The Hardest Thing I’ve Ever Done: Saying Goodbye to My Best Friend

1 Sep
My favorite picture of Dave - tebowing at the Pueblo Riverwalk.

My favorite picture of Dave – Tebowing at the Pueblo Riverwalk.

The absolute worst moment of my life so far was the approximately ten minute phone call I received from the police on Saturday, July 13th.  The call explained why my best friend had never answered my multiple phone calls that week, nor shown up to our sushi date that past Wednesday night.

Robert Davidson Teeter was my best friend, confidant, shoulder to lean on, and the person I was closest to in this world.  He had also been my boyfriend for a long period of time, and kind of still my boyfriend when he passed away in July.  I do not know how else to define our relationship.  It was complicated, but we loved each other so much, and I hope he knew how much he truly meant to me.  I knew something was wrong when he never called me on Wednesday.  We had dinner plans to go to Musashi’s, a restaurant that he had begged to take me to for a while.  Dave never broke his plans with me, and when he failed to call or text on Wednesday, I was unsure of what to think.  Dave was one of those people who could disappear for a few days and no one would think anything of it when he resurfaced a few days later.  However, on this final occasion, my worst fears turned out to be true.

As I sit here, I am overwhelmed by the amount of things Dave will never be able to do.  He will never get to see New York City, which was his biggest dream.  He will never have children, and he will never have a wife.  We had made a pact to get married to one another in ten years if neither of us was married at that time.  I’ll never get to hold his hand, kiss his lips, or feel his embrace ever again. And yet, even though the sadness of those things is amplified by my current delicate state, I know that Dave would want for me to move on.  He would want me to pursue my dreams and have the life he wanted for me.  He’d want for me to fall in love again.  In the deepest part of my heart, I knew that Dave and I had a limited amount of time together.  Whether I knew that our time together would end in death, I am unsure.  At the end of June, I went on a trip to Vancouver and Seattle.  He called me the day before I left, saying that he was worried we’d never see each other again.  That he had some sort of eerie feeling.  My first thoughts went to the fact that I’d be traveling by plane.  My imagination took hold of me and I worried about dying in a terrific hellfire over the Pacific Northwest.  Even though we did see each other again, and spent as much time as possible together before he passed, I cannot help but think of the significance of what he said.

Even in the days leading up to the worst phone call I ever received, something was off. The Friday before the police called I was sitting at my desk at work and suddenly became inexplicably and overwhelmingly sad.  It was as though some strange feeling had taken over my body.  I was immensely distraught.  The next day, I went to Dave’s house and banged on the door as hard as I could.  There was no answer.  I thought about using my credit card to jimmy the door open as I had many times before, but something stopped me. I got the phone call a few hours later, not long after a deep wave of nausea overtook my body.

Everyone who knew him called him Dave, even though his first name was Robert.  He wasn’t a Robert at all; definitely a Dave.  He was so special and so unique.  He had so much love in his heart for so many people.  It was something I admired and tried to learn from.  I know that I will never know someone like him ever again.  We met during the summer of 2010 by chance.  A guy I had met at a bar invited me to hang out with some of his friends.  Dave was there.  A few weeks later, he asked a mutual friend for my number instead of asking me directly.  He texted me some time later, saying it was nice to meet me.  From there, our conversations grew, and we would sometimes spend hours on the phone talking.   That’s what I’ll miss the most about him.  The fact that he loved conversations with me, and that he asked me questions about my life, feelings, and hopes and dreams.  He was genuinely interested in me as a person, which is a quality that appears to be rare in such a convoluted and disconnected time.

We loved going to the movies together.  He hated when we saw “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”; he thought it was much too long.  The last movie we saw together was “Man of Steel”; he did not care for it as much as some others we had seen recently, including “World War Z”.  He liked that one a lot.  He was my go-to buddy for everything.  The only person who understood me in a sea of those who do not seem to care about anything but themselves.

In the last six months or so leading up to his death, we had dinner together at least three nights a week, and we’d get lunch on Saturdays without fail.  We had our first date at Amanda’s Fonda, on the edge of Manitou Springs.  I drank a margarita about the size of my head that day.  He forgave me for getting drunk and slurring.  Not long after that, we both fell in love.  We were official sometime in September 2011.

I'll love him forever.

I’ll love him forever.

People who knew Dave were aware of his selflessness.  From the age of fourteen or so, he’d taken care of his mother Jacqueline, who suffered from MS, almost entirely by himself.  He cared for her until her death on January 26, 2007.  My birthday happens to be on January 26th.  Dave told me that he would not celebrate the day his mother died, until he one day commented that perhaps I was born on that horrible day to satiate his loss; that I was, in fact, a gift to him.  It just seems too perfect and coincidental to not be on purpose.

Dave was everything to me.  He was that one person I loved to hang out with on a lazy afternoon, the person I told all of my secrets to, the person who understood my dark sense of humor and all of my neuroses, bad temper, and sensitivities.  That was the bond we had.  It was so strong, special, and something I will never forget.  There’s no one I’d rather love, no one I’d rather hold and kiss again.  I wonder what will become of my feelings for Dave years from now and if I’ll ever love someone that deeply again.  It seems so faraway and completely out of reach.

If anything, Dave’s death has shown me how important it is to appreciate those you love, and how to ensure that they know how much you love them.  Anyone can be gone in a matter of seconds.  With Dave gone, it feels as though everyone is a bit more selfish, and a bit more distant, if that is possible.  I get offended easily when people do not respond to my texts.  It’s a lot of effort for me to want to talk to anyone at all these last few weeks, and when I’m met with short responses or no response at all, I find myself fighting tears.  I wonder who will actually read this all the way through; who will somehow empathize with whatever it is I am trying to say.

Those who are close to me know that I’ve been through many difficult times emotionally in my short life.   On the outside I am a bit grizzled and not quick to open myself to just anyone.  Those who are not very close to me almost immediately label me a “bitch”, “difficult,” and “too much”.  However, on the inside, I am an extremely sensitive and feeling person.  Dave understood me perfectly.  My biggest fear is that this will never happen again; that I’ll spend the remainder of my time here on earth clawing and combing for a comparable relationship.  It’s just been so damn hard.  There is no other way to say it.

Sometimes I wonder why this happened.  I have no explanation for it.  I’ve done my best to take this horrible occurrence to try to change my life for the better.  One month after Dave’s passing, I packed up my car and left for Los Angeles.  He would have been so proud of me.  It is of this notion that I must remind myself; that he’d want me to pursue my dreams in spite of everything.  Also gone now are endless nights of imbibing double vodkas in a dead-end town, wondering what my life would be if I left.  In spite of this misery I feel so intensely right now, I know that somehow, things might eventually work out to be okay.  And okay would be a good thing for me.

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