Why Death Sucks and How I learned to deal with It: Part One: Tyler

My dorm at Parkway Flats, Memphis, Tennessee during junior year of college.

For those of you who have been reading my pieces for the past three weeks, you probably already know as to what’s been going on with me. However, for those of you who don’t, basically, on July 24th, 2017, my little sister passed away due to depression and anxiety. She was only nineteen years old and not to mention, a budding artist.

It was very upsetting, not just because the death meant that I would never see my little sister ever again, but also because it made me realize that despite the fact that I was a nice person, sometimes, whenever I’m upset, I would have the tendency to pursue the things that I cannot (and should not) ever pursue. One of those things was of course, love, more specifically, the “love” of my sister’s boyfriend/best friend, Tyler.

Seven months after my boyfriend tried to take advantage of me, I felt like I was a total loser. Not only was I developing physical urges while trying to remain true to my values, because I was living in a single, I felt like I was living in an asylum. I wanted to have a boyfriend right away just like my friends, Kyanna and Katie, who would always find replacement boyfriends whenever their previous relationships didn’t work out. However, I knew that if I tried to find a boyfriend right away, I might get treated like a prostitute again, possibly even murdered. Unfortunately, that didn’t stop me from developing a crush on my sister’s boyfriend the moment I met him during my sister’s service in Savannah, Georgia.

So why did I like Tyler, you ask? Well, to put it simply, Tyler was a nicer version of one of my college crushes, Alex Nollan. Not only did he shake my hand right after the service, he was also one of the few people to bravely come up and talk to me about Diana. Even more so, unlike Alex, Tyler never tried to force me to become someone that I wasn’t. Before Alex graduated college, he told me that he wanted me to dress like a maid cafe girl as opposed to a rurouni in rags. As gross as it was, I couldn’t help, but be charmed by Tyler. After all, we were both looking for love in all the wrong places. I know, I know. I sound terrible, don’t I?

On the way home, my father joked about having me get married to Tyler. I didn’t think much about the joke at first. However, as soon as I started playing the role of mean old Mr. Spock, part of me developed the interest in the idea of getting married to a nicer version of Alex Nollan. To avoid suspicion, I murmured, “I hope he would do it for the right reasons.” But it was already too late. I was a cheeky little devil deep down. My mother was asleep at the time when my dad was joking around.

Ping(left) and Hershey(right).

By the time we arrived home, I tried everything I could to forget about my crush on Tyler. Not only did I read books and watched Youtube videos, I also did some writing on the side. At first, my plan for Operation Forget-My-Crush-On-Tyler went just fine. However, as soon as my mom showed me pictures of my sister and Tyler together, two of which were Tyler and Diana naked together at shoulder length, my physical urges developed. I didn’t want to hurt Tyler, but at the same time, I didn’t want to end up as a broken-hearted woman all over again. Up until I finally told my mom and my best friend, Carol about my situation, I shielded my eyes away from images of Diana and Tyler together.

Despite the fact that neither my mom nor Carol thought I was psychotic, as soon as the day of my sister’s service was approaching, my mom told me to not get too close to Tyler. I was so annoyed and hurt. I’ve already showed my mom the evidence that I was more than capable of handling my own urges. How many degrees does it take to get your mom to trust that you’re a fully grown adult who knows how to make the right decisions? Well, my friend, the answer to that is zero unless if you’re broke, you still don’t have a Computer Science degree, and you still live with your parents. Fortunately, I haven’t made any stupid moves or comments while he was visiting.

During the time of his visit, I only talked to him three times: one while I was in the car giving him advice on what to look for in study-abroad programs. Two, a little before lunch on Saturday about his favorite villains in Batman: The Animated Series. Three, a little before he left about his favorite Spongebob episode, as well as our hopes and dreams about wanting to do future collaboration projects with Diana, along with the relationship between pets and their masters. Each of those conversations I fairly enjoyed. Before he left, I gave Tyler a copy of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince. I also gave him a bookmarker of Hedwig in quill form. I thought that the book would serve him well, especially since it was short and philosophical.

As soon as my mom returned from the airport, she told her friends, Aunt Sandy and Yang Bing, that it may be the last time that Tyler would ever come over. Even though it was a little bit heartbreaking having to hear that, I knew that my mom just wanted Tyler to live long and prosper as the folks in Star Trek would put it.

Looking back, even though it sucked that I was an older girl who had a crush on someone who she couldn’t hang out with often, I was still happy to have met him. After all, he was just a regular college kid who wanted to make something out of his life. As much as he enjoys working with his bare hands, at the same time, he enjoys working with what is left of his youthful years. Even though I would love to have a guy who cared about me as much as Tyler did for Diana, at the same time, I know that Tyler would be heartbroken if one day he ever forgot about Diana. But at least there are plenty of fish in the sea as the old saying goes. If only some of those fish would either stop being chickens of the sea or bulls of the ocean floor.

Tyler, if you ever find this message, I hope that you would find someone who cares about you, just as much as Diana did. I also hope that we would continue to be good friends, even though your friends would think that I’m a creepy old lady by the end of the day. You deserve to be happy. After all, you are an artist. Artists strive to become happy, whether it is through their art or just interacting with people. Thank you for speaking with me by the way. Oh, and I hope that you enjoyed the book.

My stuffed animals and plushies. Enough said.