You never left me, even as I watched the light go out in your eyes. Loyally, you stayed by my side, even when I left you. You waited for me, watching over me until sight had fled your gaze. Even still, you watched and waited, trained to the sound of my voice calling miles away. We had a connection no one could understand.
When I first met you, I was drawn by your fervor; the aggression in your body language that yearned to get at me. I mistook you for an old, grumpy man, so short and inadequate compared to the rest. Helpless, and so dependent on all that I did to take care of you, though nothing I ever did, could give you the comfort I wanted to give. I could never make you happy enough. Nothing would ever be good enough for you, but you accepted it nonetheless. You understood me, like no other friend could. You'd watch over me, and study the way I worked, always interested in everything I had to tell or show you. Excited, you'd greet me every time I called your name, the enthusiasm never leaving the sparkle in your eye, awaiting what else I had for you. I spoiled you with gifts, and you enriched me with the greatest love I had ever known.
We spent the greatest years of my life together in college. My grandfather was right about you. You brought peace and tranquility just by looking at you. When I became jealous of others, you gave me a string of pearls, just because I asked, and every time after. Only then. Together we watched a sick friend die, and you were there for her, when I was not. You comforted me, unjealously, with your patience and presence.
I graduated, and together we walked the streets of Savannah for the last time, like old friends. I took you to places that few others like you would ever see in a life time. You were cultured and experienced. You were wise beyond your years. You traveled farther than any other, and through your red and glinting eyes, you saw things in a greater, and larger light. The world, so big to you; always in wonder at every color. Pink was your favorite.
The first time Death had tried to hold your hand, I was ready to let go to see your suffering end, but loyally you rejected your fate on my behalf. I told you I needed you… that I wasn't truly ready to let you go after all. You listened, and never forgot those words. You held onto life, because I needed you. You never left me, even when Death hovered eerily in your doorway.
I left you. Because that is the infidelity of man. We can't be loyal like you. We leave, and trust you'll wait on us, and you did. For three weeks, you waited on me, my photograph a hollow consolation upon which you rested your old and tired eyes. I don't believe you looked away for a second. Perhaps it was that longing stare that took your sight, as if somehow, by looking just hard enough, you might make that photograph speak, or see it blink or smile. I sent you videos, asking you to stave off the Stranger at your door just long enough to see me again. And you did.
Crippled, blind, and withered, you lay down before me upon my return, unable to dance for me like you always did when I woke up, when I returned home, or even just because. But I could see it in your hopeful, searching eyes that you could hear me. I felt your heart beat like a rapid river, though you couldn't express with your face what you felt. You laid there till the end. The only movement I saw of you, was a gasp of air, only at my touch.
I begged you to go. I couldn't bare to see your pain. But you wouldn't leave me, no matter what I asked, because you had remembered… "I need you. I'm not ready to let you go." You saw past my modest lies. You always understood me more than anyone could. I did need you, I always will. Truly it was I, who was so helpless and reliant on you. Somehow you always knew that. I had to watch you fade away, like the change of summer to fall that you would never see a second time. There was no weight lifted from my shoulders, or peace washing over me when you left. I had questioned if you even had.
I laid you to rest where you could watch over me. I put your favorite bridge above your grave, so that no one would tread on you. It is a landmark for years to pass, so that anyone who would ever cross it would see and know that there lied beneath it, someone more loved than they could ever understand.
I love you, Giles, more than you could ever know.