Restless Town

You're Gone

“You’re Gone” originally took the form of a piece of interactive fiction. You can play that version here.

Sunday, March 30

1:39 PM Markus Doctor Maura told me I should start journaling when this whole crazy process started. She said it would keep me grounded, let me set milestones of memory, some BS like that.

1:40 PM Markus I told her I’d give it a think and then promised myself I’d forget about it.

1:40 PM Markus But now, you’re gone.

1:40 PM Markus You’re gone.

1:40 PM Markus Oh god.

1:40 PM Markus You’re gone.

Monday, March 31

12:10 AM Markus I made it home from the hospital a few hours ago. My hand hurts. My heart hurts. So much paperwork to let someone go.

12:11 AM Markus They say I’ll have to sign more tomorrow, and that I should get a lawyer.

Tuesday, April 1

7:12 AM Markus I keep expecting you to still be here.

7:12 AM Markus It’s not trite, like it sounds like when others say it.

7:13 AM Markus Not like I’m expecting you to come around the corner or come through the door.

7:13 AM Markus More like

7:13 AM Markus You’re still at the hospital.

7:13 AM Markus You’re still just at chemo.

7:13 AM Markus You’re out of the house.

7:14 AM Markus You lost your phone.

7:14 AM Markus I guess that’s trite.

7:18 AM Markus Though I turned off your phone.

7:18 AM Markus I could hear it vibrating every time I messaged.

7:28 AM Markus Couldn’t tell if that made me feel sad or stupid, or both.

7:32 AM Markus Both, I think.

Wednesday, April 2

2:30 PM Markus You made it to the funeral home.

2:30 PM Markus In one piece.

2:30 PM Markus Hah hah.

2:48 PM Markus Nice skunk working with me there is irked that I keep texting.

2:49 PM Markus Just showed him this.

2:50 PM Markus He got quiet and smiled and said, “You can keep texting.”

2:50 PM Markus Feeling slightly less stupid, but no less sad.

3:08 PM Markus Cremation and all that goes with it is expensive.

3:08 PM Markus I mean, not super expensive. Cheaper than the other stuff.

3:08 PM Markus But we didn’t really plan this well.

3:09 PM Markus Oh god.

3:09 PM Markus I almost made a suggestion.

3:09 PM Markus Oh god.

3:28 PM Markus You’re gone.

Thursday, April 3

10:02 AM Markus You came home in a plastic bag in a box.

10:02 AM Markus Lol

10:08 AM Markus this is dumb

10:08 AM Markus cryinf ovef a bvox

3:43 PM Markus Service Friday 4pm call Maru dad mom mil Jenna Jeff Selene flowers 664-1140

3:43 PM Markus

3:44 PM Markus Thought you should know, I guess.

3:44 PM Markus Kick me from beyond the grave if I start using this as a notepad.

3:44 PM Markus I know you would, too.

Friday, April 4

9:51 PM Markus Okay.

9:51 PM Markus So.

9:51 PM Markus You know I hate your mom.

9:52 PM Markus I think that’s supposed to be some Thing, that a husband must hate his wife’s mom.

9:52 PM Markus But you know that, because I’m pretty sure you hated her too.

9:53 PM Markus I mean, you never said so to my face or anything, but you did all you could not to be in the same room as her.

9:53 PM Markus (I know you hate your stepdad)

9:53 PM Markus *hated

9:53 PM Markus fuck

9:54 PM Markus sorry

9:54 PM Markus

9:56 PM Markus sorry

Saturday, April 5

12:21 AM Markus Anyway, that bitch was there at your service.

12:21 AM Markus Of course she was, I mean.

12:21 AM Markus But I call her a bitch because she was.

12:22 AM Markus She made it sound like I killed you.

12:22 AM Markus She said if her daughter had married another cat, it would’ve been fine.

12:23 AM Markus But no.

12:23 AM Markus You married me.

12:23 AM Markus And I don’t know how, but somehow it became my fault that you died.

12:24 AM Markus We went from crying together over supermarket snack trays to terse arguments in surprisingly little time.

