forget me not • the goodbye that we never got
may 18, 2011 • 4 pm
“I love you!” She yells at him, with tears streaming down her cheeks. It’s pouring rain, her dark hair is soaked, and her blue dress is stuck to her trembling body. She stands there, her head cocked, arms falling down to her side. He stops, his head bowing down, shoulders falling. She shakes her head, her lips trembling.
“I love you, and I always will, okay?” She’s barely choking out the words, and they feel as though they’re strangling her as they fall from her lips. “I shouldn’t. I really, really shouldn’t fucking love you. Every damn minute I will think of you. I would wait for you, forever, if you let me.”
She looks down at the ground, at her feet. She wishes he would reconsider. She wishes that she could just go with him, that things were different. She knows she can’t. She knows he’s going to go.
He takes a deep breath, finally gaining the courage to turn around and face her, the love of his life, for the final time. He takes a few steps toward her, coming to stop inches from her – just like they’ve always stood. His hand reaches down and lifts her chin up as he stares into the dark abyss of her eyes. His own ocean blue eyes reddened from the tears that had fallen earlier.
“Liv, I could never ask that of you. Goddamnit, I want to stay. You know I do…but…I can’t. This, this was too much.” He motions between the two of them, and she understands. He’s searching for something in her eyes, perhaps the understanding he was referencing, when his head falls back and he takes a deep breath, shoving one hand into his pocket and pulling out a small box. “You – you mean the world to me, and I love you. Goddamnit, I shouldn’t love you, Olivia, but I do. There’s not a day that’s going to go by that I’m not gonna think about you. Pray that you’re safe.” He takes her hand in his own and places the box in her palm, closing her fingers over the small velvet square. “I got you this – as a gift for our partnership’s anniversary – but…I’m not going to be around to give it to you. Liv, you are always gonna have a place here.” He places his hand not wrapped around her own on his chest.
Wrapping his arms around her one last time, he squeezes their bodies together, his mouth next to her ear. “Try to be happy. Find happiness, Liv. Find love. I wish I could have – been that for you. But I can't. I can't be made to choose - I have to go. I love you. I’ll always love you, Olivia. I’m sorry.”
As he feels her body shake with sobs, he turns his head to the side, planting a kiss on the side of her temple before releasing her, running up the stairs to the subway platform, without glancing back.
She watches his back retreat and opens the top of the small velvet box, seeing a dainty necklace inside with a forget-me-not etched on it.
“Don’t worry. I won’t.” She whispers, tracing her finger over the etched flower, wrapping her arms around her body as she walked back to her apartment, the rain washing away her tears one-by-one.