I scrambled up, automatically trying to reach him, but he stepped back quickly.
What? I sobbed, on my hands and knees, my heart ripping open again, all fresh, raw edges.
Dont touch me. You-You cant. Im--not real.
What? I cried. I cant breathe. I dont understand! Daryn, how--
Sam, you--you have to move on. Dont waste your life! You cant commit suicide--thats crazy!
My stomach was trying to push past my heart, which was lodged in my throat, and my legs seemed to consist only of jelly, but somehow I fought my way onto my feet, wobbling unsteadily. He seemed to sway forward, as if he wanted to help me, but his face twisted with pain; he didnt touch me.
Daryn, you--I--youre alive! But I--You died--I saw you--Oh, God, Daryn, its been so hard-- I couldnt seem to form a complete, coherent sentence, especially not through the hiccupping sobs that made my breath hitch.
Sam, Im not--I am dead.
A chill skittered down my spine, a weird feeling twisting in my gut. I ignored the little voice in the back of my head that doubted his presence, doubted that this was reality. Instead, I stumbled forward again, trying to go to him, but he stepped back from me, keeping out of reach.
I stopped, overwhelmed by the whole situation, confused, hurt. Dont--Dont say that, Daryn. I dont understand--youre here, you-youre alive. You came back--You came back to me!
Needing to touch him, I moved, reaching forward, and grabbed his hands, trapping him. His skin was icy cold, hard, but solid, real. He was real.
Sam, he moaned, his face a mask of pain and regret. I--I cant stay. But I couldnt--couldnt let you take your own life. He pulled his hands from my child-like grip, hesitating for a moment before finally wrapping his arms around me.
A sigh mixed with a laugh burst from me as my own arms wrapped around him, embracing him as tight as I could. It felt like coming home, familiar and comforting. But, as he held me, I slowly realized something was missing. Something, something
Warmth. The warmth, the life--he was bereft of all vibrancy, a solid ghost.
He pulled back first, putting his cold hands on the sides of my face and tilting it up to look at him. His eyes, once such a sparkling green full of love and vitality, now hollow and black. Dead.
Sam, listen to me. I
I cant stay with you. Shh, please, just listen. I will always be with you, in your heart. Forever and always. Till death and beyond. But, I cant be here with you, Sam. You--You have to move on. Youre still so young; youre whole life is ahead of you, waiting for you to live it!
--But I cant go on without you, Daryn! I love you, I choked, unable to keep it in.
You can, Sammy, he insisted, his lips pulling into the saddest smile Id ever seen. You have to. Im not asking you to forget me, but you have to let me go. You have to live again, Sam. Love again.
I cant I cant I cant, I sobbed over and over. I didnt want to let him go. I didnt want to be without him.
You must, Sammy. I--I have to go now. You have to let me go. Please, make the best of your life, if not for yourself, do it for me. Dont waste your life. You almost died, but you didnt, you lived. Theres a reason you have a second chance. Dont waste it by lingering over me, or killing yourself.
He settled his cold lips over mine, giving me one last, bitter-sweet kiss. I have to go now. Goodbye, Sam.
No! I protested as he kissed my forehead with icy lips. I dug my fingers into his black coat, gripping as tight as I could, eyes squeezed shut, but then he was--gone. Just
I blinked open my watery eyes, staring through wet, clumped lashes at my empty hands, at the empty space before me. Gone. My head whipped around as I searched frantically for some trace, but there was none.
Gone. The word rang hollow over and over again in my head. Daryn! I screamed, my throat feeling raw.
Hes not coming back. I knew it, in my heart. I screamed anguish to the sky, but
I didnt cry anymore.
He wants the best for me. I knew that in my heart also, but still, I screamed. Screamed until my lungs burned and my throat felt like it had been shredded. Screamed until I was numb.
And when I slumped to the ground, I felt lighter. I can let him go. I will always love him, but I can let him go. Its what he wants. Gravel dug into the side of my face and scalp, slivers of pin needle rain kissing my other cheek, and I closed my eyes. This is my closure. This is what I really needed.
I love you, Daryn. Thank you, and