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She smelled of cigarettes and a lovely perfume, not fruity or vanilla, it was a different scent; unique and original. It intrigued me, just as she did. She was telling me a story. Animatedly, her hands waved back and forth, as if every word had a secret symbolic meaning that she could portray through her long fingers and dark blue nails.
“Are you listening?” she asked, slightly annoyed, her black hair glistening in the bright sun shining upon the beach. I could tell she was annoyed because her arms were crossed across her chest and her lower lip hung out further than usual.
“No,” I admitted, brushing some blonde locks of my own hair away from my green eyes that she usually referred to as “dazzling”.
“You never listen! What do you think about all day long anyway?” she cried, exasperated, her blue eyes full of anger.
I shifted position in the sand, my heartbeat matched hers, I could hear them pumping to the same rhythm; we were meant to be.
“I only think about one thing, really,” I whispered.
“Care to share?” she asked, tracing lines in the soft sand.
“You,” I answered, staring at the ocean as I said this; truthfully she was more beautiful than this magnificent body of water.
She didn’t know what to say. Blushing, she uncrossed her arms and rested her head on my shoulder.
“I really love you,” she quietly proclaimed, my heart skipping a beat as she spoke, then falling back in rhythm with her’s.
I nodded in response, faking indifference. Playfully, she hit me and I looked right into her eyes.
“I love you more than I’ve ever loved anyone or anything else, more than I ever will love anyone or anything,” I answered.
“I love you more though,” she stated with a giggle.
“If that’s what you think.”
“Now, you’re just letting me win!”
“Well, if I know I love you more, then it doesn’t matter if you know it.”
“Whatever,” she said, a smile spreading across her thin lips.
Someone was stabbing my heart, punching it, twisting it around; creating agonizing pain. Each warm, salty tear that fell from her eyes onto my arm, burned. Each sob caused me to grimace; every ragged, strained breath she took made me dizzy with pain.
“Honey, what’s wrong? Please, tell me,” I pleaded, wanting to make everything better.
“I can’t tell you, I can’t!” she yelled, rubbing her eyes vigorously, trying to make the tears disappear; her eyes beginning to look raw.
“Don’t do that! You’ll hurt your eyes! Just tell me what is wrong and I’ll fix it, everything will be alright. Don’t you trust me? Don’t you love me?”
She promptly stopped rubbing her eyes and stared at me.
“I can’t tell you because you can’t fix this. I can’t tell you because I love you.”
“Go away!” she yelled, shutting the bathroom door as she wretched once more. I shook my head while stepping towards her and holding back the small wisps of her hair that were left. Her frail figure shook with the pain of dying.
“I thought I told you to go away,” she said weakly.
“You can’t get rid of me that easily.”
She didn’t laugh, just stood up.
“I don’t want you to see me like this though. I don’t want you to remember holding back my hair or watching my hair fall out. I hate the way I look, I hate the way I feel,” she said, not facing me any longer.
“You’re perfect, no matter what.”
“You don’t have to lie.”
“I’m not. Do you want me to make you breakfast?”
She shook her head, it broke my heart.
“It’ll be okay,” I whispered, trying not to let my voice succumb to the tears, trying to look confident when truly I was the opposite.
“Stop, I won’t be.”
I looked up towards the florescent light that flickered every couple of seconds above the hospital bed.
“Maybe I should get that fixed,” I said, gesturing towards the light.
“You can’t fix everything.”
“I can fix the light.”
“Fixing the light won’t fix this. Fixing the light won’t change anything, so why even bother trying?”
“I just asked if you wanted the stupid light fixed!”
She just shook her head and closed her eyes; I couldn’t tell what she was thinking for once. I waited for her even breathing and then began to sob into my hands, uncontrollably. She was right, she was dying, and I could fix every little problem that didn’t matter in the entire world, but none of them would change that.
She smelled of antibiotics and, as much as I hate to admit it, cancer. Every time I touched her, I could feel her bones; I could feel her wasting away. She was so fragile, yet so strong; she was still alive, after all. Her translucent eyelids fluttered open, dark eyelashes already claimed by the cancer.
“I want to go home,” she whispered, choking over her own words. It hurt her to talk. The words still took me by surprise, as much as I had prepared myself for them. She was giving up.
“Are you sure?” I asked, even though I could see in her eyes how sure she was about this. She nodded in response and tried to smile, but instead began to cry.
“What am I going to do without you?” she asked. I bit my lip; the same question was going through my mind.
“I love you,” I said, trying to give her a hug around the piles of equipment.
“I love you too,” she managed to cry, the pain causing her to grimace. The pain was nothing compared to how much it would hurt when we left each other.
Her heartbeat didn’t match mine any longer. I wasn’t sure if I even had a heartbeat anymore. Without her, I wasn’t sure of anything. I wasn’t even sure if she was really dead. It didn’t feel like she was, but my brain told me she was as I peered into her long black casket. I touched her hand lightly, waiting to feel her fingers close around mine, but they didn’t. I was hysterical, crying so hard that small noises escaped my mouth. They lowered her into the ground and I jumped towards the hole in the ground, wanting nothing more than to be with her. After all, she was the only person who had and ever and would ever want to be with me. Now, she was gone. Suddenly, nothing was real except for the huge hole in my heart, the hole only she could fill. I loved her more than anything, more than I ever will love anything.