Monday, October 30, 2006

2 steps forward.

3 steps back.

That's what this weekend was. I'd been doing "okay", then Saturday I had a complete breakdown. We were sailing. And listening to Bob Seger. "Main Street" was playing. It hit me like a ton of bricks out of the clear blue sky.

It was like, all of a sudden, I realized he was gone. That I was never going to see him again. That I was never going to smell him again, other than the jacket that I took of his (but he had washed it recently. I wonder if he knew I was going to want it, and he didn't want it to "smell the smoke"). Or have him nuzzled up next to me in bed. Or kiss him, and have him kiss me more passionately than I have ever been kissed. Or go riding on the back roads in Oberlin sharing a six pack of Bud Light, even though he preferred Coors Light. Or feel the butterflies everytime I would pull into Oberlin, or when he would pull up outside my house.

I loved him so much. More than I ever thought possible. More than I think I will ever love anyone. We had been together about a month when my mother and I drove to Lake Charles, and I was taking her truck from there to Oberlin to stay with Nick. She asked me how things were going with us and I said, "Great. But how is it that being with someone can make me so happy, and being without that same person can make me so miserable?" I don't remember exactly what she told me, I just remember it was something I didn't want to hear and that it pissed me off. What I said held true for two and a half years. When we were together, we were happy. Genuinely happy. My mood would turn sour the closer we got to leaving one another. He would tilt my chin up with his finger, kiss me on the tip of my nose, and say everything would be okay, that we'd see each other again soon. I don't think there was a single time that I'd leave Oberlin, or that he would leave my place that I wouldn't cry. He hated seeing me cry. He would wipe away my tears and hold me tight, and sniff my hair to make me laugh. He always loved the way I smelled. I loved the way he smelled, too. Anytime I would sniff him he would get embarrassed and tell me to stop because he thought he smelled like smoke. He never did, though, which was strange because he smoked a lot. I'd give anything to smell him again.

Friday, October 27, 2006

"X" marks the spot.

Now I realize this may be morbid, but I had to know where he did it. Turns out there are three tanks, not two. And the catwalk runs across the left of all three. The ladder to get up to the catwalk is at the end of the tank at the bottom, and he did it at the end of the catwalk at the tank on the top. He used a tie down strap. You know, the kind with the ratchet on it? It was red.

I found out a little more information. Apparently, he tried carbon monoxide first. There was a tube/hose attached to his tailpipe, with something taped over it/stuffed into it to try to force the CO into the cab of his truck. I'm sure he either got frustrated because it wasn't working fast enough, or he got sick from it and couldn't stand it any longer.

Also, you know how they say that people hang themselves because it's quick since it typically breaks the person's neck? His neck wasn't broken. How long did he hang there, suffering? Did he try to get out of the rope? Krystal and I figured out that he couldn't have been more than a foot or two off the ground, so the fall probably wouldn't have hurt him. Why didn't one of the knots fail? Why didn't he use too much strap and his feet hit the ground?

I'm making a trip to Oberlin in the next couple of weeks. I'm going out to where he did it. Krystal said she's going with me, that she won't let me go alone. She said that there are several people that want to go, but most of them don't think they can just yet.. I don't know if I'd rather go alone, with Krystal, or with some of Nick's friends...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Guilt.

I'd have to say that the guilt has been the worst emotion I've felt through this.

I feel guilty because I am apparently the only one who knew Nick was having issues with depression. I begged him to get help, to go talk to someone, or to see his Dr and get on meds, but he wouldn't hear of it and got very angry anytime the subject came up. At one point, I told him I was going to tell his mother and he told me that if I did that he would never speak to me again. My selfish needs of keeping him in my life kept me from telling his mother, who could have possibly talked him into getting help since they lived in the same house and she saw him everyday.

I feel guilty because of the hateful things I said to him the last time we talked. I've definitely learned my lesson on that. After our last conversation, I chalked my anger up to the Lupron I was on, but can I really use that as an excuse? I know now that there is never an acceptable reason for saying such hateful things.

I feel guilty when I smile, or laugh, or eat normal amounts of food. I know Nick wouldn't want me to walk around miserable, and wouldn't want me to make myself sick, but it's hard going on as though things are normal…

I feel guilty when I get mad at Bear, and I usually only get mad at Bear when I am mad at Nick. Bear is a good dog, but he is a puppy and it's been a long time since I've had to exercise the patience a puppy requires.

Perhaps the most ridiculous thing I feel guilty about is when I see a man who is attractive. I actually chastise myself for it. How retarded is that? Seriously.

I haven't talked to his mom in about a week and a half. I'm not sure why I haven't called her… It is hard talking to her, and not being able to talk to him.

