As Graham stood beside his first love to say goodbye, he knew this would be the hardest day of his life. He wiped yet another tear from his eye. Thankfully the man in the suit had provided a box of tissues earlier.
At first he didn’t know what to say, but slowly the words came. “If you only knew how much I’m going to miss you. You were always there for me, and I don’t have a single bad memory of you.”
His emotions started to get the better of him and his knees started buckling. The man in the suit appeared again, this time with a chair. That man is good at his job, Graham acknowledged silently as he sat. Looking back to his love, a bittersweet memory washed over him. It was the time he drove down the beach road and spent hours on the hood, looking up at the stars. That could never happen again.
Afraid the tears would start again, he spoke. “I’m grateful we had as long as we did together. Everyone thought we were a wreck waiting to happen but we proved them wrong. I’d like to believe that I never mistreated you, but I know now that I took you for granted. I never truly appreciated what you meant to me until this moment.”
Leaning forward, he put his face in his hands for a moment. “Wherever you end up, I hope you know that you will always have a place in my heart. I’m sorry that I have to move on. Never think it’s your fault, or that I’ve forgotten you. It’s just that life changes, and priorities with it.”
He sniffled. “A man has to do what is right, even when he doesn’t want to.” He knew the woman standing behind him was rolling her eyes but he didn’t care. It was halfway her fault anyway. “I’ll think of you often.” He placed a hand on the hood of the Mustang he’d driven since high school one last time, then turned to his wife and the man in the suit. “I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.”
His wife, holding their newborn in one arm and clutching the hand of their two-year old with the other, showed no emotion but the salesman nodded in sympathy as Graham went into the office to buy the damn minivan.
The idea for this came to me last night as I was drifting off to sleep. I made myself write down the few thoughts I had as quickly as I could because I figured I would forget by morning. It was barely legible but luckily I remembered.