August 28th, 1988 – December 4th, 2008
I first took notice of you in Chemistry, 11th grade. You were the most beautiful girl I have ever laid my eyes on. I was the luckiest kid in the world when we were chosen to be lab partners by the teacher. I was pretty nervous though, you being captain of the Volleyball team and all I did was sit on the bench on the varsity basketball team and play video games.
However, we wasted no time in getting to know each other. We both loved the same movies, music, we had an almost identical view on life, except for religion. We became best friends. After only two weeks of meeting you, I knew I was in love.
We spent every day together. We went to prom together. I remember everyone saying “Them two are going to get married one day”. We were both infatuated with love; but terrified. When we graduated, you were going to college in Virginia, but it was still amazing.
We couldn’t let go of each other. We held hands and kissed everywhere. I remember it as if it just happened today. Your car, my room, starbucks, the park. Anywhere and everywhere we went, which was a lot of places because we were with each other every single day.
I never had a girl as beautiful as you, so it meant a lot to me that you were so into me. You called me every morning, you always called first. “Morning babe, I just woke up. Come over in a half an hour, I have to take a shower first, then we’ll go to school and hang out all day afterwords”. I remember those phone calls, and that voice, to the tee.
I still smile when I remember coming home to your parent’s house that one morning at 6am. Your cars brakes went out so we “borrowed” your dad’s car to go party one night. Your dad was getting ready for work, but we snuck in un-noticed. When he came home from work that night, he asked you why there were footprints on the windshield and the headliner…hahaha. We played it off like we had no idea what he was talking about and he completely bought it.
I remember when you went off to college 300 miles away, and I was a few months away from going to the Marines. We decided to split up before we went seperate ways. Even though it was on good terms, I regret it. Regret; I have a lot.
I was with Ashley at the time, but you were always in the back of my mind. We still talked every day. I still believe to this day if you hadn’t gone away, we would still be together and I never would have joined the military, but that’s what happened and there’s nothing I can do about it now.
Ashley cheated on me when I was in boot camp, and you were right there waiting. I remember talking to you on the phone when I was nearing graduation and telling you about it. That’s when you told me you’re moving back down to Carlisle and going to school locally. I’ve never heard better news to this day.
I fell in love all over again (as if it ever left). We pulled it together and dealt with the long distance, but it wasn’t that bad. We sent each other letters, cards, mix cd’s, bumper stickers, pictures and NES cartridges (haha!). That summer, things were better than ever. I came home almost every weekend. You came to North Carolina on the weekends I didn’t. I wouldn’t even tell friends or family I was coming, because the only person I wanted to spend the short time I had at home was with you.
We would always joke how we were “engaged to be engaged”. All of your friends were mad at you because they didn’t get to see you as much as I did. All of my friends didn’t even know I was in town. We were perfect, and in love.
I remember you would come over to my Mom’s house and we would just play video games all day. You would always try to get a higher score than me in Counter-Strike, but it would never happen. We would play over and over, just chillin’ and enjoying each other. I remember when I got put on IRR and got to come home for 6 months. I seen you every day I wasn’t with my friends. You would call me every day at noon and we would get lunch between your classes. Sometimes I would pretend to be sleeping, and miss your call on purpose. Again; regret.
I had always thought I knew what “love” was until I met you, and having you, who made me feel things on a level I’d never known before. Who stayed with me even though we were 2,000 miles apart for 9 months during my first deployment to Iraq. Torn from me abruptly, I went completely insane. Like cheesy love movie insane.
It was early November. I never tell the full story to anyone, I would break down typing all of the details. That night is burned into my mind for eternity, and it haunts me every day. You picked me up in the morning, we hung out at your apartment all day, then we took off for a night out in town. We went bar hopping in Franklin, they let me drink underage with my Military ID. I believe 5 of your friends were there as well, but it might have been 6.
We left at close. We were driving home. I had too much and I couldn’t drive for you, but if I could take that back I would drive in a heartbeat. We drove into an intersection and a drunk driver came from the left, ran a red light, and smacked into the driver’s side door. I was horrified. Ironically, this drunk driver could have saved your life.
You were in pain, but you were okay. I stayed at the hospital as much as I could. Unfortunately, I was not there when the hardest part of it all happened. I missed one of your phone calls because I was playing football with some friends (we played every Thursday). When I checked my voicemails you were on there. You said they found brain tumors, and there was nothing they can do. You said the doctor’s are giving you three weeks to live. You wished me the best, said I love you, and hung up. I choked up. I was in tears. I couldn’t even call back, I couldn’t even hear the message again. I wanted to be dreaming. I wanted this to not be real. I couldn’t even call you back, I was speechless. I deleted the message, but I wish I could hear your voice one more time.
I called back three days later. For three days, I didn’t leave my room. I was a ghost. I talked to no one, I answered no phone calls. Why did I wait three days? I guess it was too hard, but that’s no excuse. I got to talk to you and come see you a few more times. I will never forget our last conversation; our last words to each other. Why did I wait three days to come see you? That’s three more days I could have had with you. Again; regret.
You passed away the morning of the 4th of December, in the hospital. I didn’t get to talk to you that day. I will forever remember the 4th of December as losing the greatest love I have ever known. Losing a best friend. Losing my other half. I have never been the same person since that day, and I never will be. I hide my emotions. Even though I think about it each and every day. You’re always on my mind, and it sucks.
Your funeral was hard. I couldn’t stay the whole time. I left with your friend Christina. She dropped me off at home, gave me a hug and said everything will be okay…but it never was. I wish it was. I miss you and I still love you so much.
Usually guys keep things like this bottled inside of them, but I don’t care anymore. I don’t care about the macho man stereotypes. I have nothing to prove.
I’m moving on now, two years later, but it’s hard. I find girls from time to time. I’ve had relationships. I feel affection for them. I’ve been in a form of love with one of them. I’m living the life of outstretched hands and one night stands it seems, and I hate it. I’ve moved on, I just wish I didn’t have to. What are the chances of someone finding “the one” twice in a single, short lifetime?
But they’re so different. I don’t fill with pride when I make them laugh, and they don’t really care about making me laugh. And not once have I left the room to get something to drink and returned to a dark room with the tv off and them naked under the covers, Joe Budden playing on the stereo. You never understood why I loved his music so much.
I wish we could cross paths again, but that’s impossible. While I’m here listening to depressing music, feeling sorry for myself, you’re somewhere looking down on me telling me to move on. Although I’m an Atheist and you’ve always hated that, even though you couldn’t argue back. If your heaven does exist and I was wrong, you’re probably laying down up there with your grandmother, who passed away only four months before you did. But not too close, because you have restless leg syndrome and need your space. I always tried to respect that, and I’m sure she does too.
But it’s 1:54AM and I’m punching out this rambling text, because I haven’t talked to my best friend in two years and I don’t feel things as intensely as I once did. I’m starting to feel love for another woman again, but I doubt she feels the same way. It will never be the same. Every day is the same boring shit, it feels like life is such a chore… but it used to be our playground. I love you Jackie, I hope you’re resting in peace. It just sucks that I don’t sleep well anymore.