Week 41: A romance that ends in tragedy.
Do you remember this lyric? I can’t stop listening to this song. I’d rather listen to you sing it to me though.
“I might not be the same, but that’s not important. No freedom ‘till we’re equal, damn right I support it.”
That’s my favourite line.
You were so young, my love.
I loved you, but like a friend, a best friend, in a way that meant we were soul mates, but nonsexual and platonic. I’ll always love you, I miss your smile and hugs, your soft words and kind whispers. I’m sure he’ll follow you soon. I can see it in his eyes, he can’t breathe without you, Jake. You were his heart and when they took you, he went with you, leaving a shell of the man he was behind. He talks about you all the time, he sees you in everyone. Your red hair and freckles haunt him, but your green eyes hold him when the nightmares come.
“I want to die,” he tells me, crying into my neck, clutching at my waist. I am the one person he has left, Jake. The last link to you. We are both broken, both lost and alone, yet we are together.
He spends his nights at my house, my mother has put up the spare bedroom for him when being at home becomes too much, too loud and too silent. When he can’t stand to see his mother’s tears and his father’s sad eyes, when their empathy kills him, when their hugs cannot support him. He comes to me, more often than not.
“I can’t sleep,” he tells me at night, curling up on my window seat, where you would sit, laughing with that cute smile on your lips, those huge, geeky glasses askew.
I don’t sleep much either.
The nightmares haunt me too. I see you all the time. In that hospital bed. Beaten to a pulp, barely breathing, struggling to hold on. I see him sitting by you, he always is. You called him your rock, he was your soul mate in every way that counted, but different from how we were linked. Your connection was romantic love, you completed each other, his smile made you laugh, his jokes made you scoff and snap something snarky back.
He never smiles now.
“I miss him,” I tell him, hugging him tightly, “I miss him so much, Alec.”
And he hugs me, he shakes and trembles as I sob. Alec never knows what to say. So he doesn’t. He just mumbles the songs you used to sing to me when I couldn’t sleep.
“Jake would want you to live,” he tells me, “he would want us both to live.”
You would, wouldn’t you?
Probably kick my ass for wishing to die. You’d tell Alec off too, force us to seek help, hold our hands when we were afraid, kiss Alec and hug me. You were my best friend, always so much stronger than me. I don’t know how to fight without you.
Alec doesn’t speak much anymore.
It’s how I know it’s coming, Jake. And I don’t think I can save him. He screams at the world, at your parents for what they did to you, for how they hit you and beat you for being gay. He smashes their windows, he throws eggs at their house, he’s called the police on them. The trial is over, they’re going to jail for murder, Jake.
But that doesn’t bring you back. It never will.
And it won’t bring Alec back either.
I hope he’s with you. I hope you’re together again.
But I’ll fight for you. I’ll fight for the equality you never had.