I remember The Morning After Losing Dillan like it was yesterday. I recall opening my eyes and staring at the ceiling; my heart still racing. Swallowing the lump in my throat and feeling the sting where the salty tears had dried against my skin. The world was suddenly and painfully silent – my world, anyway. There was no colour, no noise, no Dillan.
Waited for him to make a noise. A cough. A burp. A snide remark about how Katie Fischer would scream if she ever saw me first thing in the morning.
I waited for him.
But he didn’t come.
All I had was a big black hole in my chest.
Eventually – after the funeral – the noise came. Dillan came. With shattering glass, screaming people, flashing lights, sirens and car horns; all at once. An avalanche of noise. Especially at night, alone in my bed. I found myself wanting these moments, just to see him. To see if I could fix it. To tell him I was sorry.
Eventually Mum’s crying grew quiet and Dad’s movements slowed. They adjusted to just having me and we all accepted that staying in Ireland was going to be too hard for any of us to deal with.
The noise had returned, but not the colour. Even after moving half way around the world. There was nothing that would change the grey. I found alcohol and drugs took me back to Dillan with a renewed vision; clear and confronting – and I liked it. I needed it.