Friday, September 21, 2012

Luke Kepreotis

Luke Kepreotis died almost three months after I married my husband. Before I met Mike Luke was the first, and most likely only man to ever love the real me.
I added him to this list because more then anything I wanted to thank him for loving a big old mess like me, for loving a girl who was being abused by her brother, for showing patience and kindness.
Of course I loved Luke but as I said in my past post I was also a deeply terrified person.
Luke was more then my boyfriend, he was also one of my best friends.
The first time I noticed him was when he read a poem about an operation he had to remove a series of tumors from his back.
I saw this honest, mature and profound boy sitting in a class where another guy composed a poem about his girlfriends chewing gum.
Needless to say I developed a  huge crush on him.
Our first year together was pure fun, dates at our favorite geeky movies like School of Rock, a first kiss the moment I stepped off our train, a birthday present in the form of a cartoon.
One not so very special day Luke and I went to the Glebe Markets to find his mother a birthday present.
 While he was preoccupied looking for a necklace I saw a tarot reader, a ridicules woman in her forties with a frizzy inch of regrowth who stunk of cigarettes.
Everything she said was vaguely idiotic, according to her by now I should have three blond babies, I should be married to a motor cycle driver an working as a photographer!
Instead I'm an english teacher in germany married to another english teacher and my uterus is pristine and brand new!
But, and this was the big but.
She told me one of my "boyfriends" would die young.
Before then I refused to think about Luke's past, it was just part of him like my stuffed up broken nose or my mothers skin allergies.
Thinking about the scars on his back would force me to think about sickly cells mutating and growing back.
It would force me to face the idea that my very dear friend would die young.

We trundled on, happy but me slightly angry and tense until the summer my grandmother’s cancer came back.
Although my grandmother and I only saw each other a few times a year we were incredibly close. I remember her singing me songs about birds in the garden and pretending her dog Phoebe could talk. As we grew older she taught me how to draw and cook, giving me her recipe for egg nog. That summer was one of the best we ever had. I remember she decided she was going to start swimming and together we went to Putty Beach every morning floating in the waves. We spent summer afternoons at the Avoca Beach Art Gallery and at one point we watched Dracula together, she was horrified and entranced.
After three weeks I discovered my grandmother had a brain tumor.
Suddenly as I lay on her bed with her cat April my thoughts turned to my boyfriend and I realized that although I could see the immediate future I couldn’t see anything else.
There was no wedding, no children, just a stretch of darkness with the hint of his illness returning.
We broke up three months later.
For years I felt a deep sense of guilt whenever I thought of Luke, by throwing away an important friendship out of fear of losing him I'd lost anyway. I'd lost the person who cheered me up by giving me kitten posters, who remembered all my girlfriends names as well as their in-depth personal history. 
After Luke I dated a series of jerks and it was three years before our paths crossed again. I found him via a "people you may know" add on. I was happy to see there was another girl he liked, that he was enjoying his writing and traveling to Japan.
My best friend Lisa assured me that he was still the kind, thoughtful young man I once fell in love with.
By the time I married my husband I knew the psychic was a silly old woman, that Luke was going to live a happy and fulfilling life.
My mother called me two months after my wedding with the news.

Luke was one of those rare, almost "extinct" good guys like my husband, like my male in-laws or my dear friend Arion.
He treated everyone he met with the upmost respect and dignity, from a university professor to a crazy homeless man we once ran into while walking down china town.
Luke also had absolute conviction and faith in his abilities, he never gave up on his dream of one day becoming a fantasy writer and video game composer.
Today I want to thank him for being my friend, for loving me that way even when I saw myself as worthless.
I also want to say how sorry I am that I let me fear break our relationship and ultimately our relationship.
Last night I had a dream I made all these friends at a glass making  work shop. When I realised I was dreaming I grew sad knowing they would die when I awoke. I ran to the ocean which was black as pitch and began to throw myself into the waves. My new friends pulled me from the water and said "you will never loose us, we may look like people but really we are neurons in your brain glowing like fire works, we will never leave you".
Luke is now a million fire works in the minds of every person he has ever encountered.

Luke, you and I both know that death isn't the end.
Good night and good luck.

*This man is designing a video game based on Luke’s life!

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