Categories > TV > CSI0 Reviews
Greg lies awake on the Sunday morning he and Nick never had. SLASH, Nick/Greg. Character death.
I never understood how you found me beautiful. Handsome, yes; attractive, definitely; sexy, sure; but beautiful? You call Van Gogh’s work beautiful; the sunset, a prom date, your smile, an intricately woven piano piece; but me? It’s not that I have a problem calling a man beautiful – I told you all the time – it’s more or less your reasoning. You said it was the way my smile reflected in my eyes; the way I moved when I was cleaning; the way I sprawled on the couch when we watched TV; the way I always had time for someone else’s needs. I told you those things just made me who I was, they didn’t make me beautiful. They were traits of mine, most of them instilled within me at a young age. You told me it made me my own person, and that was beautiful on its own.
The sheets are tangled around my body, but the warmth smells like you, still, so I don’t want to kick them away. I haven’t been able to smell you, feel you or sense your being in what feels like forever. The night it happened, I came home and slept on the couch, because I couldn’t deal with the illusion you left on our bed. The following morning, I packed away all of your things, even some of our things. Some may call me weak for it, but I couldn’t look at your stuff. I didn’t want the memories of you to give me false hope. To remind me of what I used to have, before it was taken away. I don’t want your memories, you know. They hurt too much. I suppose I’m a masochist, though, because they’re all I can think about anyway. I don’t bother stopping it anymore.
All of your emergency numbers, coupons and store magnets are still on the refrigerator door. I can’t take them down. Your shaving cream is still on the side of the tub; the excess foam at the nozzle is growing crusty, but I won’t rinse it away because it’s one of the last things you used. I won’t touch it because you touched it the morning before you left, and I don’t want to remove your fingerprints from the bottle.
It’s 5:09 a.m., and you haven’t told the neighbours’ dog to shut up yet. They always bark around 5:05 a.m., and at exactly 5:09 every morning, you yell at them through the window. I laugh. They always listen to you, for about five minutes, and then they start back up again. You shut the window and try to act all tough and manly, but it always fails.
They’re not barking this morning, and I wonder if that’s symbolic.
I roll over, and I realize my mistake too late, because now my nose is an inch away from your pillow, and the close proximity of your scent is too much for me to handle this early. I’m not coherent enough to support my defensive wall, and that natural aroma that always orbited around you overwhelms my senses and wraps hot tendrils around my heart. I inhale, and it feels like your fingers are running down my arm, caressing my wrist and linking our hands together. I exhale, shakily, and I can feel arms wrapping around me that resemble an impenetrable fortress, and I feel safe for the first time since you’ve been gone. This feeling is too tantalizingly good for me to resist, today; smells so nostalgic that I can’t turn back over, even if I want to.
I remember the time Hodges caught us half-naked in the freezing chamber. It was way too cold and you couldn’t stop worrying about someone catching us, but I kissed your neck and rolled your earlobe and you pinned me to the nearest frozen shelf, chemicals clinking together and sloshing inside of their containers and frost clinging to your eyelashes, and you were so uninhibited. There was ice digging into my side and I got freezer burn on my shoulder, but I didn’t care because you cupped my face and kissed me like it was our last. When Hodges opened the door, reaching for a jar of ammonium nitrate, he gave us both an eyebrow raise before he shut the door, mumbling to himself as he left. He never told anyone, and I never thanked him for that. I never thanked him for the time he found me leaning against a shelf in the evidence room, clutching your badge and crying. I never knew Hodges was capable of hugging until that night. He told me you were one of the most admirable people he had ever met, that you were an astounding man and he was honoured to have met you. He told me that you couldn’t have picked a better man to fall in love with, and I cried on his shoulder. I never cried again.
It’s 5:31 a.m., and you’re not here to kiss away the ache in my chest. I love you, you know. I know you did, but sometimes I can’t help but wish we had said it more than we had. I wish my supposed sixth sense had kicked in quick enough to save you. I was never able to save you. You said I saved you the day I agreed to go out on a date with you. I told you that you had it backwards.
The cheesecake you bought is still inside of our refrigerator. I told you that you would never eat it. You didn’t. I wish I had been wrong. There’s a pair of your boxers still haphazardly under the bed from the last time we made love. The last time we would ever make love. The last time I would ever get to touch you like that, get to hold you so close and feel you everywhere, completely consuming my body. I miss that. I don’t want to be the only owner of my person. I want you to have joint custody. Your boxers are probably in need of washing, but I don’t want to move it. As much as I hate seeing your things, I’ve found that it gets harder and harder to dispose of them.
Catherine had a dinner in commemoration of you. Warrick had a movie fest of crazy videos we’ve taken over the years. Sara hasn’t told anyone, but she goes by your grave every other day to talk to you. She updates you on what’s going on. She told you, once, that she knew about you and I. She came by later that day. We played cards and reminisced about old times. It was the first time I’d laughed that hard since the night you dressed up like Tome Cruise in Risky Business and slid down the hallway for me. Grissom has a new article up every week in the break room that talks about various birds. Right now he has one up about the mockingbird. He knew you loved them, even if you weren’t as obsessed as people assumed.
