It’s been a week now. I keep waiting for something to happen-

Andy sends me a message on Monday morning letting me know there is something up on Adam’s home node. Something bad. He’s sick, upset… confused.

I read Adam’s note and feel my own sickness. I look at “last seen” and he was on- 23 minutes ago.

I send back a message to Andy to try and find out more information then page Dave to see if he knows any more. Andy has already spoken to him so I figure that a call or a page from me won’t be too much of a surprise.

He calls me back and we speak for a moment, he tells me that he’s called the police and is waiting for someone to call him back. Someone to give him some kind of information. I stare back at the home node and hit refresh… Last seen Mon Sep 10 2001 (28 minutes ago).

I stare at the words in his node: “I’m sorry but I did it anyway -

I’ve never read words like these. Not from someone I know, someone I like and care about. They speak with finality - I feel my skin tingle and blood pounds in my ears. I stare at them and hit refresh - (29 minutes ago)

Andy and I chat and try to keep some kind of levity in the situation. Yes, we’d both read his previous posts, yes, we’d thought about them - and we are thinking about them. Yes we are worried… if he pulls through all of this we plan on killing him at the next noder gathering. Damn him for putting us through this. Damn him for making us feel so God damn helpless. Our words are just messages back and forth, single bleeps as the new words show up… I go outside and smoke, pace, feel helpless and useless.

I come back in and stare again. I re-read as many of Adam’s posts as I can. I keep trying to think to myself why I hadn’t taken these things more seriously. Why haven’t I said something more? I stare at the words shotgun and child and wife and unhappy and prove it

What the hell was I thinking? I hit refresh over and over… please log on, please log on… I wait. 23 minutes have turned into an hour, into 2 hours. Please log on, please log on, please, Adam… god damn it LOG THE FUCK ON!

Andy: oh shit

Me: What?

Andy: oh fuck.

I sink into it

Andy: he’s gone

I slump back in my chair. In the back of my mind I’d thought that it was all a hoax or a cry or… WHAT? WHAT WAS IT? I asked if he was SURE. He tells me that Peg sent a message to some others and told them what happened.

I stare at the screen, not believing it. I don’t believe it. It just isn’t true - it can’t be. No No No No No.... not right, not real, not real...

I ask him if he is certain, if SHE is certain.

Andy: why would she lie?

The screen blurs and smears away and I cry.

I go outside and smoke and cry, I come inside and sit back at my desk. I look at the homenode again and hit refresh. The note is gone but the time stays the same.

Gone.

GONE

I keep wondering to myself why. In my heart I know the answer, I know that what killed him killed him a surely as cancer killed my cousin - it took Bart to explain that to me. It was beyond his control.  I know that. But I go back and stare at his page.  I see his face from the video Pete took when we went canoeing in North Carolina. In some ways, seeing that image makes it easier for me to deal with this - to deal with all of this that’s happened in the last week. 

I don’t know what it all means anymore. I fluctuate between anger and frustration, I feel cheated out of Adam’s friendship. I feel grateful that I had the chance to know him, I feel sad to know that I won’t get a chance to know him anymore - that remains the worst. 

The regret is like some kind of hole that won’t heal… it rings in my ears… I just want to disappear, I want to go away somewhere so I don't have to feel this anymore.  But it's here and I can't make it better.  I want to be angry, I want to be pissed - I want to stop thinking that, despite the result, maybe he was the lucky one, the brave one, the right one...  I have to stop thinking that - because it's wrong.  I'm still here. I might have to scratch the images from my mind, I have to turn - planes into buildings - into something else.  Something that makes me grateful to be alive.  I'm starting to be afraid to get to know anyone from here because I'm afraid that they will go away again.  I can't feel that, I can't, but sometimes I do

Since his death we’ve seen even more. It was as if his death was just a prelude to more suffering and stress and pain… 

The addition of all the terror I’ve seen in the last week has only interrupted my mind. I keep waiting for the next tragedy, the next death, and the next trial. I’ve spent the last week on the verge of tears and it’s exhausting. I keep wondering when I’m going to be able to grieve and let it all go.

So I’m back to the homenode and I see the words of love and the picture, the face… I hear :“We should stop on the way back and steal some of that fruit. Just for the sake of doing it.” I keep seeing the trees go by and the people, the water flows under the bridge, the canoes joined together and all of us laughing and talking stuck on the rocks- and it’s somehow still there with him in it. I guess it always will be- that makes me smile.

I keep hitting refresh on my browser; I keep waiting for the time to change or the words to shift. I keep waiting for it to refresh but I know it’s static from now on. Please log on it’s been a week... I keep waiting... 

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