Her heart felt like lead. She couldn’t breathe. She didn’t eat much and when she did, her body would not let it stay.
After countless times spent together, after hundreds of hours on the phone, after multiple conversations about their ill-fated love affair, she finally had to stop.
He was the love of her life, but he was not hers alone, and she couldn’t live with it anymore. She sobbed into the phone and told him, she would love him forever. She said, “later” because “good-bye” was something they had promised each other they would never say, but she could not bring herself to hang up, and he wasn’t ending the call either.
Neither of them wanted to let go. But they absolutely had to stop what they were doing. They were both getting hurt over and over, and they couldn’t keep doing that to each other.
He remained strong, for her he said, but she could tell he was breaking, too.
“I can’t hang up on you. I can’t,” she wept.
“You’re not hanging up on me, baby.”
“I love you. I am always going to love you. You have my whole heart,” she said the words as the tears choked her.
His voice cracked a little. “And you have mine.”
“We’ll hang up at the same time, ok?”
After a few more tearful moments and failed attempts to press “end,” she somehow managed to hang up the phone. But she had to say it one more time. She texted him:
“I know you probably turned the phone off already, but I just need you to know: I LOVE YOU. I ADORE YOU. I RESPECT AND ADMIRE YOU. You are the man of my dreams and the love of my life. I will love you always and forever.”
She hit “send” believing it was a message he would never receive. But in the next minute her phone rang.
He was sobbing.
“I love you. I love you so much. I’m sorry. I just need you to know I love you.”
“Baby, I’m sorry! I love you too.” She put her head down on her desk and cried harder.
“I’m sorry. I’mma love you til the day I die.”
She could feel his broken heart in every syllable.
“Baby, don’t apologize, please. I love you so fucking much.”
She couldn’t remember how they ended the call that time, but she knew there was still no “good-bye.”
She tried calling a couple couple hours later, but the phone was off. He was gone. Gone from her life.
She sat and cried, wondering what kind of a life she would have without him in it. She wondered how much heartbreak one could endure before it physically killed you. She wondered if she would ever see his face again. She wondered if she had done the right thing. She wondered if she had lost him forever, or if one day, he would find her again.
She didn’t understand how the universe could be so cruel as to bring them back to each other under the circumstances. She didn’t understand how the heartache she felt now would ever cease. She didn’t understand why he had let her go. Again.
She did not know how she would go on living. She did not know what she would do to move on. She did not know anything with any certainty anymore. Except for one thing: He was the only one for her. No matter what happened in life, her heart would always belong to him.