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Four Months In, Four Months Without

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Two Weeks Without:
The funeral was this Wednesday. His mother was there, and his sister cried the whole time. They ignored me, and it was like I wasn’t even there. I don’t think they wanted me there, they never did. They may have loved their son but they have never loved me. The truth is, I’m scared to go back home, his ghost still waits for me and I want him back but not like this. I miss him, or really someone that could actually stand being around me.
I even miss the arguing. I remember just how annoying it was. He always thought he knew what was right for me, for us. Sometimes I said things just to see if he really cared, and sometimes I believed the things I said. It was comforting to hear those reassurances, and now that’s just something I can no longer count on. I realize there’s a lot I can no longer count on, and I can’t believe he’s gone.
The room seems colder now, and the darkness is overbearing. I keep waking up in the middle of the night, reaching for someone who isn’t there anymore. It is terrifying to expect to find warmth, and to instead feel emptiness. I spend my days the way I always have: I go to work, I eat dinner, sometimes I read and then I sleep which is when the nightmares begin.  Every now and then I read something or see something that reminds me of him and I call for him, only to remember that he’s gone. This happens a lot more than I would like, and I want it to just stop.
There are a lot of things I want to stop. My ears are ringing, the laptop screen is too bright, my head is spinning, and my head is filled with a voice screaming for help. It’s been two weeks and I feel lost. I think I’m sick and I’m not sure what’s caused it. Maybe I’ve been spending too much time outside, and maybe it’s because I haven’t slept properly in a while. I look like a dead man walking and I can’t help but wonder if this is how he feels now. I do hope he’s better off than I am right now. The dead can’t feel, can they?


Four Weeks Without:
The police are looking into what happened to him. They come around very often and I never know what to tell them. They’re probably so incredibly frustrated and there is nothing I can do to help. I never seem to have the words. He was there and he was gone, and I keep forgetting that. The police leave me alone, say that I should have time to grieve. I suppose that’s what I’m doing, right? I don’t think I’m grieving. Grieving implies that I’m lying in bed staring at empty walls and looking off into the distance. That is not what I have been doing, it feels more like I’m waiting, for what, I don’t know. Every part of me screams and itches. I am not static, I am restless and that hurts more than anything else could have.
My mother says I should get a therapist. She says it wasn’t normal for me to go on with life as if nothing has happened. She thinks I should spend more time with people and to just talk to them. People don’t get it, no one ever did… well he did. They don’t know what it’s like to see things that remind me of him every day but not being able to see him. They don’t understand that I used to see him every day and now I can’t see him at all.
I found those stupid notes he left in all our books. He liked that kind of thing, and I guess I did too. I miss that reassurance that someone cared. Sometimes when we had had a big fight he’d leave peace offerings in the book I was reading. I keep thinking he left after a fight we had and that maybe he’ll show up one night. Of course, he doesn’t. He can’t do that anymore, can he? This time, no amount of begging will bring him back, I know this because I tried.
They said he had bled to death after someone stabbed him. This seems like the most horrific way to die to me, and he had hated blood, even paper cuts. I don’t think this is how he would have wanted to go. 
I remember going to the clinic for tests as a child. The nurse would always clean up after, but I felt dirty and itchy and restless for the rest of the day.  I hated getting tested, I still do. The pain never bothered me, just the uneasiness that would follow. I can’t imagine how much he had bled. I hope it was quick.


