While I was enjoying the beautiful weather of Ojai this morning, I got a text from my friends that made my heart drop, “Kobe Bryant was found dead with his daughter after the helicopter crash.” When I got this text, I thought it was some kind of joke or rumor that some people were spreading, and after checking all types of social media, I realized that it was true. I just couldn’t admit that my all-time favorite basketball player would leave us like this. There have been a few tragic events like this, but Kobe’s death just hit different to me. Kobe Bryant was the first player that I knew from basketball, and while me and my friends were playing basketball, I remember shouting “Kobe!” when I took the shot. He was a great mentor for a lot of people including me in and out of the court. Kobe Bryant might be gone in real life, but he will always have a special place in our hearts.
It still hurts, but it’s gotten to the point where I can look at the photos of us and smile instead of cry. I still love you and you still hurt me, but I’m slowly making steps towards letting it go.
The photo of us holding hands and the video of your precious laugh that made my eyes drown with tears just last week has changed now. Absentmindedly, today I found myself smiling at the good times we had.
Thank you for the good times, the giggles. Thank you for holding me and caring. Thank you for the caring gestures and kind words you said to me even if you didn’t mean them.
Everything you have done in the past month would lead any rational person to say that you never truly cared, but then again I am not your average rational person. I don’t think you ever meant it when you said you loved me, but I know that we had something special.
The fact that I tried to treat you with utmost kindness and care for you after how awful you were to me, proves that I’m not rational. Or maybe it proves that I was in love.
The fact that you have shut me out completely, made it impossible for any means of communication proves that you are not the person I thought you were, but it also proves that somewhere deep down you feel the pain of remorse for letting what we had go.
I know that part of the reason you broke up with me over text is because it would hurt you too badly to see the tears rolling down my cheeks that you once used to kiss and touch. I know that part of the reason you blocked me on every communication platform and got your friends to do it too is because you don’t want to face the fact that you hurt me.
The reasons behind your actions don’t make them okay. How you treated me in the end is not okay. Lying to me and blaming your personal issues on me because you knew that I cared for you enough to take your BS and believe that I was the bad guy is not okay. But this will never change the fact that for a point of time, you brightened my days, you filled me with a sense of love and joy I don’t think I’ve ever felt before, and for a point I believed, and I still believe, that you truly loved me.
I still wear the necklace you gave me and the matching ring we have still remains in my room.
You hurt me, but you also loved me and I’m finally making steps towards letting you go.
but, we both know deep down that we will most likely never be fully okay.
i ask myself all the time… what could i have done better?
how could i have helped you, made you see what i saw in you?
you sat on the edge for a while, staring over the ledge at the busy freeway. i stood starring at you from below, sobbing.
in your mind, there was nothing to live for, nothing worth living for.
live for me, i thought. live for me. please live for me.
it’s selfish, but i needed you, in all honesty, i still do.
i loved you then, i love you now.
you didn’t jump because you knew that if you did, it wouldn’t kill you. you’d survive the fall and, when you woke up, you’d be sent to a place far worse than the center we were at.
i lived with you for two months in a residential treatment center for eating disorders until we were both discharged.
we suffered together, we cried together, but we laughed together too.
we’d talk in spanish complaining about the staff, we’d talk about boys, we’d talk about all the things we’d do once we got out of center for discovery (the treatment center we were at), and all things we would do together.
at the center, all sharp objects, from knives to pen caps, are locked in a cabinet which only the staff has a key too.
i remember that one night in our room. i heard a noise coming from your side of the room.
the staff who watches us at night had fallen asleep and someone had forgotten to lock away a pen cap.
you lay in bed, a broken pen cap in your hand, and blood on your wrists.
i ran to you and tried to take away the cap. you pushed me away, i lunged at you again and took it.
i grabbed your arms and forced them around me. you sobbed, begging for the cap. i could almost hear you internally begging to me, “end this please, end me please.”
you kept on saying please in between sobs. over and over again: “please.”
“shhh,” i whispered crying. “shhh”.
you were seventeen at the time, i was thirteen.
i was a ninety-pound, anorexic, thirteen-year-old girl living in a metal hospital.
you were a bulimic, suicidal, seventeen-year-old girl living in a mental hospital.
i held you for what felt like hours, i hugged you until you stopped crying.
i don’t see you much anymore, we talk sometimes though.
you were sent back to the center twice because you relapsed.
you seem better now though, you seem happy now, but i worry a lot.
you’re nineteen. if you go back to your old ways, you’re parents can’t legally force you back to the center, you’re an adult.
if you wanted to, you can find a bigger ledge, one that could end it all.
i can’t protect you anymore, i’m not there to grab the pen cap.
you are happy now, but we both know how fast things can change.
i hope you stay happy forever. please stay happy forever.
if you are ever sad, please tell me.
thirteen years old in a treatment center, fifteen years old in my room writing this, twenty years old wherever i’ll be then, no matter what age or what place, i will always be here to hold you.
