By Zoe Moga, TIWP Student
He always said I had eyes like the ocean. Sometimes a stormy blue. Other times a light mix of blue and green. That made me smile like crazy. I always loved the ocean, so when he said that… I don’t know, it just made me a happier person.
His eyes were a piercing grey. Serious, cloudy, closed off. They told people to back off. To go away. I ignored that though. Much to his dismay, I stuck around. I wanted to be his friend. He always said I had a contagious smile. Like the perfect that you never want to end. Jamie didn’t smile much but when he did, it was a breath of fresh air after drowning for an eternity. I always told him to smile more. After a few years though, he stopped smiling altogether. If he did, it was fake, it was a mask. I could see right through it. Every day though, he got up and kept going. And I tried so hard to help him but he didn’t seem to care anymore. I was pushed away over and over again and at first I fought him. I tried to stay, but eventually I stopped fighting it. Then he got better.
A cloud seemed to lift over his head and for the first time in a while, I saw him. But looking back, I know it was just another act. I ignored all the signs for many more years. Too blinded by my own failures and successes, I forgot to be his friend. His person. One day I came to see him and I couldn’t see his eyes. Those beautiful grey eyes. His eyes always saw more than anyone else but it came with a price. Jamie noticed everything. He knew what had happened by just looking at someone or something. But the only person Jamie couldn’t understand was himself. He couldn’t remember what happiness was, nor sadness, nor fear. He was numb. His heart turned to ice. But no matter the sorrow he was feeling, he always focused on me or his family or his friends, while I couldn’t take a damn second to see what was really going on.
Jamie left home after school ended. He was accepted to a school thousands of miles away, so he left. The first week of college, I called him every day but then that turned into three times a week, then once a week, then it was never. I never called him. So when I saw him three years later, of course, there was no life in his eyes. Of course, there was no emotion in his voice. Now I ask myself why I didn’t see it. I ask myself if I could have helped him. I was too caught up in my job, my friends, my life to look in front of myself and see someone who was suffering. I lost any sight I had quickly, so Jaime was just a blurry image in the distance. I should have seen it coming. I should have seen it all coming. But when I got the call from his mother that day I was shocked. I cried for months. I lost my best friend. Someone I loved more than anything in the world. I came home for his funeral and looked at his pale, lifeless body in the coffin, he looked so different, but his eyes. His eyes were the same.