The random thoughts of an architect-turned- lawyer from the deep south living in Washington, DC...

Monday, February 20, 2006

I didn't want to go. I told him that I didn't want to go. It was not because of him. I'm just not good at goodbyes. I knew this was going to be hard and I just didn't want to see this to the end. I couldn't. He understood.

He called me the day before and I could hear it in his voice. He asked if he could just come over. He knew we had plans in a few hours, but could he just come over now? He didn't need to ask me that. All along, he had been the strong one. He always was. He took care of people, that is just what he did. For once, now...for once in his life, he wanted someone to take care of him. He needed me. I could hear it in his voice. We sat there for hours. I just held him. I wanted to be strong for him, but I cried the whole time. He never cried. He never cried, but there was that look in his eyes. A look facing reality, admitting that this was all becoming way too real.

I still did not want to go the following day. He told me that he needed me there. I knew I should be there. I decided to go.

I sat in the backseat of his mom's car and I cried the entire way to Dulles. Nothing in the world could have prepared me for that day. Not a single defense mechanism in my arsenal was able to handle this. I just cried. He held my hand from the front seat the entire ride. With every mile marker we passed, his grip got tighter.

As we approached security, my heart just hurt. There are no other ways to describe it, but just pain. He said his goodbyes to his mom, then he looked at me. We stood there, holding each other. Neither of us wanted to let go. We both knew exactly what this meant. We had talked about meeting up in six months in Hawaii; we had talked about me going to law school in Australia; we had talked about him coming back here after med school and us having this great life together. At that very moment, though, we knew that those were all empty words. We both knew in our hearts what this meant. I kept my head buried in his chest, never wanting to look up. I thought back to that long ago night on my balcony. "You do realize I can see right through you" he said. "Keep building those walls, Law-Rah. I will keep climbing them."

When I finally looked up, I saw tears in his eyes. To this day, three years later, I will never forget the look on his face. This guy who never ever showed emotion, whose own mother was shocked to see him cry, whose friends all told me what a rock he was...this guy was crying. Seeing his face at that moment hurt me more than walking away.

I dragged myself puffy-eyed into work the next morning to find a voicemail message from him. He was at the airport. He was watching me walk away with tears in his eyes. He just wanted to tell me that he loved me.