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Real Friends Say I Love You

I used to think that my friendships would last forever.
I had been surfing the net and found this site for making new friends when I saw a meetup for a bowling night. I got slightly dolled up, straightened my hair and smoked my eyes a little. I was really nervous to hang out with actual strangers. The group of ladies that showed up were actually very nice and normal. I walked up to the ladies and saw that they were actually sitting right next to some guy friends I've had since high school. I reached out to hug one and felt somewhat awkward seeing as I was meeting a group of lesbians. The hug was really somber when he whispered "he's gone". I leaned back and said who?!
He said Derek, my brother... I dropped to my butt. I sat there looking at him saying no.. no..how...when and again no.
I had known him and Derek for several years although I had known Derek since junior high. Derek was a tall dark thin brother who could dance better than any guy or chick including myself. He was funny smart bold and daring. Derek was adventurous and loving he was my friend.
Since before high school Derek had a secret. He didn't feel he could completely come out to everyone. In our group of diverse friends no one really cared but at times it was brought into conversation. It was often said that Derek obviously was gay so why was he so secretive. What some didn't know was Derek's family wasn't exactly supportive in his lifestyle. One day after class Derek told me how badly his older "Cop" brother treated him. He told me how his brother talked to him. I was so sad for him and I couldn't believe what Derek went thru. It broke my heart because I was dealing with questions of my own sexuality We would spend a lot of time listening to music dancing in my room. He would laugh when I danced in my bed sick because we both loved music and dance. He once gave some of our friends a lap dance to remember. For a short time Derek lived with me . Once I walked in on him and a "friend", even still my friend remained closeted.
Over the past ten years I would only see Derek every blue moon at LGBT events. He would smile, hug me and go into a crowd. We would talk on face book once in a while. I would see his brother more than Id see him. We would ask each other of updates and fill the other in if we'd seen Derek. I told Derek that my mom asked about him and he simply smiled ,She really liked him.
I was shocked that I would learn of his death at a bowling alley. I was even more shocked that his younger brother had only found out a week prior. The biggest shock was that Derek had moved to Atlanta and no one knew where his body was laid to rest. I got slightly drunk the night I found out Derek died and I sent out a text saying DEREK DIED ? I to this day haven't received a response from anyone. After I nursed a small hang over I called one of our mutual friends . She told me "yeah I heard about that a while ago.." So does every one know? She told me they did. I hung up the phone and cried.
Derek was our friend apart of our click and no one even acknowledged his passing. He made us laugh and cry.
I say all this to say those we called friends ...have really fallen terribly short of the title friend. I feel as if those that called him friend would have reached outside their little world and shown him that he had family within us, he may not have ran to Atlanta alone. I lost my mother and what I felt/feel is my reason to breathe and I started drinking and cutting. I would cry all the time and no one was there. I saw that if I died today those I spent so much time trying to connect with and "maintain" a close bond with would most likely by pass my funeral and visit an I-hop. Derek even in death you teach me to love me and love those who give love in return. I love you Derek.. forever and always my friend. You'll live on in my heart. Hug Momma for me. xxoxoxoxo
ladyfingerz ladyfingerz 31-35, F Dec 14, 2012

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