Hi my love,
You weren’t here for you birthday, but I made the most of it. Before I went to class, I straightened my hair for you. I only did it one time while you were with me, and I remember you loved it. You were speechless that night. I wanted to do that for you again. I also wore my shirt to commemorate you today.
On my way to class, I picked up one of your favorite Monsters, the pink lemonade one. I checked two gas stations, Von’s, and a smoke shop today, and none of them carried the Cuba Lima that you really liked, so I settled for this one.
Class went smoothly for the most part. I did cry a little bit because people were bringing up their low points in life where they wanted to die. Hope was a word that kept getting thrown around, so it became sensitive for me. Obviously, in the moment you made your decision you felt there was no hope. I recovered and collected myself in order to see the rest of the day through.
I did quite a bit of running around to pick up some of your favorite things. My first stop after class was our favorite smoke shop. I picked up your favorite flavor, double apple. Next, I walked over to Von’s to get your favorite ice cream, Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie. They changed the label, which made me a little sad. Oh well. From there, I went to our Sprouts and picked up some ingredients for dinner. I also headed over to Trader Joes to pick up your coveted banana bread before heading home.
Once I arrived back at my house, I cleaned the hookah and set it all up. I smoked double apple while sipping on your pink lemonade monster and watched anime, just like you and I used to do. I tried hard to be like you and actually enjoy the drink rather than gulp it down. I made it last for hours, babe- just like you! You would have been proud.
I started falling asleep around episode four. As you know, I’ve been very tired lately. I took a little power nap and then started preparing dinner. I made your favorite meal, Japanese chicken curry. While I was prepping the vegetables and poultry I listened to a YouTube mix, just like we did when you helped me out in the kitchen. Making dinner took much longer without my helper. You used to peel the vegetables for me, help with the dishes, and keep track of cook times for me. Remember that? I definitely do. I cut and burnt myself. I know, I know. I should be more careful. I could hear your voice telling me that. After one and a half hours, it looked something like this.
And an hour after that, here was the end product.
The curry was delicious. You would have loved it, and had seconds, and probably thirds. You loved that stuff. I am so glad I was able to feed you well and had the chance to make food you enjoyed. I am also happy that I did this today. I have avoided cooking since your suicide. It had not been the same for me. I don’t enjoy just cooking for myself. I received fulfillment out of cooking for you. Making your curry was, in a lot of ways, therapeutic. More than I expected. I felt like I had alone time with you today. Just us.
Since it is your birthday, I made an exception for dessert. I had a slice of the banana bread, lightly toasted and buttered. You taught me the right way to eat it. I also had a few spoons of ice cream. I let it sit for awhile to get it nice and melted on top, precisely the way you liked it.
I tried very hard to make today a special day. I hope that you were somewhere nearby and could observe my efforts. I hope I was able to give you a good birthday, despite the distance. I love you, Laythe. I miss you more than words can ever describe. Happy birthday, my handsome.
All my love,
P.S. My friends Daniel and Nadia wish you a happy birthday as well. You are remembered and in the hearts and thoughts of many.