First of all....
I should've written this on Saturday, but I couldn't find the words, or better yet, I couldn't get the words to flow from my brain to my fingertips to type this. Maybe if I talk about it, it'll help me cope...highly unlikely but worth a try.
Saturday marked 13 years since one of my best friends was taken from this earth. You would think that after all this time, that the pain would have lessened, and that it would be slightly easier to handle.
Right ? WRONG !
The tears don't come as often, but they still come, and when they fall, they still fall as hard.
I can still remember the day I found out.
I had just moved upstairs like weeks before, but still spending most of my time downstairs because I didn't have all my furniture and stuff yet. Remember ? I heard on the news that someone in Burgz had been shot, but was in critical condition in hospital. I was frantic trying to call EVERYONE, including you. I knew too many young black men in Burgz in their 20's, and the news didn't say your name. Everyone I actually got through to told me not to worry, that I'd find out soon enough. Some people even didn't want to tell me, because they didn't want to be the "bearer of bad news", so I let it go, I figured if it was anyone important, I'd find out soon enough. So I let it be.....
That was on a thursday.....
I heard nothing, no names, nothing, except that the young man died that night, and that the alleged killer was someone known to police and known to the victim. Still though, I didn't worry, cause the "boys" told me not to worry. Still couldn't reach you, but didn't clue in....
Then came saturday,,,,,
I normally don't read the obits in the newspaper, they depress me. But as I was skimming through the Gazette and came to the obits, something told me to stop for a sec. So I decided to look at the names, I saw your name, and I was like, "naw, that can't be my Shorty, its gotta be a coincidence", so I went to read the obit, just to see.... then I read it, and KNEW it was you. Like something out of a movie, I dropped to my knees, and started screaming and crying uncontrollably. I couldn't believe it, no, not my shorty, it had to be a mistake. Then Fifi calls me sounding all somber, asking if I heard the news yet. I lost it again. How can it be ? I mean I had JUST seen you like almost 2 weeks before outside LG, mind you, it wasn't good, we argued over the idiot i was dating, but still.
I refused to believe it was you, I kept thinking it was a case of mistaken identity or something. It had to be ! How could my lil joker be gone ? It just wasn't possible !
Fast forward to the viewing at the funeral home.....
FiFi came with me, cause I couldn't bear to go alone. We get there.... I see this room, I didn't know it was THE room, I thought it was the waiting room or something. But I see this sign with pictures.... I look at it, and its all your pics. So guess what, I lost it again, almost dam near lost my breakfast too. Fi had to help me up off the floor, I couldn't get up, I was weak. I ran outside, said I can't do this, I need air. I call Shay and Moe, and tell them I can't do it, I can't go in. Moe talked me in to going in, for which I am still to this day very thankful.
I went in, still shaky, embarassed that I freaked out like that, everyone was looking at me. I decide,(still not knowing it was THE room), I don't wanna sit near anyone, so I tell Fi let's go on the other side of the room. We turn the corner, and I see the casket....all I saw was your arm, and that was enough to make me run out again and drop to my knees in the lobby, cryin like a baby. Fi helped me up and told me be strong, she was there for me, and we had to go in, it was time. Even though I felt like losing my guts again, I went in, I walked in with my eyes closed so I wouldn't freak out again, and then when I sat down, I opened my eyes, and there you were, in the coffin, looking like you were sleeping.
I sat there for a good while crying just staring. I couldn't bring myself to go up to the casket. Not until your mom came in and held my arm and walked up to the casket with me.
Did you see that ? Mom said you were there, watching us all, and smiling at all the people who were there to show love. Did you hear the words I said ? Did you hear the secret I told you ?
I saw other people touching you, but I couldn't. I didn't know how. I was scared to. You looked like you were sleeping, so peaceful. But at the same time, not looking like you, not the you I knew. I finally gathered enough strength to touch your hand and hold your hand for a brief minute. That minute felt like forever. Your hand was so stiff and so cold, I'm not used to that, like I told your mom, even in winter, if I held your hand or touched you, you were hot. I didn't want to remember you in this way, but at the same time, I couldn't let go, it was like you were a magnet, or glue.
I know its just my imagination, but I could SWEAR that your mouth turned up in to a slight smile when I said I love you and I'll never forget you and gave you a kiss. I know that's not possible, but that image in my mind is what helped me cope that day.
To this day, I can still remember the sound of what sounded like plastic crinkling when I put my hand on your chest, I still remember the feel of your cold hand, and the shivers I got through my body when I felt it. I remember what you looked like laying there. Some times when I close my eyes, I see it, one of the reasons I hate sleeping.
Then the funeral.....
Sittin there in the church with Roxy, bawlin our eyes out. Especially after the casket was taken out of the church and you were driven away in the herse. Sitting in the park tokin', and Talking about you and how silly you were helped a little, and it felt good to be with friends I hadn't seen in forever.
Then when we found out what happened, and WHO did this to you.... all I could feel was pure anger. Mainly because I knew him, and he was a friend. I feel bad over the anger I felt, but at the time, I didn't care. I couldn't see past my anger. Yes, he was a friend, but not like you, and I was hurting. I couldn't believe he was capable of something like that. I had no idea what would happen only 3 months later. I regret the thoughts I had back then. But when you're mourning over someone you considered one of your best friends, and you find out certain things, you can't help your emotions. But you already know how I felt don't you.... I'm sure you heard the things I said between tears at night when crying myself to sleep.
My daughter will never know her uncle Renzo, I know you woulda loved her and she woulda loved you. She knows who you are, cause I still have your pic in the house, and I tell her about you all the time.
I won't let your memory die, not in my house. I still talk about the past, what a goofball you were, how we met at the Y, how you always used to call out to me when u saw me at LG. I laugh at some of the memories.
I wish I had a chance to say bye, or see you once last time before, but we never know when our time will come right ? I cherish every moment I had with you, and regret the opportunities missed, and you know what I mean, but that'll stay between us. Our secret.
I love you Lorenzo, and I'll never stop, and I'll never forget you.
I might forget the sound of your voice, might forget your laugh, but I'll never forget your words, your friendship, and the way you made me feel.
Its been 13 years I been holding this in. It feels good to get it out, but it doesn't help the hurt stop. I am even having a hard time seeing cause my eyes are full of tears. I wonder what you'd be up to now, what you'd be doing. 13 years, and the pain is still there..... when will it stop ? When will it go away ? I was only a friend and I feel this anger and pain, I can only imagine how your family is feeling. My only hope is that you're up in heaven smiling down on us, keeping us all safe, and proud of what we have accomplished since your passing, and how much people loved you and STILL love you.
I will hold on to the memories forever..... until I see you again.... I love you....always