DeMarco James Harvey
I knew you secretly had a crush on me since the day we met in church in the 8th grade, but knew I wasn’t interested so you called me “Best Friend” instead. If no one in the world ever cared that I existed, I knew you did. You know I never tend to regret things, but when it came to you I was left with nothing but regret. I’m sorry I wasn’t the best friend to you that you were to me. I was so busy taking Sister Paterson’s advice of making it clear I was uninterested, that I failed to be your friend.
Remember when I was in the psychiatric hospital? You were the only person to come visit me. You let me know that I was doing fine and I’d get through this. At that time, you were the face I didn’t expect to see, but you showed up as if deciding to come really wasn’t a decision at all. When I went off to college and really didn’t call, you lectured me but still embraced me as soon as I got home. You gave the best bear hugs. Remember that time at TGI-Friday’s when they accidentally gave us real strawberry daiquiris instead of virgins? I ran over a cement block and we all got silent then laughed. From that day on we were “Bonnie & Clyde.”
We can’t forget about our missionary trip to Dallas. That was the first time you were about to fight for me. I don’t even remember what happened. I think some dumb boys sprayed water on me, but you didn’t care. All that mattered was somebody was fuckin’ with your friend. I love you for that. You taught me about loyalty.
We had so many good times, but all I can remember clearly is our last. We sat on my back deck and listened to my drunk Pops preach about life. You stayed til it got dark then asked to come in, but instead I sent you home via Sister Paterson’s advice. It was late and I didn’t want you to get the wrong idea. Looking back, that was so stupid! You really just wanted to hang out and relations were the furthest thing from your mind. Damn, I regreted that. That was my last time ever seeing you.
I hope your not mad at me for not singing at your funeral. Maybe it was selfish, but I didn’t want to see you in a casket. I wanted to remember you as you were, full of life. I’m still pissed at how it happend and at one point I almost became obsessed with solving the crime. So many witnesses and people refuse to “snitch.” That’s some bullshit. At least you died being a friend. I know you were only there to give your friend a ride home because he was drunk. I heard you got shot protecting a girl. I don’t know if it’s true, but I like to believe it. I remember that party when we were getting shot at and you threw me over a fence before jumping it yourself. You were just that kinda guy. You’d put yourself in danger to save someone else. I love you for that.
Even in death you managed to save a lot of people by becoming an organ donator. I was so proud to see you on the national website. Sometimes I sit and wonder how many people are running around with your parts. I wish I could meet them and give them a hug and pretend it’s from you.
Best Friend I miss you. I learned that when a person passes on you never really get over it, you just learn how to live with the pain. I know you’d want me to go back to church, but it’s hard. I catch myself constantly looking for you to sneak up beside me like you so loved to do. When I walk in late (as always), I find myself looking at the alter for a tall black guy in a basketball jersey. When I listen to Pastor George, sometimes I find myself staring aimlessly at the middle of the alter where your casket sat. I have flash backs to when they wheeled you down the isle and all I could do was cry and say “That’s my friend, That’s my friend.”
Thank you for leaving me with a gift. I sleep with the DeMarco HarTay everynight now. I remember when we went to Build-A-Bear together. You replaced that bear my lousy ex gave me. I remember wishing you would build him like I wanted him to be, but you did it your own way. You dressed him in a basketball jersey and matching shorts just as you would dress. I remember when you kissed his heart right before they stitched him up. To this day I wonder what you were thinking. I wish I knew what that wish was. Now only the teddy bear carries that secret. I kinda like it that way.
Best Friend, you visited me last night to say your final goodbyes and now I’ve written mine. Thanks for looking out for me all these years. Thanks for teaching me how to be a friend. You’ll be happy to know that I met a new friend I now call best. He’ll never replace you, but he’s not supposed to. You both hold special places in my heart. I love you Best Friend. This is my final goodbye.