So this is dying.
It’s very frantic: people are screaming, lights are flashing, and I think I can even hear a car horn in the distance. I suppose I’ve caused quite a scene.
I didn’t mean to, of course. Very few people mean to get hit by a truck. I’ll admit that it wasn’t a good idea to cross the busiest street in town without so much as a glance to the left or right – but it wasn’t really an idea at all. It was more of a compulsion. I’m not sure what made me step into the street at that precise moment. Something inside me just wanted to be on the other side.
I wasn’t exactly thinking straight. How could I be? Given the state I was in, looking up, taking in my surroundings – it would have been asking a lot. I had my eyes to the ground, and all I could think about was you.
I wonder if this counts as dying for you. I guess it doesn’t matter. You’ll never know that the only reason I didn’t see the truck coming – the only reason I’m now lying in a steadily growing pool of my own blood – was that my mind was overloaded with thoughts of you. I always wanted to prove that I would do anything for you. But you never gave me the chance.
I would have chased after you. I know you didn’t want me to – you said so in your letter – but I would have done it anyway. I wasn’t ready to let you go.
I’ve never told anyone this, but I knew you were the one ever since the day I met you. It’s hard to believe, I know – we were only five, after all. You were sitting on your front porch, a ragged old Barbie hanging from your left hand, watching my family move into the house next door. My mom told me to go say hello; and in that moment, you became the spark that got my life going.
You and I had so many plans. We were going to help all those poor, skinny kids in faraway countries whose pictures we saw on billboards; we were going to end the wars that we heard about on the news every night. I remember all the hours we spent sitting around on your back patio, talking about how we would one day save the world. But as it turned out, we couldn’t even save ourselves.
I wonder what will happen to you now. I know you ran off because things at home just got too bad to handle. But I think I know where you’re headed – and if I’m right, then the place you’re running to isn’t that much better than what you’re running from.
Your dad may not have known what to do with you after your mom died, and I may not have known how to help you through the pain, but we both still love you. Those people you’ve gotten yourself tangled up with – they couldn’t care less about you, no matter what they say. I’ve known it all along, and I tried to show it to you, but I guess I had the wrong approach. The harder I tried to hold onto you, the more you slipped away. Until finally, you just left.
I have to say, the note you left me was abominably short. In fact, I counted the words: there were ten. I loved you for fifteen years, and you tried to say goodbye to me in ten words. If you were here, I’d give you a lot more than that, and I’m bleeding to death.
Come to think of it, I’m not sure what I would say if you were here. Maybe I wouldn’t be able to say anything: it might be too painful to speak; the noise around us might be so loud that you wouldn’t even hear; and I probably wouldn’t have much time, anyway. These moments seem to last an eternity, but in reality, I’ll bet it only takes me about a minute to die.
And at the very end of that minute – as frightened people crowd around me, and the sound of sirens tears through the night, and all that pain just turns to numbness – I can’t help but feel calm. Because I’m not thinking about all the people I’m leaving behind, or all the plans I never got to follow through on. I’m not thinking about all the regret. I’m not even thinking about those ten words that broke my heart and sent me wandering aimlessly through the streets tonight.
For some reason, all I can do is stare up at the sky, and think how the stars look just the same as they did years ago, when you and I were much younger, and we would stay out in your backyard until well after the sun went down. I remember one night – when we were nine, or eight, or maybe only seven years old – we were lying next to each other in the grass, gazing up at the infinite sky, and you turned to me and asked, “Does a star’s light ever go out?”
quarta-feira, 3 de agosto de 2011
So this is dying.