Our Love Has No Expiration Date

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"Will you marry me?"

I open my eyes, seeing my boyfriend's face, his black hair ruffled. I sit up, feeling confused and glancing at the clock. Midnight. "Xavier, what are you doing here?"

"You know what today is."

My heart sinks and tears surface in my eyes at the reminder. "Today's the day." I bite my lip.

He nods, holding onto his wrist. "Will you marry me, Sabrina?"

I take his hands in mine, pulling his mind away from his Expiration Date. "Yes."

He smiles, breaking my heart.

"When?" I ask.

"Now." He has one leg out my window. "Can you be ready in five minutes."

I nod, watching him climb the rest of the way out. I change into my only white dress, before joining him outside the window, where he waits for me. He takes my hand.

"You look beautiful."

I blush.

"Happy Valentine's Day." He holds open the passenger door of his truck. Of course, I would fall in love with the guy at college who was dated to die young on Valentine's.

He drives away from my parents' farm and into our small town. He parks in front of our church.

"Xavier, it's twelve thirty in the morning, no one's--"

He pushes open the door and light fills the darkness. "You were saying?"

I step next to him my heart pounding at the sight of my pastor smiling at me.

"Congratulations."

Xavier's arms wraps around my waist. "I kind of dragged him into this."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Fifteen minutes until the sun is due to rise, he parks his truck in the meadow. He gets out, and I quickly wipe the tears from my eyes. I always imagined my wedding day to be the best day of my life and to be crying tears of joy. I wish I didn't know he would die today, so I could enjoy all of this more. Knocking comes from behind me, and I turn to see Xaiver on the bed of the truck. I smile and join him. He has a blanket laid out underneath him, his back propped up against the truck.

"Ready to watch the sunrise like old times?"

I nod and he wraps a blanket around us, his arm behind my neck. I lean against him, listening to his heart beat, memorizing his it. I wish someone, somewhere would overthrow the Society, and for the first time in over two-hundred years we could live without marks.

I watch as the sky turns from a grayish color to pinks and yellows, representing a new day. A new life. Xavier could die at any moment. But as hard as it will be, I'll be with him.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For lunch he takes me to a neighboring town, but instead of going into our favorite diner, he leads me into a jewelry store.

I pull back on his hand. "Xavier, you don't have to do this."

"Of course I do." He kisses my cheek and walks away, returning a few minutes later when he bends down on one knee. "I know I'm late, but every girl deserves this."

I smile, swallowing back the tears. He holds a red velvet box out to me, opening it to reveal a marquise diamond ring, the band lined with rubies. He takes my hand and slides the ring onto my finger. People clap and cheer around us.

"How much did this cost?"

"That's not important."

He's right. Money isn't important on his Expiration Date.

"I'm leaving you everything, Sabrinna. And this," his finger grazes the symbol of our love, "is to remember me by, until you're seventy."

"Stop. Today we're outside of time. It's just you and me. No Society. No Marks. No Preeminence will decided how we spend today."

He swivels the bar stool in the diner to the side so I can climb on. I take his hand in my mine and I don't let go through out the process of ordering. I only reluctantly remove my hand to eat, because he tells me he'll worry for the rest of the day that I'm starving, and that he won't have me starving myself for his sake.

I eat slowly without much of an appetite. He doesn't seem to have much of one either. I wonder how he'll die. Will it be food poisoning? A car accident. Me?

"I thought we could go back to your house and grab our photo album from college."

I remove my hands from my milkshake and instead place them in my lap, smiling up at him. "Nothing would make me happier." Because all I want to do on Valentine's Day is wrench my heart out.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As we walk hand in hand up to my front porch, I pray my parents don't give him a hard time. They don't like him because they want me to be with someone who won't die young, because that would lead to my inevitable broken heart.

The front door opens and my father stands in the threshold with his gun aimed at Xavier, causing me to grip his hand tighter. My father would never point a loaded gun at somebody. He would have made sure to remove any remaining bullets.

"Where have you been, young lady?" It is then he sees the ring on my finger. "You're going to marry him?"

I trade a look with Xavier, asking him with my eyes what I should do. One of my dogs bark and runs past my father, tripping him. The sound of his gun ricochets in my ears, and I watch helpless as Xavier falls to the ground, blooding seeping out of his shoulder. I fall to the ground next to him.

"Do something," I scream at my father.

"I was sure it was empty," he mutters.

"Do--"

"Sabrinna." Xavier's hand clutches onto mine. "I love you." Tears run down both of our cheeks.

"Don't cry." I brush his hair out of his face, so I can memorize it. He's going to bleed out.

"I'm crying because this is the last time I'll see you for a long time."

"Xavier, I love you." I place my hands on the sides of his face and kiss him.

He pulls away. "Goodbye, Sabrinna." My father pushes me aside, and carries my--my husband into the house.

"What are you doing?"

He doesn't answer, and my mother shuts the door behind them.

Yesterday, I had a flicker of hope that maybe he wouldn't die. But I should have known better. No one lives past their Expiration Date.

I try opening my door, but it's locked. I pound on the door for my parents to let me in, tears pouring down my face.

Hours later my mother opens the door, leaving blood on the handle.

"He'll live."

"That's--that's impossible."

"It wasn't a fatal wound."

I push past my mother. "He should have bled out."

"He didn't."

I shake my head. "That impossible. They don't exist."

My mother nods, her eyes wide.

I let out a shaky breath. "He's expired."

So for all of you not familair with the world of Expiration Date, there is your first glimpse at it. If you want to know more about the Preeminence, the Society, Marks, and Expiration Dates, check out Expiration Date. It's on my page, or if you search it, it's the gray cover with the hand.

Here's the description.

The Society knows when we're going to die. They imprint it on our arms at birth. I was supposed to die yesterday. I'm the girl who's Expired.

The next chapter is the first chapter of Expiration Date if you're curious.

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