I still see the remains of that afternoon in my family. The way their voices break when they talk about them. That shadow that crosses their eyes when the date feels closer. And I can feel it too. It’s like a defense mechanism that activates itself as soon as September starts. Like we know something bad is about to happen and we can’t stop it. We hear the sirens going crazy, the chopper flying above our town, announcing he’s here. Him. The man I watched celebrating the night we all sang a victory hymn. The man that was a father and a husband, a son and a brother. The man that we saw as an angel sent from above, and now he is a real one in heaven. I see it all happen in front of me as soon as the month starts. It’s like a countdown; almost like the year it’s nothing more than a cycle that begins and ends in September. September 22nd.
September 19th arrives and it feels like the end is coming. September 20th comes and you wish you could go back and change the way things happened. September 21st is suddenly here and so is the anxiety; it’s like watching an accident happen in front of you, and even though you relive it over and over again, you can never make it in time to stop it. You just watch it happen again and again. And then it’s September 22nd and it only brings more tears with it; once again, you can’t find the right things to say, so you just look away. And then, September 23rd. I wake up in 2014 all over again, and I wonder if my family will ever be the same. I wonder if I’ll ever be the same. Because that September changed my dreams and took away my will; it even took my faith. When it’s Christmas and you see someone crying at the table and they’re not even touching their food because the knot in their throats won’t let them eat, when you hug someone that is in complete shock after receiving the worst news of their lives, when someone you love can’t stop crying while they ask you “what am I going to do now?”; that’s when you realize you’ll never be the same.
Some people say I should just let it go. That we should all move on with our lives. What those people don’t understand is that life does go on. But that promise you made five years ago in front of a grave follows you everywhere you go. And you’ve spent your nights trying to understand that wicked world where you shake hands with murderers and smile, pretending not to know. The world is so twisted that silence makes you an accomplice but it also keeps you alive. They say secrets kill, but in the world you’re living in secrets guaranteed no more threats left on your door. Because, after you’ve watched them cry in front of the grave of the man they betrayed, you realize how little trustworthy humans really are. You watch them from a distance while they are glorified by the people because they don’t know. They don’t know that they hugged a coffin once, begging for justice and now they clap while the murderer stands in the podium with a hand to the sky. The hand of the devil himself, that took the life of the man they glorified before him. And they still wonder why you’ve taken your distance. Why is it that you dream about running away and start a real life somewhere else. They wonder why you see people as temporary, and you never get any closer than necessary. You never open up. Something that rotten will never heal. Once you’ve seen the darkness inside human beings, evil at its most natural, powerful form; those things can’t never be unseen. And as long as you’re still here, you will never get out of that cycle you call life, that begins and ends every September.