1 year, 12 months, 365 days. A year ago right now I stood on top of a rooftop with him and he kissed me for the first time. I was such a different person, so innocent, so untouched, so unaware of how he would change me in the year to come.
But life happens, and suddenly you find yourself so far from where you've been. No warnings, no street signs, no one telling you where you made the wrong turn. From now on, every day will be a year since that day I spent with him: a year since I went to his house for the first time, a year since he brought me ice cream instead of soup when I was sick, a year since that photographer stopped us to take a picture of "the most beautiful couple he'd ever seen," a year since he left me a crying voicemail when his friend died, a year since I saw that look in his face and knew he was it for me, a year since he said I love you for the first time, a year since I couldn't say it back, a year since he left me, a year since he left everyone else. And soon it will be 2 years, then 3, then 10, and I won't even remember his face anymore and something somewhere will remind me of him and I will think to myself I really loved that boy.
A year since he kissed me, one month since he left me, two weeks, one day, four hours, seventeen minutes, and thirty-six seconds since he left us all. The hours keep moving along now, but the sun setting and rising, setting and rising is the only sign that time is still passing at all. I spend all my time at home; all I ever want to do is sleep. I don't go out with my friends, I don't feel like dancing, I can't focus on anything because I'm so goddamn tired of fighting that I've given up and I hate myself for it. I miss him, I have missed him, and missing him has become this dull aching hole in my chest, this feeling that comes in waves and bowls me over and makes me shake. I see pictures of him that make me cry and I think that I really fucked up and I wonder who I am and why I'm not doing absolutely everything I can to fix it, but then I realize that I can fix a lot of things, but his death is not one of them.
To every girl or boy or woman or man reading this: the biggest mistake you will ever make is letting fear of I love you stop you from saying it. I was afraid, but he thought that meant I didn't care. After a while, he gave up and it hurt him too much to stay. The only thing keeping me going when he left was the knowledge that he was the person I was meant to be with so in a little while, whether it be days or months or years, I would get another chance. I knew this so clearly that even when life felt so hard without him, I kept my chin up and the tears off my face because I knew he would be back. I forgot that life is fragile, hearts are only protected by a thin little cage of bones, people are born and die every day. I never once thought that I wouldn't get that second chance. I lived on it, it kept me breathing, and now that he is really gone I can't live without it.
So please, I beg of you, tell him or her. I didn't because I was afraid of humiliation, of getting hurt, of emotions so little compared to how I feel now. If I had said it he would have been at prom with me when it happened. He wouldn't have been the one picking up dinner for his mom so he wouldn't have been in that car and been at that intersection when that truck ran through that light and he would still be here. Please say it when you feel it because now the world is spiraling into chaos around me and every picture of what I was so sure my life would be like has been shattered and I need to do something to stop this from happening to anyone else.
It didn't have to be this way. It could have been a year since I said I love you back. It could have been 10 years from now, remembering where it all began on that rooftop, remembering how he always thought it would last a lifetime and, though I never said it, so did I. It could have been different, but it isn't. So I will just sit here and keep on breathing and hope that time will make each day, each month, each year a little bit easier to bear without him. I will keep trying to fit together the pieces of my life that I have left, even when the puzzles still a mess and I still feel so broken. It didn't have to be this way for me, and it doesn't have to be this way for you. Sometime in this life, the person who means to you what he did to me will be gone. Hopefully you will have time with them, time that I didn't have, but even if you do, it will happen sometime in the far future and when it does, the regret will break you if you never said it.
So here it is Connor, I like to think better late than never:
I love you.