She Leaves for College, Take One

When I got there, she was sitting cross-legged in the middle of the empty room, surrounded by cardboard boxes. She was wearing two different colored flip-flops.

She was holding a smaller box in her lap, and looking over her shoulder I could see that it was filled with papers and pictures. With a start I realized most of them were covered with my own handwriting.

“You know,” she said, not turning around, “I always thought I’d want to go. I always thought I’d be flying out that door.”

By the shaking of her shoulders, I knew she was crying. And I wanted to just take her up in my arms and tell her it’d be okay. But I didn’t. Because I knew that if I let myself fall in love with her it would tear us both apart.

But with my heart already breaking, I realized that I already had.

“But now,” she continued, getting up to look at me, “I don’t want to ever leave. How is that fair?”

I looked into her hazel eyes for a long moment.

“It’s not,” I said. And I hated myself for walking out the door.

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