Brass has your badge, now. He set it on a stand in a glass case. It sits on his desk.
Your mother cried at the funeral. Your father shook my hand, all professional, but there were tear tracks on his face and I think you would have liked to seen him with his composure shaken. I was a little thrown off. I wish it had been in a different circumstance. One of your sisters – Cassie, I believe – threw herself on me, wrapped her arms tightly around my neck and whispered, “Thank you for taking care of my baby brother.” I wanted to tell her she had it wrong, that it was you who had taken care of me, but the look in her eyes was silencing, and I knew then that I had taken care of you. I had protected you. I had saved you. I wish I had figured it out before you left.
It’s 5:42 a.m., and you should be running right now. It sounds like a metaphor when I say it, like an analogy rolling off of my tongue, and I scrape the flavour off my taste buds with my teeth. You always made it home before the sunrise. You won’t this time. I wonder if you are running right now. I wish I could go with you, just this once. I never ran with you. I was never one for more physical exertion than is strictly necessary. You knew that. People often made the mistake in thinking that you knew everything about me. You didn’t. I regret not telling you everything. If I could, I’d tell you anything you wanted to know, no matter how personal or how painful. If it would bring you back, I’d do whatever it would take. But I can’t bring you back. I can’t go running with you anymore. I can’t work on a case alongside of you. I can’t hand you results in the lab. I can’t flirt with you on a coffee break. I can’t watch you sleep at night. I can’t wake up beside you, can’t reach out and touch your comforting skin, can’t run fingers through your hair and hold you close. You’re not mine anymore.
You ceased to be mine the night you died. That’s the first time I’ve said it – died – and it hurts somewhere deep within that I can’t quite name. I want to say murdered, because you were taken from me, taken unfairly; ripped away from my hands and I’ll never be able to have sufficient closure for that. But you weren’t murdered, and maybe that’s what hurts the most, in a way. It’s more painful to know that it wasn’t even a decision, your death. No one chose to kill you, no one chose to take your life. It was just taken.
I wanted to be angry at the police officers who should have been inside the building with you, but I wasn’t. I’m not. I wanted to be angry that no one was there for you, when you were lying underneath faulty support beams, tremulous metal shafts and broken concrete. I wanted to be furious that in your last moments here with me, on this earth, you were alone. You were bleeding. You were having trouble breathing.
But I’m not angry. I’m not mad, I’m not furious. I’m not vengeful, I’m not even bitter. I’m sorry. Sorry that in the end, you had no one there for you. You had no one to talk to, no one to look at. No one to listen to. I’m sorry that I wasn’t there. I wasn’t there to hold your hand, to play with your hair and promise you things the both of us knew were empty. I wasn’t there to caress your face one last time, to tell you that I love you. I failed to be there for you the one time you truly needed it, and I’m sorry for that.
Brass was the one who told me. I vomited in the trash can at the opposite house, and Mitch patted my back. Brass drove me back to the lab, and Catherine took over the case. I think they knew, even if they’ve never mentioned. I think they all know.
My hand is resting in the place where your body is supposed to be, and I know that this is it. You’re not coming back. The dent that used to depress the bed is gone now, and I know that it won’t ever be there again. You won’t leave the sheets bundled up when you get out of bed in the morning; you won’t stumble into the kitchen with one eye closed and one half-open, fumbling for a glass so you can get some coffee; you won’t kiss me good morning and you won’t kiss me goodnight; and you’ll never smile at me again.
They had the make-up all wrong at your funeral. I think you would have hated that they actually put foundation and base on you; that they coloured you up with make-up products they probably test on animals. You would have frowned. They put you in a suit. You looked handsome in it. You would have hated that, too, but you wouldn’t have said anything. You knew when it was necessary to wear a suit, and when it wasn’t.
The alarm clock is ringing again, but I’m not going to push the snooze button this time.
There’s an orange glow seeping in through the blinds, just barely, and I know that it’s sunrise. You always wanted me to watch it with you one time. I never did.
The neighbours’ dog is barking again. My chest is burning, and my eyes are too hot. My cheeks are cool, and there’s something wet on my face. I’m not nearly coordinated anymore, and if you were here you’d probably laugh. You always said I was gorgeously uncoordinated. That it was like a sinuous roll of unpredictability. You said it was exciting. I think it’s annoying.
The room feels different, as the digital numbers switch and transform on our clock, and I feel something akin to repose blanket my body. My hand twitches on your side of the bed, and I smile.
It’s 6:02 a.m., and I’m watching the sunrise without you.
You and me have seen everything to see
from Bangkok to Calgary
and the soles of your shoes are all worn down
The time for sleep is now
It’s nothing to cry about
‘Cause we’ll hold each other soon
the blackest of rooms
If Heaven and Hell decide
that they both are satisfied
illuminate the NOs on their vacancy signs
If there’s no one beside you
when your soul embarks
then I’ll follow you into the dark
then I’ll follow you into the dark