and only so many people can be happy at one time before the universe has to shut it down and rebalance.
So maybe my being unhappy is affording someone else complete and utter bliss.
I think I would be okay with that.
He blinks back tears as she desperately avoids eye contact. Suddenly her hemline is infinitely more interesting than his usually enticing green eyes.
”Please look at me,” he pleads. She can feel the pain in his voice, but can’t bring herself to do what he asks. She knows if she looks at him, his gaze will penetrate the wall she has worked tirelessly to build up in preparation for this; She knows if she looks at him, she’ll break. She listens as he tells her it doesn’t have to be this way, and a bitter laugh escapes as she recalls the hours she spent hopelessly trying to think of a path that didn’t end in goodbye. She wonders if she’ll ever see him again, and if so, will he forgive her? They stand for a moment in tormented silence. He reaches out to her, cupping her face gently in his palm. She tries to retreat, but every fiber of her being longs for one last touch. She allows her eyes to meet his, and is surprised by the acceptance she is greeted with. Tears spill down her cheeks as she breathes in the last few moments of a dying love. She focuses her eyes on their initials carved into the tree that witnessed countless secrets, kisses, fights, and tears. Like the last autumn leaf lingering on their barren winter tree, the end is inevitable. He steps in, closing the space between them, and gently kisses her lips. It was a kiss like no other she had received in her lifetime; It was the kiss of a friend, a confidante, a lover. But most importantly, the kiss was a blessing. Her heart is racing and her mind struggles to keep up: to memorize every last detail in its entirety, knowing that the memories are all she can take when she walks away. Looking back, she silently scolds herself for falling prey to his mossy green eyes, the sprinkle of freckles across his tan shoulders, and the way his smile made it impossible for her to contain her own. She breaks the kiss and relaxes reluctantly into his arms, where -for a brief, peaceful, and carelessly unguarded moment- a familiar comfort envelops the reality of a future permeated with loneliness. Church bells begin to ring in the distance, wakening her from her impossible daydream and signifying that it is, indeed, time for her to go. It takes her a moment to gather the strength to release the embrace; she doesn’t want to leave him, but she knows she has to. Feeling her tense up, he grudgingly loosens his grip and feverishly racks his mind for something he can say to make her stay. He knows his efforts are in vain, but what kind of man would he be if he didn’t fight for her? He opens his mouth to speak, and she interjects before he has the chance.
“There’s no going back now. I have to leave, and you have to stay. I love you, but right now that isn’t important.”
She quickly kisses his cheek and turns away before he sees her eyes well up. A sob catches in her throat as she begins to walk quickly toward the train station, untying herself from the only thing that has kept her here this long. It’s killing him to stand and watch her leave knowing she isn’t coming back. He rakes his fingers through his short, auburn hair and contemplates calling out to her, or running after her, though he knows this would be useless. Defeated, he leans against the tree and slides to the ground. She doesn’t allow herself to look back, but with every step she takes she forces her emotions to take a backseat to the next chapter in her life. As the chill of the bitter winds penetrates the thick wool wrapped around her shoulders, she doesn’t notice her broken heart silently begin to turn to stone.