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Love or Money, Chapter One
As we coasted down the highway, I kept my burning eyes pasted on the road ahead of me, oblivious to the man sitting in the passenger seat. The man sitting next to me was my boyfriend, Richard, who was going across the country for six months to take care of his grandma, who is terminally ill. I am the lucky one who gets to drive him to the airport because after all, "we should spend as much time as we can with each other before he leaves," and even though he wasn't breaking up with me, it sure as hell felt like it.
Richard knew I was on the verge of tears, and I really wish I wasn't that easy to read. He already felt horrible about this, but he's doing what's right, and I did say I'd be fine with him leaving. After all, he should be caring for his grandma during her final stages of cancer. To let you in on a little secret, I didn't know I'd take it this hard. This would require me to be strong, inside and out, both of which I didn't know how to do.
"Here's our exit," Richard told me as he pointed to a sign that read: Detroit Airport. I switched lanes, and took the exit as commanded.
When I didn't say anything, Richard continued, "Kenz, I'm so sorry, really. I just thought you'd understand..."
"I do," I said slowly.
"Then what's the problem?"
"Six months is just a really long time, I guess..." I replied.
"Well, if my grandma dies before the six months is up, I'll be home early," He flashed me a smile.
"That's not funny," I mumbled, finding a parking spot.
Richard looked around, "Do you see anyone laughing?"
We sat down in the waiting room, and before I got the chance to close my eyes and relax, Richard grabs my hand. In his hand he holds a cold metal chain, pushing it into my hand, making me take it.
I open my hand to find a necklace. It was a silver chain with a key hanging from the necklace chain. They key was silver and had diamonds on it. I knew better than to question whether the diamonds were real or not. Richard's a millionaire, he doesn't settle less for real.
He stands up, and I follow. He puts the necklace around my neck, then gives me a hug from behind, whispering in my ear, "Now you have the key to my heart. Don't lose it."
I turned around and smiled, "Thank you." I started feeling better about not seeing him for so long.
"Your welcome." he said, grasping my hands again.
As if on cue, the speakers roared Richard's flight number, but they might as well have said, "Mackenzie, it's over now. Get over yourself. How hard is it to understand?"
My chest suddenly felt hollow, nothing inside. It felt like you knew your relationship was failing, but you were too weak to do anything to change it.
Richard smiled at me, and kissed me on the forehead, "Mackenzie, you are amazing. I'll see you in six months, and I'll call when the plane lands, okay?"
Without waiting for a response, he released his grasp, turned around, and walked away, leaving me speechless.
I stood there, waiting for him to turn around and run back to me. I waited for him to tell me he was just kidding, and he wasn't going to leave me for six months. But he didn't look back, not even once, and I stood there with no strength to turn around, walk to my car, and drive away.