The Last Leter

September 10, 2008
By Chelsea Atkins, Warner Robins, GA


It's been a long time since you've left me. A long time. I can't even stand to think about it. There was nothing I could do to keep you with me. You said it yourself. There was absolutely nothing, even though I would have honestly given anything. You were so special.

From the beginning, it was like you were made for me. I know, I know. Super cliche, but leave it to me to be that way, huh? I never thought I would ever grow up. Apparently, no one else did either. I was supposed to be the one to be a bachelor for life, but you screwed that all up, didn't you? Tom got married a few days ago, you know. Even though you weren't there physically, we could feel you in spirit. Danny knocked up some bird. Amazing, right? You definitely called that one. Harry's engaged to an older woman. She's already got a daughter. You sure called that one too. She gets along real well with Rose.

Speaking of Rose, I'm sure you want to know how she is... She said to tell you hi and that she misses you, Mommy. It's difficult for her to grow up without you. I'm no good when it comes to all those little girl things. Luckily, Gio takes time out of her day to help me with little things, like fixing up Rose's hair all nice. Gio's going to be a fantastic mother. She reminds me so much of you. You were always so tentative.

I see Rose hanging out with her friends, and she just gazes at their mothers in awe. It's been so long, she's forgetting your face. I couldn't let her forget something as wonderful as you were, so I took out all the old photo albums and lined the walls with all your pictures from before you got sick. I know you think I'm silly.

She goes to sleep wearing that locket you gave her. She even bathes with it. She misses you so much... I don't think I've been around for her lately, because I've been trying to deal with my own pain. I feel like I fail as a father. Rose is my life now. Just as you were before she was born. I want to be there for her, but I don't want her to see how...broken I am because it would only hurt her more.

Our room still smells like you. The sheets still smell like lilac. Your clean clothes are still in the same drawers you left them in. I took the dirty ones out of the hamper before the cleaning lady washed away your scent. Your books still line the shelfs on the walls, now collecting dust. When I'm feeling more down than usual, I pull out one of those books that comforted you when I was away on tour. You had quite the collection. I can't bring myself to read your favorite romances though. That's just too much to handle.

Your wondering why I'm writing you now, of all times, right? Because I have to be strong, for Rose. I have to figure out a way to let you go. Well, not let you go as in forget you. I need to accept that I can't bring you back from the dead. I can't go back in time and stop you from getting cancer. I don't have that kind of power, as much as I wish I did. I will never forget you, Devonny Rose. I will never stop thinking about you as long as I live. You were my one true love.

I remember how you hated being called that. One true love. You never believed in love. You didn't know why either. You never found the right person to make you want to settle down. You barely wanted to settle down with me, but I made you. I would not let you go once I had you. You thought you were so invincible. Like if you kept your feelings to yourself, you would be ok, but you were so wrong. You thought you didn't need a man to make you happy, and you were right with that. You were happy when I met you. You never took that smile off your face, and that's why I fell in love with you.

You had men falling at your feet. You weren't cocky about it. You weren't arrogant. In fact, you were probably the humblest person I've ever known. You barely seemed to realize that they wanted you. Maybe it was because you had your eyes on me the entire time. Ha-ha, I would love to think that, anyway. Maybe it was the fact that I was famous that attracted you to me in the first place, but for whatever reason, you stayed. All those guys didn't have enough to keep you interested. There was nothing in particular about them. I met your exes at the funeral, and I happen to think that they are all swell guys. Because I was famous, you looked at me as a challenge, so I interested you. Even if that was the case, I don't care. You stayed with me. You fell in love with me. Nothing else mattered. Not even the reason behind it all.

And that was the first time in your life that you ever let your guard down. The first time you really allowed yourself to fall in love. Granted, it was the first time I had really let someone in that close too. It was hard for me to let you in at first, but you were patient. You cared about what was going on in my head. It intrigued you.

You said there was no point in falling in love because you would just get hurt in the end. You thought that nothing could be worth the amount of pain. You thought it was silly how people fell in love. Whenever you saw people walking hand in hand at the park, you rolled your eyes at them. And your way of thinking intrigued me.

It was when I proposed to you, I really understood the way you felt. You told me you didn't want to marry me because marriage dulled out the relationship. You were scared that we were going to lose our fire, our passion. But I was tired of you pushing me away. I gave you an ultimatum. Either you married me, or I was going to leave. I had spent five years chasing you. I was getting older. I wanted to start a life with the person I loved, the person I could not live without--you.

It was then that you left me. You were too frightened to change your ways, to give up everything you stood for. I was a fool for trying to force you into something you didn't believe in.

I spent the next two months alone, mostly. Tom, Harry, and Danny would try to pull me out for the night, but I stayed in bed. Tom set me up on dates with Gio's friends. None of them compared to you. Wild, wild you. I would get angry with you because I couldn't tame you. You were a free bird. Talk about a stab at my confidence.

I was coming home from a bar one night. Well, more like stumbling home. You were sitting at my doorstep. Someone I never expected to see again, and there you were. I shook off my stagger before I allowed myself to speak. You looked different. At the time, I couldn't quite place it.

"Dev, whatever you have to say, I don't want to hear it. I can't keep chasing you. I love you, but it causes too much pain."