12:24 AM Markus She thought that if she’d married a cat, she would’ve had kids and a happier life.

12:25 AM Markus I don’t know where the cancer came in, but she was convinced that this was somehow the cause of it.

12:26 AM Markus Marry a coyote? Get cancer.

12:26 AM Markus I mean, duh.

12:26 AM Markus She really wanted grandkits.

12:26 AM Markus (didn’t tell her about the ligation. You never did, so I promised I wouldn’t)

12:26 AM Markus Anyway.

12:27 AM Markus I’m really upset.

12:27 AM Markus The service wasn’t meaningful. It was boring.

12:27 AM Markus Your mother aside, I think that’s the most upsetting thing.

12:27 AM Markus Your service was boring.

12:27 AM Markus I got home at nine or whatever, and I just sat on the bed.

12:28 AM Markus I fell asleep in my nice clothes.

12:28 AM Markus Now I’m sitting on the bathroom floor waiting for the water to heat up, and it’s already hot, but I’m still on my phone, just like you hate.

12:28 AM Markus *hated

Sunday, April 6

10:10 AM Markus Thank you for leaving a will.

11:12 AM Markus Met with MiL again, this time with lawyers.

11:12 AM Markus Thank you for leaving me everything.

11:12 AM Markus Even your ashes. Your mom hated that most, I think.

11:13 AM Markus You left me with all of our debts, but you left her with nothing.

11:13 AM Markus Surprised I don’t feel self-righteous or whatever. Just resolute. I didn’t “win”. If anyone won, it was you.

11:14 AM Markus But if I’d had to cede to your mom and stepdad that would have hurt.

11:16 AM Markus Thank you.

Monday, April 7

2:18 PM Markus I formed your ashes into a rock by mixing them with water and baking until they got hard, and then I skipped it across the university pond.

2:19 PM Markus Kidding.

2:19 PM Markus I know you asked for that.

2:19 PM Markus I also didn’t dump your ashes out in the parking lot of your office.

2:20 PM Markus I didn’t dump them in the plaza fountain or flush them down a toilet at your office, either.

2:21 PM Markus Sorry. All your last wishes gone to waste.

2:24 PM Markus I took your ashes and drove up into the hills, because I decided this wasn’t for you, it was for me.

2:25 PM Markus I’m sorry.

2:27 PM Markus I drove up into the hills until I got to one of those pull-aside rest stops, and I walked down to the river there, and I just sat for a bit and cried.

2:27 PM Markus And I wasn’t thinking.

2:28 PM Markus And I cut open the bag of ashes and scooped a few pawfuls of water in there and mixed it up to a sort of smoothie consistency.

2:29 PM Markus And I poured it out on the river bank.

2:29 PM Markus And I kinda mixed and kneaded and massaged it into the river mud.

2:29 PM Markus And I just kinda cried and gave you up bit by bit.

2:30 PM Markus The water would splash up on the banks and I just let you be carried away bit by bit.

2:30 PM Markus Until there was nothing left but a messy spot on the shore.

2:30 PM Markus And I washed my paws.

2:30 PM Markus And it was super cold.

2:30 PM Markus And I only had my jeans to dry my paws on, so I just sat there like an idiot.

2:30 PM Markus Crying and puffing into my paws to try and warm them up.

2:31 PM Markus You’ll be proud to know that it was disgusting.

2:31 PM Markus there’s you all over that river bank

2:31 PM Markus and all over my paws

2:31 PM Markus and stuck in my fur

2:31 PM Markus and probably on my muzzle

2:31 PM Markus and the steering wheel of the car

2:31 PM Markus and the doorknib

2:31 PM Markus asnd your all over now

2:32 PM Markus and i thought I was saying goodbye

2:32 PM Markus and your still here

2:32 PM Markus i miss you

2:32 PM Markus i love you

Tuesday, April 8

12:01 PM Markus Okay.

12:01 PM Markus So.

12:01 PM Markus Not only was that a mess, but it was apparently illegal.

