Time passes, and things stay the same. I'm still a teenager, I'm still a nerdfighter, I'm still a lot of things, and Esther is still dead.
I wonder when August 25th will lose this morbid significance to me, or if it ever will.
I don't really know how I feel anymore. I miss Esther and I think about Esther, but it doesn't hurt as much as it used to. Often, it doesn't hurt at all, and I think that that's it, I've finally gotten "over it," but then suddenly something will happen or someone will say something and a rush of familiar pain will come back to greet me and I'll wonder how I could have ever thought that the hurting was over.
But today is one of the days in the majority. Anniversary of her death or not, I am okay right now. I am better than okay. Every time I see the date, I am jabbed with a thorn of discomfort, but otherwise it's just another day in my life. And I feel guilty about it. I feel like this should be a day devoted to grieving and remembering Esther, and how dare I be okay?
But I am okay. The world turns. Life goes on. I have happy memories, and I think it's preferable to just leave at it that.
I still think about Esther a lot, but my thoughts have less of an emotional connection to them. I think it's upsetting that I never got to meet her in person, but I'm not exactly upset about it. For a while, it absolutely plagued me that I hadn't taken her condition seriously enough to make every effort to see her, to devote more time to her while she was still alive. Heck, I didn't even go to her funeral, and I wish I had. But there's a difference between acknowledging a desire for something to have gone differently and fretting over it. One is a legitimate examination of the situation, and the other is just pointless. I was fourteen to sixteen during our friendship. Sure, I could have tried harder to travel to Boston from Dallas, but I wasn't exactly in a position to easily make that happen. And I have accepted that and I have stopped beating myself up about it now that I have two years of emotional distance.
Another thing that I think about a lot is her age. Esther was only a month and a half younger than me, so we were essentially the same age.
You know what I spent today doing? I had a five hour orientation for the Honors program at my university, then I went and hung out at my friends' dorm, talking and laughing and stressing about starting college on Monday.
There are so many things that Esther didn't get to experience, and the older I get, the more aware I am of the fact that she is forever sixteen. Her birthday was a few weeks ago. She would have been eighteen, but she didn't make it to adulthood.
The universe is fickle.
But I am okay, and I hope she is too, wherever she is.