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The In-Between

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I am not supposed to love you.

They tell me that I need to move on, that I waste too much time here in the in-between thinking about you and watching you and mourning the loss of your love, but I cannot stop myself.

I am lost.

I spent my life loving you, and you loved me, just not in the same way. We met as children in elementary school, and it only took so long for us to become inseparable. Our friendship endured through the years, and eventually I realized that I had fallen head over heels in love with you, but by the time I’d finally gained the courage to tell you, a bomb had dropped.

He had shown up at your life’s doorstep, and you fell absolutely in love with him.

He was gorgeous and kind and everything I would have wanted for you, except for one little detail: he wasn’t me. But you loved him and I couldn’t get between you two. You went through school and got married and soon there was a child in the mix and I was so lost as I dug my own path through life. There was a time when I thought I may have a chance, when you two fought for a while and things looked bleak, but another bomb had dropped.

I felt ill, and I went to the doctor.

And I had cancer.

Terminal cancer, stage IV. I won’t go into the gory details.

Things got bad quickly, and before I knew it I was rendered incapable of functioning and laid up in a hospital bed. The machines just barely kept me alive. You were with me as often as you could be, and you cried over me, broken, when you thought I wasn’t watching. Mr. Perfect swooped right back in to pick up your broken pieces, but you were the only person who could pick up mine. I might’ve told you I loved you then, but I was dying and I didn’t need to drag you down with me.

Oh, but I loved you.

I died within three months of my diagnosis, alone. I’m glad you weren’t there.

Up here I can watch as you go about life without me, and while you mourn for a period of time you seem to be coping well. I see you as you live, as you cherish your life and your love. Your fingers graze through your daughter’s feathery hair as she falls asleep in your lap, and tears graze your cheeks as you glance at my picture on your side table. You turn it so that its face is down, and you cannot see me anymore. Your husband comes and sits beside you, and you to cry into his shoulder. In my absence, you have him to help you grieve. I have nobody.

I have lost you, and you have lost me. But you deny thoughts of me, and I spend all my time thinking of you.

You lose me a little more daily as you break free from the memories that we shared, living your life with your husband and your beautiful, beautiful daughter. I am happy for you. You still cry over my photograph, but eventually you face my image without shedding a tear. It stands, turned face upwards on your coffee table, and I grin at you, forever frozen in a blissful moment.

If only I could remain that way in death.

You remember me, and I watch you daily, but you are coping with this so much better than I. You can forget me, at least the memories of me that pain you. You can move on.

I cannot move on without forgetting you, not without accepting the fact that I have lost the ability to ever be with you.

I’m not sure that I can accept that fact.

I remember the moment when I was half-conscious, knocked up on whatever drug they’d decided to give me one night, and you held my hand and I confessed everything about how much I loved you and how much I’d always loved you. You’d stared at me with wide eyes, and in my drugged state I didn’t realize the effect of my words. I just smiled crookedly at you while you sobbed into the back of your palm, my free hand clasped between both of yours.

I know now that you could never have loved me like I did you; you were too in love with him. And I know now how wrong it was to make that confession, as far gone as I was. But I don’t regret it.

You move on, but I remain lost here in this abyss.

I am lost in the in-between.

But I must move forward, as you would want me to do.

I force myself to watch you and your family, to accept your happiness and the facts of my life. I force myself to think of a new life, a life untainted by illness and timidity and the pains of unrequited love. In my new life, I will take my latent knowledge and apply it. I will be headstrong and tenacious, and I will refuse to let opportunities slip through my fingers as they had so many times before.

It takes me ages to finally push myself away from you, to turn my face away from the earth and not look at you anymore. I have lost your love, and I must accept this. I never even held it.

I take a step into the light, away from you.

It hurts; the separation is painful.

But I am reborn.

I cannot recall your face, or your name, or my name. I cannot recollect any detail of myself, and yet it is okay, because I am me and I know who I am, somehow, without knowing anything at all. All I know is darkness and a heartbeat, and I am nourished and cared for, growing slowly.

All I know is that I am found now.

And I am greeted warmly by the dawn of life.




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This article has 3 comments. Post your own!

dagnytaggartThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Mar. 30 at 9:21 pm:
I have no words. This story was.. heartwrenching and breathtaking and tearjerking all at the same time. What a beautiful story, and what a great writing style! As holly1999 said, Brilliant.
 
Atl.Braves03This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
today at 4:06 pm :
Sorry it took me song long to get to this. I thought it was great. I really liked the suddeness of the death. It was kind of jolting, because as a reader, you assume that he's alive. It was good. I do have one question though: can you explain the end a little? I think I understand, but I'm not sure and I'm curious. Thanks :)
 
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holly1999This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Mar. 30 at 6:20 pm:
Wow! Very well written, I loved it straight away. The description and emotion is really good, and you explain things well without spending to much time on them but the story doesn't move to quickly either. I find it easy to relate to. My only advice would be to include more short sentences in the longer paragrphs, but other than that I really liked this. Brilliant.
 
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