sinai put the gun to his head and pulled the trigger.

At first he thought it didn't work, and then he realized he was above his body, looking down. There was a spinning black tunnel with a light at the end. He drifted through it. As he got closer, he could see Jeremy's silhouette waiting there for him. No matter what happened, at least they were together. Anything was bearable, as long as the two of them were side by side. When Sinai finally reached Jeremy, they embraced for a long time and then walked off, hand in hand, to be together forever.