Slowly, Let Me Down

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NADINE ANDREWS tasted the tension in the room as she stared across the table to see her baffled boyfriend staring coldly in shock. She told him the news she would be moving away, and she knew he hadn't been taking it well. Really, it was a common reaction. She hadn't expected him to be okay with it.

His lips were molded together in a tight frown, one that she hardly saw twitching on his face. In frankness, it only worsened her guilt. The worst part was that Nadine was leaving that exact same day. Time was playing games with them.

For the past two weeks she had been too afraid to tell him that their time together would be cut short; And Nadine was only reminded of the past four years they spent together, planning the course of the next fifty years of their life. But life was cruel and so was love in the end. In a way this was the goodbye she would never get to say. To Nadine this hurt her more than it did him, and it hurt mostly to get slapped by the stiff fingers of reality. It was cold, and painful, and wrenching.

"Why did you wait so long?" He asked her with sad, somber eyes. Nadine flinched because she knew that this had been her fault for all the wrong reasons. She wanted to hold onto something, cling onto something to make this day go away—for her to stay. She was drowning and falling, and no one could catch her.

"I-I wanted to ignore it," she admitted, averting her eyes toward the window where the big u-haul truck backed inside the drive way with her parents shouting directions. Nadine realized it had been a beautiful day—too sunny and warm to match her emotions. The world seemed to be mocking her entirely.

"Dammit, Nad this couldn't have been ignored. If I had known—" he started, but stopped. Nadine had a feeling that if he had known the previous days would have been more saddening. Even if he did know, things still would have resulted in the same outcome. Two broken hearts with no direction in mind.

"There was nothing you could have done to prevent this," she admitted and it was like a jab to the stomach for both of them. A silence skipped.

"This sucks," Nadine muttered and she could feel the wetness staining the corner of her eyes. Her heart was aching for something to make this better, but nothing came. Then, the tears started to fall. Her boyfriend quickly got up to comfort her with all that he could have. Who would have known that that would be the last time they saw each other. Who would have known that that'd be the last time Nadine would smell her boyfriend's clover cologne, or his lavender laundry detergent, or his freshly washed hair. Nadine wouldn't have guessed that this would be the last time he would ever hold her like that. Who would have known that any of this would have happened four years ago?

"I'm sorry," he whispered against her hair. Nadine cried harder against his shirt when she noticed their proximity and the empty house around her. Her stomach sunk at every memory that flooded her head. "I'm so fucking sorry, Nad."

It was funny. That'd be the last time anyone called her that. It was her name from him. Nad. How beautiful and catastrophic to know that the love of your life once had you at the tip of your fingers? Only to lose you in the end. Nadine had lost him and the name Nad that day. But she promised herself one thing, that she would never stop loving him even when it wasn't possible.

Briefly, she wiped away her tears, standing up. She somehow felt dizzy. Her boyfriend steadied her, holding her with his chin above her head. The motion was swift and easy, but still so, so meaningful. His soft touch burned through the fabric of her clothes. Nadine didn't want to know where they went from there. Because in a few hours she knew that they wouldn't be a we. Just a him and I.

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