***This blog has not been edited, altered or revised***
My dearest Nael,
It’s been 17 years that you’ve been gone, and I still feel like you were here yesterday.
Funny how memories and love for someone are always so real and vivid when they’re gone from your life forever.
In death as in life, I have tried to forget you, because it’s always been much too painful to remember you.
Even today, as I sit here writing you this letter, I am shaking and can barely type these words to you.
Filled with an abundance of mixed emotions – all of which stab my heart repeatedly.
In all this time I have never written or spoken aloud to you for very long simply because it kills me to do so.
To be honest, I’ve never felt worthy of even mentioning your name out loud since your death, because as you know I have always felt very much to blame for it happening at all. Throughout the years, so many of our friends have tried to help me through this. They’ve tried to comfort me with solace or freedom of these feelings. Yet, they will never die and fear that they will remain forever within me.
I suppose this is one of the reasons for this letter to you today. To ask for forgiveness, and to let you know what in life I never had the courage to say. So I pray that today God will lay these words upon your ears, somewhere in heaven.
I remember everything about us, you know. The way we met at our High school dance. The way you spent the next week that followed, looking in every classroom door window on 3 floors looking for me. The look in your eyes when you finally found me. The way you made “mad dashes” from each of your classes so you could run to mine before it ended –so that you could walk with me to the next one. All those stupid dandelion flowers you would bring me at lunch because you thought that I needed something pretty each day and couldn’t afford to get me roses. (I loved them you know. I know you always felt silly because I always laughed when you brought them. However, I giggled not to make fun of you, but to keep from crying over how incredibly adorable you were) I remember how upset you would get at other guys making rude or sexual comments toward me under their breath. How you’d come to defend my honour and tell them: “She’s not like that! This is one girl you treat as a Lady-always” The way you would get on a bus each and every day after school, to make sure that I got all the way home okay (when you, yourself only lived across the street) It would literally take you 40 minutes round trip to take me and get back home yourself and yet you didn’t care. I remember how the two of us got our very first part time jobs in the same mall, so that we could have more time together. (How silly we both looked in those red uniforms) The moment when you surprised me at one of our school dances with a beautiful Amethyst ring-just for me. The one you saw me “secretly” admiring from afar for months. You saved up all your money just to get it for me. I will never forget that moment in all my life. It was my very first promise ring. We danced to our song “Season’s Change” by Expose, because it held so much meaning between us. You said: “This ring means that I love you and always will-because you’re the only one I want to grow old with” Although, it’s a silly thing to say between two young teenage souls I know. Things always change and never remain quite the same, but this was different. In that moment, we knew it would always be that way.
Then, as the song, seasons did change and I allowed fear to enter our lives. There were people all around us that didn’t condone our relationship or understood our love. It challenged us in so many ways and I allowed it to cloud my own judgment. Throughout it all, you never altered or changed who you were with me. Your love, was still undying and forever mine. Yet, I was weak and afraid. Afraid that all I had with you was unreal and never to last. Naturally, it wasn’t what I believed at all, but I was blinded by the hate, blinded by the fear that racism brought to our love. I will never forget the pain I caused us both when it was all said and done. I want you to know that till this day I have never forgotten the look on your face when our relationship came to an end. I know you didn’t see me there, but I watched your face, your eyes, when my friend told you it was over. I was hiding, in the girl’s locker room because I was too afraid to face you. I literally felt our hearts breaking out loud. All I wanted to do was run out to you. All I wanted was you. I knew that then, as clearly as I still feel it now. Yet, I was paralyzed with fear and didn’t do a thing.
The next few years to follow were so difficult. We both went through so many changes because of that one moment in time. All of which were damaging. You changed because of me-as did I. I feel as though I single-handedly took our innocence away and will never feel any differently. You became this rebel, defying anything and anyone in your path. I, well I became lost and will forever remain love’s suicide.
We both went through countless empty relationships-never again finding what you and I once had. I feel I never will.
You couldn’t bare to look at me for years. To be honest I could barely look at myself. You became so cynical when it came to women and love and I’m truly sorry for that. You will never really know how much.
The very last memory I share with you in this life, was sitting together in your Aunt’s donut shop in the Fall of 1991. It was the first time since our love had died, that we ever actually sat together and talked. We spoke nothing of the past, or the present but shared a moment that I will never forget. God, we must have sat there for hours just staring at one another and you holding my hand. I remember how warm it was and how cold mine were. You always warmed me; you said it was “your job to keep me safe and warm” we both laughed again at the thought of it. We sat a little while longer, then we left and I never saw you again. You died the next fall and God forgive me but I truly believe that most of me died with you. After all, we were only 19...
Nael (Nick), you will never truly know the emptiness that I have carried around all these years since your death. I have never been truly whole since you. I have tried so hard to let go of you and the pain/guilt I have always felt for leaving you. Perhaps because It was never my choice to go, but one I was forced to make at the time. Perhaps because I knew in my heart that I would never love anyone ever again the way I loved you. Perhaps because if I never allowed our love to die, then you would still be here. I can’t help but feel like I am the one to blame for all of it: Breaking your heart, being responsible for you never believing in love again, becoming so reckless and causing your life to go down a path of destruction-and inevitably causing your death. I’m never truly at peace. I try to make amends and live my life differently now, but to no avail. I feel like no matter how many times I tell you I’m sorry it can never be enough.
This is and will forever be my truest regret within this life.
I want you to know that I am so blessed and grateful that God loved me that much to bring you into my life. Although, the pain of your death haunts me, I am trying to make peace with it everyday. I’m learning to appreciate rather than to hate Allah for the destiny of you and I. That although you’re gone, at least I had you for a little while.
I know you know this from wherever you stand today, but I wanted you to hear it all from me: I love you, I’ve always loved you. All the things that I believe in today are somehow mirrored by who you were in this life. I hate no-one, I judge no-one. My heart is always worn on my sleeve and care not what others think of the person I am –because I am proud of me, just for me. Racism has no presence in my life. It never will again. I look for that love, that sweetness, that romantic and gentlemanly nature you had in every man I meet. Yet it always falls short. For there will never be another you.
R.I.P. Nael (Nick) N, M, K, Ayoub
|I will always love you, Nael|