It's late, I'm getting tired. Too late for a tea, I'm afraid, or I'll be up all night (which I find extremely frustrating, because all I want right now is a damned tea). But I feel like talking. It's been a while since I've shared something personal with you.
I want to introduce you to a friend of mine, Nathan. We grew up together from a young age (I'd say we met when we were about 5/6) having lived in the same townhouse complex. Myself, him and his sister A., well, we were the three musketeers. Inseparable. I have pictures, I should scan one sometime.
There was never a dull day with us; one of us was always getting into trouble. My parents had to remind me (when I was older) that one day Nathan hid his report card in the bush (not having done well, of course) and I pulled it out, questioning what it was, handing it over to my parents. Ha. Oops. And our parents kind of disciplined the other's kids (their mom was much more easy going than mine was). Poor Nathan, he was always getting into trouble. I'm sure at one point he was standing in the corner (of *our* house), crying, having his mouth washed out with soap (I'm not even lying) for having said something inappropriate. Or was that me? I'm not sure. Memory is sketchy from that age. One day A. convinced me to use my Crayola purple finger paints and paint the walls - of our rented home - instead of paper. *laughing* Wow, I remember going from the top of the stairs, down the stairway (apparently it got on the carpet, too), sliding my gooey, purple hands aaaaaall the way down the wall of the stairs to the bottom. I'm laughing about it now, but man, did we get in trou-ble! Phew. My mom was so pissed about having to clean all that up. I didn't get any chocolate for Easter THAT year! (We still talk about that story to this day and laugh.)
We didn't stay there long I don't think; a year or two, then we moved out into the country and A. and Nathan were still in the city. We would visit; our families would get together. I remember having them over for a fire (have pictures of that, too). We would always goof around and we would ALWAYS be laughing. Always, always laughing.
Spring ahead a few more years into our (early) teens (about 13/14). I still lived in the country but would be in the city every other weekend to visit my dad. Nathan and I started to get together more. The anticipation I felt when I knew I was meeting up with him, the nervous jitters, the giddiness... but at the same time, not nervous. He was one of my best friends to hang around with (even if we saw each other less as we grew). There was a sort of peace being with him. He felt like home. I didn't care what we did, so long as we did it together. He would treat me so well, I remember, always wanting the best for me. He would take me out for lunch, talk, go for walks. Oh the laughs we used to have. I still remember to this day sitting together over lunch in this sort of fancy (well, for us kids) restaurant laughing over what was on our plates; the funny way the potato salad was arranged and he would (as always) crack jokes about stuff. We were laughing so hard we were in tears, trying to catch our breath! I smile now remembering it; his smile (heh, his braces!), his stark blue eyes, his blonde hair (that was buzzed short for cadets). Vocalized or not at the time, we were dating. I remember leaving him from one of our dates (it sounds so silly to call it a 'date' when so young); we were on the city bus sitting in the very back seat. He got off first. My eyes followed him as we drove off, turning around and waving to him out the back window. He was smiling. You know... that content, huge grin that someone brings to your face when you think of them. I didn't like being away from him, but such were our realities.
One morning, I'm not sure what time (07:30?) when I was 14 (I was still sleeping of course) I heard someone come to the door. My parents answered. There was crying. Still in my stupor, I knew something was wrong. I knew who it involved and that dread filled and paralyzed me. Soon enough, my mom gently knocked on my door, came in, sat at the side of the bed and told me Nathan had killed himself the night before; his parents found him on the floor in the basement family room, gun in hand (and a note I never got to read or hear much about, unfortunately). I muttered some obscenities. I cried. I felt even more dread. I was downright angry. How dare he. How DARE the one guy I felt at peace with and slowly fell in love with.. leave me! We'd just started developing our friendship more, seeing each other. I was completely empty.
I remember the funeral. The black clothes. So many black clothes. A bit of the speech his sister gave. The song she played that he liked ('Somebody', Depeche Mode. To this day I'll cry when I hear it). I don't remember if I cried or not. I remember feeling sort of out-of-body. I got to know death a lot when I was young, so funerals (and my actions during them) were common; I'd usually save my tears for behind closed doors.
After that is a bit of a blur, until I was 16. I was suicidal (for other various, personal reasons) & his death had a bit to do with it. But don't worry, things got better. I moved on. I... accepted.
Accepting someone's death doesn't mean you miss them any less. God I miss him. There are times in life I think about him daily and days or weeks I won't think about him at all. I still get angry. I get angry at having someone so perfect for me (who let me be imperfect) be taken away so soon. But there's a reason for everything, isn't there? Even when I was young I knew this and had faith and no problems accepting it. Except with him... I never learned the reason.
I wonder if I've been trying to fill his shoes since he's been gone (a nearly impossible task). Unconsciously, of course. I see some of the common traits in my most important men (which I'll keep to myself, though if you know me you'll probably guess what some of them are). I try to look at his death a different way these days, though. How can I honour him? How can I keep alive the one person who never mistreated me? Who wanted the best for me. Who, in some young way, loved me. So I think about these things and I keep him close to me. It makes me happy. I ask him for guidance should I find a man to spend my life with. I always thought he had a hand in K and I being together in some way. But now? I'm not sure. Time will tell.
This is my Nathan. He was such a fabulous person. All he wanted to do was make people laugh. I forgot how important that is (to have happiness, laughter). I hope you have some in yours; he'd think you'd deserve it. I know I do :)
Looks like I could have had that tea after all.