12:03 PM Markus I slept and feel better, and now I’m giggling like an idiot over the fact that I did something meaningful to me, and it turned out I was breaking the law the whole time. You’re not supposed to scatter ashes in water.

12:03 PM Markus (And even if it were legal, there’s probably a better way to do it than what I did.)

12:04 PM Markus So there you have it. I thought I was going to snub your goofy wishes but your idiot husband wound up going along with them all the same.

Wednesday, April 9

9:41 AM Markus Back at work today.

9:41 AM Markus Everyone was nice.

9:41 AM Markus Calm.

10:21 AM Markus And I do feel better, PS. I think I got more out of that than I can put into words.

Thursday, April 10

4:54 PM Markus I miss you, sweetheart.

4:54 PM Markus I remember when you got diagnosed and we both had a good cry over it, but then it all turned out to be so boring after that.

4:55 PM Markus It was hard having that hang over us both, I know, but it all got routine

4:56 PM Markus Awful, but routine

4:56 PM Markus And then things got better.

4:56 PM Markus Until they didn’t.

4:56 PM Markus Everything got so bad so quickly.

4:56 PM Markus Your mom didn’t even come and see you.

4:56 PM Markus Oh well.

4:58 PM Markus Starting on the rest of your will and such tonight.

5:20 PM Markus Looks like you just left me anything.

5:20 PM Markus Which is good.

5:22 PM Markus When my sister died, everything was a mess, because she had two wills.

5:23 PM Markus Neither had been updated.

5:24 PM Markus Oh god, and her husband and my parents were a mess trying to figure things out with the house and title and stuff.

5:24 PM Markus Renting is making things easier.

5:24 PM Markus And your “everything to Markus” will.

5:24 PM Markus Your mom’s pissed.

Friday, April 11

6:43 PM Markus Okay, your mom’s -really- pissed.

6:43 PM Markus She says that a lot of your stuff is rightfully hers.

6:44 PM Markus I’ve yet to find anything that could rightfully be called hers.

6:46 PM Markus She wants to go through your desk with me, and I don’t know what to say to her. She says she’s got books and papers that are hers in there, and I don’t know what to do about that.

6:46 PM Markus I wish you were here to tell her off.

6:48 PM Markus She keeps sending me messages in all caps that are half about your stuff and half about how I’m the wrong species, and that you deserved a cat who would take care of her and give her grandkits. She says I’m garbage and disreputable and that I tarnished the reputation of your family.

6:48 PM Markus Which I don’t get.

6:48 PM Markus You guys aren’t famous


6:48 PM Markus Forwarded message from Xiuying (Lee Mom) You took our name and DRAGGED IT THROUGH MUD YOU TOOK LI AND DRAGGED HER THROUGH MUD GIVE ME WHATS MINE

6:49 PM Markus Though I guess I did drag you throuugh the mud.

6:49 PM Markus Har Har

6:50 PM Markus I don’t know what she means about keeping you from her.

6:50 PM Markus I thought I knew what hatred felt like, but damn, Lee.

6:50 PM Markus How did so sane a cat come from so crazy a family?

6:52 PM Markus I was going to go through your clothes first, because those felt like they’d be easy, but I’m going to go through your desk instead.

Sunday, April 13

9:03 AM Markus There is literally nothing in your desk of interest.

9:04 AM Markus I took all our bills and boxed up everything and gave it to your mom.

9:05 AM Markus Seriously. You had some notes printed out about research, two planners, and 12 blank books.

9:05 AM Markus I counted.

9:05 AM Markus I swear to god, Lee. I miss the hell out of you, but 12 blank books?

9:06 AM Markus I just kept your laptop.

Monday, April 14

4:21 PM Markus Your mom’s yelling at me again.

4:21 PM Markus She wants to go through my papers now, too. And my books?

4:22 PM Markus I love you and miss you so much. You were always so good at telling her to go away. She won’t listen to me at all.

Tuesday, April 15

3:53 PM Markus Your stepdad is meeting with me after work.

3:53 PM Markus We’re meeting at a coffee shop, don’t worry.


