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Your smile stays

I spent a lot of time thinking about how I should start writing this letter. There were a lot of possibilities, but in the end, I was sure that the best choice would have been a simple “hey”.
Hey. That’s how we always started every conversation.
Someone told us that it seemed a bit unworthy of two people who love each other, but our “hey” always meant a lot to us.
It was the first thing you said to me, when you saw me sitting alone on a bench in the overlook near the city square; time passed, and it became a keyword, meaning “I can’t find the words to tell you how much I want to talk to you”.
Actually, on second thought, you can’t just use words to describe what our “hey” meant to us. But in the end, is it really necessary?

I’m writing you this letter to wish you a happy new year. I hope in heaven you have New Year’s parties like the ones we have here. Our friends never fail at making me feel good, but among the laughs, the yelling and the music, there’s one thing that is louder than the others, and it’s the fact that you’re not here with us.
I still remember our last New Year’s party, and your poster with our photos. Three years worth of photos, some were taken sneakily, and others were stolen from each other, and each photo screamed to the world how beautiful it was to be alive.
We liked the idea so much that we started going to the nearest cities and asking for help on the internet, with the intent of collecting as many photos as possible of people who shared themselves and their emotions with others. You used to call them paper planes, that was such a fascinating metaphor. It was really difficult to organize the exhibit in the city center, but in the end it was a huge success. I’ll never forget these days.
I can still see people wearing the shirts Sara made for us, you know? We’re wearing them tonight, too, and hopefully we won’t ruin them while playing with fireworks.

It hurts so much when I think that you used to love life so much, and yet you were forced to disappear from our lives so soon. I also told you that inside the ambulance, that you couldn’t just lose your will to live. But even if it still hurts so much, I had to accept what you told me during your last moments by my side.
“Until the end, I’ll never lose my will to live, but what I want the most right now is that you and she can keep on living”.
Those words are still as painful as they did back then. At first, I hated that little girl, I hated how she took you away from me in just a moment, and I hated that to save her life you had to disappear from mine. I even hated myself, because I wished I’d never left the house to meet you that day, so maybe you wouldn’t have had the chance to save her from that car. But hate never gave me answers, and it didn’t make me feel better, especially when it became so strong and I started feeling responsible.
She’s with us tonight, together with her family, you know? Her shirt is definitely too big, but she really wanted to put it on, we couldn’t stop her. I went to their house a couple times, they have a picture of you near their family pictures. They’re really grateful to you, and they hope that everything is going fine up there.

Soon it’ll be midnight, I hope our fireworks will reach you up there, together with this letter and the ones written by the others, that saw me writing and immediately got near the printer to steal its paper. The truth is that I started writing this letter because I was watching Davide while he was cooking, and I thought about how I never really thanked you for every time you cooked for me.
By the way, thank you. If only you lived longer, one day I’d have married you, and I’d have liked to learn to cook from you.
I have tons of “if only you lived longer”, but I don’t want to think about that, I don’t want any more reason to cry. I just want to think about every single thing you did while you were by my side, and smile while thinking about them.
I want to thank you for every time you took the blame for me, when I went home too late, even if I never asked you to do that. I also want to thank you for accepting my parents’ expansive love, when they found out that every time I got home late, it was always my fault, and since that day they started loving you. Thank you for every time you helped me getting back up when something brought me down. Thank you for everything I learned from you, the emotions and memories you left me. Thank you for putting me and the others before yourself, until the very last moment.

Even if you’re not here, if you’re not cooking or taking pictures (who knows, maybe you’re doing it for someone else), your smile stays here among us, and lights up our lives every day.
I still have a lot to do before I can meet you again, so be sure to watch me from up there, and root for me while I go through every obstacle I’ll have to overcome while living this life that you love so much.
Do it every day, every moment, until the day we’ll meet again.
Happy new year. I love you.

This story has been inspired by a letter I read some time ago on the internet. I wanted to put a link to the original post, but I couldn’t find it. Luckily, I copied it in a note to use it as an inspiration. I’ll leave it here so that everyone will be able to read it.

Happy new year! I wonder what the fireworks are like in heaven. I miss you. I can’t believe it’s already been half a year.

I thought of you when the clock struck midnight. Damn, we really do miss you down here. I tried to dance but my body was rigid and lifeless and instead I went to my room and wrote this. I remember the last time I danced with you, your arms around my neck and swaying the night away. Little did I know only weeks later you would be ripped away from the plane of our existence.

It’s a new year! But can a new year bring you back? It won’t. So I’m still waiting for time to heal this wound because seven months later it still hurts like day one.

Until we meet again. I love you.

Exentio, 29/12/2018