I asked everyone to leave the room.
They said that we only had an hour left and I wanted the last hour to be ours.
I got into bed with her and slowly put my hand on her arm.
I was scared.
I remembered that day just over eight years ago when I touched my dad’s deceased body and it was cold.
It freaked me out.
I didn’t want Michelle to be cold.
With that memory still fresh in my head, I slowly, gently and cautiously put my hand on her arm.
Feeling more at ease and knowing that the clock was ticking away I wrapped my arms around her in a full cuddle, just as I had done so many times before. All the while realizing that it would be for the very last time.
I started with the basics.
I told her that I loved her, over and over again.
I told her that I always had.
And that I always would.
I talked to her about our past.
The teenage love that ended too soon and the fairytale reunion that would take place eight years later.
I talked to her.
I forgave her.
I forgave myself.
For anything. And everything.
I talked to her about the good times that we shared before she got sick.
And I talked to her about the horrific times that we experienced during her two and a half year battle.
I told her that I didn’t know how I was going to do it.
Survive without her.
But then I promised her that I would I would figure it out.
I promised her that I would be ok.
For hers, who I loved as mine.
And then I told her about our future.
The one that I know we will share.
I told her that she better be waiting for me with open arms, and then I reminded her of the pinky swear that we had agreed to the week prior.
That pinky swear in which we promised each other that in our next lifetime down here together we would get our fifty years.
Fifty years of health, life, and love.
I laid with her.
And I cuddled. And I cuddled hard.
And I stared. And I stared hard.
And yes, I cried. And I cried hard.
‘John, it’s time,’ they said.
Family came back into the room and finished emptying out the place that had been our home for twenty-three life altering days.
It was now time.
To do what I had never done before.
To leave her.
I asked everyone to give me just one more minute by myself.
‘I have to go now Michelle. I have to go. I’m so sorry. But I have to go,’ I said over and over again.
‘I have to go baby.’
‘I’m so sorry. But I have to go.’
Tears flowing down my cheeks, as I cried so hard I was convinced I would never be able to stop.
For the first time, and for the last time. All in one time.
Having no choice, but to go.
It shattered my heart to pieces.
It devastated my soul.
© Copyright 2017 John Polo