It was Spring when you died, which made the most amount of bitter sense.
You always hated Spring. It was still cold enough to wear woolly jumpers, but not socially acceptable for anything other than a cardigan. Also, you never had time for Spring flowers.
“They are the most predictable, unextraordinary of things.” You’d say every year, especially anytime I’d talk about collecting you a bunch of daffodils or poppies.
“Oh, come on. That’s not fair, they’re trying their best.” I loved challenging your poetic ideas, and you loved arguing back.
“Because they’re not like snapdragons or snowdrops or any winter flowers. Not even like evergreen or cacti, they just bloom and die when everyone else does. It’s easy. It’s almost… I don’t know what you’d call it…”
“lazy, yeah. Just obvious. Like they’re not putting effort into an extraordinary life.”
Sometimes I hear your little phrases in the back of my head. Silly things, like how curtains could show a person’s death, or how in another multiverse I walked right past you in that café, straight to the pretty and forgettable brunette who sat behind you the day we met, or even your little fairy tales about the Tropic of Capricorn that you’d tell me whenever you were sleepy and giggly. You were full of quips and quotes, and they sometimes ring like bells in my ears. But I suppose that’s grievances for you.
But I hear that line a lot though, “Not putting effort into extraordinary lives.”
I think of you a lot, and I always wondered what you’d think of such an ironic line. Would you have laughed at the fore-shadowing? Or maybe would you have held my shaking shoulders while I cried over the Spring flowers we had to put on front of your coffin? I am really sorry about that, but I suppose it doesn’t matter now.
I never held a grudge against Spring up until your death. Well, I still hold nothing against it as such, but I’m sure you understand. Another bitter pill was the fact Spring was a time of rebirth and starting anew. So much for a new start.
I don’t really believe in the five stages of loss to acceptance. You know, that denial, to anger, to bargaining, to depression, to acceptance. Your mother bought me that self help book a few months after the funeral. She hadn’t visited since your step sister died, and she told me she felt awful about it, but I don’t think she would have done it any different. She was a woman of great faith, so she told me it was as God would have wanted it. She hasn’t been over since, and in many ways I’m glad.
I was in denial, that was true. But since I held your dead body, it sunk in fast enough. I don’t think I was ever angry at you. I loved you too much. But then again, you can’t hear your own curses when you’re drunk. I hope that if your pain of a mother was right, and you are watching over me from heaven, that you’re not too mad at me for all that.
I did bargain, and more than you could have imagined. I wondered what would happen if I’d held your wounds tighter, if I hadn’t gone back to work, if I had realised you weren’t getting better, just better at hiding it. If I had gone to your step sister’s funeral with you, if I had shouted at your boss for firing you, if I had made you check on dessert before you had scalded it.
Maybe if I had told you I loved you more, if I had shouted the word “love” with you when we drove on country roads and sang Home by Edward Sharpe and the Electric Zeroes, if I had ran back quicker after finding the dinosaur plasters, if I had held you closer after we had woken up laughing over our hangover, if I had stopped buying you alcohol, if I had kept your fingers warm in the snow storm. I would bargain my life for a minute of yours, if just to answer the last question you’d ever ask. If I could let you hear all I ever wanted to say.
I’m sorry. Right now, I’m sorry. I was trying to tell you about my life after you, but I can’t bring myself to do it. Everything is slow and heavy, like I’m wading through your empty life, and can’t find a way to make the multiverses lift away. I’m just surfing through time. In another world I know how to stop seeing everything we could have been, but here I’m just a little… Stuck. I’m sorry. I might tell you more later.
But the reason I don’t really believe in the five stages of loss is because I think you can never truly accept everything. You can’t one day turn around and say that it all worked out in the end. And everything repeats anyway. When your bargaining you're angry, you're in denial. When you're in denial you’re in a depression, and you're simultaneously just as angry. You’re a million things at once. It’s not like your thoughts can flow the same way when someone who was like the ocean to you dries up. When someone who made up most of your world just dies, you can’t simply be in denial. It doesn’t work that way.
I realise this was a tangent. Sorry again.
But if your mother was right and you’re watching over me, I hoped that you’ve seen the ring on my desk.
I was hoping to give it to you that night before you jumped, but I suppose that doesn’t matter now. I just thought you’d have liked to see it. It had prints of flowers on it too, but I made sure they were all daisies and pansies and things of that sort. Strong winter flowers, that put effort into extraordinary lives.