Six Weeks Without:
They made me go back to work today. Everyone gave me these pitying looks that said you poor thing and I’m sorry for your loss without them ever having to open their mouths. They seemed to think that their pity meant something. I didn’t need them reminding me that something had changed and that I had lost someone. I don’t want to feel like I’ve been crippled, as if I am no longer capable of functioning.
I came back from lunch today and found that someone had taken away the framed photo on my desk. When I looked for it, I found it in the trash. They had broken the glass and had tried to dispose of it. When I tried to pick it out of the bin the glass cut my finger and I spent a few seconds staring at the wound. It made me uneasy and I started thinking of his death. I started wondering how anyone could have let him bleed to death like that.
The glass didn’t cut too deep and I only had to apply pressure for a few seconds but I spent the rest of the day on edge. These days I’m always on edge and the worst part is that there’s no obvious indicator of what’s setting me off. That cut bothered me much more than it should have. I suppose that since everything up to this point had reminded me of his life and seeing something that I could link to his death was jarring.
Maybe I’m over thinking this. Maybe I’m like this simply because I’ve always hated blood. I’m trying to move on, I really am. It’s just that it’s only been a little over a month.


Eight Weeks Without:
They’re getting impatient. Everyone’s expecting me to get over his death already. They tell me that I need to move on. Do they not understand how hard it is? Do they know what it’s like to have someone removed from your life in such a permanent manner?
The people trying to figure out who killed him keep coming back to ask me questions I don’t have answers to. I want to scream and shout and throw things. It’s frustrating because I have no idea what to do and I want him to help me but he can’t. His death is the reason why I’m so frustrated right now and it’s so incredibly ironic that his presence is the only thing that would solve this problem.
Why did someone have to decide that he just deserved to die there? Who thought that they could hold his fate in their hands? Why would anyone kill him?
I tell the detective that I don’t remember anyone ever hating him. There had been people who were irritated by him, perhaps people who didn’t like him, but never to the extent of murder. Why would anyone kill someone for disliking them? They always leave and they always have that expression that says you really should be over it by now.
Now I think about it, I can understand why anyone would want to kill. I kind of want to kill the people who give me those looks.
The people at work who had been so pitying earlier on? That pity is gone. They don’t care about my grieving. When they notice that I’ve been still or that I haven’t spoken in a while they look at me with the same you-really-should-be-over-it expression. One of my coworkers saw the broken frame and asked me why I had broken it.
With the investigation and everything I feel so strung out and my face looks so hollow. Maybe I am the dead man and he’s the one still living.  The way that everyone speaks about him, he may as well live. He had been loved and I never was. I’m only now realizing that he had been the only person who cared about me and now he’s gone.


Ten Weeks Without:
I called in sick today. They seemed to understand but were disappointed. Well, I’m assuming they were, I know I am. He probably would be too. I wonder if what I’m doing now is grieving. I’ve gotten the empty stares down and I’ve spent the entire day in bed. It’s not like I’ve been sleeping either. I’m not entirely sure what I’ve been doing. I cry sometimes, but most of the time I feel too worn out to cry properly.
My mother called. I couldn’t be bothered to pick up. She’s worried, I know she is. She’s lost her parents before so she should know that it takes a long time to grieve. Or maybe she didn’t mourn the way I am, if what I’ve been doing can even be called mourning.
I feel restless but I can’t move. I can’t get out of bed and I can’t bring myself to see people. The itchiness is still there and there’s still screaming in my head and this terrible restless energy. I have to do something, but I can’t. I can’t explain this to you if you have never felt like this, but I will try.
Imagine that you are in the ocean. You’re alone and you can’t swim very much. Let’s say you start bleeding and you know that it draws sharks. So you try to swim away, to get out of the water where there are no sharks. You know you need to get to somewhere safe. You know you have to move, you feel like you’re being hunted and you have to get out of the water. But you can’t. The water stops you from moving and then the sharks come.
That’s what it feels like.
I wonder if the sharks came for him.


