October is a rough month for me. It means my birthday is drawing near, and who wants to get any older? Not me! And more importantly, it’s the anniversary of Tim’s death.
Every time I see those first leaves fall it takes me back to that day. Standing outside of his house while the police officer tried to talk to me about the situation. I was afraid if I looked into his eyes as he spoke the moment would be real. So instead I stood there listening to him while silently staring at the leaves on the ground until the tears blurred my vision.
How stupidly naive I was to think that moment could be any less real. My friend was dead. That’s as real as it fucking gets.
This year I’ve been trying so hard to ignore all the feelings that surround a friend’s death anniversary, but last night those feelings found me. I was at a party enjoying myself when the man I was with started talking to a friend of his who shares my name. As common as my name is last night was the first time I’d ever met someone sharing the name. I was amused until he called her “snielson.” I instantly felt like I’d been kicked in the chest; Tim called me snielson.
I stood there in awkward silence nursing my drink until it was time for me to head home. Home to an apartment where still, four years later, my books still smell like Tim.