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In the water, you looked so beautiful. So serene. You looked at peace. You looked at home. But that’s not how this ends, and I couldn’t let you. I’m selfish; I’m sure you know that now.

I found your essence in the subway lights.

I couldn’t stand to watch it; to watch you fade out in the blaze. I couldn’t bear the burden of knowing all that you were, in the glare of the headlights. That’s not how this ends, and I couldn’t let you.

I’m sure you know that now. I’m selfish. I’m sure you know.

And when you called me, praying I wouldn’t pick up. When you called me. When.

I couldn’t bear to watch you do it. I’m too selfish. I can’t bear the concept of-

I know I should have let you go, but I couldn’t. I can’t. I can’t hold your hand, but I can’t leave your tongue lodged, swelling, in your throat. I can’t sit there and watch the vomit seep between black teeth. I can’t just sit there. That’s not how this ends.

I couldn’t let you.

I’m sure you know that now, and I’m selfish. I’m sure you know that when you call, I’ll answer. When you reach out, I’ll grasp your brittle hands. I can’t promise I won’t crush you under the weight of my love. I can’t promise my answer will make you happy. I can’t promise anything, except I’ll be there, constant as gravity, ubiquitous as the rain in your soul.

I’m selfish because I can’t let you go. I need you more than you need me. It makes me bitter to think that-

The hardest part of living is living with you. The hardest part of dying is leaving without you. The hardest part of purgatory is knowing that you are, and aren’t, but I’ll mourn your life, and celebrate your death with an equal amount of self-loathing, and spite. And I promised myself I wouldn’t see the end of you, with you.

But the truth is I’m selfish.

I’m sure you know that now.