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I Love You Enough to Say Goodbye
“Sam!!” I screamed, happily, as he pushed me on the swing. He knew I loved it. The thrill of being high up in the air. The wind beneath me. I felt like a bird. Free to go where ever I wanted to. Free from all my problems.
But one false move changed everything.
As the swing pulled back, my hand slipped from the cold, metal chain holding the swing to the wooden pole above me. My body fell forward, landing on wood chips, that cut into my skin. My head was spinning. Sam was calling me. I couldn’t reply. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t manage to get my voice to move past my lips. It was frozen there.
“Cherri, oh God, can you hear me?” Sam gently shook me, panic in his voice. I tried to lift my arm. I couldn’t. Not even a finger. “Please, Cherri, just say something.” He was sobbing now. My heart ached to hear him like that. I wanted to lift my head and tell him I was fine. But I knew in my heart I wasn’t. “Hello? Yeah, I’m at the park with my girlfriend. She fell off the swing and she’s not moving or anything.” He told someone. From his voice, I could tell it was 911. I had never heard him so freaked out. “Runaway Park. Yeah. Okay, please hurry.” Sam turned his attention back to me. “Cherri, I’m going to stay with you, okay? I won’t leave you.” Suddenly, my body was rolled over and my head was on his lap. “I won’t ever leave you.” He promised. And I was happy.
Too bad I couldn’t show it.
“Oh, my poor baby.” My mother’s voice whispered, barely audible. “How could he do this to you?” He? Who was he? The doctor? What did he do? Do I still have arms? I couldn’t move them before. Maybe they were amputated.
“Mom.” I mumbled, opening my eyes. The bright light from the room blinded me. “Mom?” I said, again. I heard her gasp and she stroked my face, smiling ear to ear.
“Cherri, baby.” She breathed, holding my face. “I’m so glad you’re okay. I’m so glad.” Tears streamed down her face. “I didn’t know if you were going to wake up. You had an awful concussion.” She clutched me to her. I couldn’t breathe, but that was okay. I was with my mother, the person I could depend on. Her familiar scent calmed me down immediately. Sweet pea shampoo with the hint of fresh laundry. That was my mother.
“Mom, where’s Sam? Is he okay?” Her face got cold and her grip loosened on me. “He promised not to leave me.”
“He’s fine. I sent him away. He wasn’t the one who got hurt, now was he?” She answered, bitterly.
“I need to see him.” I demanded, struggling to get out of bed. “Please get him for me.”
“No.” Her voice was monotone. I had never seen her this way before.
“Mom!!” I cried, begging her. “Please! I need to see him! He needs to know I’m okay!”
“He hurt you. You’ll never see him again.” Mom promised. I sank back into my pillow, in shock. No Sam? Ever?
“But Mom-” I tried to speak. But she brushed it off, like it was worthless.
“Cherri, I have to go. I have to call your father.” Mom got up, and left, leaving me alone.
How could she do this to me? A life without Sam? That was unthinkable. That was crazy. That would never happen.
I love him. And I always have. Ever since I first saw him, I knew he’d be the one. She just can’t take him away from me.
“Sam.” I whimpered, my face in my pillow, tears pouring out. Then, it hit me. My phone.
It was sitting on the table next to me. Hurriedly, I picked it up and pressed, and hit send. Speed dial was one of my favorite things.
“Hello?” He answered, my heart skipping a beat. My Sam.
“Sam, I’m okay.” I told him, smiling. “How are you?”
“Fine.” He said, coldly. “Listen, I have to-”
“Can you meet me? At the park?” I begged. He sharply took a breath in. “Please? I need to see you.”
“Okay.” He caved. “Meet you in ten.” And he hung up.
Now, I just have to sneak out of the hospital.
My foot steps halted under at the swing set I was at hours before. I took a deep breath in as I looked at Sam under the maple tree.
Rain water dripped off his face. His green eyes gazed into mine, and I knew we would have to be okay. We had to be.
I ran over to the shelter of the tree. It was pouring pretty bad and my clothes were soaked through. HIs brown hair was wet and matted, but he still looked adorable.
“Sam.” I caressed his face with my hands. “I missed you.” ?
“I missed you too, Cherri Pie.” He smiled, teasing me, his hand playing with my hair. “I’m glad you’re okay.” He leaned down, pressing his familiar lips to mine. I smiled, and kissed him back. This was how it was supposed to be. ?
“Mom says I can’t be with you anymore.” I told him, pulling away. ?
“I know. She yelled that at me when she got to the hospital.” Sam sighed, not letting go of me. “Maybe she’s right.” My mouth dropped.
“That’s the last thing I want.” I promised him. “I love you.” He took my hand and kissed it. ?
“I love you too. That’s why we need to listen to your Mom.” He retreated from me, my hands in the now empty air. “You have a chance at being someone. I don’t. And she’s known since the beginning.” I took a step back, in shock.
“Why are you saying this?” I whispered, my heart breaking. ?
“Cherri, I love you enough to let you go.” His eyes filled with tears. “Please, you have a chance. I hurt you too much.”
“This wasn’t your fault.” I assured him, coming towards him. “This wasn’t your fault.” I repeated, falling into his arms.
“Please. You’ll be an award winning doctor. My future is in my Uncle’s mechanic shop.” He took a deep breath and stepped back, now against the trunk of the tree. “This was my fault. I should have-” He broke off. “You deserve more than me.” He barely whispered. I stood there, in shock. Sam kissed my forehead. “Good bye, Cherri.” And he turned away, not looking back.
I just watched him, as his footsteps faded away and he left my sight, tears pouring out of my eyes.