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still remember your smile.
Ivory white and brighter than the summertime sun,
The image of you happy against a vivid urban backdrop.
Such naivety, such pure and simple innocence,
In my mind, was the epitome of beauty.
And I remember the tranquility of your presence.
The easy freedom of our friendship,
Those long summer afternoons idled away on our skateboards,
And afterwards, those warm summer nights.
Even then we knew there was never enough time.
And even then, we never thought it'd end.

I still remember the admission.
The sheer ferocity of the truth, the pain in your eyes,
Delicately framed in silver tears, a portrait of pain.
When between sobs you choked up the words that still haunt me:
He raped me.
And I remember how they deafened me,
How they revealed, in three syllables,
The true nature of things.
And helpless to do otherwise, I just held you.
For hours we sat, and I held you while you shook with grief.
And we both knew, right then, that it wasn't enough.

I remember those two years.
Staring on uselessly as you decayed from the inside out.
Seething with bitterness as the light,
That brilliant vivacious light,
Faded from your cerulean blue eyes.
And I remember how I died a little more each day,
Yet for two agonizing years I remained by your side.
And for two years, everyday, I told you I loved you,
And you said it back, with absolute sincerity.
As time went on, the dawn never came,
But even as the night grew darker, I never let go of your hand.

I still remember the moment.
The agony in your mother's voice,
When she said those words:
Alex is gone.
And I remember the bite of the winter chill,
The sound of the trucks on the freeway behind me,
My friends shouting to me from the car.
And the cold ache in my knees,
When I fell helplessly to the concrete,
And lost myself, lost everything,
Sobbing in the parking lot.

I still remember the burial.
The sad, sick mockery of the ceremony.
Your mother's face, her empty stare.
The way I couldn't feel the snowflakes on my cheeks,
Or anything at all, save for your absence.
And I remember the nausea, the absolute illness,
That came with the realization.
You really were gone.
And then came the pain, hard and swift like a fever.
But I didn't cry a tear that day.
And not because I wouldn't, but because I couldn't.

I still remember the aftermath.
How the days came and went,
How hours turned to weeks,
And friends turned to strangers,
All without my slightest acknowledgment.
How painless the razor's bite turned out to be.
And I remember bleeding in the same bathroom,
That saw your last breath.
Hoping madly, more desperately than ever before,
That I might see your face again, if only for a moment.
Just one last time.

But they found me.
They brought me to the hospital.
They worried, they toiled.
They filled me with artificial life.
They restored me pulse.
And they woke me up.
Cold.
Broken.
Helpless.
Useless.
Alone.





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