[Short Story] “My own body might as well be your grave.”

My brain is like some horrifying hybrid of the Energizer Bunny and Billy Mays.

By which I mean that it keeps going, and going, and going, and going…and just when you think it may finally stop for a breather BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE.

And so it also has a penchant for suddenly vomiting a new narrative at me out of complete and utter nowhere, and refusing to shut up until I finally give up and start writing the damn thing down.

This happened again the other night, and perhaps stupidly, I fought it like hell. I already have roughly 2934875 writing projects going that I need to work on and decidedly did not need yet another, and in particular I really did not want this one.

At all.

This one, see, is a girl writing to her best friend. Her best friend, who has just committed suicide.

You can probably understand why I didn’t exactly rejoice when her voice popped into my head without any warning, ahah.

But in the end, maybe the only thing actually more stubborn than me is my own damn brain, and of course, it won. I gave in, and all almost-1,500 words of it tumbled out in a writingfit that night, despite my own initial protests.

Fair warning: This really is not at all a happy sort of thing.

But apparently it had to come out, so here it is.

April 27th
You bastard.

I wrote those words on my own skin when they first called to give me the news, did you know? I dropped my phone onto the floor and I could still hear her talking, could still hear Are you okay? Are you okay? Are you there? and instead of picking it back up and answering with No — No — God I wish I could say no for that too — I picked up a pen.

I picked up a pen, and I half-wrote, half-carved the words You bastard into my skin.

You bastard you bastard you bastard you bastard you bastard —

Again and again and again.

I wanted to scream those words into your face instead, but of course by that point your face was probably already covered by a sheet, and anyway I could barely even breathe.

And so my own skin simply had to do.

I suppose it will always have to do, from now on.

You motherfucking bastard.

You motherfucking bastard.

Come the fuck home.
April 28th
April 29th
April 30th
May 1st
May 2nd
May 3rd
It’s been a week now, and there are still profanities lingering all over my skin, thanks to you. It makes me even angrier to think of how hard this fact probably would have made you laugh.

To be fair, I’ve barely moved from my bed this entire week, let alone bothered to shower. (And this probably would have made you laugh too, your hands pointedly ruffling my greasy hair…)

And I still can’t think of any better way to express myself right now than this.

You bastard, indeed.
May 4th
I wish that I could actually hate you.
May 5th
I refused to go to your funeral. Did you at least know that? Did you get to watch, could you scan the crying faces, did you look for me?

Do you miss me, too?

Do you miss me at all, even though you’re the one who chose to go?

Maybe the answer to all of those questions is yes. Maybe I’ve made you sad.

But I still think that you would know me better than that, even now.

And even now, I think that I know — fuck, knew — you well enough to know that this is not what you would want. Everyone standing around, crying, crying over a now-immobile sack of muscle and skin packed inside a wooden box that they are now lowering into the ground, a buried box of decaying biological matter that they will mark and continue to come and cry over for years to come…

Funerals are stupid, I remember you once said. You had wanted to be cremated, to be burnt to millions and millions and millions of almost-microscopic bits of ash and then thrown into the sea. Life is the exact opposite of clean and controlled, you said, and at the very least people deserved to have that when they died. Maybe there isn’t a heaven, you said, maybe there is no such thing as eternal life and absolution, but there are furnaces and fire and that one beautiful moment when you are scattered into the air and free, and maybe that will have to be enough.

But you didn’t bother to leave behind any sort of letter, and so I was the only one who knew, and your mother was so desperate for a wooden box in the ground (with a rock overtop it where she could go and sob at the mere sight of your name) that she refused to listen to me when she and your father made the arrangements for you.

I guess that’s what you get for not even bothering to say goodbye.
May 6th
I don’t need a hole in the ground to remember you.

My own body might as well be your grave.
May 7th
They think that I’m in denial, because I refuse to go and see your grave.

I know you’re gone.

I fucking know.

And I know that if you’re fucking gone then that means that you wanted, more than fucking anything, to finally be fucking free.

Free is not a fucking box in the ground.

You sacrificed me for your chance at freedom, and I don’t need to be reminded that you failed, that it all was in vain.
May 7th
I still wish that I could hate you.
May 8th
I want to hate you, because maybe that kind of intensity could actually get through, could actually reach you, wherever you are.

Clearly, love did not.
May 9th
It occurs to me that I want to hate you so that I can maybe somehow catch your attention long enough, get you to listen to me for long enough, to tell you that I don’t hate you.

Christ, how much sense does that make? I want to hate you so you’ll listen to me when I say that I don’t hate you?

Maybe losing you has fucked up my head even more than I’d realized. There’s a scary thought, or at least it would be if I could be bothered to care.

But love wasn’t enough to make you hear when I told you that I did love you, that it would be okay, that it would get better, that you weren’t alone. That you would never be alone.

Except now you are alone, and so am I, and so maybe love is nothing but a lie.

So would hatred be strong enough to get through to you? Would hate make you hear me?

Not that it would make any sort of fucking sense, being that the only thing I need you to hear is I don’t hate you, which would make this whole process utterly moot, but hey. I’m desperate here.

I’m desperate, and I have no idea what in hell to do.

But I’m so terrified that you left (“left,” I know you’re gone but I still can’t bring myself to say the D-word, I can’t) believing that I would hate you for what you’d done.

If you didn’t think I would hate you, then why didn’t you leave me a letter? Why didn’t you tell me goodbye?

I don’t hate you.

I do not hate you.

I don’t I don’t I don’t; I cry myself to sleep every night now and I’ve actually cried so hard I made myself throw up on more than one occasion and I wrote profanities all over my own body and people think I’m going slowly insane and okay maybe I am and my room is still a disaster from where I broke half my shit throwing it at the walls during one of those lovely crying fits that ended in vomit, but I do not hate you.

I do not hate you.

I love you, still.

You are still my favorite person, even if your body is now trapped in the ground.
May 10th
I miss your hugs.

I miss pretty much everything about you (not the way you’d always steal my headphones, though, just for the record), but I think it might be your hugs that I miss the most. You hugged hard, like everything was all over-dramatic and you were holding onto me like I was your only proverbial port in a storm, and…fuck.


I wish that I had never ever been the first one to let go.
May 11th
Even if I somehow had the chance, I think that I would be too terrified to ask you why.

Not why you did it, why you must have felt that you had no other choice but to do it; all that, I already knew. It’s not like you ever had to explain yourself to me. (I was your best friend for a reason, dammit.)

I knew, and even if I didn’t understand well enough (clearly, if I didn’t see this coming, if I didn’t realize that you actually would)…I still understood as best I could.

What I want is to know why you did it without telling me. Why you did it without telling me goodbye.

But I’m almost grateful that I can’t hear your answer.

If you even have one. If you can even hear this question at all.
May 12th
Let’s try an easier question.

Here: Do you remember when we had to read Romeo & Juliet, our freshman year? Do you remember how much we laughed at it, at them? How stupid we said they were, how stupid everyone who cried at them was, how over-dramatic and unnecessary it all seemed?

They suddenly don’t seem so stupid, now.

Any ending is a happy ending, because at least it means that you get an ending, that it’s done.

And I guess even they did better than we are, right now. Ironic, that.

I wish that I could laugh.


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