"I'm not running anymore," you whispered. In the moonlight, I noticed something sparkly on your cheek. You were crying. You never cried. I had seen you cry once before, and that was when your dad died. Death was the only thing I knew of that phased you.

"....You aren't?"

You looked at me with those big, glistening brown eyes. "I don't want to be without you. I think I....need you." You really stressed that part.

"You think," I repeated, stumped.

"Doug, I love you."

You caught me off-guard with that. You never said that to me before. Before I hung up the phone with you, I would always say, "love you", and the most I got from you was, "you too".

Since I didn't respond, you took the liberty to keep talking. And what you said after that changed my life forever. "I want to marry you. I want to be with you the rest of my life, although, I don't know why you would want that. But if marriage is what it takes to keep you in my life, then I'll do it. I am willing to do it... for you. I just never want to be without you again."

"I don't want you to marry me because that's what I want. I want you to marry me because that's what you want." And as soon as I said that, I wished I had just kept my mouth shut. I was selfish. I just wanted what I wanted.

"Don't you get it? I don't know how to live without you. And that's what people do when they're in love and they want to be promised to someone forever. I'm trying to tell you that that's what I want. And more importantly, I think that's what this baby would want too."

Baby....? That's when it hit me. That's why you looked different. Your belly looked swollen. I couldn't stop my emotions from taking over me then. I cupped your face in my hands and kissed you as passionately as the first time I knew I couldn't live without you.

You backed away first. You grabbed my hand and placed it on your stomach. "You actually want this child?"

"Baby, I have not wanted anything more in my entire life."

You smiled that devilish grin I loved so much. "Not even me?" you pouted.

"I want you everyday until death do us part."

"Until then--" I cut you off. I scooped you up into my arms, unlocked the door, went in, and layed you gently on the couch, not taking my eyes off you for one second.

You noticed that. "I am not going anywhere," you reassured me.
"I know." I opened the drawer on the side table, and pulled out the little black box. I got down on one knee (I don't care if you thought that was ridiculous. I wanted to do it properly.) and said, "Devonny Rose Trenam, will you marry me?"

You nodded. That was it. And that was enough for a lifetime.

It was at a pregnancy check up that we found out you were sick. The doctor warned us it would be difficult on you to deliver, and it might possibly take your life. I was so scared. I didn't know what to do. You said you were going to have this baby, no matter what. I believed you. You were a trooper. It was hard to believe that anything could bring you down.

On February fourteenth, our beautiful daughter Rose was born. Our valentine baby. She was filled with love. That's what I always said. You survived that day. You were so weak, you couldn't even greet our little girl into this world. We had been so worried about your health and quickly planning a small wedding that we forgot to think of a name. The doctor told me I needed to choose it since you were not in any position to.

I named her after you. To this day, that's the thing she's proudest of. You should hear her introduce herself. "My name is Rose Poynter. I was named after my mommy 'cause she fought cancer. My daddy says she was the best lady ever. I don't really 'member her much but what I do 'member, was that she was bootyful inside 'nd out. She kissed my owies when I fell down. I 'member it always made me happy. I wish you could have met her." And no lie, Dev, I really heard her tell someone that.

It was four years after she was born that you lost your struggle. It came as a surprise to us all. We never thought you'd go. It was hard on all of us, especially Rose. It's really hard to tell a four year old that someone they loved died. I told her you were sick and that you were in a better place.

"Does Mommy feel better now?" she asked.

"Yes, honey, Mommy can't feel anything now, " I answered quietly.

Tears swelled up her eyes --my eyes. "Does that mean she's not coming back?"

I scooped her into my arms like I used to do you. "Yes, baby, but Mommy's always going to be with you..." I pointed to her heart, "right here."

As of today, you've been dead a year. I miss you, but I'm not going to stop living my life. I know you wouldn't want me to mope around. I'm going to be there for Rose. I'm going to be the best damn father I can be, and everyday, I'm going to remind her how much you loved her, how much you still do.

You taught me so much in our life together. You taught me what true happiness was. And more importantly, you showed me that love is painful, but all the good times have been worth every single tear I've shed. Your death tore my heart out. No one could even imagine my pain. I don't think that's even plausible, but I would never trade one ounce of that pain. It was worth every second I got to hold you, every kiss I placed on your lips, every 'I love you', ....every joy in every single day of my life.

And for once, I truly believe the saying --it is better to have loved and lost than never loved at all.

To my wife, to my child's mother, to my soul mate,
I love you, no longer until death do us part, but rather until the end of time. That will never change.

The author's comments:
As a teenage writer, I always liked to write things that connected with the readers on a personal level. Death or a loss of a loved one has always been what pulled the most reaction out of me, so naturally, I like to write about it. I let a friend read it, and she said, "Oh my God, that made me cry!" and that was exactly the response I was hoping for.

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This article has 2 comments.

itzthereaux said...
on Sep. 16 2008 at 8:40 pm
Wow, that was really moving. I just wanted to tell ou that, and I also live in Warner Robins, go HOCO! and my name is DEVereaux and thats what got me into your piece, its really good.

LaceyLoves said...
on Sep. 15 2008 at 11:00 pm
aw that made me cry


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