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Forever And Always

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I take a deep breath.
It's time to remember.
"I remember when you told me you would love me forever. 'Till the day I die' you promised.
I was smiling as you twisted my hair through your fingers, 'We'll see.' I told you.
Your lips softly slid down my cheek, and planted a kiss on my lips.
We were seventeen when you asked me out.
The two years we had after that formed our relationship into something beautiful and strong.
The universe seemed to smile down on us happily.
But sometimes life tricks you.
It assures you of happiness, safety, and love.
Then it strips you of your everything; takes your oxygen and expects you to breathe," I lower my eyes- away from the dull white wall that I'd been staring at for so long.
I don't want to remember.
The bitterness fades as I stare into Reuben's'
sweet face.
I can do this.
I have to do this,"A text from you woke me up early, Saturday, April seventeenth. You remember.
I smiled when I saw it; 'Can't wait to see you, angel.'
I replied that I missed you more.
We hadn't seen each other for a few days, college classes had kept us apart.
On that day, you proposed.
'If you could change one thing about yourself- what would it be?', you asked with a playful smile.
I considered, I didn't know why you were asking.
I finally answered with 'My nose.'
You shook your head, 'There's only one thing I would change about you, Emma.'
You walked to my side of the table and got down on one knee,'And that would be your last name; will you marry me?'
You pulled out a beautiful ring, rose gold and a 10 carat diamond.
My lungs seemed to shrink, I couldn't talk; all I did was smile and nod with tears in my eyes.
You slid the ring on my finger and pulled me into your arms, nuzzling your nose in my hair,'Now you have to love me till you die.' I told you.
You set me down and stared into my soul with those hazel eyes that seemed to stop my heart every time I saw them,'Forever and always.'
I said it again and again and again in my head, it sounded so beautiful when you said it.", a sob escapes me.
Remembering hurts.
I have to be strong- for Reuben.
"It was.. It was six months later, the wedding was in a week and a half, on September twenty-second.
We spent the day at Forrest Park, and we were walking back to the car.
It was starting to get dark outside, the warm blue splitting into rays of pink and orange.
I was so happy to be with you, to be engaged and getting married in two weeks.
I had a sudden urge to tell you how happy I was, to make sure you knew,'Reuben,you make me feel like I will always be safe and loved. I do the same for you, right?'
You stopped, then wrapped your right arm around my waist, and pushed the hair out of my face,'You make me feel like a million bucks. No, better. My world revolves around you because you are the only person I could ever feel this way about.'
I smiled,'And we get to feel like a million bucks together- till we die.'
I leaned my head on your chest and breathed in your cologne,'I love you so much.'
I was so used to that smell, you had used the same cologne since you were fourteen; when I first met you.
I miss that smell.
'All I want is to make you feel safe and happy, forever and always,' you looked determined,'I love you more.'
You took my hand and we walked, slowly, slowly down the sidewalk.
We were in sight of our car, you suddenly tensed up,'Stay calm.'
I was confused- I glanced up and a man with a weathered face and ragged clothes had a gun to your head.
His blue eyes were cold, uncaring; and inhumane.
I stared in fear, glancing back and forth between you and him.
I don't remember what all was said- you handed him your wallet and took a step back, shielding me with your arm.
Then he said,'Give me her.' and motioned to me with his gun.'
'No. Anything. Not her.' your eyes grew desperate.
He leaped forward and seized my arm, digging his cracked nails into my skin,'Reuben!' I screamed as he pulled me away from you.
I didn't wanna be separated from you.
You lunged forward and shoved my shoulder with all your strength, ripping my arm out of the mans steel-like grip, and sending me five feet away.
As I thudded to the ground I heard and ear-shattering 'THWOOM' rang through the street.
I leaped to my feet- and saw you sprawled on the ground, the man was kicking your head repeatedly.
I attacked him with all I had, my adrenaline must have been high because he ran away after ripping my hands off his neck.
I wish he had killed me before running away so cowardly.
Your hair was stained a red brown from the blood, your nose was broken and bleeding.
I called the police immediately.
The person on the line kept telling me to calm down. How was I supposed to calm down?
All I knew was that my life was in danger, my everything," I pause, watching Reuben's chest rise, fall, rise, fall.
"It's been one hundred thirty-one days.." I blink back the tears in my eyes,"That's almost four months.
And I'm saying all this because. Because your mom decided to stop the machine tomorrow. She's stopping your heart."
A tear lands on my chest.
Rise, fall, rise, fall.
"Your precious, precious heart," I pat his hand, then grip it tightly.
He's all I have.
He's the only happiness I want from life.
Rise, fall, rise, fall.
"And I want you to know that I remember everything. I will never- I could never forget.
We were seventeen when you asked me out.
The two years we had after that formed our relationship into something beautiful and strong.
The universe seemed to smile down on us happily.
But sometimes life tricks you.
It assures you of happiness, safety, and love.
Then it strips you of your everything; takes your oxygen and expects you to breathe."
I climb on the hospital bed, like I have so many nights before, and lay next to him.
I can't stop thinking that this will be the last time I get to feel his warmth on my skin.
I wish I could take his place.
Or better yet- he would just be back.
Come back.
I open my eyes slowly as someone gently shakes me.
I know this is the day.
I don't want to be around to watch Reuben take his last breath.
Reuben's mom stands in front of me, her hand still on my shoulder.
She has bloodshot eyes and her lips are drawn in a straight line, but I can see them quivering.
His dad is choking, and breathing heavy, tears streaming down his face.
A few relatives walk in, all of them have tightly pinched faces- trying not to cry.
I close my eyes and lay my head on his chest again.
I hear more footsteps and a few whimpers.
Then my mothers voice,"Emma, are you ready?" her voice is heavy with tears.
My eyes pop open, the nurse practitioner stands by the machine, sadly looking over, everyone seems to be holding their breath, waiting.
Waiting.
His mom pleads me with her eyes.
I nod, my face twisting in pain.
No!
I nuzzle my face into his chest.
Rise, fall, rise, fall.
Rise again!
Rise, dammit!
All around me sobbing erupts.
I lift my forehead and stare at his closed eyes.
Open.
Please, Reuben!
I squeeze his limp chest,"Forever and always."





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Hails123 said...
Sept. 14, 2012 at 10:52 pm
Oh my gosh! well...that made me cry! it was so emotional, and beautiful. i loved it!
 
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