To Michael, with love.

Five years old, in the living room hearing the screams of the family at war.
I would often leave and turn on the television and you were always there. You’d bring me comfort when I felt the world at my shoulders, when no one was by my side. I knew I could always count on you.

I just turned six, record stores over the city, my aunt told me I could get anything. Walking back and forth, your picture was staring back at me and the albums were sitting beside.Bad and Thriller, a photograph of you performing live, I left happy while my aunt scowled at me throughout the entire ride.
The picture went on my wall, and the albums laid peacefully on my desk, that was my favorite childhood memory.

Seven years old, I watched as the world threw you in the dirt.
I watched as they tore you in half, as they stole the life from your eyes, as they completely shattered your image.
The lies spread on the newspapers and magazines, the media had nothing better to do. How could they do that to you? They all said guilty, my heart believed your innocence.
You walked out a free man, but you never came back.

I just turned ten when you decided to return;
You welcomed the screaming crowd full of tears and excitement, you said “This is it.” but who would’ve thought the end was already near?

3 months later, you were gone, but this time for good. I didn’t want to leave my room, I felt like everything I ever loved was taken from me. I use to feel comfort knowing we were both under the same sky, that one day I would see you in person and tell you what you meant to me; I wanted to say you helped ease the ache of this everyday pain, you were there to wipe my tears, and you gave me strength to get through another day.

Throughout that night, I stared into the night sky, your music was playing from neightbors homes, to around the world.I didn’t sleep; I had trouble sleeping for the next two weeks.
I watched as the words “I love you and I’m sorry” left those who did you wrong your entire life, the same ones who helped break your spirit, they apologized, but it was too late; The world apologized, but they did so too late.
They did so when you were in a casket under the ground; they should’ve known you needed to hear those words while you were here with us, while you spent your nights wondering about your fate, wondering what you did wrong to have the entire world against you. It was all too late.

You were all the good I believed in the world.
You made me want to be a better person, You restored my hope when I felt like I lost it all.You were the definiton of what love can look like, of what love is suppose to be. I wish you knew you’re a hero in my eyes, you’re my hero for the rest of my life.

Years later, I still watch the sky while listening to your music; years later, I still have trouble sleeping on June 25th,
your pictures are still on my wall, your albums are laid on my desk, and that childhood memory is still my favorite.

— Topaz P.

June 25th, 2017, 2:21 am