Love Lost

“Wait,” he said, the words not quite sinking in. “Wait, just a second. You’re leaving me?” Once he said it, he collapsed in his chair like a discarded marionette.

“I’m sorry, Jeff.” Tara choked back a sob. “I don’t have a choice. I have to.”

“No!” Jeff yelled, leaping back to his feet. He glared at her accusingly. “You don’t have to. You choose to.”

“I swear, Jeff, I…”

“It’s that trip you just got back from.” He started pacing back and forth. “You… You met someone. You met someone else, didn’t you.”

“I didn’t, Jeff! I love you. but… Please, don’t make this any harder!” she pleaded.

“Then why? After five years, why…” He stepped forward to take her in his arms, but Tara backed away. “I can’t even hold you?”

She shook her head. “No, you can’t. If you touch me, you have to come, too.”

He stared, confused. “And that’s a bad thing because… Why? Why now?”

“Jeff, I’m sorry.” As she began to fade, she explained, “I never got back. My plane crashed an hour ago. And that’s why I have to leave.”

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