Were you really a father to me, or simply a mere memory.
Of someone I dreamed would be.
But this letter isn’t a poem to you.
I wrote one to mother months ago, and every week I’ve been pondering whether I should write one to you. I never know what to say to you, or what memories to reminisce, simply because there are none.
Yes, you were a father, but biologically only. You weren’t a father until you had to be. Until, you got the call that mom had died, and you suddenly had to drop that neglectful act and realize you had two kids to raise whom you left behind.
But according to you, you never left us behind, did you?
You’d send $500 a month to keep us barely below the poverty line. You’d take us on Sundays to shopping malls and Jamba Juice trips in hopeless attempts to buy our love and respect, but those are feelings that cannot be bought.
They are earned, but you didn’t earn them.
Yes, I loved you the way any daughter unconditionally loves their father, but there was nothing else to love.
You missed dance performances for business trips, and movie nights during computer drifts.
I have no memory of you besides the fragments of moments spread over the years of my childhood, a childhood I long to forget.
Do I miss you? I wish I could say yes, but there’s nothing left to miss. Yes, you were better than mom, at least at parenting, but at least mom was there. At least she left knowing that she’d always be in my mind.
I wish I could pour my heart into this letter like I did for mom, but I simply can’t. She changed my life, but you weren’t around enough to do that.
I know you tried your best. I really thank you for that. You did everything you could to keep my childhood intact.
You were pure at heart, but for a child who was ignored desperately, pleading for an escape, it would never be enough.
As much as I loved you, like any daughter loves a father…
The funny whose jokes are overshadowed by sadness.
The family-oriented who can’t see their nephew graduate.
The misunderstood who can’t show their legitimate beliefs.
The innocent who are painted as violent, unjust, or villainous.
The dedicated whose crafts will be destroyed before their finish.
The capable who are given more restrictions that weigh them down.
The creative who will never pick up another paintbrush, pen, or camera.
The trapped who have had their ticket to freedom ripped out of their fingers.
The loving who will be across the world from their sister while she is getting married.
The kind who are readily met with guns pointed in-between their eyebrows.
The faithful who can no longer see the light at the end of the ominous tunnel.
The charming who get turned away before they can flash their brilliant smiles. The forgiving who are given nothing but punishments for the actions of others.
The aspiring doctors, teachers, or parents whose lives were cut off or thrown off course.
The eloquent whose thoughts will have to be shared in diaries instead of at universities. The confident who get put down until they would rather stare at the ground than at a mirror.
The brave – the ones who perilously fought for their country, who can’t receive their medals or see their families after a long, hard battle.
The humans who are treated like less than they are, and much less than they deserve.
This is for all those in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, and Libya who have faced injustice, not just from every-day Islamophobia, but blatant xenophobia from the leaders of a so-called “great” nation.
When we first met, it was like a miracle.
Unexpected and unprepared, we came across somehow someday.With blue sky, breeze and blooming flowers,
Birds flew and butterflies fluttered.
The sloppy clouds seemed to be sleeping,
And the whole world was so wonderful.
Then you appeared like an angel,
Surprising me with the sweetest smile.
You were bestowed with all the beauty.
Brilliant, graceful and gracious.
Desperately finding you in the twilight,
I found anything was just a lie.
Without my beloved in my sight,
Only left were my cry and sigh.
After a full semester of work all I have to show for it is a bunch of pieces of crumpled papers in the bottom of my backpack and the ink my teacher puts on my test telling me how I did in their class this semester.
This time is stressful for all, and I try to not get caught up in the stress, but there is just no way around it.
Sometimes there’s only so much you can do when the world is crumbling at your feet. Despite the pain, fear and distress you have to fight through no matter what. Those down days we experience are for a reason, feel them, feel the loneliness, feel the hurt, but at some point you have to come out the other end, not feeling sorry for yourself.
Since my sister left I have felt down and weary. I missed England, I missed my life, I missed everything. As I began to climb into the deep slumber of regret and sadness I forgot about everything else. Not wanting to be where I was, everyday became a greater chore. My life in California became a chore.
So as everything slipped away I thought it was about time to suck it up and not give up the fight. Driving home from school, my windows wound down, my music blaring, the sky serenely blue, the mountains picturesque on the horizon and an eagle circling overhead, I couldn’t help but to love life.
Sometimes letting go is hard but you often have to realize the good things you have in the present to gradually push away the past.