Yesterday it was four years since you were, as your mother put it: ‘In torment.’ Today, it is four years since you were gone. Quite suddenly not here, our lives and times no longer aligned.
Some people have commented on how very quickly the years have gone. “It feels like only yesterday.” Rachel’s mum murmured as she flicked the indicator. For me, it’s gone neither fast nor slow. Oddly, I feel the complete exactness of the four years now under my belt.
From grey Hammersmith weeks that dragged on and on to flighty Sunday evenings that rushed through my fingers, somehow, time became balanced into four steady years without you. And it carries on. Your name on my skin is already a little more blurry that the sharp script of last year. I look at myself in the mirror and it’s already a different face to the last time you looked at it.
I weep for getting older without you. I slam tequila, choose the wild-child boys and apply anti-wrinkle cream with both hands to my changing face all to keep up with you, to stay with you for a little bit longer, to defy the years and keep you and I you and I.
“Go! Live the life! Until you don’t want to anymore.” Your mother cries with a wave of her hand. My eyes burn. She wears young clothes, all colours and peacock feathers and I realise that she is young. She is as young as you in that endless twirling, exhausting life of hers. I stand next to my best friend, who has quickly grown noticeably more adult than I, and don’t feel so bad.
After four years, you are still teaching me. And for all the years ahead, I will be listening.