We were on your bed. You were twirling my hair and I was analyzing the spiderweb on your ceiling. We were discussing your abundance of female admirers, and I informed you that I didn't think you possessed the capacity to love. Instead of laughing, you glanced at your hands and I changed the subject. Later, we went downstairs. I watched as you frantically searched for the hat with the green stripes. You wore a sweatshirt despite the balmy air- you were ashamed of your skin. I wanted to tell you that you were perfect, that there was nothing wrong with your crimson tones. I wandered into the adjacent room, and I expressed surprise at the bird tucked away in the corner. You were silent and I wished I had said something else. I eyed the table, which occupied a substantial amount of space. It was the reason I wanted to visit that particular room, and I think you knew that. There was a picture of a young man placed in the center, surrounded by candles and angels and feathers. I flew through the file cabinet of my memory, and paused at the still of us sitting on your bed weeks earlier. We were talking about your mother, and you remarked that she hadn't been the same since your brother passed away. My heart sank. All the memories I beckoned forth retreated to their drawers. I blinked a few times and leaned against the door frame. You spotted me and winked. I rolled my eyes, but when you turned away, I started to cry.
You are always so tired. I cannot imagine what it is like to lose someone you weren't supposed to lose. You closed the blinds and stopped to kiss my forehead. I wanted to hold you, I wanted to understand you, I wanted to help you. But most of all, I wanted to tell you that you deserve candles and angels and feathers, too.