5:24 PM Markus Your stepdad was nice enough, we talked about memories of you. He said he knew about your feelings toward him, and that he wished he’d done better by you.

5:24 PM Markus But then I got home and YOUR MOM HAS BEEN IN OUR APARTMENT

5:25 PM Markus I guess I got home faster than they thought, but I think your stepdad was keeping me occupied while your mom BROKE INTO OUR PLACE

5:26 PM Markus I ran into her in front of the building and she started yelling and hollering at me, and I was so confused.

5:26 PM Markus She said I was hiding your stuff from her and that she would be calling her lawyer.



5:29 PM Markus I yelled that I was going to call the police when Jun screeched up in a car and she jumped in and drove off

5:29 PM Markus What the FUCK

5:30 PM Markus I’m calling the cops to get her away from here

5:58 PM Markus They took a report and said to call again if she shows up, that way they can talk with her, and worst case, then I can get a restraining order.

5:59 PM Markus She trashed our bookshelf and dug through our closets.

6:00 PM Markus I don’t think anything’s missing. It’s just a mess.

6:00 PM Markus The cop took a report, though.

6:00 PM Markus Don’t know how she got a key.

Wednesday, April 16

11:03 AM Markus Now she wants your laptop.

11:03 AM Markus I had it with me at coffee even.

11:04 AM Markus I don’t have the password, though, no idea what she’d do with it.

11:32 AM Markus I think I may destroy it.

Friday, April 18

11:03 PM Markus I miss you so much, Lee.

11:04 PM Markus I think it’s really starting to hit me.

11:04 PM Markus You’re gone.

11:04 PM Markus You’re dead.

11:04 PM Markus You’re never coming back.

11:05 PM Markus Your mom went quiet, and now I’m finally starting to digest this.

11:08 PM Markus I wish I could take your place.

11:08 PM Markus I wish I were dead.

11:08 PM Markus I wish I was gone.

11:11 PM Markus Oh god.

11:11 PM Markus I keep getting stcuk crying and

11:11 PM Markus its so hrad to keep going sometimes

11:11 PM Markus i want to die without yowue

11:12 PM Markus oh god

11:12 PM Markus lee

11:12 PM Markus oh god

Saturday, April 19

12:44 AM Markus I miss you

Sunday, April 20

2:21 PM Markus I can’t believe you set your password to that!

2:21 PM Markus I could spank you for that, miss prissy whiskers.

2:21 PM Markus You’re such a dork <3

Monday, April 21

1:02 AM Markus Lee

1:02 AM Markus Lee I’m so sorry

1:02 AM Markus I’m so sorry

1:02 AM Markus I’m reading it now

9:20 AM Markus stayed home

9:21 AM Markus cant stop crying

9:21 AM Markus sorry

9:21 AM Markus im so sorry lee

4:11 PM Markus I could kill him

4:11 PM Markus I WOULD fucking kill him right now

4:28 PM Markus I would destroy him and your mom for all they’ve done if I could

Tuesday, April 22

12:31 AM Markus I won’t

12:31 AM Markus But I could.

12:31 AM Markus I’m sorry Lee

12:41 AM Markus I wish I could go back in time and help you.

Wednesday, April 23

6:43 PM Lee♥ Lee♥ sent you a file “should-I-pass.txt”

6:43 PM Markus Sorry, wanted that on my end, so I sent it from your account.

6:48 PM Markus Apparently your account expires after six months inactivity.

6:48 PM Markus I wonder if I should keep logging on once a month to keep it active?

6:49 PM Markus Or

6:49 PM Markus Maybe I should let it expire

6:49 PM Markus And set that as a date to let you go

6:49 PM Markus Oh god Lee

6:52 PM Markus oh god

6:52 PM Markus i miss you

6:52 PM Markus you made me whole

6:57 PM Markus don’t want to tgo on weifthout oyu

6:57 PM Markus sdf

7:20 PM Markus sorry

Friday, April 25

5:10 PM Markus I’m calling your mom and Jun today.

5:11 PM Markus I’m going to invite them over this weekend and confront them.

