They told me I was a lost child that's an actual clinical term
Meaning no one ever really cared for me
Dad kicked me out of the house when I was 12
I remember looking in the windows that dark night
Hoping too see my mother crying for me
Wanting me back,
But she was smiling
Playing candyland with my sisters and laughing
Showing no signs of missing me at all

I spent the night in a Salvation Army Dumpster
Cuddled up with all the other rejected things from happy families like mine
The old flannel shirts and ladies dresses smelled funny
But they kept me warm through that cold night

I had no friends to turn to
Ridiculed in school
I can't remember all the names they called me
While they picked imaginary lice out of my hair

I went to my mother begged her to take me back
She did so without emotion
They ignored me for years

I spent my days inside my head away from the world
In there, I had friends and people who loved me
I lived only in my imagination
I drew pictures of places I could escape to
And superheroes to protect me from my father and the kids at school

Five years passed, alone
I no longer cared for life
After several suicide attempts
I was sent away for treatment

I met her there
She had lived a life like mine
But hers was worse with much more pain
While my ugliness had led me here
Her beauty took her down a darker path
Raped by her kindergarten teacher her father and boys on the way to school
She started shooting heroin when she was 11

I sang her to sleep every night
With my old guitar sitting next to her hospital bed
She would lay her head on her pillow
And look at me with the most beautiful eyes I had ever seen

Erika was a poet
She could mold words to make you cry or fill you with joy
She took me under her wing
Taught me so much about life

She told me to write
So I wrote her a song
Whatever I write is for her

No matter how many times I sang it
She cried each time just like it was the first

She told me she loved me
She was the first person who ever had
I was alive
Filled with a happiness I had never known
But they found out

They had to separate us
They said our love wasn't healthy
It was diseased love formed from two infected hearts

Her parents took her and moved
They changed their numbers had them unlisted
The doctors convinced Erika that she had to leave, for me to get better
That it was our only hope for a life

But we both withered alone
I was suicidal again losing the only love I'd ever known
My father took me to the hospital after another overdose
I woke up vomiting dark heavy blood

But by my side stood Erika
She had found me and snuck in
Though no one would tell her where I was
She searched every hospital for me
Why? she asked with tears in her eyes

I had no answer
Just seeing her again left me speechless and crying
Overjoyed though on the edge of dying
She took my hand

Tell them it was an accident she said
If you say it was a suicide, they'll take you away
But I had already admitted it
I told them I didn't want to live

She made me promise her that I'd never do it again
No matter how bad things got
I promised her and I meant it
I would do anything she asked me to
Endure any pain
Overcome any obstacle

They put me in a locked down ward
The man in the room next to mine got angry and acted out
They buckled him down with leather restraints and took him away for shock treatement
We never saw him again

I planned escape
Waited till the night nurse was called away
Crawled out through the front entrance
Under the desk

I made Erika a promise and I was going to keep it
No matter what stood in my way
I walked over 40 miles home in bad shoes at 3am in the morning

I stood up to my parents with the courage she had given me
I went back to school
Erika always told me how smart and talented I was
How I could be anything I wanted to be

Till I met her I wanted nothing
Just an end to the pain
No reason to live
Dying is easy she'd say
Living is hard

A lot of people love someone enough to die for them
But I loved Erika enough to live for her
Live with a broken and empty heart
Live alone through pain I couldn't stand
Not just live but be a success
To live the dreams she wanted for me

They told me she died of an overdose
I just sat in a darkened room for years
Till my body showed the size of my grief
I wanted to die to be with her
But she wanted me to live
I would not let her down
As long as I'm alive she lives inside me
Her spirit
Her love
Her strength
Her hope
Her words
And I love her too much to let them die