As I stare out into the morning sky, still tinted with the rising sun, I can’t help but think what could I have done different? How could I have stopped this from happening? If I had just asked him if he was alight or noticed that he wasn’t eating that day, if I had done something, anything different, then maybe he’d still be alive.
Puffs of smoke leave through my parted lips and I can’t remember when a one-time thing became a habit. When did the need for nicotine embed itself in my soul? I suppose that’s not it. I’m getting worked up over nothing. I don’t need it. I most certainly do not rely on it. But smoking is nice to relieve stress. When my thoughts bunch up with your name, the cigarettes help.
It’s better smoking than drinking. Though I might get lung cancer and my teeth might fall out, I’m fully aware of everything that’s happening when I smoke. I don’t black out, I don’t throw up, and I don’t get aggressive.
I used to drink, quite a bit actually. An obsession grew with the feeling of numbness that alcohol provided me.
When I woke up next to a bruised face that I couldn’t remember hitting, I broke down in tears.
You convinced me that everything would be all right. If I stopped drinking. If I got better. If I made an effort and saw results then you would be able to forgive me.
So I worked on it. More then I have ever worked in my life. Everyday I went to groups that could help me stop, I read articles; I threw out all the vodka bottles in our house and kissed you passionately.
I was going to get better. I promised you I would get better.
Fro a while I did. It was wonderful. You were smiling, real honey-laced smiles; Teeth bright and crinkles forming next to your eyes. We were happy.
Then we most definitely were not.
I relapsed and couldn’t pull myself out of the hole I’d dug.
I got worse.
A lot worse.
I’d hit you senseless and then ask you to forgive me.
You always did.
For months on end I ruined you. Putting bruises on skin marred with scars of my abuse. Throwing you into the flame. I had set myself on fire and hugged you tight to my chest. Too tight to breath. Smoke clogged your pores and flames scorched your skin.
I ruined you.
As I sit here, fingers twirling a lesser evil, I throw an apology to the heavens
I know you got there.
I always knew once you left this world, left me, that the greatness of your very being would make you at peace with the angels.
You were one in my eyes and I was slowly plucking your feathers.
But you made it anyway. I can assure anyone wondering that you soared brilliantly. Your soul graceful in the air, your feet glad to leave the earth.
I didn’t kill you. Not directly anyway. You took your life in the bathroom we had shared for the past three years.
You left a note. Crumpled and hastily written. It had blood spewed on it’s corner and I threw up at the sight, a week after it had been written.
I’m sorry I was never good enough for you. I’m sorry all my efforts to make you better went unnoticed. I’m sorry I stopped eating the food you made. I’m sorry you drank. I’m sorry for everything.
For making you see me, drained of blood and life.
For putting my parents through the pain of losing they’re only child.
For leaving the plans my friends made for later today with an empty seat.
I am sorry.
My fists twisted with the instinct to crumple it up. Throw it away and pretend it never happened. But I never did, the paper serving as a reminder how lonely meals were and how cold the nights got. The paper your shaky hands wrote on sits on my bedside table. At night I turn away from the mess I made you and the only trace left in this house that you had ever existed.
I stopped drinking.
Convincing myself and this time it was for good.
Your voice rings in my ears like the alarm I no longer hear in the morning.
The one you set.
The one you slept through while sufficiently waking up the entire apartment complex.
'I believe in you.'
The words feel bitter in my mouth.
I'm sorry Tooru.
You put your belief in the wrong man.
I'll drown myself in grief and any alcohol I can find.
I'm trying to forget you.
I swear I'm trying.
But no matter what I do your name seeps back into my mind only being released alongside a puff of smoke.
Smoking is better than drinking,
and forgetting is better than facing the reality that I let you burn out.
I starved you of oxygen.
I killed the fire within your chest,
and you alongside it.