Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Past Tense Won't Do

My best friend is dying. He is lying in a hospital bed, and I can't be there beside him. That's what's killing me. I'm sitting in an apartment simply waiting to hear he's gone and I can't do anything about it, I can't hold his hand, I can't tell him I love him, I can't see his smile one last time... My best friend is dying, and I am sitting here, hundreds of miles away, wishing I could ease his pain or steady his breathing or sing him to sleep or touch his face as he drifts away from me. I wanted to be there when he went. So that I can know that he's alright. If he dies and the next time I see him is lying in a coffin, it won't seem real, it won't seem right.  Seeing a face that's never been peaceful, lying there, motionless. It's hard to grasp. It's hard to accept. I don't know how to accept this.
Sitting here, in a pale tan apartment, waiting to hear that he got his wings... and his lungs. His lungs which failed him, his lungs which couldn't breath. Those cursed, stupid lungs. I'd have given him my own, but that wasn't plausible. Besides, he'd never have allowed it. He's stubbourn that way. And so are those lungs. Always filling with fluid, and now, just plain weak. I wish he'd been given a better set of lungs. Then I could have had him beside me forever.
He loved me you know. He really did. He said so himself, and that's not something he'd just say. He loved me. That way that people love each other when love is real. The kind of love that meant that when I said I didn't feel the same, he accepted it, because he knew it was better for me. The kind of love that makes me feel like an absolute dick for not loving him back. I wished I could have made him smile more. Wish I could have helped him more.
The truth is, he was always there for me. The truth is, he always cared. He offered to kill the men who hurt me. He offered to hold me when I cried. He made me smile when I wanted to hit people. He helped me become the woman I am.
I can only hope that I had some small impact on his beautiful life. His soul made such a dent on mine, I hope I made a scratch on his.
Because the truth is, I do love him. Maybe not in that way. But that doesn't make my love for him any less than a great love. He was my best friend and as I wait for the phone call that tells me that he's gone, I wish I could be with him to hold his hand and to know that he's safe.
I love you.