A letter written by Oliver to his Isabella.
I didn't think this was ever possible. To be like this, I mean. Even now I can only just begin to accept your choice. I'll never agree with it, but I've been learning to accept it. I still don't know why you didn't tell me. I tell myself that you couldn't, rather than wouldn't. Nobody and nothing can change how I feel, how I have always felt. You know how I've always felt. It's not like it was hard to tell - I never bothered hiding it. You always said my geekyness was adorable.
Looking back, it's easy to see where I lost my balance and let myself fall - just let go. When your life changed direction, I should have looked at what direction that was. Before you stopped, I should have seen the brick wall built in the middle of the road. When you left, I should have realised how close I was to the ground. I'll never jump from that aeroplane again. Was I stupid to trust the direction of your life's autopilot? The destination was always a mystery to me and I couldn't have guessed, even if I wanted to. I don't think I'll ever be able to fly that high again. I don't think I'll ever want to. At least, not here. Not on my own.
Today is a special day. It's the 31st of December. The last day of the year. A simple four months and fifteen days until your next birthday. I never did quite know what to get you. You always said you'd love whatever it was because it's from me, but you knew that was never going to stop me from trying to get it perfect. I didn't want to be mainstream. I didn't want to give you a gift I thought was mechanical. Roses and chocolates are always nice, but they aren't uniquely us. They never were. I wanted to give you a gift that was just us. No intruders, nobody else, just us and our innocence. I could never make anything nice either. I hoped you'd like them. I hoped they symbolised our unity, our innocence, our eternal feelings. These rings, our rings, mean more to me than any other material possession. The inscription is what we are the most though. How can we be summed up in so few, precious words? The smile when you opened the small box provided enough light to run my life with the amount of energy it owned. I never want to forget that smirk. Even if I forgot everything else, I don't think I could ever forget you.
Why did I realise the truth too late? Why could I only see that look of expected acceptance in your eyes after the important moments? Why did I have to be so blind? Are humans not supposed to be the most advanced beings on the planet? No longer can I believe that, even for a second. We can see, but we are still, in effect, blind. We can hear and yet, we are still deaf. Our functional organs never work as they should. They might pick up the obvious, big things, but they bypass all the small, important things as insignificant. Our eyes and ears don't deceive us, no, it is our minds. All the time the mind is in control, so shouldn't we pick everything up? We actually know so much less than we should, than we could. If humans actually picked everything up, then I might think they are more advanced than fish.
You know what? I can't lie to you. I wouldn't, even if I could. I never have been able to and I never want to. You know what? Life isn't too good. In fact, it's worse than that. I can barely get out of bed in the morning. I have improved though. I can get up now. I've struggled past the stage where all I do is lie in the same spot, watching the door or the window for you to walk in. I can talk to people now as well. I've moved past guttural sounds and just growling at people when they try to move me. For a long time, I refused to talk. I refused to do much of anything. I wouldn't accept that you'd truly left and I could only lie with my face embedded in a pillow, hoping you'd walk through the door. I wouldn't even need a reason, just seeing your face again and hearing your voice would cure me of this illness.
Now I'm moving around the house a bit. I've even ventured outside a few times, walking along those well travelled paths we'd trek along together. For no more than a few minutes can I walk along those paths without thoughts of you running through my mind and why you aren't here. Everything I look at brings memories. Places, times, songs, trinkets, anything. Enough of these memories and they taunt my every waking moment and haunt my every dream, turning them into nightmares.
Every sleeping moment I have, I reach out to you and hope you know I'm here. I hope you can see me. I hope you can hear the sound of my voice and what I say. I hope it brings you more comfort than it gives me. What I say becomes no less true each time I say it. In fact, these words have more meaning than they ever did before. If only I knew if you were talking back.
I have a theory. To be honest, it's the only thing keeping me going through the long days and the lonely nights. This world is nothing but a huge, sterile waiting room. When we leave, will it be heaven or hell we are sent to? A purgatory for as many years as it takes for a decision to be made. Hospitals are like ladders that can take you up or down. Sometimes, you're lifted from one to another. They took you up. The angels and demons. They guard those ladders carefully, dragging in those who get too close. I'm not sure there's a difference between the two anymore. Both of them just recruit to their ranks and they both take lives. Neither passed a correct judgement on you. They knew how much I wanted to be with you, how every second of my life I considered wasted if it wasn't spent with you. They knew I savoured every moment and still they took you. Your soft hair flicking against my face in the wind, the smile that would dance across your lips and tease me so often, those perfect, beautiful, glistening eyes. All that was obvious and yet so blatantly ignored by those who stole you. I can't imagine I'm too popular where you are. If only they could have taken me instead. Maybe I'd be happier. Maybe you could move on and live a full, happy life. Not me. Maybe you'd have coped better. Part of me hopes you would, to spare you the pain. The rest of me - the selfish part- hopes you'd do what I'm doing. Maybe you're happier there than you ever were here. I'm going to cheat death of its pain. That much I do know. I'm going to greet it with open arms. Better still, I'm going to greet you with open arms.
Soon enough I'll see your innocent face once more, soon enough. I'm coming to find my one true love, my whole life, my other half. I can't live in a world of 'what if's and 'might've been's and if I can't exit this year the same way I started, I don't want to leave this year at all. Before, I could only say this. Now I can show it too. Isabella - I love you.
I'm going to find my Isabella.