Words by Jay Slack
on november 19th, 2007, i lost the most important person in my life thus far, my girlfriend to a tragic accident. she fell eight or nine stories off the roof of her building to an apparently calm death. so i was told.
it was her birthday party carried over from the 18th. and i was not there.
let me go back to the reason why i was not there, and i guess actually further back in time.
i had the incredible experience of meeting a soulmate about two and a half years prior. i had just come back from london to find this perfect piece of humanity had moved into my building and had made friends with my roommate.
we had a strange courtship, and became lovers fast. much sooner than i had expected, the words i love you came out of my mouth. and for the first time, i actually meant them. which was a realization on its own. that shit exists. fuck.
she made me more complete, without taking over, without invading my life, and more so, she actually lived along side it, and i alongside hers.
the problem was, which i had known from the beginning, was that i had a girlfriend with a built in expiration date. you see, she was from california, and i am a new york boy. so when we had first gotten together, and me being a guy, i was ok with this, this just meant, no awkward breakups, no real reason to be attached, nothing.
shit just doesn’t work out like how you plan, huh? …i fell completely in love with this asshole .
lets move forward, and spare 2 years of relationship things. i’m sure ill get to them at any random point i so choose, because there are many.
so we get to july of 2007, the time where she chose to move back home temporarily. which i was initially ok with, because i want her to be happy. i want her to want to be back home with me, so i let her go.
i went with her, to ease her transition, and because i didn’t want her to be the one to say goodbye, i figured that i could take it better if i was the one leaving her. i am a nice guy aren’t i… yay.
it wasn’t any easier, but at least she didn’t have to sit on a plane crying. i did that for her.
we spoke every day, more like 3-8 times a day, which i loved. i received postcards, she sent me little care packages, all of which i cherished. she visited me, i paid for her flights, we spent every second we could together when we had the chance…
but as the inevitable suggests, long term relationships don’t work… gradually she became distant because her life was taking a turn 3000 miles away, new friends, new job, all that… me, i was the same. nothing changed much. except i began to resent her for leaving me, and for having new friends, and for having a new job.
we broke up. i got a shitty tattoo, i got wasted, and angry.
but the strangest thing happened.
the day after i told her that we had to break up, we began talking more than ever, and loving one another more and more. it was like a weight had been lifted off, this pressure to make it work. and a calm of, lets let it happen, happened.
the last time i saw her was a week or so before she died. she bought a ticket to come see me, after my birthday, after our anniversary, which was halloween, and just before her birthday. so we covered 3 events perfectly.
we fell right into ourselves, we laughed, drank, talked, fought, made love, and she cooked me dinner the night before she left. and we talked about the future.
she was coming home to me in february or march.
i was content. she was content, and we knew that it wouldn’t be long.
she went home, in a week was her birthday. i made sure that i had her gift sent overnight, because it was on a sunday and i had it delivered saturday. thank fucking god. i made her a card, which any expensive present could never compare to. but i also got her some things. we spoke, she cried. and i wished her the best birthday ever. because it was the last one we would ever spend apart.
we spoke about 8-10 times that day. the last was when i had woken up at 5 am NY time on my couch apparently i had passed out from the whiskey i was drinking in her honor.
we talked about 45 minutes before she had her accident. i told her how much i love her, she told me, we cried a little bit.
and then i said “goodnight doll.”
i awoke to the worst phone call i had ever recieved in my life.
i was not there. if i was, would it have made any difference? maybe. i had made a habit of taking care of her. she was prone to doing silly things when she was drunk, like tripping on the sidewalk and things of that nature.
im also partly to blame. see, in NY, its common to go hang out on roof tops. so when i went with her to see her new place, that night i said “hey, lets check out your roof”
had i not, she may have on her own, but at least for now. i carry a weight that probably no one knows. and i need to get over it. before i drive myself crazy.
she was 25 years, 3 hours old.
i guess i want to motivate myself to make sure that my life counts…for me, and for her. or else, what the fuck am i worth to anyone?