Every night, you cried yourself to sleep, thinking, "Why does this happen to me?" And although she was never there for you, she was always there, in a different way. She tortured your eyes, your thoughts and never smiled to you but down to you.
Every night. Every night you cried yourself to sleep.
You'd come see me, with the expression of a dead man. With an aching, pierced heart and you always seemed to be in pain. When I had the urge to touch your shoulder, in a simple comfort gesture, I was always taken aback by a sudden bad mood. She wrecked you. It's her fault. She's done this to everyone, and you thought you were different, or special. You were always special, to me. All those times you thanked me and walked away? I wanted to tell you. I wanted to scream it to the skies, that I love you. That someone still cared and wished you the best in life.
Shivers when you touched my skin, with your heated finger tips made me mesmerised for hours. But it was never the same. She was always the one you wanted. Your eyes never left her side, you followed her like a shadow, and she lapped it up like the dog she always was, to you.
I remember writing the messages out carefully, one at a time, but they were never good enough for someone as perfect as you.
No, I couldn't start that way. We'd been friends since kindy, we shouldn't be saying, "Dear" to each other, should we?
No, hey wasn't formal enough. This was a special moment for me, I only had one chance.
As I screwed up the paper again and again, I always ended up sleeping on my desk, sleep deprived and clueless. Some mornings, I walked past your house, hoping to see you waiting for me, to walk you to school. But it hadn't been that way since she came along. She made you different. She never saw the real you. Only what she wanted. She was clean and precise. With green eyes and brown hair, she wouldn't stand for a simple, amazingly funny mind like yours. Her family is nothing like yours. Hers never understood the meaning of love, and she was dragged into the black pit too. But never forget that I loved, no, I love you.
You always had an amazing air about you. Happy, simple, clean and friendly. There wasn't much I couldn't go crazy over. But we were always strictly friends, right? That's what you said in first grade.
"We'll always be friends." And then you'd smile and walk away. You never hugged me. But sometimes, in your sleep, I could hear you crying.
I remember when I first heard you sob, inhumanly. I didn't know what to do! So I wrapped my arms around you and you'd quieten down, dreaming calmly. I don't know why I never told you that. Maybe because I was afraid you'd never sleep around me again. I don't know. Maybe I was even afraid you'd love me back! Who knew.
During those years, I watched girlfriends come and go, always waiting for the day you'd see me. Me, the one who really cares. Me, the one who always cared. Me, the one who always loved you, for you. Hell, I'm no prize in the beauty department. But not everyone is. I just wish you'd see me, like you saw her.
I scrawled one last letter. One last attempt. I wrote huge letters, on a piece of a5 paper, "I LOVE YOU" And I threw it in my pocket. I ran out the door, and down the stairs, before I could change my mind. I took the first left corner, to yours. The short cut that I always took. I ran down your street. One way or another, I was going to make this happen. Short of breath, I kept running. A smile spread across my face with the adrenaline. I couldn't wait to see your face! When I stepped onto your doorstep, I could've knocked down the door with my pounding fist. Slamming it repeatedly until it hurt. When no answer came, I jogged around the house, to your bedroom window. You weren't there, and no one was. Even your dog, Snipper, was silent. You must've gone out. Taken her with you. But I was determined to wait. I sat on your door step and waited for you to come home.
Hours went past and I watched the sun set over the horizon. My Ipod had repeated itself twice now. I finally decided it was time to go home.
As I stood up, your family's black minivan pulled up. What great timing! I ran to the car, eager smile. Snipper was the first out. Her brown fur was vibrant in the breeze on that 16th of February. You didn't follow her. And your family ignored me, dragging themselves into the house, and clicking the door behind them. I rang your mobile, though I was outside your house. I folded and unfolded the sheet as I waited through the dial tone. Again and again it rang, until a woman answered.
She told me her name was Kellie. And that she found your phone on a bridge. You were always clumsy. You must've dropped it! I laughed, and she didn't laugh with me. How frigid, I thought. But a stranger did have my best friend's phone. She asked me if I wanted it back. To give it to you. I told her no problem, and that I'd meet her, on the corner of Subway near the hospital.
Kellie gave me your phone, with everything attached, as normal. She'd done nothing to it. You would've liked her. She reminded me of Christina Aguilera. You know? That pretty singer, with the blonde hair? Except Kellie didn't smile like a super star. She told me she was one of the devil's angels. I didn't understand at the time. That didn't make sense! Only God had angels. The devil didn't.
She told me the devil's angels always brought bad news, instead of good. I suddenly felt sick. Was she going to kidnap me? I suddenly realised coming here to meet a stranger at night, could've been a huge mistake. But she didn't appear threatening, just wistful and lonely. Plus, she couldn't pull that stunt here in a Subway.
She told me she knew you. That she knew you well. She used to see you all the time, apparently. That you used to tell her everything when you were younger. Then you grew up and became more secluded. I knew what she meant, somehow I felt we could talk about you for hours. She might understand my passion for you! But she didn't speak, just fiddled awkwardly.
She told me.
She told me it was wrong of her to tell me. To tell me that you had severe depression and anxiety. And that you'd had it your whole life. Once she told me, she pressed a long finger to her pink lips and whispered, "SHH." And tears slipped down her cheeks. She kind of smiled at herself. I like Kellie. We talk a lot now, did you know that?
Then she told me something else.
You'd jumped from the bridge. You didn't want to live. You'd died almost instantly. She let a few tears slip, and I just nodded, not believing someone I'd just met. Who would believe her? I got up from our table, and walked home.
I rang your house when I got home. Your parents didn't answer, and neither did you. I slept silently that night. Without a word. I didn't speak for the next week. My best friend was ignoring me. I always thought, 'did she do this to him?' But I still didn't believe. You were being such an idiot, ignoring me. Then, the day I received the letter in the mail, the one about a funeral, I knew. I ripped it up. Shredding and shredding until my fingers bled from paper cuts. I didn't speak. Not a word, as I walked into the crowded graveyard.
You could've always talked to me. I was always there, I loved you. No matter what she said, no matter how she felt. No matter how bad your dad treated you, no matter how many times people let you down. I'm sorry that your life turned out this way. I wish I could've been there more, known you better to see the signs that you were spiralling down. You never seemed that bad. You always wore a perfect mask. You always made me smile and laugh, I wish I'd done the same for you. Made you smile and laugh. I could've told you I love you. And as that thought crossed my mind, I took the letter from my pocket. As I approached your casket, I kissed the lid and placed the letter between the roses. I leaned against the stone that was now yours, but at the same time, you never knew about it. I cried, for the first time since my conversation with Kellie. I bawled, into the stone, face against the cold granite.
Someone tapped my shoulder. A tall woman, Kellie.
"For you," She handed me a folded sheet. An old brown sheet. She touched my shoulder and left.
She told me she was the angel of bad news, and as I opened the paper, folded so many times, I knew. In huge letters in blue ink, were the words, 'I love you.' And I stopped crying. I raised my head to the sky, and glanced up at those white clouds. You always believed in heaven. And I 'spose I did too. And if the devil's angels existed, then God's angels must be real too. I knew you were one of them now. A lost, troubled but now safe angel of God. I put the letter away carefully and whispered the words, "I love you too, we'll always be friends."