You ever heard of him? Of course, you have, everyone supposedly did.
People say he was a friend of the Kaiser or even an assassin, along with other ideas. He was neither, however. There are a lot of stories that people have created about him, but frankly, no one knows the true him. I knew him. The real him, before the stories and the rumours.
The word love, that’s what I originally called it, but now as I have aged more and witnessed more of the world and its various cultures, I have come to realise it was more of an obsession rather than love.
Everything was for her you know. Every dollar was earned for her, and every person he cheated out of their pockets was for her. Even when he went to war, I was by his side. They called it The Great War, but nothing was great. Nothing, except him. He’d write letters starting in “To my beloved Daisy” and ending in “Forever yours” but those letters would never leave his hand. I think he just wrote the letters in a hope that it’d ease his mind like it’d somehow connect the two of them on a subconscious level.
It didn’t, it only worsened his longing for her.
I was his friend, before the fame mind you. Even during it I still classed myself as his friend, although I left him behind. I could not stay. I sometimes even question what was the “true him” but I believe that my best hope in knowing what he actually was like is to reflect upon our time together before he had that house built in West Egg. He was new money, as was everyone else living on that side of Long Island, but I saw his money as blood money. I named it that because frankly, I did not wish to know how he earned parts of his fortune. Either through black market sales or other methods, I did not wish to know.
This obsession he had with Daisy Buchanan, I told him countless times that it would prove to be his undoing. It did.
I think I was his only true friend, apart from his neighbour Nick Carroway, and would tell him, money does not buy friends or happiness. It seems I was correct. Those friends he thought he had, they did not even come to his funeral. They just vanished, as I knew all along they would. That’s what wealth does, it plagues your mind with lies and whispers.
He died alone, shot by a drunkard. His lies finally catching up to him.
I believe he deserved much better. Daisy never deserved him and his undevoted dedication towards her. I don’t think no one did. Before all of the lies, he was a great man and even after everything, I still think he was great. Perhaps his tragedy has made him even greater.
The greatest tragedy of his life was that he was driven by a wrong dream. You should never base your happiness off somebody else I religiously told him. Especially if they only love the image of you, not who you really are under all of the rich words and practised smiles, as Daisy did.
It’s been far too long since I last saw him, before his death mind you. The last time we spoke, I could see the stress was finally building upon him. When asked if he had slept recently, he smiled and shrugged. He never wished anyone to worry about him.
Maybe it was because he was used to it. I should’ve worried more. I shouldn’t blame myself though, I was not to know what would precede.
I find myself thinking of his empire, and where it will float away to now that Jays passed on. I wonder what has happened to his house also, now that it’s vacant.
I heard Nick left as well. Maybe he couldn’t live with the memories facing him every day. I know I wouldn’t be able to.
I find myself thinking more and more of Jay, his memory always in my mind. Old sport eh, that’s what he called me.I presumed it was his word for endearing somebody.
I’m glad I was one of his closest. Even if I had to leave in the end.
So back to his obsession, perhaps it was not love. Maybe it was. I am not one to judge. I just reflect. That is all he left me with in the end.