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Teens & Young Adult Sad Romance

This story contains themes or mentions of mental health issues.

{content warning: themes of death, grief, and mental health}


Dear June,


I’m not sure how to start this, I have a lot I want to tell you in such little time. When I say “tell you”, I don’t really mean that. 


It’s been four months since I’ve died. I spend my days drifting through my old streets, watching kids play and neighbors flock to chat about whatever. Sometimes whenever friends meet up at those wooden tables, I sit near them and just listen. When I close my eyes it feels I am really there, breathing and laughing with them. I find it difficult to be home, but of course I check in once in a while. It’s nice being back, seeing everyone healthy and well. Eliza still gathers mom and dad for her Friday piano recitals where she proudly announces that she’s learned not one but two new songs. They reluctantly encourage her even though they’re both tired of hearing “Mary Had a Little Lamb” at the end of her performance. I personally thought that she would grow up to be the next Beethoven, not necessarily from natural talent but mainly from just how many hours she spends on that thing. I never had that determination really. 


They hadn’t fully cleaned out my room yet. Countless CDs and books peacefully collect dust in stained cardboard boxes while my posters remain on the walls. My bed is stripped of my sheets but still houses various stuffed animals all neatly arranged by size, the work of my mom. My highschool diploma is proudly displayed on my now desolate bookshelf next to a college acceptance letter. Pictures of me still cling to the walls throughout the house, maybe they’ll never get rid of those. Besides that, there seems to be no indication that anything ever happened to my family. They attend social gatherings and go out to dinner, but I know this is all surface level. After Eliza goes to bed, my parents sit silently on the couch. Sometimes my mom cries and my dad fails to comfort her- he just stares at the floor, hands clasped and fingers laced. Sometimes they go through photo albums. And sometimes they drink. I find it hard to watch them during these moments and prefer to depart before the night settles.


 When I’m not with my family or in the park, I’m sitting on your green fluffy rug in the middle of your room. You spend your days curled up in bed, clutching a pillow tightly. You’re still a bit of a mess after all this time, I gotta say I’m flattered. You always felt your emotions very deeply, it’s one of the reasons why I fell so hard for you. And you always wore your heart on your sleeve, or in this case, your pillow. I notice how you’ve deprived yourself of anything that I know will make you feel better, you neglect to take warm showers and devour ice cream. I wonder if this is because you feel guilty. In your point of view, I do not have the privilege to feel nice and comfy and eat sweets, so you feel like you can’t either. I hope this changes for the better. Your parents gently knock on the door and place smoothies on your desk then leave quickly and silently. They clearly don’t know how to console you. Who would? As far as I know, you only leave the house for school and to visit my house. My parents let you take whatever you want from my belongings and you don’t ever take much, just my favorite blanket and some of my shirts that you bury your face into. Soon my smell will fade from them, I’m sure it’s a harsh reality you haven’t yet accepted. Even though you're broken, I still feel your warmth. Whenever Milkshake comes to visit, you beam at him through tears and scratch behind his ears just where he likes it. You are diligent with your school work, I guess no loss could ever dent your fear of disappointing your teachers, no matter how much slack they give you. At school, you smile weakly at people asking how you are, saying you’re feeling better even though you aren’t. You don’t want to worry anyone. You still always split your vending machine money with those who forgot a lunch. You even began repairing the divide with all of my friends that you didn’t get along with, they’ve been very kind to you recently. 


They had an assembly for me last week. You couldn’t sit through it and retreated to the bathroom, but I decided to stay out of curiosity. It was, well, in a word: forced. I guess I made little impact on the faculty of this school. I thought I at least stood out to someone. They used such an old picture of me too, from 9th grade when I had that stupid haircut. Not to mention they ended on some badly written poetry and a song I personally have never heard in my life (seriously, it took dying to hear it for the first time). I wish I could’ve laughed with you about it. Attending my funeral was entirely different. I think I’ll skip out on reliving that. It’s just too much. 


I liked being around you, at first. It felt ordinary, and I took comfort in those mundane days that I had previously felt bored with. It took a great deal of self restraint to not fling myself on top of you and wrap my arms around your shaking and fragile self. Not that I could’ve if I tried. But soon things started to change. Resentment began building and surging within me and I gawked at the feelings. Bitterness and wrath warped my vision of you, I stared at you with such loathing that waves of shame washed over and drove me out of your house. Then frustration at those very feelings intensified frankly everything, and I was lost in wretchedness. To feel that way about someone you love so deeply was no easy undertaking and yet I succumbed to those feelings so quickly. I desperately searched for an answer, anything to explain what was going on. It was not until I stayed outside and watched the moon rise with all of its stars that I realized I was plagued with jealousy. 


You survived and I didn’t. 


Ashamed to even come see you, I lingered in supermarkets and movie theaters just for a loud distraction. I became restless, wishing I was in the comfort of your presence but too scared to feel that sour envy again. Fear occupied my thoughts as I was greeted with memories of my final moments in the hospital, all of those tubes and such. It was just so cold and all I wanted was to be in your arms. Oh had I tried to shake the feeling, but incandescent and rageful thoughts swarmed my consciousness like bees. 


You have your whole life ahead of you and I didn't make it past high school.


You get to feel the sun on your skin.


You still have a purpose.


You have so much time.


Time. I am running out of it. I feel myself slipping deeper and deeper into the unknown. What lies ahead of me terrifies me and I am going to depart very soon. I know I want to see you one last time. I hope my feelings will resolve themselves before it’s too late but I know it may be impossible for a person to ever find solace when confronted with their own mortality. Even though I am angry, I do not blame you, far from it. I almost relish the fact that I am so jealous of you because it means I had a life worth living. 


A life with you in it. 


Wounds will heal and you will feel complete again, I promise. I hope you will meet someone that makes you feel like how you made me feel in the short time we had together. As for me, I will be a bright and distant star in your memory, forever there and forever loved.


With so much love,

Campbell


August 02, 2022 00:20

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