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Saying Goodbye

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“Don’t,”
She said,
“Please don’t
I love you.”
Pleading
Has such a heart breaking way
Of hanging on ears
“I love you so
Very much.
Don’t go.”
He turned to her
Trying to swallow
What he was not sure
Perhaps pride
Perhaps tears
Perhaps memories
He looked in her eyes
Already wet
With pleading
He hated seeing her like this
She never asked for
Anything
She never swallowed her pride
But now
She had buried it for him
Her eyes were drowning
For him
“Don’t,”
She said again.
“I know what I said before
But maybe now...”
She reached for his hand
Then thought better of it
There was so much
In that almost gesture
He saw everything
They almost were
Everything they
Almost
Could be
“I love you too,”
He managed.
But he didn’t step any closer
This was still goodbye
“I love you
But I still have to-”
He stopped
Because he couldn’t finish the sentence.
Though she heard the rest of it anyway
Leave
He still had to leave
“I love you,”
She said again.
Not pleading
But resigning
With her pride she buried
Her resolve
“I love you,”
She said
Clinging to the words
Like they were her last life line
The last thing that held her together
“I love you too,”
He told her
“I love you too. but it’s time to-”
Before he finished
She was in his arms
Breaking the barrier of all the
Almosts
He held her
Imprinting her memory
Like a tattoo on his skin
She would never leave him
She was his skin
She was his heart
His pride
“I love you”
She said, stepping away
And he knew
It was the closest she could come to
Goodbye
He gathered his gun
Put on his hat
And met with the others uniformed
She watched him
Forcing a smile
Forcing herself to believe
“I love you!”
He called to her
Knowing he had to come back
Because he meant it





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