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Track 1: Dodie – Secret for the Mad
Tuesday, 2:30 pm

Dear Jake,

They never tell you how difficult it can be to remember someone’s voice long after they’re gone. You can try to imagine and replay conversations in your head but these memories come out more like hard-subbed silent films rather than talkies.

It’s only been a week, but it feels more like a year had gone by without you. I’ve never been good at grieving. Or timelines. Or keeping track of the days. To be honest, the entire week feels like one long sleepless, staggering night I’m not allowed to see the end of. Like I’ve been waiting for morning to come, but every time I emerge from my sheets to check for sunshine, all I see is more darkness.

I hate everything about this, Jake. I hate that I need to cope with something I didn’t ask to be in. I hate that it happened so suddenly. Although to be fair, how do you prepare for something like it anyway?

It’s in the middle of summer and the heat is killing me. I’m looking outside the bookstore and I’m seeing a traffic jam at the intersection and it’s so weird to see it at 2:30 in the afternoon in the summer. I guess what I’m saying is that everything is an anomaly. You not being here. This unforgiving heat. The terrible traffic.

I will never get used to this routine, so I guess it’s a good thing that starting next week, something will change about how I spend my days. I can’t even remember the entire conversation I had with Dr. Silang about the teaching post, but I somehow ended up accepting a part-time teaching position at the university. Yes, the classes that you were handling.

If I could describe how I feel, I think the most accurate word I could think of right now is dread. About living up to everyone’s expectations. About interacting with the students you left behind and who adored you. About seeing you in each one of them. I know that this is a rather pathetic attempt to hold on to your memories and to pretend like I didn’t lose my best friend. But every day, I keep trying to remember your voice and how your laughter sounded like, and it’s getting difficult, Jake. So maybe I could find them in the classrooms that you occupied and in the students whose lives you’ve touched.

I know that it will never be the same, but here’s to hoping I still find you in other people, Jake.

Always,
Matty

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