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Since you left, my morning routine now has a new addition; I brush my teeth, wash my face, comb my hair, and stamp my forehead: “He died.”

It saves me the trouble, really, of having to explain why I look like I have allergies in all the wrong seasons and why I may sleep all day but you can find me wandering deserted streets after three a.m.

It serves as a reminder to those around me that your jokes are still funny even if I don’t laugh; that I still enjoy your company even if I sit there silently; that I haven’t become morbid but just a realist –

The stamp does push people away; some get uncomfortable so they blurt out the wrong thing, while others would rather not indulge and keep their distance as if my grief is a contagious disease they may catch if we get too close

Then there are those who’re around just enough but have become blind to the stamp on my head – they’re confused with my boredom, bored with my cynicism, cynical of our relationship – but simply, they just forget

On an ordinary day of classes turned into lunch breaks with friends, turned into binge-watching shows, to running mundane errands, to grabbing beer in the evening before finally getting back into bed – on such ordinary days where I am just another ordinary friend, it becomes hard to remember that I may fit outwardly but my insides are as fragile as the remnants of burnt paper caught in a gust of wind

I prayed the day you died that we don’t die with you but if I am to survive in this world without you, then I will carry you with me wherever I go for I refuse to move on, I will just move forward and if that makes me different from all those around me, then thank God.


“Trade in the stamp for an angel on your shoulders – easier to pull off.”


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