“She really needs to get up. She’s been in that bed for two weeks, Trish,” my dad says to my mom. They’re right outside my door again. I sigh softly.
“Leave her be, Greg. She’s not ready yet.”
“She’s never going to be ready. No one’s ever ready for what she has to face.”
Mom sniffles and I know she’s crying again. I’m so tired of hearing her cry. There’s no reason for her to cry—not because of me. I lived.
I wish I could cry but I can’t. I haven’t cried since I woke up in the hospital. I didn’t cry from the pain of my fractured and broken bones. I didn’t cry at the funeral when I stared down at the lifeless body of my soulmate—the body lying there was unfamiliar—not at all my Danny. I didn’t cry while I struggled on crutches with a fractured rib over the uneven lawn, past all the weathered gravestones signifying just how final death really is.
I didn’t cry when I lost it at the people—strangers—who didn’t know my friends and my love by more than a passing hello stood there crying and carrying on. They didn’t know their favorite color, their favorite food. They didn’t know Danny chewed spearmint gum. They didn’t know Simon kept us laughing. They didn’t know Cassidy was our support system. They didn’t know Phil wasn’t really as shallow as he led everyone to believe.
They. Just. Didn’t. Know.
They didn’t have a right to cry for people they didn’t know—people who weren’t good enough for them while they were alive.
And me? I just couldn’t cry. I didn’t even cry when my parents took me home and I stared at the corkboard filled with photos of me with my friends, me and the love of my life holding one another and laughing—a life that no longer exists. I stared at it for the hour I waited for the cemetery workers to cover the graves of those I love most. Then I went to them with my tequila.
My eyes are locked on that corkboard now and I can only stare mutely.
I don’t want to feel. I don’t want to face a future alone, so I stay in bed and sleep. Sleep is the only friend I have left.
Sleep embraces me and holds me tight, blocking out the pain and grief that would otherwise fill my shattered heart. Sleep enfolds me in a cocoon of nothingness, and nothingness is what I crave.