Here is another attempt at flash-writing for Inspiration Monday XIII (ok with a slight title modification!):
It was time to say goodbye. He reached desperately for her hand as if just by holding onto her for one more moment he would be able to keep her with him forever. She grasped his hand gently but with a passion that said it all. She looked up into his eyes and knew that she felt just the same. His eyes shone in the evening candle light threatening the tears that would later spill down his face as he thought of all they had lost.
For now though they held onto each other – one hand in another – each thinking of how another day could have arisen when they would have been holding hands in front of an altar committing to stay together forever. In their hearts they knew that no-one could ever take the others place. But still neither could express their feelings. There was no point. Nothing could be done to change the inevitably of the moment. It had to happen.
The evening had been perfect. Until then neither of them had ever realised what they had found in each other or quite how much they had grown together over the last few weeks. The quiet dinner by candlelight had finalised the contract they each signed in their hearts. Nothing would ever break them apart. He used to have dreams of this moment but none of them ended the way he knew it would today. She could not stay.
She placed her other hand over the top of his, clasping his hand firmly between hers. He stared at her desperately, trying to give words to the feelings he had never felt before. He was more desperate than ever to keep her and he had to tell her. But he could not. He loved her so much he could not bear to see her in pain. He could not break her heart by forcing her to choose; not now at a time like this. He had failed her so many times before. This time he would not. He would choose to let her go – to do what he knew she had to do. It might be the last moment he ever had with her and he had to know that he had got it right, just once.
If he had just expressed how he felt she might have asked him to leave with her, to help her and give her strength in what she had to do, but the thought never really entered his mind. The only way he knew for sure that his love for her would not be wasted was to give her the future; a future without him.
He forced himself to release her hand, his heart aching as he let her go. She turned and ran for the door, glancing over her shoulder to catch his gaze only once more.
All the while he stood as still as a statue and watched her go; his heart ripping open with every step. He couldn’t have moved if his very life depended on it. He had no choice now but to know the depths of his pain and watch her leave – willing her to return yet knowing that this had to be.
In one slow moment the door closed behind her and she was gone. Forever.