5:12 PM Markus You’re right in that it’s just a document. No signature, no verification.

5:12 PM Markus Biot I need to do right by yuo/ i miss yuo, and i want to do right by you

5:12 PM Markus you tolfd me not to fight

5:12 PM Markus and i wont

5:12 PM Markus im just goin to tell thm i know

5:12 PM Markus tey need to know that someone else knowds

Saturday, April 26

11:01 AM Markus Your mom and Jun are coming over tomorrow.

11:01 AM Markus I think I’m going to just tell them plain and simple, what I found.

11:02 AM Markus I hate them. I loathe them.

11:03 AM Markus But I owe it to you to not make it a big fight.

11:03 AM Markus Not on my part, at least.

11:03 AM Markus If they get angry, whatever. I’m just going to read it.

11:03 AM Markus Most of it.

11:03 AM Markus Read it and watch and make sure they understand that I know.

11:08 AM Markus I’m starting to second guess this.

11:18 AM Markus Like, obviously I’m upset, and obviously you wanted me to know that your parents are awful.

11:18 AM Markus But I’m starting to second guess what I’ll get out of this.

11:19 AM Markus Even when I said I wouldn’t make it a big fight, I was still coming at it from a vengeance standpoint.

11:19 AM Markus I wanted to hurt them.

11:20 AM Markus Still do.

11:20 AM Markus I just don’t think that’s totally right.

2:18 PM Markus I thought about it more, and I think I still need to share what you wrote.

2:19 PM Markus It’ll hurt them, and it’ll probably hurt me more than it already has.

2:19 PM Markus But I don’t think any of us will be able to start grieving with the current state.

2:19 PM Markus …I’m going to call Dr Maura.

2:48 PM Markus I wasn’t expecting her to get back to me, but she actually picked up her phone on the first ring.

2:48 PM Markus I don’t know why that strikes me as weird.

2:49 PM Markus We talked for a bit about what I should do.

2:40 PM Markus I told her about the letter you left. She agrees I should share with your parents, if only to give closure, like I said before.

2:50 PM Markus She says she’s worried about me and wants to talk more soon.

2:58 PM Markus I told her about this, too.

2:58 PM Markus About sending you messages, even though you’ll never respond. Just talking to you.

3:00 PM Markus She says it can be a healthy coping mechanism, but only to a point, and that I shouldn’t lean on it too much, or I won’t stop grieving.

3:00 PM Markus Makes sense.

3:01 PM Markus I promised I’d let your account expire, and would do my best to start moving on sooner than that.

3:02 PM Markus We also talked about getting through grief in stages. She says there are a few different lists of ‘stages of grief’, but that they’re all just loose guidelines.

3:03 PM Markus She says it sounds like I’m going through some healthy stuff, but that she wants to meet again to make sure I keep going.

3:05 PM Markus She says that things could wear me out and make me depressed, or that things could be super easy and I could finish all the work I need to do, and realize you’re truly gone and get depressed.

3:05 PM Markus I countered that I was depressed now, but I’m not sure about that anymore. I think I’m sad, and that depression will come soon.

3:06 PM Markus I’m sad, Lee.

3:06 PM Markus I’m sad and I’m tired and I want you back.

3:06 PM Markus I’m sitting on the floor waiting for the shower again. My tail’s fallen asleep. I’m gonna go before you get mad, even if that isn’t possible.

3:07 PM Markus I don’t care if that’s me grieving in an unhealthy manner or anything, I’m going to go before you get mad.

3:07 PM Markus I’ll try to only write again after things with your parents.

Sunday, April 27

4:05 PM Markus This is weird

4:21 PM Markus Taking a break, this is still weird.



5:33 PM Markus What the FUCK

5:43 PM Markus Gave the police my report.

5:43 PM Markus What the fuck.

5:46 PM Markus Okay, writing this all down before I forget.

5:47 PM Markus We met at that same coffee shop I met Jun at before. The Book and the Bean. It’s got a bookstore in the back, I think we’ve been there before.

