Broken Bella Donna

{October 21, 2016}   Well then.

Hello you. I know you’re there, somewhere, I can feel you. I’m sitting here less then a week after your passing, and I’ve been so knocked around since then that I’m now ill. And yet I sit here with this warm, encompassing feeling, my scalp tingling, my eyes half closed and I feel… held. Nursed. Encompassed.

(Passing is such a quaint word to use when someone was murdered in cold blood, isn’t it?)

I miss you, altogether a lot more than I anticipated. I should’ve known I would when you moved out of town and I missed you then, even tho we didn’t catch up often apparently just knowing you were there was enough. And now you’re not there – you’re not anywhere. You’re gone.

And you take with you all the future memories to make, all the conversations, all of the text messages, all of the chances to get to know you better. You take with you all the potential and what ifs. You take with you all of the secrets and things people never got around to saying. It’s all gone, just like that.

My blood ran cold when I read the news. I knew it couldn’t have been anyone else. But why did it have to be you? Of all the people I’ve met in my life, very few were as gentle, as harmless as you. Everything you’ve worked for, everything you’ve done, all you’ve represented and protected was snuffed out in a second, and so violently. And so, so unnecessarily.

I can only pray to a God neither of us believe in that you didn’t know it was coming, and that it was mercifully quick.

I will remember you for your easy laugh and your irrepressible flirtatious nature.

I’ll remember your text message you sent me the night before you left.

I’ll remember the last time we were out in public together, and you told me I looked gorgeous and was giving you inappropriate thoughts (with all due respect to you I did look pretty good).You followed me around like a puppy all day and I’m pretty sure everyone there thought we were either dating, or that you were angling for a relationship. In hindsight, maybe you were. Or maybe it was just the legs.

I’ll remember down at the lake, when we would go for walks and discuss life and after I told you all about the most serious thing that had happened to me in my life, you offered to rub dirt on my coat so my mother would think we had been rolling around¬† on the ground. (In other words I’ll remember how much of a shit stirrer you were.)

I’ll remember every time we caught up over Summer, you’d always try and get me to stand in the shade because of my fair skin, you didn’t want to see me get burnt.

I’ll remember sitting on my veranda and you trying to swat a fly that was hanging around me, and you put your hand on my leg to lean past me. And it was as clear as water that you weren’t even trying to get the damn fly, you flirty shit.

I’ll remember you having a tear when I showed you a photo of the kitten you rescued. Of you veering off mid conversation to look at lambs. Of how unashamed you were to tell me that you cried your head off when you had your dog put down. Of how much you loved animals.

I’ll remember our shared love of quirky old crap. And I’ll forever value the quirky old crap you gave me.

I’ll remember walking up to the water supply with you in the stinking heat, both of us about to fall over in exhaustion and neither willing to admit it because you didn’t want to look weak in front of me and I didn’t want to look weak in front of you.

I’ll remember how your blind and deaf dog couldn’t see nor hear anyone else in the damn world but if I walked past she barked at me, every single time. What did she know or think?

I’ll remember the first time you came up to our house, dressed up nicely and wearing aftershave and you blurted out “I didn’t know there would be so many chicks here!” when you found three of us at home. I’m not entirely sure what you were expecting, but it’s pretty clear you were keen to impress from the start.

I’ll remember how you were a gentle soul but willing to defend those important to you from anything and anyone.

I’ll remember how you told me my family were like family to you, how we were the only people you voluntarily saw around here. I always felt valued and important to you. I hope you felt valued and important to me too.

I’ll remember that without fail, I always felt like you accepted me, and everything about me. You never questioned things about me that others did, you never asked why I made the decisions that I made. You never judged a damn thing, you were happy to take me at face value, no questions asked. You were easy to be around and came with no pressure or expectations (other than the ones I put upon myself).

It’s easy to remember only the positives when someone dies, and to put on rose coloured glasses. So for the record I’ll also remember when I felt intimidated by your manliness, when you told me I was looking ‘sturdy’ these days, when you were politically incorrect, when you admitted to me you did stuff I didn’t agree with morally,¬† and when you took a joke too far.

I have a million more memories, most have escaped me at this moment but I hope they all float back one by one. You were unique, crazy, strange, very much a star shaped piece in a world designed to only fit beige circles. I knew you resented Christmas for its religious connotations but i found out today you’d been donating the money people would usually spend on presents to an orphanage. Since you were in your late teens. What sort of teen looks outside their own immediate circle to consider others like that? One that understands the bigger picture and isn’t afraid to step outside of the comfy little box built by society, that you’re told to stand in and behave.

There’s so many things like that, so many small aspects of your life that I’ll never know because you’ll never get to tell me. Because you’re gone.

You were stolen away from the world by a selfish, disgusting thing (I wouldn’t even call them a human, although to be called human would’ve been something you’d have considered an insult so it would be apt) who would be 10% of the person you were, but thought they had the right to take your life. Someone who proved beyond any doubt that the disdain you felt for most of society was correct. Someone who proved that your desire to just leave society and live off the land with as few connections as possible was the right one… your desire to sail away and be alone was strong and apparently appropriate. Because at least then you’d be alive. You finally got out to your block of land in the middle of nowhere with nothing but rates to pay to the council, you finally got away from this shitty little down which was still too big… for nothing. I wish you’d stayed here.

I’m still so… unsure of where I am. I know I’ve accepted you’re gone but it’s hard, because we caught up so erratically it’s easy for my brain to just assume that somewhere in the next few months I’ll see you again. Because that’s how we rolled. It still feels surreal and like it’s a strange story I read. I can talk about you now without it hurting but sometimes I still burst into tears. Those are the real moments that I think I’m truly understanding the gravity of the situation.

Next time I see something that reminds me of you, or I acquire another random piece of crap and I want to tell you about it… is when I think it’s going to really strike home. I don’t look forward to that day.

It’s going to be hard coming to terms that someone I knew I could rely on when the going got tough has gone. Someone I meant enough to that they would defend me. Someone I might’ve meant something to, whatever the level. Someone where there was a strange potential connection with… one that I knew would never eventuate, but it was nice to know it was there.

Vale, Mountain Man. We will meet again. I’m relying on it.

et cetera