My best friend is dead. He’s like an old book I read that’s no longer on the shelf. I cannot access him anymore though old memories make me long for him. When I dream of him I think he’s alive and I tell him how I thought he was dead and he just smiles at me as if to say “you’ve clearly been mistaken”. Then I urge him not to go away again, to stay with me in this world…and in the dream I believe he will and I’m ecstatic. After 14 years he still makes regular appearances in my sleeping state. I sleep more often now.
When we were 14 we promised each other that if one of us (ever) dies, he would come to the other one to let him know if there’s an afterlife. Well he came to me a few days ago in the form of prose typed out on his old computer he so loved. My Mom had saved the document he’d given her (asking her if it was any good) and she gave it to me now out of the blue. He must have written it when we were about 16 or 17 because he said his best friend (me) had a band and that he played bass in it. Best friend. That’s what I was to him! And he to me. The lines were innocently cynical and quirky in places – none of his lust for life really shone through. He must’ve been depressed when he wrote it. His parents wanted to know from me if his death had been suicide or a mere accident. I always believed the latter but I’m less certain now. He died at 25.
We grew up together since the age of six and did Latin classes and Judo together. He was the smartest and nicest person I’ve ever known and I miss him dearly.