She was just a girl of seventeen and he was just a boy of nineteen. Though they were young, they knew what it was like to be in love, felt it in their bones for each other. Their love was so simple because their feelings were so clear. I love you, you love me. That was all that mattered. The whole community saw them as Josh and Viv, together. When she found out she was leaving not just the community but the country, she was heartbroken, her love would be faraway from her and they’ld pine for each other. She didn’t want that for either of them. To her, there was no other way. It had to be done, they had to say goodbye so he would be free to live his life and be happy. His happiness was all that mattered.
She had two weeks left with him and she was grateful. Anywhere he went, she was there. When he worked on site, she showed up on his break bearing food and laughter….and love. Those two weeks were the happiest days of her life. She quit her job at the bookshop and when he asked her why, with a smile she told him she wanted to focus more on her other goals, but he didn’t look convinced.
She was leaving and she didn’t want to spend another minute away from him.
On the last day, that night she came to him. They both knew things had been building up to that moment. They gave themselves to love, to each other. It was love like they’d never felt. A feverish affair, a mating of not just bodies but souls. They were made for each other but life had other plans only she knew about. When they were settled and snuggled as one, she told him just what life had in mind for them and like that, the fire died and everywhere became cold. He was angry, scared and a little betrayed. Was it all a joke? Had she just been playing with him only to leave him shattered and in the dust? Had she come to him that night to offer herself to him as what? As sacrifice? He was angry and shouting, making the quiet night their witness to this heart wrenching moment. Then he told her to leave or they’ld both find out just how upset he was if she continued to stand there crying.
“Josh please, I’m sorry…I didn’t know what else to do. We’ve had two wonderful weeks, don’t let us end like this.” She pleaded, tears running down her face.
“You should have thought of that. Why didn’t you tell me? I would have….I would have done something….anything.” This helpless feeling was too much. In just a moment, his life had turned upside down.
What’ll happen to the house he’d started to build for her, the house that would be theirs when they got married. The house he’d planned to surprise her with. All their dreams gone. It was all just talk now.
“If I’d told you, what would you have done? I can’t leave my parents, I’m still seventeen. Their word is still the law.”
Just one more year, one frigging year and they were going to use it to take her away from him.
“Well now, we wouldn’t know what I’ld have done. You made that decision all by yourself!”
“I said I was sorry. I’m sorry.
Josh, I love you. Please don’t send me away. We still have until 2pm tomorrow, then I’ll leave by train. Please….I love you.”
Life was hard, heartbreak was harder. He looked away from her and watched the fire in the fireplace die slowly. He knew when she left, knew she’d dropped the golden locket her grandma had given her behind. “Yea, I love you too” He said to the empty room.
It was a sunny day the next day and while the people moved about, living their lives, two hearts were broken, aching and weary. She cried as she completed her packing, he took out his helpless feeling on the job, pounding away at whatever needed pounding. When he couldn’t take it anymore, when he felt like he would break if he didn’t see her once more and make her going-away easier by being with her and showing her support, he left the site, ran as fast as his legs could go. He loved her, they loved each other. Things would work out. He was sorry for being a jerk, for not letting her know that no one would hold her place in his heart.
When he got to her house it was just 11am, he had time, thank God! But no one was there. He searched and asked the neighbours. He was given a letter and was directed to the train station.
No, no! It couldn’t be. She’d said 2pm. Wasn’t she even going to give him a chance to say goodbye?! Had she been hurting so bad?!
He raced there and saw only a speck of the train, it had left.
Oh no! No!
“I’m sorry!” He shouted,
“I love you!”
And he crumpled right there at the train station.
“I’m sorry.” His voice was a whisper. He opened the letter, read it and cried.
It read: I’ll always love you, be happy.
She was hurting, just as he was. Their love was now a memory, forever in their hearts. Their memories now a solace for when it was cold. While she had a part of him growing in her womb, he had the golden locket and the unfinished house. In their hearts they wished each other happiness.
She was just a girl of seventeen and he was just a boy of nineteen.