I still can’t believe that you died, babes.
I still can’t believe that we were gathered in your parents’ home saying goodbye to you.
I’m sorry I was late arriving, I’m sorry I was late in knowing that you’d been ripped from us too soon.
I couldn’t tear my eyes away from your white casket, the beautiful wreaths arranged over it, the candles lit and burning on a table not far from where you lay.
I just couldn’t believe that it was your face that was staring back at me in that blown-up, framed photograph.
Your life was stolen in a few minutes by greedy monsters.
For the life of me, I can’t understand why you kept in touch with a dreadful friend like me.
I’m glad that we didn’t entirely stay out of touch with our once-every-other-while calls and texts.
Remember that time you called me after you spotted me crossing the road and you were too far to call out?
Remember that time you called me when you spotted me and my mum taking a bus in town, and you dubbed it a baby’s day out?
Remember all those times you’d call me and tell me to climb up on the tallest tree when you couldn’t hear me?
I confess that I lied about being up on a tree. Don’t hold it against me.
You were such a chill guy, and I think that’s why everyone loved you.
You were a fun and joyous guy to be around, and you made us happy.
I hate myself for taking advantage of the preconceived notion that you would always be around, often saying that we would meet up and never going through with it.
For four years.
I hate that your death has shattered the lives of your parents and your siblings.
I hate that your friends are still reeling from the shock and horror of how such a horrid thing could happen to such an amazing guy.
I hate that we left you behind in that white box at the bottom of that freshly-dug hole, covered by wet soil and sand, the rain soaking the earth you were buried under.
I hate that we left you all alone in the cold in the corner of that plot.
I hate that I can’t know whether you’re happy right now or whether you’re at peace as the priest told us.
I hate that the monsters who did that to you got away with it.
I hate the reality that you’re not in some country doing God-knows-what but that you’re completely absent.
I wish that I could recover every message and every call, read and listen to them over and over and over….
I hate that for every day for the rest of their lives, those who loved you will have to deal with the loss of you like a raw, never-healing wound.
I hate that you’re not going to have that wife and those kids you would have wanted at some point. Or that promotion. Or go on that holiday. Or win a sweepstake and let me mooch off of you.
I hate that all we had of you was so little, and the vicious need to have you close will forever remain.
I miss you, babes, and I hope that you really are happy and at peace wherever you are.