I was dreading today. When I found out when your funeral was, I crashed. The lowest I’ve been since on medication. DEFCON 2 suicidal level – i.e. want to do it, but not got the courage just yet. Cried even, and the drugs don’t let me feel emotion. I don’t even know quite why; after all, you’d met the end you craved just over a fortnight previously. Possibly it was the loss hitting me all over again, possibly the pain and self-hate at the lives I have helped ruin by being the reason you wanted to end yours.
But actually, today was OK. I felt good enough that I nearly forgot to take my pill – usually I’m starting to feel the effects wear off in some way, shape or form, and as such I’m desperate to knock back the next one. I put on an outfit you liked, ate a breakfast I knew you’d choose, delivered the kids to nursery, avoided Laura apart from a “Hi!” in passing, and went straight home again. The demons started to pull me down at this point though, so I ended up on the sofa, comfort eating my favourite crisps, watching TV. I fought the demons enough to put on a subtitled TV programme, so I would have to concentrate and therefore not think about you, life, what I’ve done, wondering if people care, worrying that they do, death, living, what should have been. Then my sister text her arrival time, so I finished my film, checked myself in the mirror (I don’t really care what I look like these days, I just didn’t want to look bad enough that Helen would spot it and worry, nor too good so that she’d spot I was overcompensating) and drove to Guildford to meet her.
I thought about taking the train, but, even though I have since you went, I’m not comfortable around them, and should the DEFCON level escalate, things could go very wrong. So I drove, and tried not to think about the time I met you in Guildford, just an hour or so for a coffee, chat, and a kiss and a cuddle in the car. Not about how I’d been feeling jealous and low because I knew you were on annual leave with your wife for the rest of the week. Not about how you patiently explained that this is how it was going to have to be for now, and if I couldn’t cope with it, perhaps we should reconsider things. Not about how I said that I knew that, and that I would get used to it. Not about how that, looking back, I was probably on an undiagnosed low and using you as Citilopram. Not about how I ran my finger up and down the inside of your upper arm, delighting in your shivers as I did it, and the smile on your face. And especially not about how you had to ask me to stop, as the shivers had gone straight to your cock.
Helen and I had a nice day, browsing the shops, then lunch, more shops and a coffee before parting ways and heading home. We talked a lot. About you; how I was coping; how I was finding the drugs. We made loose plans to visit the spot, your last place on Earth, so I could say all the things I need to say to you, feel close to you and hopefully start to find closure. We discussed my shitty relationship with Graham and how it linked in with you. And then, as a parting shot, she reminded me that it is OK to not feel OK, and no matter where or when, I can text her just to tell her that if I need to.
I left Guildford feeling OK. Unmedicated, I might have even felt happy. The traffic to get out of town didn’t annoy me, surprisingly. And as I hit the A3, the golden rays of the setting sun nearly blinded me, and I smiled. It was beautiful: oranges, yellows and a few pinks, following me all the way home. And it reminded me of you. It can’t have been co-incidence, or, as you once said, “it’s just weather, Tilly!”. Why would there be such a beautiful sunset on the evening of your cremation, when this has such significance to you?