Trying to Say Good Bye

April 5, 2008
By Ashley Gonzales, Shallowater, TX

I wish it was as easy as saying I didn’t love him, but how could I, how could I lie to him, when right at this very moment he was holding me like I had waited months for him to do. I hadn’t seen Ryan in three months, it wasn’t fair, or so it seemed. I couldn’t understand how everyone else had their fairy tale love stories, and I had to say good bye to a near-perfect guy. Why? Because I wasn’t allowed to date him, because he live hundreds of miles away, or was it because I was falling in love with him. My stupid tendency to push people away is why, I was falling in love with him, and it scared me. Either I told him it was over, or he would be rejecting me all too soon, or worse my dad would find out about our little secret meetings.

My uptight father didn’t like Ryan, he forbid our relationship, but for the first time in my goody-goody life, I disobeyed him. I snuck around, I lied, and I fell in love with a guy I was never supposed to fall for. He was a senior in high school and I was just a sophomore, with him choosing a college, and me having a zit being the worse part of my week, we really made an odd pair.

We met through mutual friends at a baseball game, of course, he was captain. I thought he was cute and he paid attention to me, I liked him right away. I thought of him only as some cute guy I met one day that just seemed to be flirting back, I never would have thought that someday I would ever be crying over him, or sneaking around with him ever! But Ryan was more, he wasn’t just a baseball star; he was smart, and sweet, and fun, and kind, and a Christian, and a goody-goody just like me.

He held me, believing the reason I was crying was because it would be another few months until our next visit. I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t break his heart, I couldn’t look into his eyes and tell him it’s over, I didn’t want to do it, I just couldn’t. I love you Ryan, I love you, I wanted to say it but I couldn’t. I whispered, goodbye, in his ear and walked away. Was that a tear I saw in his eyes?

While watching him drive off, I kept the tears back, when his mustang lights turned to darkness, I fell to my knees crying. I loved him, but I had to say good bye, why didn’t I end it, what’s wrong with me.

I crawled into my window, stared at my phone wondering if I should call him, or if I should turn it off and try to ignore him. I held the silver object in my hands for what seemed like hours. I pressed the number that I dialed so frequently, then I pressed call, I waited and waited, then I heard his voice.

“Hey, Shannon! I miss you already, babe.”

“Ryan . . . uh.”

“Yeah what’s wrong, are you ok, you don’t sound so great.”

“I’m fine. I just. I......” Then I couldn’t get anything out I was crying. Blubbering was more like it! I don’t exactly know why but I couldn’t stop.

“Shannon, I’m coming back, ok, I’ll be there in five minutes.” Soon, beeping was coming from my phone, and I just laid there feeling like the most ridiculous person ever. Then a faint knock was coming from my window, I opened it, and he came in.

He asked me what was wrong over and over again, and I just stared at him, trying to take him all in, hating that I wanted to break up with a guy that came back to be with me when he had a four hour drive ahead of him, and it was already nine at night. With his hand, he gently wiped away my tears and pushed my hair behind my ears. I stopped breathing, and then he kissed my forehead and held me again.

Now my hysterical crying was down to sobs, and in that crazy world turning moment I told him the thought that I had held in for so long.

“I love you Ryan, I love you.”

He smiled, and told me, he loved me too. We didn’t kiss, but instead stared into each others eyes in the stillness of the night. Then I did something I didn’t want to do, but finally I gulped down all the fear and all the pain.

“Ryan . . . we can’t keep doing this. We . . . I mean. I can’t keep sneaking around like this,” I said with a trembling voice.

“Oh, so are you saying, are you telling me, are we, are we done.” I thought he was going to have a crying episode like I had just recited, but he just stared blankly at me.

“I guess this isn’t the time to correct you and tell you it’s finished, right?” The silence only grew stronger, until, I spoke again. “I don’t want it to be over, I don’t want to do this, but its not truthful or right for us to be acting this way.” Then the tears came again, flowing like a river, soft yet steady.

“Ok . . . well, do you really love me?” He said, strongly. Why wasn’t he sad, where were the tears I had just seen minutes before when he was just leaving for the month, not my life.

“Of course I love you . . . and I think I may always love you.”I sniffled.

“Well then I’ll wait for you to turn eighteen.”

“You’ll what, I’m sixteen that’s two years! Your willing to wait for me! Do you know what your saying!?”

“Yes, I do! But I love you Shannon, I’ve always loved you, since that day I saw you laughing with your friends in the bleachers, since the first day I met a person that was so close to perfect, since the day you looked at me and told me nice game.”

“Umm . . . ok. Well then. I want you to wait. So I guess this means goodbye for a little while, huh?”

He left. We didn’t kiss, we hugged but not just in a friend to friend kind of hug. He hugged me in the kind of way that made me feel like I was his, even if I wasn’t really his girlfriend anymore.

School came and then went, soon senior year rolled around and I was almost eighteen. I met no one I ever felt the way that I felt with Ryan. I didn’t date anyone, and he didn’t date either. He truly waited for me he was now a junior in college, a college that just happened to be twenty minutes away from me.

The day of my eighteenth birthday, I drove up to Ryan at my door step. I was breathless it was only the second time I had seen him since the break up in my room. He was holding a bouquet of sunflowers in his arms (my favorite flowers). I walked up to him slowly, he walked toward me, I dropped my books, and we kissed. It was perfect, it felt as if we had never been apart at all. I fell in love with him, and I couldn’t get out, and I didn’t want it any other way.

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