He was in my dream the other night. I had sent him a text message, and he was somehow there right after and said, "Nicci, you know you can't talk to me anymore". Krystal had a dream about him last weekend, too.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

My Immortal

i'm so tired of being here
suppressed by all of my childish fears
and if you have to leave
i wish that you would just leave
because your presence still lingers here
and it won't leave me alone

these wounds won't seem to heal
this pain is just too real
there's just too much that time cannot erase

when you cried i'd wipe away all of your tears
when you'd scream i'd fight away all of your fears
and i've held your hand through all of these years
but you still have all of me

you used to captivate me
by your resonating light
but now i'm bound by the life you left behind
your face it haunts my once pleasant dreams
your voice it chased away all the sanity in me

these wounds won't seem to heal
this pain is just too real
there's just too much that time cannot erase

when you cried i'd wipe away all of your tears
when you'd scream i'd fight away all of your fears
and i've held your hand through all of these years
but you still have all of me

i've tried so hard to tell myself that you're gone
and though you're still with me
i've been alone all along

by Evanescence

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Can I get off this rollercoaster now?

If you know me, then you know that I can be moody, but this is getting ridiculous. One minute I am sad, then angry, then frustrated, then confused, then overwhelmed. And well, the list goes on.
I'm not sure how many people know exactly what happened, so I'll just put it out there. Nick took his life sometime between 2 and 3 am Sunday, October 8, 2006. He went out to a dead-end road somewhere on the outskirts of Oberlin, LA (where he lived) and he hung himself from a catwalk between two storage tanks. That's the image I keep seeing when I think of him. Not the handsome man that I last saw walking through the parking lot of the Microtel on Lake Street in Lake Charles on July 22, 2006. Not the handsome man who would have done anything in the world for me, whether or not we were together. Not the handsome man who always put everyone before himself, even if it was someone he didn't even know.
Some of you know that Nick and I had a huge fight a couple of months ago, but you might not know exactly what the fight was about. I had finally worked up the nerve to ask him if there was someone else. I'm not sure why, but I just had this feeling that there was. His answer, "I am talking to someone. JUST talking." The first part of this was via text messages. As soon as I got that I called him. I was furious. He swore to me that they were just talking, that nothing physical had happened. Well, I found out last week that he had lied to me about her working at his mother's restaurant (he said she didn't, but she did), so why should I believe what he told me about the status/depth of their relationship? I felt like I had been betrayed, deceived. We had just been together the weekend before. He had gotten a room at "our" hotel the night before I left for Alabama and we had an amazing night together. Then again, anytime we were together was amazing. All I could think was, "Did he wish it were her, and not me that night?". The discussion turned heated, and hateful words were exchanged. I ended up hanging up on him. The last time I heard his voice was at 11:52 August 1st. It's strange that I remember such details, I do realize this, but that's how my brain works. Back to 'that girl'… and it turns out that she IS 'that girl'. She's engaged. To some guy in the Military who is stationed in Germany. Nice, huh? She showed up at the funeral looking like a total tramp. She had on black pants, a maroon camisole with black lace at the top with a white bra, straps showing and everything. I didn't see her until we were at the cemetery, and I wasn't sure exactly who she was before then, but as soon as I saw her walk up, I knew she was the one. She was one of the last people to get there, and stayed pretty far away from everyone else. Apparently, everyone in Oberlin thinks she's trashy. Now, I know all of this sounds really catty, but I really don't care. The police questioned her the day he died, and she lied about the last time she had seen him or talked to him. She went to his mom
s house sometime last week and told the "truth". They saw each other Friday and he told her that he was giving her space and time to decide what she wanted. He had closed his bank account Thursday, and had wrapped up a few other loose ends. So he had apparently been planning on killing himself that weekend. I had refused to believe that he had planned it ahead of time, until I found out about the closed account and the other stuff. I thought he had just had too much to drink while driving around and got sad, which he tended to do when he drank too much, and just decided to do it in the moment.

I have so many questions. And I know that having answers wouldn't make it any easier, but I just can't stop thinking about it. It's like I'm obsessed. I don't want to be, but the only time I am not thinking about it is when I am sleeping (thank God for Advil PM).
Did he love her?
Did he tell her that he loved her?
Does she know what he wanted to be "when he grew up"? That he didn't actually want to be an electrician?
Does she know what kind of shampoo he used? Or soap? Or face wash?
Does she know his quirky habit of getting the excess water off of his arms, back, chest and legs before drying off with a towel?
Did she notice that his hair wasn't fixed how he would have fixed it when he in his casket?
Or that his ring was on the wrong hand?
Or that he would have been so angry to have had a rosary in his hands?

What was he listening to before he got out of his truck and did it? I have a feeling I know, but if it's this one other song, I would throw up.
Was he drinking beer or margaritas before he did it? One thing I know is that he had to have been drinking or he wouldn't have been able to do it.

