I didn’t care that I was dying, not for me, I cared for her because I knew that she loved me and I could not begin to imagine what my death would do to her. But I had not a choice nor a chance, and as I felt the life leaving my eyes as I stared at her, trying to convey in them just how sorry I was, I knew that I could not let this be the end.
There was a light at the end of the tunnel just like they say, and what lay on the other end I wasn’t ready to know, for I knew one thing and that was: if she were waiting for me there, there would lay many a year between my death and hers.
So I did the only thing I could think; I went back, but time had passed and as I went to the place my body had been, I arrived to fallen leaves that once were green, and myself a scattered mess yet perfectly whole, the world distorted yet perfectly clear. I could feel myself slide with the air, myself a greater force than it could ever be, but I let the rhythm guide me for I had little anchor to the earth beneath what I perceived to be my feet.
I was not certain if I could feel, but I could feel memories, scars even, like the living feel a needle’s prick. I could feel her crying in the wind in the trees, I could feel the coldness of death and a rapid desperation, hoping and hoping and hoping I’d have a second chance in the green of the grass. It was as if this place I had consumed, tainted, tarnished. It was mine for I had had a greater impact than that of the largest fallen leaf. And her. Her.
And I was there with her, suddenly and smoothly, in her room adorned with photographs I could feel her eyes afraid to look at, afraid to erase the memory of my eyes the last she’d seen. It was all wrong: her lying in that bed, crying tears that would no longer come to make her feel the pain, while I, forever dead, watched unable to help, the cause of every pain she felt.
Cause. It echoed in my head, or perhaps all of me was my head, or perhaps I didn’t have one at all. Cause. I felt guilt, unearthly guilt, strong and consuming and everything. Why? Mistakes. I’d made them, I knew. What were they? I didn’t know. Wouldn’t.
Her. There in that bed alone. Beside her I lay the best that I could, wanting to feel her skin and hold her and love her like I wished that I had. Too scared in my days to say a word, afraid to break her, but in not doing so had perhaps broken her even more. Cowardice. Utter cowardice. The human: so afraid as if they have time to be.
She looks to me and I believe, if only for a glorious second, that she can see me. I touch my hand to her cheek and she closes her eyes and I believe that some small part of her knows that I am there, a part unwilling to be heard for the pain that it would cause if it were wrong. Hope can be a terrible thing sometimes.
Then she speaks to me and I remember she’s a dreamer. Is she talking like one does to the stars or does she speak to me? I can never know and only hope. Hope.
“Why did you do it?” she pleads, eyes still closed, “Why did you do it when you knew that it would kill you?”
And in those words I know that she knows, and I realize with a shattering heart that I can hear her, but she cannot hear me. I cannot apologize. I cannot… when you knew it would kill you. I did. I knew that I did. Insanity, oh could I call it that? Stupidity. Utter. A blind jump into the night, if only it were, for I had a guide of my insanity. My. I convinced myself another bottle wouldn’t hurt. Fuck. That it wouldn’t be too far. Fuck. That I would land like feathers. Soft. Absurdity. But they chased me, didn’t they? I didn’t have a choice? I did. I did. I did.
I move away. It was my fault, each and every second. I might as well have broken her with my own two hands, shattering her like glass. God I hoped she was angry. I hoped she hated me. How could she not? I never even gave her the chance to let me love her back, to let her heart land in another’s.
And she lies there and tears fall and I know that she can’t hate me. Why is it so easy to be careless with your own life? Why is it so easy to forget that you matter to others as they do to you? That should have been all it took. That they matter. Not me, not me to them, but them to me. Leaving a shattered world of everyone I loved. How could I? The words are suffocating yet I need no air. The world is not enough space to contain my regret. I try to leave, but there she lies. Tears. I have to say it. Eyes aren’t enough.
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry. So sorry. So god damned sorry, so god damned stupid,” and I don’t deserve it, but I see that she nods, that somehow she knows.
I regret every second that I didn’t tell her I loved her, every bottle I drank in vain. A waste. An utter waste. I was nothing but destruction. Disgusting. Not ever worthy. I feel not an ounce of sorrow for myself, only for what I’ve caused on others. Careless. So careless. I never mattered, not even for a second, not on my own, but in their eyes I did, and that’s enough to make the tiniest man grand, and I took it so for granted.
So broken she is, falling apart at the seams. This is what I mean now. I mean heartache. I mean not my name nor what I’ve done; I mean my mistakes. Those things I cannot change. They are what matter in the end. What I didn’t do, what I did, but should not have. They are all that I see. Crying eyes at my hands.
And how I’d laughed, careless and crass. Now to be remembered for the good times because it may be easier to hate, but if you cease to love, the dead can never win you back. Couldn’t they just forget? Never. Not ever. In death I’ll live with that. Carving out the good memories because I don’t deserve them. Regret. You shall regret. Regret until the soul can no longer bare the weight of what you’ve done. What I’ve done. Fuck.
I’m taken away. Gone. Done. I regret. I never move on. I regret. It eats me alive, or what little life is left, and I accept every second of it, because my god, I deserve it.