It’s been 365 days since you left. It doesn’t feel real, but I suppose when someone’s physical being disappears from this world, someone you used to talk to nearly everyday, someone you cared about immensely, how can the idea of them no longer being here ever feel real?
This is the first time I’m writing about this and yet, it still feels as fresh as it did 365 days ago.
I never wrote anything back then or since then, because I didn’t feel like I had a right to. But then I realised that regardless of how close we were, regardless of anyone else knowing anything about our relationship at all, I owe it to myself to talk about you.
I remember in school, always having the biggest crush on you. You and your friends all hung around at the back of the oval and my best friends older sister was friends with you, so my bestfriend and I would hang around like the biggest groupies. It was so pathetic. But you never told us to leave you alone or even acted like our presence was an annoyance.
Cut to a few years later, I had finished school and what started out as a few innocent Facebook messages between each other, ended in hanging out and getting to know each other. I remember, even then, being 19 and still super excited that one of the ‘cool older guys’ from school was taking an interest in me. We were friends and sometimes we were more. We kissed and argued and joked and talked. And then you moved.
But even moving interstate, we still spoke often and made plans for me to come there. Then, you went quite for a while and I just figured that the distance had made you cool off. A few weeks later you told me that you had been diagnosed with Leukemia.
You were so strong and I remember you telling me, it’s early stages and very treatable. I was convinced you were going to be okay.
I remember the last time you came to Sydney and we went to lunch. I remember hugging you so tightly before you left and not wanting you to leave. I remember going inside my house after you left and crying because I wanted to be with you. I remember talking my housemates ear off for the rest of the night about how we could make this work.
For the next few months, we spoke pretty much every day. I was making plans to come and see you. You mentioned me moving there. I considered it.
Then one day, you told me you were back in hospital. You told me it was just a few check-ups, you’d be alright.
Days turned to weeks. You were still in hospital. And I was ignorant. I believed you were going to be okay. I believed there was no other choice.
Then, around this time a year ago, you told me you were coming to Sydney. I was so excited. We made plans to go and get burgers and hang out and just see each other.
You told me you were coming during the week, and that was on a Sunday. I never heard from you again.
During the week, I had messaged you, asking when you were going to be here & got no reply. I didn’t know things had gotten bad again.
I remember, 365 days ago, being on my lunch break and checking your Facebook page. I remember seeing one person, write on your wall, telling you to rest in peace. I remember my vision blurring.
Words can’t describe how much I miss you. When you were here, all I wanted was for you to be in Sydney, but now, I’d kill for the distance if it meant you were still here.
I’ve never written about this, posted about it on social media, anything. I used to think that because I wasn’t in your immediate group of friends, and people weren’t really aware how close we were, that I didn’t have any right to express my grief.
I’ve realised that it’s never been about other people. It’s about the effect you had on my life.
As I’m writing this, wrapping up this post, unable to find any more words, listening to music on shuffle, Want You Bad by The Offspring came on. I immediately know it’s you. This song will always remind me of you.
You will always be in my heart, Baberaham Lincoln. I miss you completely, unexplainably.