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EC+AM=4ever Chapter 42
July 22, 2009
Ash left at four, it was currently three-thirty. So I only had half an hour left with him. Then he would be gone. No, not forever. But for a long time.
I sat with him at my dining room table, as we silently, desolately waited for the bus to come and pick him up. To take him to Iraq. Away from his home. Away from me.
“Evalynne,” he spoke, breaking the silence.
I looked up at him in response. “Yes?”
“I need you to know that even though I’m leaving soon, I will always be with you in your heart. Yeah, that sound totally sappy and cheesy, but it’s true. I’ll be thinking of you every minute, every second that we’re apart. And when I return, when I get to see you again, that’s when I’ll be happy again.”
I couldn’t hold my tears back any longer, so I just let them roll down my cheeks freely. “You know,” I said, once I’d composed myself, “if I hadn’t met you, I wouldn’t like you. If I hadn’t liked you, I wouldn’t love you. And if I hadn’t loved you, I wouldn’t miss you.”
For a moment, he looked upset. He probably had himself convinced that I was angry about him leaving, but he was so very wrong.
“But I did, I do, and I will.” I added. “Besides, absence makes the heart grow fonder.”
Then a sad smile spread across his face and silence took over once again. And then, after what felt like hours, the military bus pulled up. I heard the low grown of the engine outside of my house, heard it come to a stop. Ash and I both stood up and he picked up his suitcases, rolling them out the doorway. But he dropped them in my driveway, turning to me and kissing me.
“I love you.” he whispered in my ear.
“I love you too.” I whispered back. Then I let him go. He turned, grabbing his two suitcases and walked over to the bus. A man who must have been the driver, helped him load them into the back of the large vehicle. Then Ash walked around to the front, and climbed inside.
And I stood on my driveway, crying, hurting, yet feeling proud of him at the same time. I knew how lucky I was to even know a person like Ash…someone so hard to say goodbye to.
The driver got back into the bus and I knew this was it. He was really leaving. But as I stared at the bus through my tears, I made out Ash’s face, peering at me through one of the windows. He was trying not to cry, but I could tell that this was hard for him.
After all, this was his first time going to fight in the war. Plus, he was leaving me. And if he loved me as much as I loved him, then that must have been pretty difficult too. I knew I was having a hard time with it.
As the pulled away, he waved at me through the glass. And I waved back. I stood at my driveway until all of my tears had been shed. Then I turned and walked back into my house, knowing what I had done. Knowing it was the right thing. Yet also the hardest thing for me. But I’d been strong and I’d done it.
I’d let him go.