Twelve Weeks Without:
They’ve begun suggesting I get help, and that maybe I should take a break from working. As if the world works like that.
I’m realizing that. The world doesn’t stop because someone was killed. Time is moving so slowly and it kills me with how slow it is. It still moves and it’s going to leave me behind. I think it already has.
The days pass and nothing gets better. It’s an unrelenting ocean of sharks that smell blood.
That metaphor had meaning before, I’m not sure it does anymore. It just makes me think of water and drowning. It makes me think that drowning may perhaps be the best solution. Let the sharks come for me, I have bloodied the waters and they may as well tear me apart. I’m not sure if it even is possible for me to swim away at this point. My hands are drenched in blood and I’ve fallen into shark infested waters.
I tried to drown myself today. Mostly I just sat in the shower with the water still on. I ruined his life and now I’m ruining the environment by wasting water. I’ve gotten good at ruining things. It’s like I’m incapable of being good at anything.
I can’t remember his voice anymore. Which is weird. For a while I’ve heard him screaming and crying in my head for a while. Now it’s gone. I vaguely remember his face, but that’s probably because of the photos. I’m losing him and I don’t want to.
I’ve begun going through our things. Old books, clothes, basically anything that reminds me of him. I was going through the books and then I got up for some reason. When I got back they were all torn up. Did I do that? Maybe I did. After all, I seem to ruin everything I touch. Maybe I did break that frame.
I probably ruined him as well.


Fourteen Weeks Without:
They think I’m guilty. Now they’re asking about my relationship with him. Things like did he cheat? Would you say you had a peaceful relationship? Was he abusive?
Well, they haven’t said anything to me but every question they ask seems to suggest it. I never have an answer. Why would I do that? Why would I take away the only person who had ever tried to understand? They don’t understand. No one really seems to.  They don’t understand him either, no one really had. Sometimes they’d pretend to understand him when they didn’t. We had that in common, people never understood us.
Of course we argued, there’s conflict in every relationship, that’s normal. He tried to understand me, when I already understood him. Why would he ever keep secrets from me? First of all, I’d find out eventually… right? And secondly, we were happy. I’m sure we were. He wouldn’t have cheated and he definitely wasn’t abusive.
I wish he didn’t try to get other people to understand. I already did, I could read him like one of the books on our shelves. Isn’t it better to have one person that understands you completely rather than having dozens who can only be bothered to understand the bare minimum?
After I finished answering their questions I blanked out. I’m not sure what happened until I woke up and I was on the roof of the apartment. I don’t remember going up there, but it looked like I was going to jump. I woke up in time to stop myself from falling.
Maybe I should have.


Fourteen Weeks Without:
I used to look at him like I loved him. I know I did. I never believed that he could ever love someone like me. When we began dating I did everything I could to keep him from regretting me. I tried to be perfect. I would show up early, I would invite him over, I asked him about his day, and I did everything in my power to be normal.
Then, I had bad days when I could barely leave my bedroom. I had days when it was easier to stay silent and never say a word.  I had days when I couldn’t bring myself to see anyone, especially not him. He came anyway and I loved him even more for it. Then the fear came: that he was too good for me. He had a purpose and he was brilliant, and he was so much more. I had nothing to look forward to.
Sometimes he would tell me about people at work. People who made him laugh, people who irritated him, people who made him happy. This made me feel something dark and twisted. Maybe it was jealousy.
I wished that I could have made him happy. He said I did, but I don’t think so. I couldn’t make him happy, and I couldn’t make him stay. He’d find someone new, someone who could be clever and smart enough for him. An equal of sorts.
I had to keep him from leaving, didn’t I? I couldn’t wait for him to become attached to someone else. I had to make him stay while he still liked me. I thought that if he was dead, he couldn’t fall in love with anyone else. He would have loved me until his dying breath and I would have been important to him.
I… I regret that now. I may not have lost him to anyone else, but I lost him anyway. Losing him has always terrified me. I was terrified that I would lose him to someone who could make him so much happier. I was worried that I was too insecure for him to stay, and that he would leave, but he didn’t. He didn’t leave. He died before he could. Maybe he would have eventually. His death stopped him from leaving me, and it doesn’t matter. Either way, I’ve lost him. Either way, it’s my fault.


Sixteen Weeks Without:
What have I done?




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