The Night of the White Rose
My dear Addy,
It’s been seven years since you left, and I thought I would have learned everything about letting go by now. But here I am, mourning the day that I lost you in every breath I take. I try to hold on to memories, but what good are memories when you’re not here with me so we could make new ones?
I remember the time you took me up on the roof to see the Perseid meteor shower, and you told me to make a wish for every falling star that I saw. I remember laughing at your silly suggestion, because, of course the fallen meteors would appear every thirty seconds, and I did not have that many wishes I could think of, but I made some wishes anyway. I remember wishing that the night would go on forever, because that night was one of the happiest moments in my life.
I remember all of the mix tapes you made me. That’s how you got me to listen to Radiohead, and we even made plans to go see them at the Summer Sonic festival in Japan. Although that day never came, not even until they finally released a new album this year, and played there, probably for the very last time.
I still have that one photograph of my name carved in the sand, which you took on a secret beach in Eastern Indonesia on your backpacking trip with the guys. You framed it nicely and gave it to me on my 19th birthday. It’s still hanging on the wall of my bedroom in my parents’ house. I never took it down or brought it with me as I don’t wanna lose it due to my constant moving.
I remember the time you tattooed both of our names on my arms with a permanent marker, along with the words ‘Meet me in Montauk’ from my favorite movie. I couldn’t wash it off for days, not because of the permanent ink, but because of the lack of trying. We were quite bored that afternoon, and you suggested to re-watch that movie together for the 99th time, and yet I still cried my eyes off. I wish I had it right now, with actual permanent ink on my skin, but I never had the courage to do it because I’m afraid it would make it even harder for me to move on when it’s already difficult as it is.
Don’t get me wrong, sweet Addy, it’s not that I constantly think about you all the time. Work would sometimes get in the way, and I have tried to see other people now and then. But nothing seems to add up. And when I’m alone, and looking at the stars, or listening to Radiohead on the radio, or being on a beach somewhere, I wonder what you would have been up to by now. And when I happen to catch a falling star, I always make the same wish to go back in time and everything was alright again, and I could have you standing in front of me once again.
Only this time, I would do everything differently.
I would have said yes when you asked me to be with you, as someone you loved, not someone who held you dear platonically. I would have accepted the white rose, and not letting it fall under the rain, getting drown by the puddle of water mixed with falling tears. I would have held you tight, kissed you then and there, under the rain, not caring what everyone might think. I wouldn’t have turned my back and held your hands instead. And I would never let go, not even for a day in the last seven years, just because of stupid reasons such as, “I don’t wanna lose you as my best friend, because I’m afraid that I will, if this doesn’t work out.”
But of course the universe doesn’t work like that. I lost you anyway, because it decided to take you away from me — from your family and everyone who loved you — a mere few days after the night of the white rose. We hadn’t talked since then, so imagine how I felt when I found out that we never will, ever, again.
And everyday after that is about surviving, running from the shadow of guilt and self-pity for not being able to be completely honest with myself that I, indeed, loved you. And every night is spent by staring at the starless urban sky, wishing that we could at least have some time to be together in your last couple of days.
And I never buy a single white rose anymore for the rest of my life.
If time were a currency, I would slave myself all of my life just so that I could buy a ticket to go back to that night of all nights, before I leave this world. Because I know how it feels to live in a world without you, with a heart that carries a gaping hole from your absence, and dreams that filled with your warmth but faded into nothingness as reality comes again.