Eating Disorder Regret: Remembering My Best Friend On His Birthday*

 

The last night I ever saw my best friend alive-it was 9pm at a fraternity party at The University of Arkansas, and I was standing there in the front yard backing away from him because I needed to finish a run.

18-years old- my first week of college- he was visiting with his parents on his way to University of Mississippi.

Linds, he pleaded, reaching out for my shoulder. Just stay. Christ, you don’t need to run so much.

I’ll be back, I’d laughed – windshorts hitting my leg. I’ll run home and change and I’ll come back.

But it’s my only night here, he sputtered– yelling down the hill with a red solo cup in his hand– his shorts hanging at the knee. Promise you’ll come back?

Maybe, I’d waved, smiling. I’ll call Riley.

But I was gone before he answered–running. Running because I’d eaten 3 bowls of Special K Fruit N’ Yogurt. Running because I was scared and the ED voice was screeching– And in the end, I didn’t go back.

Scared of calories, scared of loss of control, scared of losing my underweight frame- I texted him.

Goodnight, I wrote, Have fun with Riley–

I met him in the morning– a letter in hand. I love you, I whispered, pulling him close.

Love you too, he mumbled– Because he didn’t know how to be mad.

Don’t be upset, I grinned. I wrote you a letter, didn’t I?

He took it from my hand. I wish you had come back, he said, before turning to get into his parents car.

See you later- drive safe, I waved as he and his parents pulled out of the parking lot– my best friend in the middle seat– his backpack with my letter.

I’ll see him soon–I thought- I’ll make it up later.

And then you– my best friend– who carried me to bed when I fell asleep on the couch.

One month later– you pretty little boy– You fell from a tree, and you died.

8 years later I will always regret not spending that night with you.

Happy 27th Birthday Bradley Jameson- You are so loved and missed! Made that video above 6 years ago, and the only thing I’d change is some of my weak grammar. Love to you, your fam, and our friends that made this video (and the hours of film I still have somewhere in my parents house) possible.

Eating disorders kill, it’s true; but they kill your memories before they ever kill you.

BMJ
8/16/2007, the last morning I saw my BMJ (Left of me)
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