I Never Said Goodbye

Reflecting on a special friendship

Trigger warning: suicide, grief, self harm, death, transphobia.

My friend died on a warm evening, this time one year ago.

The world was at its best, in all its glory, showing us the beauty we often fail to notice.

That’s what scares me the most, that she could take her life even when the world was showing the rare patterns of its kindness.

Maybe that’s why the glistening of the moon’s rays on my shoulders makes me walk carefully, step by step.

I watch my feet produce each stride, just in case they decide copy what hers did.

She was gone before I could say goodbye.

The light behind her eyes faded out as her irises turned to the sky, letting dust filled moonlight settle into abstract shadows across her body.

Warm nights bring me back to imagining what I was doing when she faded.

Was I running my hands through honey suckle, or lying on my back touched by grass and leaves.

Was I letting my mind wander through the leaves of trees as I wandered through the park near my house.

If I had been bored that night would I have texted her, after all, we had only spoken two hours before.

If I’d known, would I have sprinted to her house and held her together like stitches?

Would I have cradled her in the cavity between my shoulders with all the other best parts of me.

Would I have let her cry into my t-shirt, not caring about the wet stains left in the fabric.

I would have picked her up and taken her to the garden she created.

I would have pointed at every plant and spider fighting for survival.

I would have made her trace my fingerprints until she forgot to listen to the suicide carving his name into her skull.

I would have picked her a frangipani and placed it behind her ear.

I would have helped her place all her hurt in the damp earth and watched as it grew into something beautiful… blossoming like she did.

Her death is a reminder that even nights full of honey suckle, warm wind and flowers and clear skies will not suddenly force someone into happiness.

That even nights full of warm air and unbroken dreams will not banish all thoughts of death that manifest themselves in the folds of someone’s brain tissue.

She is gone, I have forgotten the sound of her voice.

She is gone, I have forgotten how it felt to braid her hair.

She is gone, I have forgotten how her breath felt against my cheek when I pressed my head into her chest.

She is gone, I have forgotten the beat of her heart…

She is gone and yet the moon still dares to shine on my skin!