Long Island, Extra Strong, Please

Even in death, she was peaceful as ever. Oh, my dear Annie, the rose in my thorn bush. The good ones truly die young leaving the evil to inherit the earth. We were undeserving of you, of your potential. Living in this dark chaotic world without my light, without a cause to draw another breath is sufferable. Saying I miss you would be an understatement.

Death — the bitter-sweet irony of life; the constant change that tears relationships apart; the inevitable that no one is ever prepared for. We vowed forever and after, promised each other the world and the stars, swore to rewrite history. Seeing your corpse in its final state was a reminder of what will never be.

I’m taken back to the days I first saw you. The little details are still fresh triggering my love for you — I’m a teenager with his first crush. At the bar, you ordered a Long Island, extra strong.

“Just how I love it,” I recalled you say.

I got distracted by the soft whisper of your voice to the point of over-staring at you. Your girls were the first to notice but by then, it was already too late for me.

“Did I pay you to stare at me?”

Your girls laughed as you all walked away with your drinks. That was the night I fell in love with the Long Island, extra strong. The hangover was unreal though.

I visited that bar severally on Friday nights just to see you again and when I finally did, it took everything in me to approach you. It was brief but worthwhile.

My boys hyped me up for our first date, I was extremely nervous; I didn’t know what to do or say.

“It’ll come naturally,” Rotimi assured me.

Being late on the first date is never a good sign but you were forgiving. Just as beautiful as the first time I saw you, I was swept off my feet again. You smelled heavenly and looked like a bouquet of flowers. You never knew but I loved how your glasses were readjusted every time you blushed. The bun that sat on your head adorning it like a crown would a Queen. You were royalty in my eyes.

Rotimi was right- talking to you was easy. Our conversations lasted hours after dinner. Cliche, but the feeling you were the one surfaced that night. Even with my busy schedule, I wanted to see and talk to you at all times.

That night, you talked about changing the world. You had the basics thought out, everything was covered. You had the ideas and heart to bring change to the world. The passion burned bright in your eyes; I knew you were different.

One year after my love for you was confessed and a bliss union had thrived, life dealt us it’s cards of bad luck. The accident that cost me my left arm tested our resolve. I feared you would leave yet you stuck by my side becoming my missing limb.

Your death is my fault. The blame is mine and mine only. You would be alive if I had never met you; if I never heard your voice; if I had never gone to that bar. You deserved the truth; my truth — the second life I kept hidden from you. After that accident, I became a liability, unable to protect you like I had always. My reason for holding back was losing you but here we are. I fell in love with you because we both sought to change the world but you took a different approach. I brought a balance to the world through assassinations, offsetting international relations, causing war. Our ideologies matched but our approaches nullified each other.

I was the thorn in your rose garden. If I was given a second opportunity, I would make the same mistake again.

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