The Last Goodbye

She kissed him on the cheek and stepped out of the car. He didn’t know it then, but that kiss was the last kiss he would ever get from her. The early morning text of “How is work?” that he never responded to would be the last text he received. She wouldn’t call him the next morning like she usually did. She wouldn’t write songs for him, as she often attempted. She wouldn’t scroll through his social media page looking for any kind of hint that she was missed. The last words shared would be those of sad acceptance that neither belonged with the other; that they were far too different, and that time wouldn’t help with their issues.

He stared at his hands, wondering where the night had gone. Wondering why the fight had taken them over. Wondering if there was anything he could say to her that would bring her back into his arms without having to promise that forever kind of love. Nothing came to mind, so he looked out of the corner of his eye and watched her close the front door of her apartment. He started the car and pulled out. The night grew blurry, his vision irritated by the tears straining the back of his eyes.

“Why couldn’t she just let me be for a few months?” He thought to himself, “Why was it so hard for her to give me the time I needed; the space to figure myself out? I just need time to understand what is happening around me.” And then he remembered that she wasn’t one to wait, and never had been. Patience was a virtue she’d never quite picked up, and love, to her, meant giving up everything to be with the other person. His decision to take time to himself, to take love away from her, was probably extremely selfish in her eyes.

3 years they had tried to make things work. Through hardships he’d never imagined experiencing, they held each other’s hands and fought back against the world. She was home waiting for him when he had a rough day, and he held her hand when she was lonely. Their differences, however, were too great. She was incapable of spending time alone, and he was incapable of being responsible for another person’s happiness at all hours of the day. She had areas in which she needed to grow, and he had areas in which he needed to learn.

He arrived home, cut the engine in his car, and quietly walked up the steps and into his front door. He made his way to the bathroom and brushed his teeth, then quietly entered his bedroom. He removed his clothes, stopping at the necklace hanging just above his chest bone.

“You are not alone. If you need me, I’ll be here.” She’d said as she clipped it back in place. She’d given him this necklace two years ago as a symbol of her love for him. Tonight, she’d attempted to take it back and it broke his heart. When he dropped her off, however, she’d had a change of heart and told him not to take it off. His fingers rested on it now and his heart sunk.”You are not alone,” she’d said. If only she knew how alone he was. If only she understood how alone he truly was.

He took himself to bed and slept deeply that night with little intention to wake up the next morning, or, if he had it his way, ever again.

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