I give Gayle a smile that I hope genuine enough to hide the pain slicing inside me.
“Oh my god, Luke! I can’t believe that… Oh my god, we’re going to have a baby! I’m so happy! I’m so excited! Goodness, Luke!” Gayle says while tears run down from her eyes. She hugs me and I hug her back.
“This is so great, Luke. We can now have the life we’ve been wanting to. A family, a house, a nice job and, just everything Luke. As long as we’re both here doing it. Together, right?”
I hug her tightly. I don’t want to let her go. I never want to do it. But I have no choice. I breathe in the vanilla scent that will always remind me of her. I take a deep breath, and stand a foot away from her and look into her eyes.
Excite and pure happiness. I really wish I can still those to her.
“I have, uh, some news, Gayle but promise me you’ll be strong, alright?” I barely hear my own voice.
Gayle’s face turn into confusion. I don’t want to do this but I don’t want her to hope that there will be a solid future for both of us.
I take out the envelope from my bag and give it to her. She’s about to open it but I take her hands first.
“I love you. That’s forever. Remember that, Gayle. I will always be here for you.” I kiss her lips, nose, forehead and her sweet-scented hair. I want to memorize everything before I go.
Gayle’s hands are shaking and I kiss it.
“What is it, Luke? Tell me.” She’s biting her shaking lip. Looking at it, she forces to hold her tears back. I give her a smile.
“Open it. But once you open it, promise me you’ll be strong all the way.” Without me, I want to add.
Gayle carefully opens the envelope and take the paper out. The next thing just breaks me.
Gayle cover her mouth with her hands and the paper she was reading lands on the floor. She starts to cry hard and hug me tightly, like she never want to let go and accept what she read.
“No! No! No, Luke… You promised.. No!”
I close my eyes. “I’m sorry, Gayle. I love you.” I whisper.
I let her cry even if I don’t want to. I breathe in once more, remembering her scent before this incurable cancer takes me into the unknown. Soon.
Photo credits to the owner.