You're My Angel

You're My Angel
©2000
By Sarah
Short Story


    Dead.
    That word cut into my heart like a knife and stayed there, repeatingly stabbing me in the same spot, trying to make me hurt even more than I already was.
    Dead.
    My best friend, dead?  No, that couldn't be right, we'd known each other for too long, my best friend wasn't suppose to die, we promised each other to live forever, live with each other as best friends and live forever.
    But that wasn't going to happen.
    And I blamed myself.
    It wasn't an accident, I wasn't even there when it happened, but I blamed myself fully.
    I stayed in my house for days before the funeral, the small service that wasn't even going to be held in a big place with a bunch of our closest friends, but in a small home with about ten other people besides myself.
   Death.  Death wasn't a pretty word, and even though it was a bad thing, it was kind to my best friend.  It didn't destroy the way my best friend looked, the way I remembered.  It was so long ago that I'd seen my best friend, so it seemed, so long since I'd seen my best friend happy.
    My best friend was only happy when I was there, I was told.  My best friend couldn't be and wasn't happy when I wasn't right there next to them.
    So it was my fault that my best friend was dead.
    I beat myself up over it, I wasn't there when my best friend needed me most, I was too absorbed in myself to even think about my best friend.  And I regret that now.
    My house is empty, cold.  It used to be full of memories and laughter and a lot of noise because we were always either having fun together or having a party.  But that won't ever happen again, I wouldn't be able to do that to my best friend, I wouldn't be able to carry on a tradition like that without my best friend.  I'd already put my house up on market and it was in the process of being showed to a bunch of people.
    I couldn't live in that house any more.  Too much had happened there, too many memories had been started there, had been made permanent.  Had been resurfaced over time.
    I couldn't handle any of this, but I went to the funeral anyway, surrounded by my other friends.  I was numb inside, seeing my best friend lying in that coffin made it seem too final, made the reality hit me even
harder.  My best friend was so white, but death was considerate and left the features I knew so well in tact, leaving behind the beauty that many people had seen and knew was there.  I was hurt, I was to blame that my best friend was dead.
    I cried.  I never cried in front of anyone before, but at that moment, I didn't care.  I cried rivers of tears, though I kept hearing my best friend's voice that said to not cry, to move on with my life.  I couldn't do that so easily, it was going to take a long time, if ever.
    My family had flown in for the occasion, they knew my best friend well too.  Everyone knew my best friend, it seemed to me, my best friend made such an impact on so many lives, it was hard to believe that there wasn't someone who didn't receive any of the backlash from my best friend's advice or actions.  My best friend was such a good person, never did anything to hurt anyone.
    But I was hurt.
    I was dead inside.
    I couldn't handle the pain.
    My best friend couldn't either, that's why my best friend was dead, because of the pain.
    Pain that I caused.
    I made my best friend die.
    I made the world lose one of the best people on earth.
    It was all my fault.
    Everyone told me that my best friend was happier now, that no more pain could be felt.  They also told me that it wasn't my fault.
    But they were wrong, it was my fault.
    I was just doing my job one day when I heard the news, I was devastated and couldn't move, couldn't speak, couldn't think.  It was like I died too when I heard, but I was convinced that I'd felt my best friend die.  I was sick the day it happened, I was having the worst stomach pains that I couldn't walk.  Two days later, I found out why I was feeling so sick that day, because a part of me died when my best friend died.
    I might as well have died then too, or now, there wasn't much of a reason to go on living.  Not without my best friend, we were supposed to be together forever.
    So much for that promise.
    I was given a letter that was addressed to me.  I still haven't opened it, it's in my pocket, burning a hole next to my heart.  The heart that was stone cold.  The heart that was broken and laying with my best friend in the coffin. I decided to open it and read it to the congregation.
    At least then I wouldn't be alone when I read it.  Though I wanted to be alone when I read it, I also didn't want to be alone.  Sounds weird, I know, but still.
    It was my turn.
    It was time to open that letter and tell them all what it said.
    I opened the letter after I said what I was going to do and pulled out the two pages of stationary, nearly collapsing at the sight of the handwriting.  I read it aloud, not forgetting a word, but stumbling a little,
crying over what I read.
    My one best friend.
    You mean the world to me, you know you do.  I never wanted to leave you behind, but circumstances had planned otherwise.  Remember everything we had together, everything we shared, and never let go of the good memories, but don't dwell in the past either.  You have to move on, I realize you don't want to, but do it.
    I love you, I always have and I always will.  There's nothing in the world that could change how I feel for you, nothing can tear us apart.  Well, in spirit yes, but in life, a few things got in the way.  That's why I wrote this to you, to explain what was going on when you weren't there.  I know you were there physically as much as possible, but when you weren't there all the time, I started to slowly lose touch with my life.
    I believe it started early last year when you went on that world tour with your friends.  I never heard from you, I never saw you, I never talked to you.  I was torn up about it, but I tried to move on with my life, I had a lot of friends and they all helped me through it.  But it wasn't enough, I was wasting away my life because I couldn't be with you.  Do not, I repeat, do not blame yourself.  It is not your fault, it is mine.  Mine and my
horrible thinking.  I told myself repeatedly that I was nothing, that I was worthless, that I was nonexistent in your eyes.  That hurt, I told myself the same thing everyday and it hurt a lot.  Although whenever you did talk to me, you told me different, you told me that I was special.  I wish I believed you, I wish I was convinced by your kind words.
    As time went by, I repeatedly beat myself up over little things and became very depressed.  My downfall was my own fault, never blame yourself over what I did.  I did so much to try to stop the pain, counseling,
medication, saving money to go see you, talking to people about it, nothing helped.  I was missing a piece of me when you were away and I couldn't do anything about it because I wasn't able to.
    I finally decided, a few months ago, that if I couldn't go see you soon, I was going to commit the ultimate sin, suicide.  I didn't want to even think about it, but I did.  A lot.  I was very distressed and no one could hear me screaming for help.  I planned it all carefully, I was setting everything up to be perfect, that way it wouldn't be something that was disgraceful and something I would be hated for.
    As I write this, I'm sitting in the bathroom, getting ready for everything.  Promise me one thing, that you won't blame yourself.  It's not your fault for what I'm thinking, for what I'm doing, for what I'm about to
do.  Live your live to the fullest for the future is scarce, as you say.  I love you so much, Nickers, but I have to do this.  I have to stop my pain and this is the only way to do it.  I'm sorry to leave you behind, but please don't stop living.  Don't stop making so many people in the world as happy as you make them now.  I love you, and I know one day, after you've fulfilled everything that God has in store for you, after you've made everyone in the world as happy as you made me, we will see each other again.
                            Forever yours, faithfully,
                                            Aly

