9 November, 2063
My dearest Matt,
You passed away a week ago today. I held you in my arms, as I did so many times throughout the fifty-three years we spent together, and I felt as the life left your body. No longer could I feel the strength in your arms, nor the sound of your gentle breath as your eyes closed for the final time. I sit here at this table in our back garden, staring at the tree you and I designated as our own when we bought the house as two young men embarking on a new adventure together, and I feel lost.
When I first saw you on that cool May evening, I was stunned. Lizzie had set me up on many dates with men, but you took my breath away. There you stood, with your blond hair and blue eyes, all agitated about this date, and I found you very handsome. I spent the entire time of our dinner hoping that my accent wasn’t so heavy you could understand only about six words, or that I wasn’t boring you. You were so very lively in your conversation, and I felt like you were a dream. It was surreal, sitting across from you that night.
And as we talked alongside the Thames, I found myself growing even more attracted to you. When you first kissed me, I was completely shocked. And that pretty much began the end of the old life I had led. Every free moment I had, I usually spent it with you. We helped each other with student troubles, grading homework, and whatever else.
The night my Granny died, you were the first person I wanted to go to. I wandered around London for two hours, working up the courage to go to your door. I didn’t feel I deserved your mercy, since I ignored your every attempt to apologise. When you opened your door that early morning, I could see the love you had for me in your eyes. I was never able to fully express my gratitude to you for taking me in and holding me all night long. You went with me to her funeral, even though it caused trouble for you at your job, and you were my rock throughout it all.
I can still see you on that vacation we took to Scotland in 2012, picking up the replica of William Wallace’s sword and swinging it around. And the absolute excitement in your eyes when the reenactor showed you some moves. I always enjoyed your childlike glee for things that other people would never admit to enjoying.
I also can still remember the fright I felt in wondering if you were alive in the school while Tony was on his rampage. Not knowing if you were okay ate me on the inside, and it was a feeling I prayed I would never get to experience ever again.
We got married in August 2014, which was a miracle experience in itself, since same-sex marriage wasn’t legal until 2013. I didn’t care if we never got married, as long as we were together for the rest of our lives. When we bought the house, I wasn’t sure it was a good idea. The house was large, and I was not sure we would have children to make the house worthwhile. But then, we were given the gift of having Jaime. I am just happy I won the argument over his middle name. I don’t think Jaime would have forgiven you if his name were Jaime Eddard Collins. And then, four years later, we were blessed with Niamh’s arrival. Finally, the house worked out for us.
For the next forty-seven years, we were happy. We raised our children, several cats and dogs, and vegetables at that house. We saw our children go off to university, and we were finally a couple again. I was quite surprised that our children hadn’t removed the vigour from you, and you were the amourous man I’d known all those years ago.
And then, you got sick. I didn’t know what I would do if you died, because you were all I had. Thankfully, you got better, and I didn’t have to worry until the night of your party. I am just sorry you had to spend your birthday in a hospital. And our last few days were spent at our house, in the bedroom where we had so many memories. Before you had fallen asleep, you recited Keats’ ‘Ode on Melancholy.’ It seems fitting that before you died, you were thinking of your favourite poet.
Words cannot begin to describe the emptiness I feel without you, Matt. I wake in the morning, expecting to feel your strong arms wrapped around me, only to find your side of the bed neatly made. I still expect to hear you singing along to Muse in the sitting room, before calling me in to dance with you to some song you know will annoy me. Mainly, I just miss you. After fifty-three years of not being apart more than two weeks, suddenly not having you around is difficult to cope with. Jaime and Niamh were hesitant to go back to their lives, but I couldn’t deal with their worrying any longer, so I sent them away yesterday. It’s been hard not having them around, but I had to be alone at some point.
I cannot wait to be with you again, where we can no longer be parted by any force on this Earth.