5:47 PM Markus Only this time, Jun looked sincerely upset and sorry.

5:47 PM Markus Like

5:48 PM Markus I don’t know how to put it. He looked upset for me, not at me?

5:48 PM Markus And your mom looked extra pissed.

5:48 PM Markus And I don’t know what happened, like maybe they got into a fight before getting here?

5:49 PM Markus So we were really quiet and Jun was looking down at his paws a lot and your mom was glaring at me a lot and I was tired.

5:49 PM Markus I hate coffee, but I got a mocha or whatever, because Lee, I’ve just been so tired.

5:50 PM Markus this isn’t helping, i’m sorry.

5:50 PM Markus i miss yuo

7:32 PM Markus Sorry, I’ll try again and get more to the point.

7:33 PM Markus So the more I thought about what I had planned, the less I really wanted to go through with it. So I tried to just sit there and talk with your parents about you and all the good time and stuff.

7:33 PM Markus I tried earnestly to patch things up, but your mom just told me she remembered things differently.

7:34 PM Markus And it was stupid, because I could tell Jun was sad.

7:34 PM Markus After everything.

7:34 PM Markus After everything in your letter and after the dumbass break-in attempt and everything.

7:34 PM Markus He was sad.

7:35 PM Markus He would smile a little at a memory I brought up, then look off away from your mom like he wasn’t going to cry.

7:35 PM Markus And then your mom would get huffy, and he’d nod at her, and go back to looking at his paws.

7:35 PM Markus I don’t know.

7:36 PM Markus I feel like he’s as exhausted as I am, but for different reasons.

7:36 PM Markus So we took a little break because I felt like he and I were headed for a different conversation than your mom.

7:36 PM Markus So we got some more coffees and such.

7:36 PM Markus And I just kinda buckled down and did it.

7:36 PM Markus Before, when I was feeling more vengeful, I thought maybe I’d print off some copies and hand it to them all formally and wither them under my glare or whatever.

7:37 PM Markus But I just sat down and told them about the file and how I found it.

7:37 PM Markus How you’d written it to me, and locked your computer with a password for me.

7:37 PM Markus oh god haha

7:37 PM Markus fuck

8:01 PM Markus I’m supposed to keep it together to finish this.

8:02 PM Markus How you always called me ‘crazy face’ but only over text because it sounded silly to say.

8:02 PM Markus And how you set that as your password, and addressed the letter to me.

8:03 PM Markus (I didn’t tell them I called you ‘prissy whiskers’ in return.)

8:03 PM Markus And I told them what the letter was about.

8:04 PM Markus And as I started to talk about all that your dad had done and all that your mom and Jun did to cover it up I started to loosen things up

8:04 PM Markus And I started to feel lighter.

8:04 PM Markus And I started to wake up.

8:04 PM Markus And your mom started looking strange and scared.

8:04 PM Markus And Jun was actively crying now

8:05 PM Markus and don’t know

Monday, April 28

12:03 AM Markus Sorry

12:03 AM Markus And then I started talking about your mom and her attempts to cope and how she blamed you, and she lost her mind.

12:04 AM Markus It was like something snapped.

12:04 AM Markus That sounds cliche, but it’s true. Like, she was gripping the table tight and all set to pounce, and whatever tension was in her muscles snapped violently and she threw the table.

12:05 AM Markus It sounds so fucking ridiculous to say it now, hah

12:05 AM Markus It was scary as hell then, though. She threw the whole table to the side and then threw her coffee cup (empty) at my face and then hit Jun with her purse.

12:06 AM Markus And I thought she was done because everyone was shocked and staring at us.

12:06 AM Markus But then she started shrieking and ran to the book shelf we were sitting by and started throwing books at us.

12:06 AM Markus (paperbacks don’t hurt that much, but hardcovers do)

12:06 AM Markus And Jun seemed to snap out of it too and jumped up to grab her.

12:07 AM Markus He grabbed her around the middle and sort of lifted her up and turned around so that he was between us.

12:07 AM Markus This is dumb, but it was sorta like when I’d pick you up when you were being a fuss and carry you off to bed, laughing.

