Finally Clean

By Christopher Ryan

Do you ever remember the last time you hugged someone for the last time?

The worst feeling is when you know it'll be the last time. 

When you're in Central Park, and it's raining and he gives you his umbrella to shield you from the storm, but you'd rather fall into his arms foolishly believing that he'll protect you. 

The storm brewing behind the skyscrapers is nothing compared to the one fermenting inside you. I'm a shell of myself. I can't produce sentences, I can't articulate all the words I want to say to him. I can't scream about life not being fair. 

He wipes the tears from your eyes and tells you not to cry. You try to abide. You look up at all 6 feet of him, he's holding back tears. He's handsome when he's vulnerable.  You know you two will never be together again, you'll never see him again, you'll never love him again. 

4 years later and you were right. He pulls you under the Central Park zoo entrance and gives you an earth shattering kiss. He can't stop kissing you and you can't pull away. What's one more minute when you know you'll never have any more than that. His flight is in 4 hours, your friends are waiting in Hell's Kitchen to fix you. You finally let go, you pull away, you thank him for the past 3 months. 

You thank the universe for giving you this. You walk away, with his umbrella, he smiles at you through his tears, he's getting soaked from the storm. You open his umbrella, turn and walk away. But as you reach the end of the walk way you turn and see him watching you, you smile, you mouth "I love you" and turn back to walk further away from him. 

Something grabs at you, you turn around again to say I love you again, he's gone.

The storm took him away, and the one inside you is about to take you away.