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Moving on, moving forward
“So,” a pause and a shaky breath, “what’s going to happen when you leave?”
I grabbed his hand and gave it a gentle squeeze. I honestly didn’t know how to answer that question. I had been picking my brain ever since I received my acceptance letter from Michigan state.
“I-I’m not exactly sure.”
My voice shook with the effort of holding back tears. I curled further into myself. The April air smelled of fresh rain and sweet flowers. A breeze wove its way between he and I on the aged porch swing.
Looking back on it now, this ultimately had been inevitable. Things like leaving and growing up always are.
“We can try to make it work. It’s not like we haven’t faced distance between us before... We could always Skype and call; visit each other on weekends and breaks....” He slowly trails off. The small gleam of hope that clings to his words make my throat constrict and my chest tighten harshly.
Ever since we finally came to terms with our feelings for each other, my heart had been breaking. At first it was just a chip in the glass, but it soon grew. Crack by crack. The college acceptance was the final straw. My heart now lays in millions of tiny pieces that are no bigger than specks of dust.
“I guess,” I breathe sharply preparing for what I can’t even believe I’m about to do, “but...”
“We both knew it was coming. You can’t deny that. Do I wish we had more time? Of course.” By now, I had refused to look at him; to see the hurt that was no doubt living in his silver eyes. Instead, I forced my eyes downwards.
My head attempted a small jerk his way when I heard a bitter laugh escape his lips.
“More time?” He said it as if I had spoken a foreign language. “I wish that we didn't have to be separated at all. I wish that you weren’t moving on with your life while I was stuck here. I wish that my life didn’t have to end when yours is just starting.” The crack of his voice caused a brutal storm to stir in my stomach. The silence that followed made the blood pound in my ears.
If my mind wasn’t so clouded by my own thoughts and own future, I probably would have really heard his words.
I wish that my life didn’t have to end when yours is just starting.
I could feel his eyes hitting the back of my neck. When I think about that day now, I realize that I never really did know what his plan was after high school. All I knew was that I was leaving. It had been my dream since Sophomore year to just get out of our dinky little town. Anywhere I could get was where I would go.
Now, I wish I had asked him. I wish I would have cared just a little more about the person who was my life for a majority of my Junior and Senior years. I wish I would’ve cared enough to at least ask him. But, I guess I didn’t.
“So that’s it, huh? You are just going to give up; give us up? Well, good luck with that. Have fun in Michigan. Have fun with your new life.”
He slowly stood up from the swing. It let out a long creak as the weight balance changed. I suddenly missed his warmth beside me. I looked up long enough for him to catch my eye. All I could see was an overwhelming look of dejection shining back at me.
My eyes glazed over. How I held in all of the tears, I’m not sure. I was so deeply focused on not crying that I almost missed his last words.
“I hope that I will see you one last time. Don’t forget me, ok?”
I’ll never be sure if he heard what I said before he was down the winding path leading to my house, and out of my life forever.
“I could never forget you.”