    I put the letter away in my pocket and walked back to my seat, the tears rolling down my face at lightning speed.  As I sat down, my mom gave me a hug and Brian, my other best friend, gave me a pat on the shoulder from behind me.
    I, Nickolas Gene Carter, lost my best friend, Alexandra Rose Collins, a.k.a. Aly, because I was never there for her.  I lost my Aly because I never told her how I felt, that I loved her with all my heart and I wanted her to be more to me than my best friend, I wanted her to be my girlfriend and eventually my wife.
    I loved Aly, and now she was gone.  She was gone because she swallowed a bottle full of painkillers that caused her entire body to shut down.
    She was gone because I was never there.
    I love you Aly, and always will, and I promise to try to keep that promise, I'll try to go on with life and keep making people happy.
    You're my inspiration.
    You're my love.
    You're my life.
    "You're my angel," I whispered to her before they closed her casket.  I left the funeral parlor and drove home, to the home that I took off the market the next day.  The house may have a lot of memories, but they were happy memories.
    Memories that I wouldn't dwell on, but rather, treasure.
    Aly, you taught me so much, but you left before I could thank you.
    So now, I thank you.  You made me see what I couldn't before.
    You weren't the only one who could make people feel special.  I could too.  And for that, I thank you, I know what I can do for others.
    I can continue with what you started, making people see that they are all special and unique and that they have a purpose in life.
    Your purpose is fulfilled and you're waiting for me.
    I love you, and I'll never love someone as much as I love you.

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