A part of me doesn’t even know why I’m here writing this. A part of me feels absolutely ridiculous. But it would be wrong of me to just go on with my life thinking like this month isn’t important. I just can’t. Everyday feels the same. I wake up and fall into the same routine that dictates my life and throws dimes into my wallet. Silencing my defining alarm clock, I swing my legs to the side of the bed and stumble my way to the bathroom to relieve myself. And then my mandatory morning hygiene routine begins. After popping in my contacts, I brush my teeth aggressively as I stand in the upstairs bathroom of a constantly humid townhouse. Deciding quickly on a cheap attempt of a business casual outfit, I cover my face in expensive cosmetics that are a waste of hard earned money. I pack my car, turn on my favorite murder podcast and I zone out during my commute while rolling my eyes at people who drive too slow. I hate it.
Pulling into the same parking spot, I wait. There’s this sigh that I’ve accumulated over the last three years that goes to show how drained I truly am. But I walk in, swipe my employee ID and get ready for another eight hours. Another eight hours chained to a desk. Just another eight hours that I have to pretend to act normal and professional. Another eight hours of staring at a computer screen while jamming my fingers down on the keyboard. It’s the eight hours where I feel the most empty..
If the anniversary of your death fell on a workday, I don’t know how I would of made it through the entire day without crying my eyes out. I’m glad I’m home so I can express my emotions on the one day where I can’t fake it. Today is difficult to manage. And I’m not okay.
There’s so much I want to say to you, and here I am feeling empty. It’s difficult to write about someone you miss dearly that you know you’ll never see again. The words aren’t exactly there. I’m jumping into the time machine of my childhood memories which were filled with your charming smile and your infectious laugh. You were my first friend. You were the first boy who thought I was pretty. You were the first boy I had a slow dance with.
You were just 20 years old when you were pronounced dead on arrival–September 30th, 2008 . What was I even doing during that time? I’m having a hard time remembering. I was probably being an idiot–that seems about right. Struggling with school and wondering what I was going to do with my life. Watching other people chase their dreams while I was stuck in this purgatory wondering why I couldn’t just pursue journalism. I had fallen down this rabbit hole of indecisiveness, copious amounts of alcohol and poor decisions. I ‘d party all night and give less than half of my efforts to pursuing a degree I didn’t really care for. And I was probably dating a moron at the time with no goals–no future–no passion. I was the epitome of young and dumb.
It was the time of feeling lost. I would sit there hoping that I would eventually figure shit out. It was as if I was waiting for this ship to finally come in. And now, here I am–ten years later still waiting and wondering if my time will ever come. But even more painful than the consequences of my wasted youth, I regret losing connection with you. I wish we would have kept talking but somehow our friendship went different ways. You made new friends. We lost touch. We grew up. I ended up losing the one person who had been nothing but a good friend to me in the very beginning.
And before I could do anything to fill in that ridiculous space–it happened. At first I thought it was some ridiculous rumor. I was in a state of denial. I remember becoming angry when I heard about it and accusing people of lying. It became too ridiculous for me to grasp. But it wasn’t a lie. You were gone.
I didn’t cry. I sobbed. I fell to my knees weeping on the floor of my bathroom. My hands hiding my face, my pain. It felt unreal–almost unfathomable. I couldn’t make sense of it. The air had been sucked out of me. My fingers trembling as I tried desperately to lift myself from the floor. With my eyes sealed shut, I tried to tell myself it was all a dream. This was all some horrible nightmare. But I couldn’t see past the tears. I couldn’t wake up. My friend was gone.
Sometimes I let my imagination get the best of me. I let my mind wander especially on days where I want to disappear. Its as if I’m entering this alternate universe where that accident never happened. You never crossed that street. Your heart didn’t stop beating. You weren’t gone.
If you were sitting across me today in some coffee shop, our conversations would be light-hearted and effortless. What memory would we laugh about? What would make the situation awkward with deafening silence?
Maybe we’d talk about the time we went to the zoo.
Maybe we’d talk about the time where you wanted me to be your girlfriend in elementary school.
Maybe we’d talk about how you thought I was beautiful when everyone thought I was ugly.
Maybe we’d laugh about the time where I had my first slow dance with you in my backyard at my birthday party to that one song by the Goo Goo Dolls.
Maybe reminisce about the time where you and I were active cyclists in the cycling club in high school.
Maybe I’d confess to you that I reciprocated your feelings in elementary school–scribbling your name in my diary, making silly wishes in long tunnels on family road trips…
Maybe we would share a laugh over that.
And maybe somehow, I’d tell you about the love I found and how much he appreciates me and values me. I’d like to think you’d be happy for me. I’d like to think that you’d tell me how beautiful I’m going to look on my day. Or maybe you’d say how you were looking forward to meeting my future husband.
I’m filled with nothing but maybe’s in replace of memories. And I hate that so much.
Or you’d show me pictures of your wife and the life you’ve built with her. And maybe you’d tell me that you were planning on starting a family. And I could sit there and wonder about what she was like and how amazing she was. Or maybe you could tell me that you and your wife were expecting your first child and how you couldn’t wait to be a father. And maybe, just maybe–I could be there to hold your child and feel our friendship come full circle since the first day I met you in grade-school.
I’m holding onto these possibilities that could have happened. Those are the things I think about now more than ever. Beautifully crafted memories that would have happened if it weren’t for that fatal day.
You were so much more than just some cyclist. You were so much more than an apprentice to a construction company. You were so much more than that boy who lived a few blocks from me…
I only have bits and pieces of you carefully etched in the corners of my memory. And one day I fear that I wont be able to remember any of it. I fear that you’ll disappear completely from the one place I know you’ll be, a place that I know you’ll never leave.
I wish I could visit you now–but your remains are unknown. When your family posted a website as a memorial, they had mentioned briefly that your ashes were spread out through Sequioa National Park. And it made sense. You loved the outdoors. Your weren’t meant for some box. I tried going back to that website only to discover that someone had taken it down. I was upset that it was erased but I had to understand that your family is on their own path of healing. I couldn’t be selfish about that as much as I wanted to.
Maybe that’s why I’ve chosen to write this letter to you. I want it to feel like you’re still here and that you’re not truly gone or forgotten. Because you’re not. You meant the world to me even though it may have looked as if I didn’t care about you at all.
I wish I could have been a better friend to you. A better neighbor. A better person…
I miss you. I love you. And I hope one day we cross paths again.
Rest In Peace.
Jakob Scott Weathermon.
Born on April 17th 1988
Died on September 30th 2008.
Jakob Scott Weathermon was 20 years old, riding his bike on Suzana & Delamo Ave. between Carson and Long Beach, on Sept.30th,2008, when he was hit by a big rig, because he jumped in the way of it to save his girlfriend. We love and miss you Jakob. rest in peace.