12:07 AM Markus So I guess that runs in the family in a creepy sort of way.

12:07 AM Markus Anyway.

12:07 AM Markus Jun got her turned around and hauled her outside, hollering at us to call the ambulance on the way out.

12:08 AM Markus And the badger at the bar already had the police on the phone, so she added something about an ambulance.

12:08 AM Markus And then the police were there and the fire truck because they’re the first responders.

12:08 AM Markus And they fucking handcuffed your mom and put her in the back of the cruiser.

12:08 AM Markus And no one was hurt, so the fire truck left

12:08 AM Markus And the police came in and started taking reports as Jun and I and the badger started picking up the books and putting them back.

12:09 AM Markus And all the while your mom was alternating between sobbing and throwing a hissing fit in the back of the cop car.

12:09 AM Markus And then I gave my report, and then Jun did

12:10 AM Markus And I just kinda waved at him and left while he was giving his report.

12:10 AM Markus Because how awkward of a goodbye would that have been?

1:21 PM Markus I met with Dr. Maura today, and we talked about the weekend a lot.

1:21 PM Markus She says that she thinks I did the right thing, and that this is a turning point in our relationship

1:22 PM Markus our=me and your parents

1:22 PM Markus And she said that it’s time to work on letting you go.

1:23 PM Markus She said that it’s not because my relationship with you has changed, or if it has, it’s gotten stronger. She says that it’s important that I use the energy I’ve had when it came to your parents and your estate and put it to work on myself.

1:23 PM Markus And I told her how tired I was and she smiled and said that I felt better after giving the letter to your parents because that was the first bit of letting you go.

1:24 PM Markus And I think she’s right.

1:24 PM Markus I think I’d been holding you close to keep you safe from what I perceived as danger.

1:24 PM Markus Rightfully so!

1:24 PM Markus But your mom was right in that I was keeping you from her, to some extent, and largely at your request.

1:24 PM Markus So I think I need to start working on that.

1:24 PM Markus I’ll never forget you

1:25 PM Markus And I’ll never stop loving you

1:25 PM Markus and i’ll never stop missing you

1:25 PM Markus but she’s right

1:35 PM Markus I need to start working on myself, too.

Wednesday, May 1

9:38 PM Markus I gave it a break for a day and spent yesterday cleaning the apartment.

9:40 PM Markus Well, after work. I’m back there full time, and that’s starting to feel normal again.

9:40 PM Markus But after, I tore down your desk and turned it into a bookshelf, best I could.

9:40 PM Markus Not sure how long that will last. I want to set up my gaming rig there, just to piss you off <3

9:44 PM Markus Anyway, I’m going to keep doing this less and less.

9:44 PM Markus This texting you.

9:44 PM Markus I already threw away your phone and wiped your laptop.

9:45 PM Markus So I don’t have access to your account anymore, and it’ll expire.

9:45 PM Markus (and yes, I did try ‘crazy face’, but you hadn’t changed it, which is good, miss prissy whiskers.)

9:45 PM Markus So…

9:45 PM Markus I’ll contact you in a week and see where things go from there.

Tuesday, May 7

6:11 PM Markus I

6:11 PM Markus shit, tomorrow

Wednesday, May 8

7:58 PM Markus I was going to text you yesterday because I got a call from Jun.

7:59 PM Markus Your mom was released that same weekend, of course, but she got charged and had to go do a trial or something and has community service and therapy.

7:59 PM Markus And Jun sounded like he’d perked up some, too.

8:00 PM Markus So we talked about you and sort of had the conversation that we were going to have without your mom.

8:00 PM Markus You know, memories and good stuff and rebuilding bridges.

8:01 PM Markus And he said that he’ll probably be getting a divorce from your mom after the letter (I emailed it) and coming to realize just how much your mom was after him as well as you, keeping you in her service and using anxiety as a tool.

8:01 PM Markus So that was good.

8:02 PM Markus Or maybe not good, I imagine divorces suck.

8:18 PM Markus Anyway, it’s been a week of caring for myself.

