When we met I felt the air sparkling around us. His eyes held two big troubled oceans and some melancholy too. We were 20 and had a lifetime ahead of us. Julian was a free, impulsive and tormented man. He was my perfect opposite. I hold for a fact that he seduced every creature he met. How could I explain this… People admired him and he made them wonder. I think he fascinated men even more than women. He was deeply unpredictable in all his relationships : he was elusive and that made him look mysterious.
I immediately felt I was going to play a big part in his life and that he was going to change mine. When he laid his two big oceans on me, I felt something like a storm sweeping everything away on its path. I swear I saw his soul flicker. I didn’t say anything, it was too strange. Besides, he was the best friend of my boyfriend. And he had a really cool girlfriend too. However, a silent link united us at once. There was always a time he would walk to me with something nice to say. He liked my art and understood it. I loved his passion for life. We became friends.
I often watched his very moves. He would do odd things. One day, he nagged our friend Paul to go and see prostitutes. Paul chickened out but Julian stepped in. I found it so strange that such a handsome man with such a great girlfriend wanted to do something like that. I guess he really wanted to experience everything... Sometimes, we had to wait for him for ages. He was never ever on time. And when we started to give up, he would just appear. He lived in the fast lane, always in search for new people, new relationships and new experiences. He behaved as if tomorrow didn’t exist at all.
One evening in the autumn, the house phone rang. Julian’s Mum was calling and she was devastated : he had been involved in a car accident. She was calling all his friends from the very hospital because the situation was quite desperate. She couldn't find many at first because most of them were stuck at school. I decided to go as I was deeply moved and probably the only one available. My head was fizzy and I could feel chaos and despair all around me.
Shortly after I arrived, I requested to see him and they left us alone in a tiny white room. His body was intact, plugged into machines. He had a bandage wrapped around his head. His beautiful face was very pale and his eyes closed. I took his hand into mine, it was all warm. I had the strange sensation he was there and he could hear me. I begged him to come back, for his Mum, for his loved one, for all his friends and a little bit for me too. The room was filled with his presence but I understood he would not return.
The moments thereafter were terrible. I sat overwhelmed next to his Mum crying silently. She had hope still and I had none left. After that, everything sped up. Doctors came to declare his clinical death. Family friends arrived and took over. I stood up like a zombie, said goodbye and walked away... When suddenly Julian talked to me. He talked to me as if he was there and entrusted me with a message. He said it would help him go away in peace...
I realised the situation was totally weird but also the importance of what had to be done. I was feverish and yet a chilling cold fell upon me. I took my car and drove to the house of the message recipient. I waited a bit as she wasn’t there. I was fidgeting in the killing dusk.
Then suddenly she arrived, Victoria, Julian’s girlfriend. She was walking my direction, with her long brown hair and her thin silhouette, wrapped up in a grey coat. She was obviously surprised to see me there.
- Hi Vic, I said. Can we go upstairs for two minutes ? I need to talk to you.
- Is there something wrong ? she asked all worried.
- Yes, but I’d rather that we go upstairs to talk about it.
As we were climbing up the narrow stairs I felt the deepest emotion grabbing me. “Courage” I thought. “It’s nearly over”. So, we sat around a little table and she removed her gloves. She was shaking now.
- Vic, I said, there is no good way to say this… Julian had a terrible car accident and he died.
She startled and her pretty face went very pale.
- Why are you here ? She said. Why you ?
- I know it’s going to sound strange but he left a message for you.
- A message for me ? She repeated.
- Yes, he said he wanted you to know he really loved you and that he wished you’d be happy from now on.
I held my breath. Silent tears were running down her cheeks. She seemed to be looking for the right words to say. After a long pause, she mumbled :
- Nobody knew it but we were apart. We had done it hastily, just to see if we could miss each other or not. You know he was totally untameable… I didn’t think he loved me still…
Then she said with tears in her voice :
- Thank you ! Thanks for telling me that.
Everything was now crystal clear. I knew I carried a piece of his heart in mine. I felt that he was somehow at peace and that I could leave. I said goodbye and went back to the car. And suddenly, reality hit me. I felt some violent pain in my chest, like a blade in my heart. An unbelievable sorrow that lasted a whole week…
I felt his presence around me for a long time. Up until that autumn morning I was speeding on the motorway. I was going to work and I was quite late. I suddenly got incredibly hot. The whole car space was surreal and my face was burning. My accelerator stopped at once and it was impossible to manage the vehicle' speed. I had to rapidly drive to the hard shoulder. The next few seconds lasted forever. Ahead, a terrible multiple crash had occurred and I was unaware. A few people had died already. The great deceleration allowed me to stop, unharmed, on the side of the road.
Julian, I don’t know how you stopped that car. But please know that I’ve lived my life for us both ever since. Every day I’m a little bit more free and impulsive, just like you. And I will, my angel, carry your heart as a banner till the end of time.
Warning : any resemblance to reality will be the result of pure chance or the product of your imagination