I’m standing lethargically at the platform waiting for the next train to get home from work. My heels are hurting me and the woman who did my nails did a botched up job. I’ve got company; my friend that I have gotten close to quicker than anyone else. We’ve been friends for 4 years. He asks me how long it’s been since you left, even though he already knew the answer. Startled, I look to my fingers and start counting the hours. You’ve been gone 33 years and 3 months. That I know, but I feel obliged to know how many days and hours you’ve been gone. Then I realise why I’m flustered and I feel warmth on my cheeks. I’m crying.
Embarrassed and not knowing what to do, I start stuttering and the words are stuck in my throat. My friend doesn’t know what to do so he just stares at me while I try to regain composure. I’ve forgotten what you look like, the image has been obscured and you are now just an outline. All I remember are the conversations I’ve had about not forgetting you. If you were here, things would have been different. If you were here, you would have taken care of the same people that I have failed. You would have taken care of me. I’ve repeated these lines over and over again.
You would have carried on a conversation when I just turn to silence. You would have made me and my sister tighten our ties when I just pretend I don’t realise her presence. You would have gone up to mum and tucked her loose hair behind her ear when I just sit from a distance and stare. You would have been gentle and sincere, but all everyone has been left with is despair.
The warmth I would have felt from you, I start to feel from someone new. I didn’t mean to get close. I didn’t mean to find you in him. I don’t know what your eyes looked like, but his eyes have replaced yours. Before I think of you, I think of him now. I’m sorry, I don’t know how it happened.
You were taken from us before I was born. You’re now sitting in the corner of heaven, still a child… still innocent, wondering why we didn’t love you enough to keep you here. Whilst I’m forgetting you, you’re crying in the corner of heaven because you think mum doesn’t love you. Is heaven, heaven, if you think you’ve been abandoned? Does heaven have corners?
Don’t let your imagination run wild. I know it sounds crazy, missing someone you’ve never met. But, we all do it, right? We all think about what could have been. Maybe God took you for a reason. This world’s Evil would have battled with you and who knows who may have won. Maybe God took you because my thoughts of you are better than the person you could have been. Maybe – So I think to myself.
Just because you’re gone it doesn’t mean you’re forgotten, I think, whilst enclosed in the arms of my friend. The one who’s replaced you. My mascara is all over his shirt. He rolls his eyes because this isn’t the first time I’ve ruined his shirt. Our train is here and we head home. He gets out his iPod and gives me the left side of his headphones. He puts on my favourite song, Tracy Chapman’s Fast Car. I close my eyes with my head on his shoulders, feeling safe.