Harder to Breathe
My whole life, all I've ever been is what I was expected to be. They wanted me to be smart; I got straight As in school. They wanted me to be unsocial; I had very few friends. They wanted me to be a kid; I never grew up.
I never, not once, got asked "What do you want to do? Who do you want to be? How do you want to act?" I was expected to do, to be, to act what they wanted.
I followed protocol, obeyed rules, stuck to the book. Until, one day, I just woke up and realized I was bursting. I just couldn't do it anymore. Any of it. So freakin' sick of all this shit.
You helped me realize so many things. Amongst those brilliant things was the fact that I matter more than anyone else. That is a fact.
If I knew "I'm sorry" held any meaning to you, I would say it. I would say it a million times a day, for the next million days. I messed up. I went in their path, did what they wanted me to do. It's too late. But I just can't seem to forgive myself.
No one has ever been honest with me. Except you. You helped me realize so many things, helped me be so many things except what they wanted me to be.
I miss you.
You were there for me when no-one else understood. I never got that, until now. How much you were actually "there".
There's nothing worse in the world than losing your best friend.
Except probably knowing that you can never read this letter because it's too late.
I still can't grasp at the idea that you're actually gone. I still stare at my phone every two minutes, waiting for that text message you promised me you would send before you went into your car and drove off.
You said you would text me when you get there, to the airport, and you would tell me how you're feeling now. Because you were mad. At me. It's ok, though. I'm mad at me too.
I keep wondering what the text would've been. "I feel better now. I forgive you" or "Screw you; I can never forgive you for what you did to me"? I still wonder which one it would've been.
Then I realize that, even if deep down inside you wanted to send the second one, you never would have. Because that's how awesome you are.
Then I think about that drunk driver. The one in the truck who missed the red light. The one that kept going after crashing into you. The one that didn't bother to stop and check on you or even call an ambulance. I think whether or not it's forgivable for me to wish bad things for other people. Because I wish he will die a terrible death and no one will care.
That's who I've become now. Someone I can't even recognize.
I woke up this morning and put on the suit. Then I looked at the mirror and wondered, "Who the hell are you now?"
Why is there so much hatred in me now?
Then I looked at the clock and realized that I had to go to your funeral and then realized that because I was about to attend your funeral, that that's why there is so much hatred in me now.
Your mother gave a eulogy. She didn't have to, though. Everything she wanted to say was written all over her face.
There are no words.
Then your sister said something. I don't really remember any of her speech, it was a bit long.
But I do remember the last thing she said. It stuck to my head and I can't get it out now.
After a whole speech of how much she's going to miss you and what an amazing person you are, she then just looked at the crowd and sighed: "It's gonna be so much harder to breathe now."
That had me hooked. I was astounded by how true that was. By how hard it was for me to breathe without you now. It's so much more energy-consuming now. So much more tiring. Wish I could stop it. The breathing, I mean.
I'm staring at the computer screen and I can see my reflection. The big gray circles under my eyes. The messed up hair. The shirtless chest. The weary pupils.
I don't know who that man is anymore.
Because I don't know how to exist in a world where you don't.
How is that even possible?
Then I think about this letter-thing that I'm writing. And how stupid and meaningless it is. You're never gonna read it, so what's the point of it anyway?
Your 16-year-old cousin came up to me after your funeral and cried over my shoulder. I pat her on the back and said, "It's gonna be ok… it's gonna be ok."
And she looked up at me and said, "He always thought of you as his brother."
And then the breathing hurts all over again.
Can't make it stop.
I Googled "trucks" earlier, searched for images. I don't know the point of that either. I thought maybe if I saw what killed you that I could get some closure. But then once I saw a truck, I felt the burning sensation in my chest again.
And then I exited out.
My mom walked into my room a few minutes ago, asked me if I needed anything. I said, "Yes. Bring him back." She cried and left the room. Then came back a few seconds later and told me it's 4:30am and that I had to get some sleep because tomorrow's gonna be a whole other day.
Tomorrow's gonna be a whole other day.
Another day that you're not part of. I don't know how I'm gonna survive that.
But I'll tell you all about it tomorrow.
I love you.