I don't remember you, Batman Boy. All I have left is pictures of us at parks and at parties, and a single home video of my fifth birthday.
You're only in it for ten seconds - I counted each one, but seeing that precious face of yours brought tears to my eyes. I'm opening a present from my neighbors, a huge Barbie tea party set wrapped in balloon paper and frilly purple ribbons. You're in the back, sitting on your mom's lap, eating some cake. I paused and replayed that part over and over again after my mom pointed you out. You were wearing a white t-shirt with shark swimming shorts. My heart skips a beat, Batman Boy.
My mom tells me about you a lot, how she met your mom at some playdate group we were apart of when I was three or four. My mom just loved your parents, she always said how kind they were and how sweet. And that was that, Batman Boy. It's how we became best friends. I laugh at the picture of me and you with our arms around each other, you grinning while I screamed at you playfully. I probably thought I was going to marry you, and it makes me laugh. We loved each other and we were unstoppable. We refused to play with the other kids because they weren't cool enough for us.
But Batman Boy, I must confess, it's an empty laugh. One that's hollow in my chest and just hurts more than heals. Because even all of these things, all of the stories, I still know the truth. The awful truth. My heart is breaking, Batman Boy. It's shattered.
Momma cries when she tells me about the last time we saw you. We were six. How we were at the park and you had to leave for a doctor's appointment. I ran up to you and hugged you for forever and you pushed me away screaming "Cooties!". As you jumped into your car, you turned and yelled goodbye. Batman Boy, I hate that doctor's appointment. I hate that you had to go. I wish we could've frozen time and kept it there, and stayed like that forever.
Batman Boy, I'm crying now. I'm looking at that picture, it's small and hung up in the corner of my dresser mirror, along with all the other ones of my life from fourth grade up to now. Only yours is different - all the people in the pictures up there, I know I'll see them tomorrow at school. I know I'm going to go to Subway with Tommy and Lindsey and Amanda, and hang out with them this weekend and sleep over at Jessie's next weekend, and how I'll see my cousins in a few months in Oklahoma.
I don't ever get to see you. Because that day at the park, that was the day that took you away from me. You were diagnosed with cancer, Mikey. Leukemia, but I didn't understand. All I knew was that you couldn't play anymore.
You died at home. Surrounded by your favorite Batman action figures. That's how you spent your last weeks on this earth, watching "Batman" on TV and reenacting scenes. You were seven. Your mom walked in to say goodnight and there you were. Gone.
Batman Boy, I'm sorry. I'm sorry I couldn't be the best friend I acted like I was. I'm sorry I can't take it all back and fix it. My mom went to your funeral - she wouldn't let me come. I'm sorry I didn't see you again. I'm sorry you had to die, and I didn't. I'm sorry. I'm sorry, I'm sorry.
Love you Mikey. Love you so much.