8:18 PM Markus I did move the gaming rig.

8:18 PM Markus Sorry not sorry.

8:19 PM Markus And I started putting the stuff that was yours but worth keeping into a few boxes, which are now in my closet, and the rest of your stuff is gone.

8:20 PM Markus Well, there’s probably more, but it’s gone.

8:20 PM Markus And hell, I miss you, Lee.

8:22 PM Markus Until next week <3

Wednesday, May 15

5:07 PM Markus I met with Dr Maura again today.

5:07 PM Markus It was REALLY good.

5:07 PM Markus We were talking a lot about the stages of crisis and such.

5:07 PM Markus Which we’ve done before, of course.

5:08 PM Markus And my role in it all.

5:08 PM Markus How it’s sometimes my choice to move between stages.

5:08 PM Markus Like, I can park myself in depression for a while.

5:09 PM Markus Or anger, or bargaining, or whatever.

5:09 PM Markus I could just stay there because it’s easier to stay than moving on.

5:09 PM Markus Not that those stages aren’t necessary!

5:10 PM Markus Just that it takes effort to leave them when you’re ready.

5:10 PM Markus And I’m trying.

8:22 PM Markus We were pretty spot on in terms of music tastes, you know that?

8:22 PM Markus Going through your library.

8:22 PM Markus Sorry not sorry <3

8:28 PM Markus We could’ve made a rockin' band, you know?

8:28 PM Markus Miss Prissy Whiskers and the Crazy Faces.

8:28 PM Markus Though that sounds like an old punk band.

8:28 PM Markus And we seem to have done mostly prog.

8:28 PM Markus

8:29 PM Markus And neither of us played any instruments

8:29 PM Markus So maybe not a good band.

Thursday, May 16

12:38 AM Markus i miss you

12:38 AM Markus i love you

8:22 AM Markus Sad night last night.

8:23 AM Markus Taking Maura’s words to heart.

8:23 AM Markus Going to choose to go to work.

8:23 AM Markus Choose to get better.

8:23 AM Markus Holding off until tomorrow, if I can.

11:01 PM Markus This needs to stop.

11:12 AM Markus I think it’s time.

Friday, May 24

6:58 PM Markus I miss you, Lee.

6:58 PM Markus I always will, and I’ll always love you.

6:58 PM Markus But you’re gone.

6:59 PM Markus You’re gone now, and I’m working to find a way to live with that.

6:59 PM Markus I’ve been slowly washing the apartment of your presence.

7:03 Markus Not that you’ll be gone entirely, of course. I have your picture in a few places.

7:03 Markus But I got rid of all the stuff that was -yours-.

7:03 Markus and washed the bedding several times.

7:04 PM Markus To get rid of the smell of you.

7:06 PM Markus Christ, this is hard.

7:07 PM Markus Good, in the long run, I hope, but hard.

7:18 PM Markus I’m not done grieving or mourning.

7:18 PM Markus Not by a long shot.

7:18 PM Markus But I’m working on it. I’m working on finding a way to accept that you’re gone.

7:21 PM Markus Not to forget you, but, tacky as it sounds, honor you.

7:21 PM Markus I’m working on getting to that stage.

7:21 PM Markus So.

7:21 PM Markus I’m going to start journaling.

7:21 PM Markus And delete your contact.

7:21 PM Markus Though I saved our messages.

7:21 PM Markus And write for myself, and not for you.

7:21 PM Markus With Dr. Maura’s blessing.

7:22 PM Markus And, hopefully, yours.

7:22 PM Markus I love you.

7:22 PM Markus I miss you.

7:22 PM Markus I always will.

7:22 PM Markus But you’re gone.

7:22 PM Markus And you’re not at the store.

7:23 PM Markus Or at chemo, or still sick at the hospital.

7:23 PM Markus You’re gone.

7:23 PM Markus And it’s time for me to work on that.

7:24 PM Markus So goodbye, Lee.

7:24 PM Markus Sleep well, miss prissy whiskers.

7:24 PM Markus Crazy face, out.

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