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“I will wait for you.”

Damn it, why the hell did you have to say that. It was over; the situation would correct itself on its own, why did you have to say that.

“I will wait for you.”

I couldn’t stay. My visa expired, the house was taken by the bank, and my parents were moving. I had to leave. I loved you, you loved me, I was happy. But your world was exploding. Your parents were fighting more and more, you’re brother stopped returning his calls. And I was leaving. I was leaving you to handle that all on your own, I wasn’t able to hold you and make it better anymore.

“I will wait for you.”

How selfish of me to think I could walk out without feeling guilty. I had no choice on whether to leave or not, I wasn’t self sufficient, I couldn’t stay. My life would live on in America, where I would no longer be a foreigner (or so I thought). You and your American boyfriend would be no more.

“I will wait for you.”

She started to ignore her friends in favor of spending all her time with me. I’m not going to lie to anyone, I enjoyed it thoroughly, but my friends didn’t appreciate my being off-limits most days. Her friends realized how it worked, and let her go. I didn’t know what was happening, and before I know it she didn’t have any friends other than me.

“I will wait for you.”

The day before I moved she uttered those words. I cringed, because never in my wildest dreams did I think of coming back. I was leaving, I had left people before, and while no moves were as hard as this, I hadn’t gone back. Never letting yourself imagine you’re coming back makes it hard at first, but easier later. She made it harder, harder than I thought it could be.

“I will wait for you.”

How could I explain to her if she didn’t already understand that I wasn’t coming back! I was leaving for good, leaving the country, leaving her life, and although I loved her, it was time. Her face, pressed hard against my chest, tears streaming, echoed what she felt inside when I told her that I wasn't going to come back.

The next day we left our house at 7 in the morning, got in a van and drove all day. I found out later that she drove to my house at 7:15 looking for me, and collapsed in tears on the driveway when she found I'd gone. That was years ago. The last I heard from her was a Christmas card:

Sam,
    I just wondered how you were doing, as I haven’t heard from you in so long. I’m doing fine, classes are going well. I just wanted you to know that I missed you, and I will wait for you.
        Love, Christy
I never replied. For all I know, she can still be waiting for her American to return, waiting on the cold shores of the Atlantic Ocean . . .