2: A tribute to the last week of being a teenager

What are you supposed to feel when you discover that the person who has left you forever was the one who truly cared about you all this time? What are you supposed to feel when care, love and affection was right under your nose except now it has gone forever?

It feels like you will never be able to reconcile the fact that the one person who could have been everything was too weak to let you go. Blame destiny. Blame fate. If it was meant to happen, it should have happened. Blame yourself because you had to deny the affection, to gently, carefully reject a person because of reasons that you deemed were wise.

“Sorry, but I don’t think you’re actually attracted to me. You’re just projecting your feelings for someone else on me. You don’t know me well enough to like me. Our families would never be okay if we started dating each other. I don’t think you’re ready for a relationship. People shouldn’t be seeking relationships when they have to find inner stability first.”

I said these things. Some directly. Some indirectly. I thought my reasons were justified. I had other reasons of my own too. I was pursuing someone obviously incompatible and unavailable, because I was seeking some twisted form of internal validation. I too was lonely, and scared and investing all my effort into making this problematic liaison work. The scars of my first “relationship” will take a while to heal, and though it has been painful, it has been thoroughly enlightening.

In all those moments of pessimism, of pining away for what I obviously couldn’t have, of obvious, bone-chilling, exhausting despair, it never occurred to me that there was that one person who could, perhaps, meet all of those requirements willingly. Except now that person has died. He has left this world. He has left me with this overpowering eternal guilt that I didn’t know I had chosen to bear.

When his phone was retrieved after the incident, it had only five contacts stored on it. His mother, his father, his brother and me. I was the only person that was not family that he considered me close enough to him to think about me in his last moments.

I am left wondering. Even if I couldn’t have loved him, I would have devoted my emotion and strength to him. I would have been there for him if only he had reached out to me. If only he hadn’t ignored me. If he truly did care for me, why did he not consider reaching out? Even as a friend?

We had once gone on a date to a restaurant nearby. Just the two of us. Conversations. Him making fun of me. Me laughing along. Talking about things of all interest. He paid me a compliment, saying that I was a great conversationalist. He complained how I was under-dressed for the snowy weather and he joked that his birthday gift to me would be a pair of snow-boots.

It was my birthday yesterday.

There were no snow-boots.

 

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