This is so much harder than I thought it would be.
I’ve already ripped two pages full of half-finished sentences out of this thing. I just can’t figure out how to even begin… I can’t believe I used to write almost every day. It used to feel so easy. Second nature. Like breathing or something.
This feels more like drowning.
I couldn’t stand another minute seeing maman and Papa cry like that, so I came back up here to my old room to be alone. And once I got up here, I didn’t really know what else to do but just… write. Get it all out, like I used to. But that’s already so much easier said than done.
I mean look at me, rambling about how long it’s been since I’ve written. Avoiding talking about the hard stuff. The stuff that’s been keeping me up every night for days. The stuff that’s been making me cry my eyes out for hours on end. The stuff that makes me hate myself.
I found my old journal still sitting here on the book shelf. A physical reminder of all the pain I’d gone through, way back before I’d left home. I flipped back through some of the old pages… And what I read made me sick.
All the horrible things I’d said about Luc… How much I hated him, despised him…
God, I wish I could take it all back. I’d give anything. I’d do anything. But it’s too late now. I can’t change anything. I can’t make things right. And I can’t bring Luc back. No matter how much I want to.
Even writing his name just… hurts. I feel so ashamed. So guilty. So…
I just keep replaying it again and again in my mind… That last phone call, on our birthday. It was almost four months ago now… But I can still almost hear the sound of his voice.
He told me he loved me. He said he missed me.
And I was such a stubborn piece of shit that I couldn’t even say it back, even though I wanted to. And then I hung up on him, knowing he had more to say. Because I was too busy holding on to some stupid fucking grudge.
Yes, he hurt me. Yes, he was an asshole. Yes, he always got picked over me. And yes, he was largely responsible one of the biggest losses of my entire life, until now.
But how many years did he spend trying to apologize for it? How many times did I ignore his emails and calls? How many times did I practically run away from him to avoid a conversation?
I told myself years ago that I’d never forgive him.
But now I know I’ll never be able to forgive myself.
I never gave Luc a chance to make things right. And I never gave Hazel a chance to do anything. I barely even got to know her.
And now I never can. Because they’re gone. They were killed. In probably one of the worst ways imaginable.
I literally threw up once, thinking about it. I barely made it to the bathroom in time. My brother. My Luc. Spending his final moments in so much pain. Burning in his own bed…
No one deserves that. Especially not him…
It’s just not fair.
It’s not fair to their little boy, Zayne. He still doesn’t even fully understand what’s happened, I don’t think. But he will, one day. He’s got a tough road ahead of him, and it just breaks my heart. I can’t help but think about my little ones, all the way back at home with their father. Where would they be without me? Without Elliot? I can’t even bear to think about it.
And it’s not fair to our family either. I can’t stand seeing them like this. They look so… empty. Hollow. Broken. I really don’t think they’ll ever be the same again… especially maman and Papa. And again, it gets me thinking about my sweet little Charlie. My mischievous Alex. My shy little Tony. How would I go on if I ever lost one of them? It’s something I don’t even want to imagine…
But my parents don’t have to imagine that hell… Because they’re living it. And so is Mark.
And it’s not fair to him, either.
Hazel was everything to him. His only child. The baby he’d raised on his own. And she was taken from him, just like Luc was taken from us.
I saw him at the memorial this afternoon. It was the first time I’ve seen him in nearly six years. Since the night of Luc and Hazel’s wedding…
He looked so much older. So different. Still so handsome… But so broken, too.
And it killed me to see him like that. His eyes were dead. Lifeless. Just like Papa’s.
I should have gone to him and held him. I should have tried to comfort him… and let him try to comfort me too. But I didn’t. I was too afraid. It’s been so long. It was just… too hard. I thought maybe it would have been easier if we spoke alone… But I never got the chance. I let it slip away.
And I shouldn’t have.
I need to talk to him. I need to be there for him. I need him to hold me.
I need him to lie, just like he used to, and tell me that everything will be okay.