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A World Between - 10. Letter 10 (Revised)

I have written many adventure, drama and romance books with LGBTQI+ characters. Visit my website to browse my full bibliography. You can also sign up for my mailing list to ensure you don't miss any fun future updates. Be sure to subscribe, I give away free stuff, limited printed editions of my novels and more.

    

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www.dk-daniels.com

    

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Ry, I fucked up for real. I didn’t mean for it to happen, but it just happened. I wanted so badly to see you last night after I wrote my last letter to you. I just felt like I needed to be as close to you as humanly possible. Any place we have been together or spent time at has been visited. The only place I didn't go was the graveyard. I couldn’t bring myself to go there; the odd notion is that your name on the headstone is the last thing I’d come to expect, but there it was plain as day after I snuck out after dark to visit your grave. You don’t belong in the ground; it's cold down there. You should be at my house playing Fifa or something, not buried in a BOX.

Last night was the worst night for me; I can’t comprehend how horrible of a night it was for me. I feel so alone right now and angry at myself. I feel like I've hurt you and let you down today. To top it off, I killed my best friend. I am so sorry; I tore the sweatshirt climbing back over the fence of the graveyard. It took a clean snag out of the pocket and practically tore the pocket off. I'm soo…soo… sorry, I destroyed your favourite hoodie, I feel like complete shit. I can hardly see the page below me from all the water in my eyes. If I wipe my nose one more time the cuff of my jacket will be nothing but a snot rag.

I should have just left well enough alone. It's not mine in the first place, it's yours, and I should have given it back to your Mom. I decided last night I have to say goodbye somehow, and I couldn't do it at home. I thought that visiting your grave would have been the way to go, but then this happened, and I feel even worse than I did before. I can still fix it though; I'll fix it… I'll make sure I do the thing right. If I can do just one thing right then, it is all I hope for. Because my life has been a series of monumental fuckups and I have brought nothing but bad luck to the people around me.

I shouldn't have gone to the beach that day. I kept saying, let's go to the usual beach, but you insisted on going to the private beach. Why were you so persistent? Why couldn't you just have listened to me? You were so fucking insistent on going to the secluded spot to swim? We should have checked first to see if there was a lifebuoy, but we didn't. We undressed like always right down to our boxers and put our wetsuits on. Then you shot off for the ocean ahead of me, and it was all fun and games. We splashed each other teasingly, we swung out of one another, dunked each other, horsed about for the most part, until you wrapped your arm around my neck and toppled me backwards into the water. I had enough; you scared me, and that's what made me get out of the water.

I’m sorry I left you in the water on your own. I was a little stubborn even after you begged and pleaded with me about twenty times to get back in the sea. I never got to forgive you, because you became quiet as I strolled a bit up the beach. I was annoyed at you for doing it. Especially after I told you like five times not to do it to me and you well knew I didn’t like it. I can’t shake the thought of what would have happened if I had stayed in the water with you. Would I have been pulled out to the ocean in the rip-tide too? Why did you swim toward the shore? You’re supposed to swim to the side. I thought you would have known those things.

Sigh… I should have asked to go home or something; that way, you would have gotten out of the water with me. All I can do is contemplate all the what-ifs, and everything ends with you living in the scenario. I'm sorry I left you all alone, it's just I needed some time to cool off. So, I sat on the rocks further down the beach and thought for a couple of minutes. I never left you; I want you to know… okay. When I got back, you were… were floating. I wasn't sure if you were joking at first, but after I called you like two or three times, I figured something was wrong. So, I ran for the lifebuoy, and do you know what, there was no fucking preserver there. I mean, who steals things that could save someone's life? I was afraid of going in at first, but I couldn't let you drift out to the sea. So, I entered the water, somehow hoping you were joking, and when I came out to get you, you'd scare me to death. But when I swam out to you, you didn't move. No…, you stayed perfectly still.

With a bit of struggle, I pulled you back to the shore, avoiding the rip-current which had formed in the water. You still looked like you were alive, you just chose not to breathe. I wondered how long you had been in the water and with that, I undid your wetsuit. I tried my best to get you to throw up the water, but you wouldn't. I remember how peaceful you looked, lying on the sand, Ryan. You seemed like you were resting, and I couldn't figure out what to do, so I ran off to get help. When I returned with a neighbour, an ambulance was already there.

Something morally wrong clicked as I watched those paramedics try to revive you, and all I could do was stand and watch. I’m sorry I was so useless, Ryan. I should have done more. I know I could have done more. But that does not change the fact I let you down and I let you die. I understand it's my fault for leaving you and that's my biggest regret of all. I know… trust me. I should have gotten out and sat on the bank. I should have stayed close to you, but I guess that will always make me sick to the gut for walking off. You would have never walked away if it were me left in the water.

Though since summer, I have finally concluded I'm resentful of my mistake. I am genuinely grateful to have known a person like you. I'm not going to say goodbye because that would sadden me something awful. So, I'll say, I'll see you one day far from now; then, just maybe, we'll find each other when I make it to heaven, and you'll somehow find an even more fucked up way to greet me, by making me sit through an entire National Geographic episode. Just then will the good times recommence and you will perhaps have forgiven me for my mistake, but until then, don’t wait for me; if you’re still listening… reading, walk on.

Jake

 

The End

Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed this tale. Drop me an email to let me know via my reader contact email: danny2017writing@outlook.com. You can help me by rating this story via Goodreads. Link below. The story is part of a collection called We Are Here. Doing this enables my stories to reach a larger audience and improves my rankings. Don’t forget also to visit my website and sign up for my mailing list. You can also view some of my older works by clicking on my pen name via the authors tab.

   

My Website:

www.dk-daniels.com

   

Follow me on social media, and peruse my newest books.

   

Social & Newest Reads:

https://linktr.ee/dkdaniels

This short story has a song dedicated to it as a soundtrack. I urge you to check out the song, which is called - Better Look Me In The Eyes by Dan Romer

Copyright © 2018 D.K. Daniels; All Rights Reserved.
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weinerdog

Posted (edited)

I read this over two days.I guess it natural for Jake to blame himself I hope he finds a way to let himself off the hook.

The line in a earlier letter said something to the effect I'm a boy I'm not supposed to cry.It sucks that its considered a sign of weakness.More people have the exact same thoughts and feelings Jake expressed which he otherwise would not have.We never tell certain people how we really feel about each other when we are alive and sadly most people never will.

Edited by weinerdog
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I also read this over the last two days, and had a suspicion after the 2nd chapter where and how this story was going to end.

Despite loving to swim, there's always been an 'unknown' with open water, especially dark water. Doesn't matter if a river, lake or ocean. But it's worse where there's a possibility of danger, rip-tides or worse.

Jake wasn't too blame. Both he a Ryan could've been trapped in the same 'rip', but maybe between them they'd have remembered to swim parallel until they reach shore or shallow water and safety. Or not.

In the end, Jake will have a lifetime to hopefully work through this. Hopefully when they finally meet up there'll be the forgiveness Jake needs.

Another good, but sad, story Dan.

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People who've had a near death experience often wonder why it wasn't them, and this is the grief Jake has been feeling. Maybe twenty years ago, boys and men didn't showcase their emotions as freely, but these days it seems like it is a strong attribute that you can showcase a range of emotions, and be confident that it's not weak to show vulnerable emotions. The talk on mental health has brought about discussion for male physiological awareness, and I'd all about raising awareness about this topic too. It's not that difficult to tell the people you love in your life that they are appreciated, it does not have to be spoken all the time, simply being there is a good first start.

 Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed. @weinerdog, @Anton_Cloche

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