In two and half years we had some amazingly good times. We had more than our share of bad, but it seemed like no matter what, if we were together, we were happy. Just seeing his face, hearing his voice, could turn my day around.

I want him back.

I need to apologize just one more time. What if he died and hadn't forgiven me?

Friday, October 13, 2006

That day.

I got the call at around 3:00 Sunday. I was about halfway home from Dallas when my phone rang. It was a LA number that I didn't recognize, so I just let it go to voicemail. I called and checked the voicemail shortly after and the message was from Krystal, Nick's best friend since they were born, literally. I could tell she was upset and crying, all she said was, "Hey Nicci, this is Krystal, I need you to call me back." I debated about calling right then, or waiting until I got home (my battery was really low since my phone hadn't been charged since Saturday morning). I figured the call was about Nick's mom or grandmother since his mom isn't in the best health, and his grandmother is pretty old, and I thought that he just couldn't call me himself... I decided to call her back right then. I never, in a million years, would have been able to prepare myself for the news.
She answered and I said, "What happened?"
She said, "He's gone. Nick's gone. He died."
I have no idea what I said at this point. Everything is/was fuzzy from this point, until I got home at 5:30.
I was driving down I-45 and the traffic was pretty thick, I was in the left lane and was trying to get over to the shoulder but it took me a while to get over there. I told her to hold on and put the phone down so I could make it to the shoulder without hitting another car. When I picked the phone back up, I told her to tell me exactly what happened. I figured he had been in a car accident, or had been killed while working (he was an electrician). When she told me what happened, I didn't believe her. I couldn't believe her. I mean, how could he leave us? Leave his mom? Leave his grandmother? Leave me? Leave everyone that loved him so much? How??
She asked me if I was okay because right then, all I could do was be pissed off. I wasn't sad. I was mad. Angry. I knew my phone was about to go dead so I said I would call her when I got home, and she asked me if I was sure I could make it the rest of the way home… I wasn't sure I could, but I didn't really have a choice. After we hung up, I lost it. Then I got it back together, called my sister who didn't answer, called my BIL, Lance, and all he said was, "I'm so sorry." He already knew. He is the reason Nick and I met. Nick was his apprentice from early 2003-mid 2005 when he turned out. A guy he worked with who lived in Oberlin, the same town as Nick, had already heard about it. Small town USA, I tell you. He asked me where I was, I told him halfway between Houston and Dallas. Then my phone started beeping. I started to tell him that my battery was about to run out, I had to go so I could save some for just in case. No luck. The battery ran out, and there was nothing left. My phone wouldn't turn on.
I really feel like it was for the best, though. Had I been able to talk to my sister, my mom, or Denise, I would not have made it home. I made it the rest of the way home and as soon as I walked in the door and sat down, it was all over. I lost it. I wanted to go back to being numb, to being the way I was in car. I didn't want to be sad. I didn't want to cry so hard I couldn't breathe.
I plugged my phone in, turned it on, and the voicemails started rolling in. Several from my sister, a couple from my mom and a couple from my boss/mom's best friend, Carolyn. They were all worried about me, knowing that I was probably driving when I got the news. My sister had called Carolyn who drove to my place, and over to the office to see if I was back in town yet. I called my sister first, and all she could say was, "I am so sorry." Then I called my mom. She didn't know what to say, or what to do. She asked me if I wanted her to come over and I said I didn't know. She said she and Laird were on there way and were going to stop and get me something to eat, even though I told her I wasn't hungry. Then I called Carolyn and left a message on her voicemail.
I called Krystal to check on her and Ms. Aline (Nick's mom), and to see if the arrangements had been finalized yet. In Oberlin, they do these things really fast. It's not at all unusual for the funeral to be the day after someone has passed, unless it's a Catholic family (Ms. Aline is Catholic, Nick had not been a practicing Catholic for years), in which case there's the Rosary the night before the funeral. They were at the funeral home making the arrangements, Ms. Aline had just picked out the casket, and was trying to figure out what clothes she was going to put Nick in. She couldn't have chosen a more appropriate casket, or clothes for him to wear…as he would have been proud that he looked so handsome, and that the casket is probably something he would have chosen for himself.
I spent the next hour trying to decide when I was going to drive to Lake Charles. My sister wanted me to drive in Sunday night, but my mom and Carolyn thought it would be best if I didn't get back on the road. I was pretty certain that I could not get back in the car for another 2 hours, and make it safely. I decided it was probably best me to head to Lake Charles early Monday morning. I finally got a hold of Denise on the phone and I could barely talk. She came over, thank God. I don't think I could have been alone that evening. All I could see was Nick. Dead. The way he died. I still see that image, I doubt I will ever be able to erase that image, as much as I might want to.

I'm done for now. These blogs are probably going to center around this pretty heavily for a while. I've just got to work through it, and writing it out is the only way I know to do that.