LPfiction

Category Linkin Park

Dear Mike. by ALifeForMusic

11/09/17

11/09/17


Dear Michael,


I love you.

Do you remember how we first met? We were eighteen years old. And even back then, I knew you were special.

We had been friends for years when I finally admitted to myself that I loved you.

You were so lively, so full of energy, you always helped me keep going when my mind was clouded by the depression I developed way too early, when I was unable to deal with another blow that tore my life apart.

Do you remember the dark winter day I told you about my past? How to this day, you are the only one that knows about everything that happened?

You helped me face the past that caused me terrible nightmares. The past that had me wake up screaming in your arms, night after night. You helped me fight the demons that had been twisting my mind for years.


You gave me hope.

And I would have never thought that I would outlive you.

Cancer! That's what the doctors told us. An enormous tumor in your brain. Almost inoperable.

The chance of surviving the surgery that would ensure us another ten to twenty years? 50 percent.

The chance of surviving without the surgery? Zero. They gave you another two weeks, maybe three.


You wanted to go home. You wanted to spend your last weeks, days, and hours with your family, your friends, with me.

But I convinced you to stay in the hospital. I wanted that surgery. I wanted to seize every opportunity I had to save you. That's what I told you. The selfish truth is that I can't live without you.

I couldn't bear the thought of coming home to a dark, cold apartment. Without you, I wouldn't be home anymore. Home is where you are, and where would I go if you were gone?


Mostly, I slept at the hospital, in the chair next to your bed. Even if I went home after you fell asleep at night, I was back by your side before you had even woken up. Most of the time you didn't even know I was gone.

I tried to stay strong the whole time. For you, for us. Every time I walked into your room, I banned all my worries, that excruciating and petrifying fear of losing you from my mind and put a smile on my face.

Unlike me, you didn't seem to be scared. Maybe the situation was too unreal to grasp. Maybe you had already accepted your fate. And maybe, just maybe, you had never been scared of dying.


So I smiled. Enjoyed every minute I spent with you, every second you had left. One late night - I was sitting by your side, watching you sleep - a nurse came and tried to convince me to go home and catch up on sleep.

“He is sleeping, he can't even talk to you right now”, she said. I shrugged and told her that seeing you breathe was all I needed. She looked at me sympathetically, and I thought I saw tears glistening in her eyes.

After that incident the nurses left me alone. They let me sit up with you, day and night. Maybe they understood how precious and fragile life is, and that I couldn't miss a breath you took. Maybe they knew that I wouldn't leave, even if they tried to send me away.


But every time after I left your room, the fear returned like a blow to my stomach. The worry, the grief. Sometimes I collapsed in front of your door, whimpering and sobbing. I always made sure you couldn't see me, couldn't hear the heart-wrenching sounds leaving my throat.


I knew you would feel guilty if you knew I was just barely holding up, barely able to keep my head above the water that was threatening to drown me.

When I had those breakdowns, nurses hurried to my side, telling me it was normal to mentally detach yourself from a critically ill person. They told me it was okay, a defense mechanism.

But that wasn't what was happening to me.

I don't know why, maybe because I am a goddamn masochist, but the sicker you got, the more I loved you.


I still remember sitting in an uncomfortable, mint green plastic chair in front of the operating theater. I waited for hours, hoped and prayed.

After seven excruciating hours, the senior consultant approached me. He didn't have to say anything. I felt it. I felt that you weren't with me anymore. That you would never come back.


They let me see you.

You looked so peaceful, as if you were sleeping. So breathtakingly beautiful. I traced my fingers over your once mocha colored, now ashen skin; touched your lips with mine for the last time. They were still plump and soft, but cold. As cold as the shivers that ran down my spine, looking at your lifeless face.


Then the doctors returned and covered you with a plastic sheet. Like you were some croaked animal. Like you were one of many. They wanted to take you away from me.

Of course I knew that it wasn't you anymore. Just an empty shell.

But letting your body go would mean letting you go. I couldn't do that.

I couldn't understand that you wouldn't open your eyes, that you wouldn't sit up and smile at me.

You looked like you were just dreaming...


They tried to carry you away, and I tried to stop them. I tried to make them understand that you weren't one of many. That you were special, unique.

The doctors were friendly and gently told me they understood I was confused and shocked. They told me they could help me find a psychiatrist. I tried to make them understand, Mike. I tried to explain the bond between us, but I don't think they heard me. They didn't understand I didn't need a fucking psychiatrist, I needed you.


I have to admit I didn't help with planning your funeral. For quite some time I wasn't able to even get out of bed. Your parents did what would have been my job. It is cruel, having your own son die before you do. Their grief was indescribable. Almost as big as mine.

There are still days that I can't get up. Days, that when I see a knife, I think about joining you.


But I know you wouldn't have wanted that. Never. You always told me to stay strong, to go on. You would have wanted me to live my life. It breaks my heart knowing that I won't be able to do that after I promised myself to fulfill all of your wishes years ago.


I just can't. I can't do it. I can't stay strong when I lie in bed and pretend you are still lying next to me. I can't chase away the nightmares that haunt me almost every night. I can't find my way back to the surface when the thought of you pushes me underwater.

I just can't go on without you.

But I have to, you would have wanted it that way.


I will always love you. I think about you every day, with every breath I take. I won't allow myself to forget even an inch of your face. The feeling of your skin under my fingers. The sound of your voice. Your smile. Never.


I love you.

Chester.

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