Some have photos, others have letters. I have memories. Priceless. They greet me every night with your loving smile, your one gold tooth, winking at me in the sunlight. Do you remember? We were riding our bikes through the woods, the rain spitting down on us, and a round of applause for the one who fell face-first into a ditch. Goodbye tooth, hello tomorrow: your first ever visit to the dentist.
You never did like the dentist: ‘too clean’, you would say, and to this day I still do not understand how that was a negative. That’s you though isn’t it? That’s just you: infuriatingly confusing.
Your unique personality, I think, shines through me each day as if I am becoming you. Of course, though, I could never live up to the person you were: the person you are; the person that you will always be.
You. Me. The war. The war… Always there, at the back of my mind. I try to dominate my thoughts with your thick, black hair, like a thousand springs, the curls fighting for space amongst the many locks sitting on your shoulders. I try to focus on diving into the turquoise ocean, various shades of blue flashing through it in your happy eyes. I attempt to remember your warm skin, white as snow next to my olive skin tone.
Utter horror surrounds me, swallows up my soul, my morals; deceives my perception of everything, but you, my dear. My closest friend.
Your gold tooth will tickle my nightmares tonight.
Your gold tooth. Your gold pendant, swinging from your neck. Your heart of pure gold. That is what I see right now. That is how I remember you: pure gold.
Never did a bad word escape those lips: thick with an unusual redness that never left them. Compliments and encouragement is all that you ever threw my way. You complete me. But oh darling, you took on so much. Your plate was always full of things to do. I only wish that sometimes you would have got off the merry-go-round and just stopped, relaxed, enjoyed doing nothing.
If only my closest friend, with her one winking tooth of gold and her hair like a thousand springs wasn’t gone. Wasn’t dead.