The Memory of You

In the end it didn’t matter. What happened cannot be reversed. This is all I have been able to think of these past lonely months. Every day I end up at your gravestone, I have no choice. I sit there on the ice cold ground and all I can think of is our last night together. We had our whole lives ahead of us, but now mine is just a lonely trudge to find my way back to you. If only we hadn’t stayed out so late. If only we had stopped for coffee. If only, if only, if only… These are the thoughts that haunt me every hour of every day.

I remember wishing that the night would never end. How could such a fairy tale evening turn into an awful tragedy by the stroke of midnight? We had spent the evening dancing and singing, as though we were the only people in the world. We were showered with gifts, but the one that meant the most to me was the one given to me by you. We had been dancing and laughing, having the time of our lives, and we found our way to the balcony overlooking the ocean. You held my hand and spoke of your love to me. Oh, how I wish I could go back to this moment, when happy tears would replace the ones that fall from sadness! You gave me a present, wrapped so elegantly in gold and silver wrapping with a white bow in the corner. As I undid the wrappings you told me, “With this book, I will always be with you.”

The book had a burgundy leather cover with gold edges. On the first page was written, “Here’s to the rest of our lives together. All my love.” On every page you had written something about the two of us. You wrote about the first time we met, our first date, what songs made me pop into your mind, the first time we said I love you, the night we spent under the stars, and many other things. The last few pages held a story that will forever bring tears to my eyes. It held the story of our engagement, beginning with the tale of finding the perfect ring. I couldn’t help letting out a chuckle as I read about how much thought you put into making everything perfect. On the last page was the conclusion of the story. We decided to go to one of our favorite places on a two week vacation. We spent our days biking, hiking, swimming, but most importantly, laughing. We decided to go up the mountain where my parents got engaged to look out over the harbor and look at the stars. As we sat, bundled up in our blankets, you removed your arm from around me and got down on one knee. You asked me if I would spend the rest of my life with you and I said yes. You pulled out the ring box and asked me to marry you, and how could I not say yes. The last line on the page read “And they lived happily ever after.”

Our last night together was spent at the engagement party our parents decided to throw for us. It was a magical evening and I couldn’t have been happier. Most people were celebrating the fact that we were to be married, but we were celebrating the fact that we were going to be married to our best friend. I still swear we could have kept the party going ourselves, but our parents sent us home so they could clean the place up. We hopped into your car and we were on our way home. We were only five miles from home when a drunk driver swerved into our lane and we crashed. The sound of crunching metal and breaks squealing still haunt my dreams. You had been holding my hand, and you never let go. Our car was pushed off the shoulder and into a ditch. The next thing I remember was seeing the bright lights of the emergency room. Aside from not being able to turn my head because of the neck brace I was in, I couldn’t see you and I didn’t know where you were. I started to ask where you were and I remember trying to scream your name but my voice was too weak. They gave me more morphine, and I fell asleep. The next morning, my parents and your parents were in my room. I knew they had been crying from the looks of their eyes. They were holding my hands and all I could do was cry out in despair because I knew something horrible happened to you.

You were buried in May, around the same time we were to be married the following year. You looked so handsome in your suit, and the only thing that kept me from wishing you were here with me was that you were in a place where there was no pain. This is what I keep telling myself because I know you are without pain and you’ll be waiting for the day when I return to you. From all of this, I only gained a few injuries and scars, but the thing that hurt the most was seeing what happened to you.

As I sit by your gravestone, in the cool October air, I think back to happy times when you were there. In my bag is the book you gave me that night, and I read a few pages to you. Before I leave, I say a prayer that you are happy. Leaving this place takes me away from you, but I know life must go on. However, when I begin to think of losing you, I know you’re always with me. I look at the ring on my finger, one of the things left here from you.

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