I feel my chest get heavy. We’re sitting in my car like we usually do after I get off of work.The shift was long and tiring. I crave sleep. I’m staring at him talk. I see his lips moving fast, he's passionate about what he's talking about, probably soccer. Only thing is, I can’t hear the words. My ears are filled and pulsing. My hands are starting to sweat as their intertwined with his. I feel like I can’t form words. I’ve thought of this moment over and over in my head and I never got it right. Trying to push out words felt like lifting five hundred pounds. I repeat the words in my head, “We need to talk.” I lock eyes with him. Those sweet brown eyes i've stared into for so long are now the hardest thing to face. Doing this kills me. This will for sure be the hardest goodbye. He can’t keep lying to his mom, it not fair for him. She disapproves of our relationship, but he didn’t care. Leaving is usually easy for me. Before Sam, I would see a problem and run. My summer fling with the mysterious boy who showed interest in me when I felt the worst about myself was one of the best things to happen to me. I could fill a book with the things I loved about him. I just can’t do it anymore. The sneaking around, keeping secrets, not being able to share the person I loved with the people I love was too big a burden.
Sam didn’t know it, but I loved him. I wish I got the chance to tell him but it never came. I had to end things. My heart felt like it was ripping out of my chest. He had been the first person I had let get close to me. The way he cared about my day, or if I had eaten, or how my little brother was. We had fallen into the routine of good morning texts and sitting in my backseat for hours talking about the little nothings of life. These things, even the little things I will forever cherish.
Thinking about everything is making this so much harder. I can’t even look at him when I answer his questions with short, quick answers. I keep opening my mouth but I still can’t push myself to say it. “This is the easy part,” I think to myself. “Having to look him in the eyes and explain everything, that will eat me up.” I still can’t remove my eyes from the gum wrapper balled up on my floor. I move my thumb back and forth over the scar on the back of his hand. I faintly hear the words he’s speaking, something to do with his friend. The mumbles stop and I look up and ask him what he said. “How was your day?” he repeats, looking genuinely curious. “Pretty good I guess.” These were the first words i’ve managed to squeeze out since my mere, “Hello,” when he sat down in the passenger seat.
At this point he can tell something’s wrong. “How was work? You seem tired,” he asks. “No I just have a lot on my mind.” I answer trying to sum up the courage to lay down those simple words. Those words that felt like bricks in my throat. He looks at me and I accidentally lock eyes with him. I’m getting the same feeling that I got when we went on our first date. It felt like the world didn’t exist and it was just us two in those seats, confined by the steel box around us. I dart my eyes past him and look at lights flickering on the old motel sign. “Maybe this is why i’ve been so naive.” I thought to myself. “I need to realize that this isn’t good for either of us, pretending like we're the only ones that matter.”
“I feel like we need to talk,” I feel the words practically fall out of my mouth. He stops mid sentence and looks at me, slowly shifting his body towards me. “Here we go,” I thought to myself. I can feel my hands start to shake within his. “I don't know how much longer I can do this, all of the lying and sneaking around.” Just like I had practiced over and over in my head. He looks at me in disbelief. “So what are you saying?” He asks.
This question is what I dread. I didn’t want it to end. Not even a little, but I couldn’t let this go on. “I, I,” I trip over my words trying to piece together the perfect sentence to tell him what I was trying to rationalize in my head. “I don’t think I can keep seeing you.” Finally, the words are out. “Maybe we can figure something out or, or tell people or maybe-” I cut him off. “You know we can’t, my grades are slipping, I can’t eat, I’m jumpy all the time. I feel like I’m losing it.” I explain.
He slumps back in the cloth seat which he has reclined back almost to the floor, like he always does, and looks towards the moon that's slowly peeking from over the treeline. “Is this the last time I’m going to see you?” He asks. His voice is broken and hoarse. I think to myself. I drag my thumb over the steering wheel stitching with my free hand. Nervously I answer his question. “I don’t know.” This wasn’t a lie, I simply did not know. I grip his hand tightly as he tries to pull away. “Say something.” I exclaim after piercing silence. “I don’t know what to say.” “I knew this couldn't go on forever but I didn’t think it would end this quickly.” He says. He removes his hand from mine and recoils towards the door. “Okay I guess.” I can tell he’s upset by his voice. I can’t even look at him. My whole body goes hot and I can feel my eyes start to burn. “I will not cry in front of him,” I think to myself. He leans in and grabs me and we hug for what feels like a hour. I take in as much of him as I can before he pulls away. “Goodbye.” He says softly in my ear before pulling away. He reaches for the handle and gets out of my car. I switch into reverse and backup quickly. I get one last look at his black suv and peel out of the parking lot. As I fly down the street I feel the tears flow down my face. Instead of rolling down the windows like I usually do, I let his smell linger. I feel empty, like all of my energy was drained. As I pull into my driveway, I turn off my car and just sit in silence listening to my engines hum slowly come to a stop then I open my door.