When I say that my story starts at the end, I really do mean it. A final, irreversible choice which brought about the end of a delicately woven tale. The snip of Fate's scissors as she cut another thread.
I remember everything about that moment, the chattering voices, the smell of coffee, the green message on the cracked screen. My hoarse gasp, the tear which slipped down my cheek and my silence. The silence which encapsulated me and held me, pressing against my chest and my throat until I could no longer breathe. I noticed everything in that moment and nothing. I saw the shapes around me and felt the ground beneath my feet and I recoiled back into my mind, overwhelmed by the world. Then in an instant it was black and the words swarmed around me like wasps and tattooed themselves across my mind...took her own life...big white letters, smooth and unforgettable.
My thoughts wander backwards, tripping over memories, to the previous week. She's there, sitting on the end of my bed laughing at something on her phone screen, an earpod in one ear. Her long black hair cascades down over her shoulders almost to her waist. She looked so happy, the happiest I had seen her in a long time. She raised her eyes to mine and her face is spread with a sudden smile. Beautiful and carefree, almost as if a massive weight had been lifted from her shoulders.
The memory changes and I'm sitting next to her on the floor of her room. She's sobbing my name into my shirt, begging me to stay with her. Asking me to promise I will always be there. I hold her in my arms, protecting her from the monsters only she can feel, I promise to hold her, always.
I think of the poem I wrote for her that night, the night her mother left. She blamed herself, hated herself and her mother. I put my hand into my pocket and felt the scrap of paper against my skin. I never did give her the poem:
It's a wild thing a heart
A wild, daring, passionate thing
It can be dangerous though
For it can break and bleed and hurt
Hurt worse than a cut or a bruise
But there is something more dangerous than a heart
And that my dear
Is a heart attached to a mind
For more often than not
It is the mind that breaks the heart
It is the heart's own mind
The mind that should care for it
That stabs and cuts and breaks the heart
With whispers of self-doubt, hate and judgement
And each nasty little thought
Breaks a small piece off the once full heart
And scrapes and cuts away at it
Until there is hardly anything left
So be kind to your heart my darling
Let your mind whisper words of kindness
Words of love and hope
And care for your heart
Because someday, another will break it
And you need to be there
To gather up the pieces
You need to be there
To stitch it together and heal it
Because you are the only one who can make it full again
The poem seemed so contrived to me then, sitting outside the coffee shop at a small wooden table; watching people hurry past, busy with their own complex lives. The poem was so full of angst and drama, but what else could I do? I didn't know how to help her when she was alive. Now in death she seemed more real to me than ever before, living on through my thoughts. I did not know what to do back then as she sobbed into my shoulder and it was just the same in that small coffee shop. So I picked up a pen and I began again to write on the back of my poem. Maybe one day I could write of how I had let her go, of how I had come to terms with her decision. I doubted it, all I could do in that moment was write her a poem.