We’ve always known this day would come. Everybody does, on some level. After all, nothing lasts forever. Everything has an end, there’s no way around it. That’s true of every relationship. When you get down to it, they can only end in death or breakup, so this isn’t half bad… It could have been much worst.
When you meet someone, it’s easy to forget about everything else. The world becomes the background to your story. Nothing else matters. But there comes a time when reality catches up. It always does. You can’t avoid your fate forever. I’m no exception.
I never truly hoped I could escape and get away. It’s just that it wasn’t on my mind. I let my guard down, I softened. I got comfortable, relished in happiness, forgot my place. I got lost in the spur of the moment. And that moment was now drawing to a close.
– I… I don’t want you to go. Please stay. She said in a voice shaking with emotion.
– Me neither, I replied. But you know we don’t have a say in the matter. You know it. It’s just something I have to do…
– There’s got to be something we can do, some way we can prevent it!
– There isn’t, honey. It’s a fucked up world we live in. We all have to pay our dues.
Out of rage, she tore down the letter she was holding in her hand, as if it would somehow destroy the obligation that was binding me. I hugged her tight, and let her beloved smell fill my lungs. I was going to miss her so very much.
– What’s gonna happen to me without you? she cried.
– You’ll do just fine.
But I knew she wouldn’t, just as I wouldn’t be the same without her.
– What am I going to become? I’ll be all alone, forgotten… Basically dead. I don’t have that many friends, you know.
I swallowed a sob.
– We’ve got to be strong, love. There’s no other way.
Our bodies intertwined in our final embrace were shaking from the same torment.
– And you know, I continued half-heartedly, it’s not forever. I will be back.
These words sounded unbearably fake and empty. We both knew that this was most likely not going to happen, and there was nothing I could do about it. I would probably not be given the chance to come back. It wasn’t up to me to decide. If I even survived. Yet none of us dared voice the cruel truth. But I still wanted to believe:
– I’ll do everything I can to come back to you. To come back here, to this life.
She didn’t answer, and her silence spoke more than any words ever could.
Tears ran down my cheeks as I tried to memorize every aspect of the face I cherished and I was about to lose. I would at least do my best to carry her memory with me, for as long as I could. Nobody could take that away from me.
– I’ll wait for you, she finally whispered. I won’t ever replace you or love anyone else. So come back quickly.
I wasn’t sure I wanted this… I wanted her to be as happy as possible, even if it meant without me… But the thought was so painful that I couldn’t possibly bring myself to say it. Instead, I tightened my hug, silently cursing the world, this rotten reality that forced us to part.
– It’s almost time…
I finally and reluctantly let her go. We were both messes, our eyes red, our faces wet, our hair messy… But she was still the most beautiful person I had ever met.
Slowly, as if I was hoping that time would somehow stop and hold me back, I started to walk back. I took a long last look at the woman of my life.
And then I woke up.