“It’s the end,” he says, and even though it’s not the first time he has told me this, I know
that this will be the final time.

We sit on the concrete steps that lead down to the road and stare out across the hills
of the park. Usually lost in the beauty of the panorama in daylight, I watch now as the
summer night weaves a pale indigo shawl across the jagged craggs, and I wonder at how
malevolence and comfort can coexist in it’s mystery.

He has been my rock while life has thrown me through loops I could never have imagined,
and I wonder how I will navigate those that remain: it seems at once unfathomable and
inevitable. This has been a beautiful interlude, and there seems no other way in which it
could end.

I am still and calm, accepting of this fate even as it makes no sense. There are no tears:
sadness will come later, for me at least. I hold both of our futures in my hands; I need only
to say the right words to free us both, yet they do not come: lodged so far in my throat as
never to escape. He may never understand, even as he finds happiness one day beyond
me, even in far off days to pass he may look back and wonder why, and never truly know.
I am unsure if I will ever truly understand, but even as my mind falters, even as he fights
beside me not to break, my heart remains steadfast: despite his decisive words, this is my
decision, my future.

The velvet sky presses closer, and as much as I yearn to hold him close I wish him gone,
his presence now only a reminder of the pain that love can cause. It is as much as I can
do to keep my gaze from tearing away from the nowhere to become lost in the tears
already filling his eyes, for I know my resolve would dissolve. While he believes I cannot
be swayed, I will not. I rest my chin on my clenched fists and wait for him to let me go.

It seems an eternity, and perhaps it is; until the palest pink of midsummer dawn stains the
Eastern sky. My neck strains with the unexpected movement as I turn to welcome the new
day. I don’t recall him leaving, but I become aware I am alone now in the damp emptiness.
My stiff legs straighten reluctantly, my numb arms tingle as I push myself upright and take
wobbly steps, back to the familiar, cloying safety of my family: the responsibilities I chose
over myself.

In the cold empty dawn, my soulmate wanders without direction or meaning as the sky
slowly softens. Nature envelops him in her vibrancy, and he will soon realise what is lost is
gone forever, like the indigo night that can never quite be recaptured.

But the heartbeat of life continues with or without love. I nurse my daughter and kiss my
husband off to another day, and the true love of my life returns to a routine of work, friends
and life no longer punctuated by me. I will think of him often; perhaps one day he will find
again what he is looking for. Or perhaps, like me, he will endlessly stare out of the window
into the velvet night, tormented by what could have been and may never be again.

I comfort myself by thinking that while our time was stolen, but at least we had it all,
for some people don’t even have that. But the reach of regret and wondering what if?
stretches with all the time that passes. I often think, if I had my time under that enveloping
summer night once again, would I think again about throwing caution to the wind for
happiness and love? I will never know, but I like to think that just maybe … I would.

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