Before We Left: The Final Part


(Image via Seamus Robison)

Seamus Robison, Writer

I sat in a chair alongside my mother and father. I was dressed all in black, holding a single red rose in my lap. A combination of tears and mascara ran down my face. I looked up as I saw Gemma walk up to speak.

She was wearing a black dress without makeup. It was as though she made the smarter choice to not wear any. She knew it would run down her face. Her hair was neatly done and held back behind her head. The tears running down her face weren’t as visible as my own.

“All his life, Bruce wanted to help people. He always went out of his way to make life better and easier for people who may have been less fortunate than he was. He was by far the kindest soul anyone could meet. All of you who are here today had Bruce in your life. He cared for so many people, though he truly loved just one.” she said, at that point, her tears became more noticeable than my own

At the ‘loved one’ comment, I began to think about all the time we spent together. That entire week we spent just being in love with one another. I got to see a whole new side to Bruce. In that week I wasn’t his best friend anymore. I was someone he loved, and he was someone I loved. It was perfect. Then I was brought back to reality with Gemma’s voice and I looked at the picture of Bruce. There were almost no pictures of him without me in it too, but Gemma seemed to have found one. It was his senior picture. He wore a black dress shirt and a white button-down vest with black buttons. The sleeves on his shirt were rolled up his forearm a bit. As happy as it made me, it caused me to cry even more. So I turned away from the picture and just kept listening to Gemma.

“Bruce lived through so much horror. He was with our parents when they died. The trauma alone would have destroyed anyone, but he had the love of his life. He had Diana. I was fortunate enough to watch them be in love with each other since they were old enough to know what love is, and I was so happy when they finally told each other how they felt. I cannot say how happy I am that Bruce had someone like Diana to love him and help him get through the worst times. Bruce and Diana were in love for the longest time, and they spent Bruce’s last day together. I was always glad to see that through all the darkness, Diana never left. She always stuck with him,” her voice kept breaking as she said all this.

I ended up spacing out again after that, and began staring at the picture of Bruce until Gemma finished the eulogy. Then we walked over with our roses and placed them on the casket.

“I love you, Bruce,” I said with tears flowing freely down my face.

It had been a month since Bruce’s heart attack. The paramedics arrived too late. He was gone before they got to the park. The way his lifeless body was put into a bag and placed on the ambulance. Just being there that day destroyed me. It took me two weeks before I would even leave my room. I had spent the time either crying or blaming myself for not being able to save him. It took both my mother and Gemma to force me out of the house. They took me to Thatcher park that night. I hated the very idea of going there. Then I saw the vigil. Every single life that Bruce had touched, all of the students at the high school, his teachers, his bosses, the people he volunteered with in middle school, even the doctors who operated on him after the car crash. Everyone was there holding a candle, and in front of everyone, was a picture of the two of us. It was the picture he gave me for my birthday. I knew Bruce was a selfless person, but I never knew that he had affected the lives of so many people. All of those people would attend his funeral just a few weeks later.

When we went back to my house, I went back upstairs to my room and thought about the day Bruce died. It was the day my life was ruined, I would carry the memories that he and I made together for the rest of my life. Not just on that day, when he came back over to my house, but that entire week. He was my everything. I will always remember the amazing person that Bruce was. It was beautiful. Even with his passing, I will always love him.

The day Bruce Died…

I moved out of the way so he could come in. We sat down in the living room, on opposite couches.

Bruce gave me a serious look. It wasn’t that face he put on during a test, when he was listening to a teacher, or studying for something. This was something entirely different. This was some kind of determination. 

“Diana, there’s something I need to tell you. I’m not going to go to MIT. I can’t leave you. I don’t want to. You’re the only person I’ve ever loved in my life.”

I felt a sudden surge of emotions. Some anger, some joy. I couldn’t believe that he had done this. I had no idea what I needed to do from there. I just acted on instinct. I moved from the other couch to kiss him. It was the sweetest,softest, and most sensational kiss we had ever shared. It was perfect in every way.

“I love you,” I said as we pulled away from each other.

He put on a wonderful and perfect smile. His eyes brightened, and his cheeks became a bright red. I smiled at him. I loved every aspect of him. The way his black hair looked with the lighting of the room. The way his eyes and his smile were almost as bright as the sun. What came next was the sweetest, most perfect, and wonderful thing I had ever heard.

“I love you too.”

The End…