The pain in your eyes this morning was heart-wrenching. It breathed a silent whisper of the burdens you had forced upon yourself in this lifetime. I am sorry that I looked away- that I was too weak to hold your desperate, dying gaze. I am sorry that I left without a word; that the final memory you had of me was a weak smile and a hasty exit.
I returned later, overwhelmed with the guilt of my own selfishness. But you had gone. Your eyes were open, though the life had very much drained from your body. I caught your still, dull gaze, passing straight through me. Emotionless and painless.
I felt for your hand, tracing across your scar. My mind locked onto its origin- our first encounter, at the rocks. I was falling, fumbling for a foothold, longing for security. You appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, and hoisted me back up onto the ledge, where the two of us stood silently for several minutes.
I broke the silence. I asked you why. Why did you help me, when you could’ve just let me fall into the water, to clamber clumsily back to shore? I’d have been shaken, of course, but it was something that I could quickly recover from. You told me that you never wanted to see anyone struggle, and if you could do something- anything- to alleviate their pain, you would.
You teetered on the edge of the rock, fixing your expressionless gaze at the waves below. Sunlight glinted from the water, although this had not even the slightest effect on your temperament. You seemed to be deliberately shielding yourself from the rest of the world.
You spread your arms out, leaning forwards. Your left foot- your ‘daredevil’ foot, as you would label it, with a grin– took a step out into the empty space. Yet you faltered at the last second. You planted both feet back onto the ledge, shaking. You looked back at me. You were afraid. It was the first emotion I’d seen from you- one of many to come.
I composed myself and stood beside you. I took your hand carefully, not daring to inch any closer or to squeeze too tight. You made me feel brave, though you scarcely knew. I counted and we leapt, plummeting with exhilaration down the 10 metre drop.
There was a breath-taking sparkle in your eyes at the bottom, one that will forever remain etched in my memory. That light spoke a thousand words that you could not- your excited spirit- eager to embark on the many, many adventures we had ahead of us. It was as though somebody had flicked a switch in your brain- your moodiness had died the moment our feet left the ledge.
You shone so bright- if only someone else could have been there to radiate your warm spirit back towards you; perhaps then you would have realised how much you meant to everyone. To me.
apologetic and broken