Akira

I was Akira’s only friend. I was also the one responsible for her death.

I met Akira when I was 19. She had the most beautiful eyes and I fell in love the second she looked at me. We had one of those short and intense relationship. We fell in love, we were happy for a while, then we started to hurt each other and it all became awfully painful. I would lock her out at night and she’d scream at the door until the neighbours came out and told us to shut up. There were moments when I genuinely didn’t want her in my apartment. I hated knowing she was there, watching me, studying my every move, yet giving me the silent treatment. She would just give me ice-cold stares, that made me feel angry and, eventually, guilty. But getting Akira’s forgiveness was never easy. I’d have to beg and plead and even cry. More often than not, I’d go to bed by myself, while she fell asleep on the couch, watching tv. She loved watching tv. But late at night, I could feel her climbing into bed, curling her warm body next to mine, the tip of her nose resting on my ear lobe. And I knew I was forgiven.

After three years of a love-hate relationship, I felt like I couldn’t do it anymore. I’ve had had enough of the cold stares, the silent treatments, the hate in her look whenever I was home late from work. I hated having to feel guilty and scared whenever I went out with my friends and I knew she was home waiting for me. If I was too late, I’d come home to find the results of her anger – broken dishes, ripped off curtains, clothes thrown all over the house. It was too much for me.

So one day, we went to visit my parents and spend the week end with them. It was a nice autumn afternoon. I was driving and she was on the passenger seat, looking outside the window. There was no expression on her face, but I knew she loved the beautiful autumn colours. She would’ve never showed it, though. That’s when I told her. I told her everything. I said I loved her, but I couldn’t do it anymore, everything was too much for me, I needed some space. She turned around to look at me and it was the saddest look I’d ever seen on her face. My heart broke and I almost changed my mind. But in the next second, Akira was all over the door, trying to get it open, to jump off the car. I was driving with 195 miles per hour. I pulled over and tried to calm her down. I lied to her. I told her I’d never leave her, I said everything was a stupid joke. We hugged and she seemed okay. But that’s when I realized Akira needed help. Professional help.

I talked to my parents. Akira had nobody but us. She was part of the family. I couldn’t afford healthcare for her, but my parents loved her and they offered to help. Leaving her there, with them, was the hardest thing I ever had to do. As I was climbing into my car, I looked back and she was at the kitchen window. She gave me the coldest look she was capable of. As I drove off, I was certain Akira hated me.

She killed herself three days after I left, by jumping in front of the train. There was a railway close to our home, but nobody thought she needed constant supervision. We had all underestimated the depth of her issues. I went back home for the funeral. It was just me and my parents. Akira had no friends and no family, but us.

I still miss her. I miss her hair in the sink, I miss her stealing bites from my food (oh, how I hated that!), I miss the tip of her nose on my earlobe at night.

Akira was my first cat. The most beautiful cat in the world. She left behind a little kitten called Mint, with black hair and yellow eyes. She hates me too.

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