My friend died when I was 19. He was hit by a car and the driver left the scene. I will never forget finding out, I’ll never forget his funeral and I’ll never forget the pain I felt. I can’t forget because I feel it all the time. It comes in waves. I get this urge to just speak it him, no one else, it has to be him. I think about him every day and sometimes I can laugh at our memories, but other times the grief is overwhelming.
I first met him when I was 16. I was moving back to Wales and got in touch my an old friend I went to primary school with. I hadn’t seen her for 5 or 6 years but there was a local festival on so we agreed to meet up. When I walked out the train station I saw her from a distance and waved then the boy she was with ran up to me full pace, picked me up and swung me around. I was totally confused and laughed so hard. He introduced himself and we spent the entire day together. I barely saw my old friend, I stuck with him. He greeted me like that every time I saw him. An ex once asked if we were ever together because we had such a clear bond that was undeniable. I laughed at the time but I understand now. He was one of the best people I know.
My life is great right now, but there are things up in the air. Things that frustrate me and confuse me and I want to talk about it. But I want to talk to him. It hurts. A lot. I’ve never felt such a strong pull towards something that I just can’t satisfy, no matter what I do. There’s no replacement for that feeling. No amount of drink, dancing or work that can distract me. It’s the worst pain I’ve ever felt and I’ve spent the last 8 years trying to soothe it, but it never goes away. I miss my friend. I miss all the things we could’ve done and all the things we could’ve been. He told me he loved me all the time, and I loved him, but we were both young and it was a confusing time. We both dated other people and encouraged each other in those relationships, in a really genuine way. We wanted each other to be happy. It was such a pure love, one that I always assumed would last. I figured we would live our lives more and learn and make our own mistakes, but at the end of all that bullshit we would end up together, in one way or another. He was my happy ending. He was the only fairy tale I ever believed in and I knew he would always be in my life. Then he died and everything was gone. Worse than gone, it was buried with him along with every chance we ever had.
I miss my friend. I wish I could tell him all this. I wish I could tell him about how I hate my job even though it seems perfect for me, but how I’ve found writing and now fulfilment and self esteem. About how how my friends frustrate me and how much I love them, he would adore them. About how relationships always seem to be a nightmare and I try to be straight up, but people seem to be disloyal no matter what I do. He wasn’t the wisest guy in the world, he never had all the answers, but he always made me feel better. Every time. He knew me, so he knew what to say, and even when he didn’t he was just there. He was always there in all the chaos.
Sometimes, when things are going especially well, I miss him more. Why should I get to live a happy life when his was cut so short? I’ve tried to show him how much I care about him. I bought him a gravestone when his family didn’t for 5 years and I visit him as much as I can. His grave is in a beautiful churchyard on top of a hill where you can see the sea in one direction and fields for miles in the other. I love it there. I sit with him and talk to him as if he’s still here when I know he’s not. I drink Jack Daniels with him, even though I hate it, he always loved it. I give him my time. I feel guilty because when I left Wales I should have taken him with me.If I had told him to come then he would have, but he said I needed to look after myself and I couldn’t do that if I was worrying about him too. I was in crisis but I should have made him leave with me. Maybe he would still be here. If he still died, we would have at least had more time together. The thing is, writing all this, I thought it would help, but it hasn’t. I need to see him and speak to him and hug him. That’s the only thing that will help. I need to go to Wales.