Luis, cont’d

And now I’ve rediscovered his old music blog, which I’d stopped reading when it seemed he stopped updating it. But it turns out he started posting again in 2014, after we’d lost touch. The entries were more personal this time, and more painful — about the loss of his mother, about his deteriorating health, about being sick and tired of it all. About wanting to die.

So much sadness and pain, and I knew none of it.

What kind of friend have I been? And how much of his personal struggle did he leave unspoken even when we were in touch, exchanging music recommendations and pleasantries? What clues did I miss? How much more should I have worked at digging beneath the bright surface of things?

I shouldn’t feel guilty about this, but I do. Friends drift apart. We weren’t close at the end. Perhaps he hadn’t considered us close for a long time.

But we were close once upon a time, and it’s that Luis — the kid I poured my heart out to in teenage conversations about everything and nothing, the kid whose regard and respect and friendship I held onto like a talisman as I started my new life — it’s that Luis that I feel I’ve betrayed. He did so much for me, perhaps more than he knew. And I failed to repay him, and now I never can.

I want to call out to him and say that I’m sorry, not for anything I’ve done, but for all the things I haven’t. For not being a friend he could count on. For thinking I could afford to lose touch. For being oblivious to his pain. For not doing more.

Too late now, of course. But I’ll keep saying sorry anyway.

It will never be enough.

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