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If I Fail

He was lying on his bed watching House when he heard the knock on his front door. It was 3 am. There was only one person who would ever come to his house at 3 am, but he was too stupid to realize that. He looked out of his bedroom window and there she was, standing and shivering on his father’s doorstep. He put on some clothes and ran to open the door, he remembered how much she hated the cold, and that doorstep was cold. He opened the door and began to shove her inside but was stopped by her appearance…if this was one of her episodes, it was a bad one.
She looked like she had just walked out of either a rehab or cancer therapy. Her hair was unwashed and unkempt, her lips were cracked and blue, and her skin was paler than bleached paper. She was looking at the ground and shaking where she stood—and he could tell even through her winter coat that she had lost too much weight.
“I’m sorry if I woke you.” She muttered so soft it could’ve been a whisper.
Her voice was pathetic.
“No, no, your fine, I was already awake anyway. Jesus, Bae did you walk here? It’s f*ing freezing, come inside.”
She shook her head, “No, I can’t stay long. I just needed to talk to you for a minute.”
She looked up at him. Her eyes were wild, red, and swollen. She had been having an episode. And she had been crying, but she wasn't anymore.
“I came to tell you that I’m leaving.” The response to her words, he knew, was rhetorical. It was in his nature not to say it aloud because she already knew what he was going to say. But she didn't say anything. And she wouldn't, until he asked the rhetorical response.
And this time, he did.
“Where are you going?”
She smiled, “Somewhere better.”
She let the words linger over him. It drove him crazy. And she knew it would. He hated when she said things so vague…it was like she expected him to read her mind.
He gave her that look, the one that she hated. And he knew she did. It was the look he gave her when he had nothing left to say—his “What now?” or “Oh, well.” Look—which one it meant depended on the situation.
She took it in and was satisfied, “I came to tell you before I leave, two things.”
She put her hands on his cheeks and pulled his face to hers.
Her eyes alone were enough to break his heart, but her hands, too cold for life, had shattered it.
“I forgive you, and it’s all going to be okay, I promise.”
She kissed him on the forehead, let him go, and began to walk down the driveway to somewhere better.
He had never known nor had ever learned how to chase the things he cared about.
And so, like those many months ago, he didn't.
And two hours later…she went somewhere better.



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