Dear Rosa

"Dear Rosa, I'm so sick of people comparing you to the sun. To me you were the moon. You would disappear in the day and submerge yourself in the velvet of the night. Even though you were in the darkness, you still managed to shine some light on this world and for that I'm forever sorry. I'm sorry you had to fake being gold when you were really silver, and that you wore your mask so often it seemed became permanently stitched to your jawline." [With Thanks To C.H.Potter For The Cover]

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1. A Letter To Rosa; Take One

Dear Rosa,

 

I keep finding myself looking up at the sky in a distant hope that I'd see your face marked out in the stars. Instead of being greeted by your electric green eyes, I find myself forever staring at the pulsing glow of these luminous dots that decorate the black. They're mesmerising, and with each small twinkle, my heart thuds with an echoing beat.

Today was your discours. Your Dad had to explain what a discours was, although he didn't use the vivid adjectives you did. He called it a 'tragic celebration' and 'an evening where loved one share speeches to remember her as she would have liked'. Nothing like your description, where you would endlessly talk about how people would shake with sorrow and cry with happiness, how it would be a night of mashed-up words and blitzed emotions that would end in drunk dancing.

You couldn't have been more right.

It seemed like alcohol worked as some miracle drug, as soon as someone had a sip, their imagination went haywire and instead of standing in the local hall, they were dancing on a chequered-floor surrounded by extreme strobe lights. Aunt Alysha really got into it, so into it that she fell into a table and snapped three of it's legs. That's when everyone crashed back into reality and were reminded the cold floor was heavily decorated with crumpled cups of apple juice and the bar side was covered in half-empty glasses.

The speech part wasn't as boring as I thought it would be, although I'm so sick of people comparing you to the sun. To me you were the moon. You would disappear in the day and submerge yourself in the velvet of the night. Even though you were in the darkness, you still managed to shine some light on this world and for that I am forever sorry. I'm sorry that you had to fake being gold when you were really silver, and that you wore your mask so often it seemed to become permanently stitched to your jawline. I'm sorry that missing you feels like an infinite ocean of writhing sea monsters and tangled seaweed. Then again, missing you feels like so much more.

Missing you feels like I'm watching the sky fall in front of me, like I can see the stars crumble into ash and litter the streets. And I know if I could just lift myself from my swallowing bed sheets, if I could put one foot out of the door, I could stop the fiery blaze that is descending. But I can't move, I'm encased within the white linen and my legs feel like weights. It feels like I'm drowning in the sea, and it isn't the shimmering emerald colour like usual but a cold, cold black. As I drown, I can see a hand above me but the more I reach, the more the whirling rapids beneath me drag me under. I'm running out of breath, just like I'm running out of tears. It feels like my stomach is an echoing, empty pit that cannot be filled with food nor drink and my head feels like a dizzy whirr of regret and old music notes. It feels like the songs we used to listen to together are on a constant loop mixed with continuous white noise. It feels like I want to suffocate myself in a cloud so I can stand in the sky with you.

Missing you is the worst feeling in the world, Rosa, and that's all I seem to feel. I wonder if you miss me as well, if you too are swallowed by this venomous creature of regret and loss. Do you have feelings up there? Is everybody encased in their own world of longing, or is each day emotion-less and drags like time's hands are as quick as it takes for every star to come out at night?

Do people keep telling you everything will be okay? Like that's the remedy, the cure, like the shattered blue pills sitting in the medicine cabinet are useless ovals of dust. Although, okay is all anyone can really muster. We're all too submerged in gloomy clouds of melancholy, trying desperately to avoid whispering your name in shaky tones, but you are all we can talk about.

It's said by those not struck with the thunderbolt of grief you've shot at us, that letting go will pull out the knife of loss lodged into my ribs. I don't believe that, because how do you let go? We aren't caught in the fraying claws of a rope we can twist free from, we can't rip the photo inside of lockets that seems to be the only remnants of your broken life we can take away. If letting go emotionally occurs, you will never go away. I could say goodbye to you now but years later, when some perfect day happens, you'll come bounding back.

One day the leaves will crumple olive, the sky will turn your favourite shade of lilac, the sun will be a sorbet scoop and there will be a faded hint of the moon, half-sliced, gleaming through the film of the afternoon. The day will spill with pastelised colours and I'll have to remember that your life used to be a blurry mash up of full-lipped smiles and half-shut eyes. That day will be perfection and the swimming pool of loss I pulled the plug on will come swirling back like a venomous tidal wave.

You were perfection. You were the olive and the lilac and the sorbet and the half-sliced moon. You were everything that day will be, and all the bonfires of your burnt photographs will be set re-lit in the fiery auburn of the stars.

When will I let go Rosa?

With as much love as there are stars,

Colby

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