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The icy wind whips past her, chilling her to the bone. She shivers in the moonlight.
The playground has long since been abandoned; paint peels off of the metal equipment, and the swing she perches herself on is the only one that hasn’t succumbed to rust.
She looks around, catching glimpses of the past; remembering how things used to be, seven years ago…
For seven years, she’s come here, every night, hoping that one time, just one time, things would be different; that one night, he would show up. He never has.
Seven years ago tonight, she was to meet him by this very swing… but the car swerved; the ambulance was too late; her future died. Nothing has been the same… nothing has been okay.
She sits alone every night until the sun comes up. Every night, wasted; every night but this one.
Tonight… he finally comes.
He stares at the ground; fixes his tuxedo; stares at the twelve red roses he’s brought. This is harder than he thought it would be.
He makes his way slowly to the swing, the only one left. He lays the flowers in the seat and leans against the bars. A single tear streams down his cheek.
“I miss you.” The tears flow freely now, and he doesn’t fight them.
He’s waited so long to come here because he couldn’t bear it. Seven years ago, he was to meet the love of his life here. The roads were icy; it was a dark night… Seven years ago, he lost all hope.
He stands in the same place he stood all that time ago, and he longs to turn back time.
She falls to her knees, screams his name, tries to grab on to him, but he can’t see or hear her. After all this time, she’s waited for him, and can’t even let him know she’s there.
She looks down at her clothes for the first time in seven years… Her pale blue prom dress is torn and tattered, covered in blood. Her shoes are missing. Her arms and legs are covered in scratches and cuts… Everything comes back to her.
It wasn’t him in the crash, it was her. She swerved off the road, hit a tree… She remembered flashing lights, screams, and then blackness… and then she was here.
He didn’t leave her… She left him.
She watches helplessly as he walks away, get in his car, and pulls away from her.
The playground deteriorates, rusts into nothing, until eventually it’s gone. He never marries. He never moves on. Three years after his visit, he leaves this world by his own hand.
He meets her at sunset on the edge of the woods surrounding what was once their sanctuary. She’s just as beautiful as she ever was; He looks just like he did ten years ago.
Hand in hand, they look to the sky, the clouds dashed with brilliant reds and pinks, streaked with rich purples and spotted with the blue sky above. Snow falls on the ground and is undisturbed by their path.
Never again will they be alone…
They walk in to the dark, into eternity together.