“When shit happens, you either grow wings or get crutches.” -M

Hey Beautiful Girl...

I miss you so, so much. I'm sitting in a coffee shop called Sertino's in Huntington Beach, feeling surrounded by your memory but utterly lacking your presence. Across the street is “Forever 21”, next door is a place called “Angl”, in the corner of the room is a fuchsia orchid, “Beautiful” by Christina Aguilara is playing on the radio, and the last picture taken of you is forever displayed behind the cracked screen of my old phone. (I washed and then baked my new phone the day after I found out about you. You would have loved it.) And my life feels just as broken. Like our family, suddenly without you. Surreal doesn't begin to describe it. Infinitely inadequate. Profoundly unjust. This stupid life, to not have you in it; gypped of all meaning.

I wanted to wait 'til I got a pink pen before writing to you. You died on 10-10-2010, at 4:27pm. Everyone looked down at their clocks at 10:10 that morning. The off-ramp where your friend's car crashed was called Exit 27, and Mike had just told me that we ought to go visit Vegas while we played cards for the first time in all our days together. I told him I hate Vegas—even before I found out it killed you. Mike says now that he'll never drive that fucking road again; I tell him that I want to, everyday for the rest of my life. Cursing or tempting fate, and always-always-always thinking of you.

Last night was so hard, Katie Sue. A week to the day we lost you forever, and the biggest fucking party anyone has ever thrown for you. All night long we waited for you to show up. So many 'sorries'; so many tears. Never enough but we did the best we could for you. I wanted to get up and tell everyone that you are my favorite person in the world. That you are my best friend, my one true love, and my whole, complete, totally fucking-fulfilled baby sister—who shirked regrets but stayed on the smart side of safe, always. Except perhaps to offer the front seat to the guy with longer legs than yours...

We're thinking about getting tattoos for you tonight. Even Jake and Alex, who otherwise never would have. Your Erik got a pink bow on his bicep, dearest, as did others of your friends as well—but I'm still at a loss as to what would best suit you to have framed by this silly body of mine.

-L (10/18/10)

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