Did you remember the sunset that we last saw together, the sunset that caused your death?
Did you know that the dazzling orange colour changed to a night filled with grey clouds, just a moment after you breathed your last breath?
Yeah, of course, you wouldn’t know that. You would’ve been dead by then. Anyone who had seen the scene would know that you died right away.
Your blood formed a huge puddle that filled up the ground. The blood continued to flow from the back of your head, even when you already closed your eyes.
Your favourite lip balm no longer showcased your favourite pink; it turned bright red from your blood, trickling down from your forehead.
Your beautiful face and smooth skin were completely gone; the glass shards from the car had created cuts all over them, scarring every single bit of them.
And under those grey clouds, I ignored the coldness of your body and the pain on my own body as I hugged you for one last time.
And under those grey clouds, I shed the tears while screaming like a crazy man as I mourned the loss of my first love, the life that I had taken away.
And under those grey clouds, I sniffled when our bodies parted, letting mine lean on the closest tree in the bottom of the cliff while waiting for help to come.
And despite the darkness, I could observe the painful expression of your father as he saw reached the gruesome scene. And despite the darkness, I could tell he was holding his tears back as he saw your condition.
And despite the lack of light in that forest where our car landed, I could see the tears flowing on your mother’s cheek. That tears brought me to kneel and put my head on top of the damp soil. That tears prompted mine, who had stopped a while ago, to flow again. That tears made me to continuously utter the same words from the bottom of my heart.
“I’m really sorry.”
“I’m really, really, really sorry that this happened.”
And my tears flowed harder when I recalled the few moments just before the car crash.
And even harder when I noticed my huge mistake, driving that blue sedan off the cliff; a mistake that took your life, a mistake that I wished to reverse.
And even harder than ever when I lift my head, looking at your parents with the greatest guilt that I had ever felt in my life.
At that time, I expected to receive all sort of punishments.
I expected to hear curse words down my way. Yet your mother stood there, crying without letting out a single word.
I expected to receive slapping, punches, jabs, kicks. Yet your father gently pulled my arms to stand on my two feet instead of sitting on the ground.
I expected a nagging, asking why and how the accident even happened. Yet your mother hugged me, whispered to me in between her tears, “It’s okay, Kevin. We know it’s not intentional.”
I shook my head in reply. “I know, but I couldn’t possibly bring the dead back to life.” I loosened the hug and shifted my gaze to the man in the black robe. “So, I’ll do anything you ask at any time of my life. Please, let me atone my sin, Pastor.”
And that became the start of my life without you, Bella.
Pastor Gerald opened the trunk of his car, tossed a towel to dry my body from the rain. Then, he asked me to follow him, so I did.
Then he brought me to a little townhouse with a brown leather couch. After a discussion and a cup of tea, he asked me to stay with my older brother, the man whom I had never seen for the past five years. Yet, it was your father’s request, so I followed it.
Then four days went by. Your pale, dying face was slowly fading away from my mind, leaving me with the lingering guilt inside my heart. It was then a call from your father came, asking me to attend your funeral. It pained me to have to see your lifeless body once again, yet I knew I had to come.
And to my surprise, I saw you on that day.
Yes, you, the one who turned into a white shadow that couldn’t be seen by others. The one who was hiding behind the tombstone, watching over your lifeless body laid in the coffin.
Yes, you, the one who became a spiritual being who floated at the back of your father, the man with a purple-coloured sash. The man who led the funeral ceremony; the man who didn’t shed a single drop of tear while seeing your body lowered into the ground.
And to my surprise, your father issued his last request on that day.
“Take care of yourself, Kevin. Live your life well.”
Yes, sounded simple. Too simple. I even asked for an even greater punishment to be forgiven. Yet, Pastor Gerald flashed a faint smile, tapped my shoulder, and walked away from the discussion.
Yes, sounded simple, but it turned to be a hard feat.
There were days where I couldn’t sleep as the memory of the accident replayed again and again inside my mind. The memory that I wished to forget, the memory that scarred me for life.
There were days where I regretted my stupidity to bring you to the mountaintop. The feelings that raised a hope to turn back time to when I could find you alive and well.
There were days where I could hear voices inside my head, blaming my actions. The voices that drained happiness out of my daily life, slowly scraping my will to live. The voices that made me realized that I was living with a huge burden; the voices that made me realized: this last request would never end until the day I die.
And so, eight years after your death, on one cloudy evening, I stood on the edge of the bridge.
Yes, I was scared of dying, but I had gotten too tired to continue on living.
Yes, I remembered the imagery of your lifeless body, your floating soul; but that wasn’t enough to stop myself from jumping to the river.
Yes, the way the water entered my nose and mouth was hurting me; but that was more bearable than shouldering this burden for decades to come.
Yet, that green-eyed girl pulled me out of them, both the water and the pain of living as she struck me with a single sentence.
“I don’t know what your experiences were, but don’t throw away your life!”
And hearing that saying under those grey clouds, I saw a glimmer of hope in life.
And hearing that sentence under those grey clouds, I realized someone appreciated my life, much better than myself.
And sitting beside her under the same grey clouds, I cried once again, opened my heart once again, promised myself to attempt living once again.
And so, I started to move on, took care of myself, and living well, atoning the sin for the rest of my life.
And as the grey clouds turned white, my happy days without you began.