"You don't have to love me," Kieran had said, and I didn't know how to deal with that. I'd loved Michael. Still loved Michael. Still turned the corner in my own mind to see his blood spreading across the floor.
But Kieran, his hands in my hair and the gentleness is his eyes - Kieran, so serious. "You don't have to love me."
Kieran who had, after all, been dealing with trauma for years longer than most of them. "Sometimes the only people you can talk to, really talk to, are people who went through the same thing. Or something similar. People who've walked in the dark places."
"It's okay to take comfort in your friends," he'd said. The backs of his fingers trailing along my cheek. His compassion. His passion.
We'd scattered Michael's ashes in the sea, so there was no gravesite to visit to ask for permission. But there was Donna to visit, and when I'd asked Donna, "Is it wrong?" - is it wrong to be with someone else after true love? is it wrong to not make your life a memorial? she had cried, and only then had I remembered Joshua. Her lost love.
"Go to him," she'd said. "Find some joy while you're here. Michael would understand."
So here I am, bottle of wine, hand poised to tap on Kier's door. Not knowing if it was okay to want what I wanted. But knowing that I might break, alone. And that he did not need me to love him.
(brain too fadey, g'night.)