Title: The lie
Word count: 996
Rating: Teen or K, just a little sad
Summary: A girl breaks up with her boyfriend to set him free.
“But, I just don't understand,” Cliff was holding his head in his hands, his already messy brown hair sliding between his fingers. Tears ran down his face as he looked at Violet pleading. “Vi, you can't leave me. I love you. Ever since the second we both reached for that book in the library and our hands touched. God, it was like electricity. You're my other half, the girl version of me. You always said it was the same for you.”
“Well, it isn't anymore,” Violet said angrily, steeling herself against Cliff's emotions. Hating herself for doing this to him.
It had been magic for her too, that day two years ago in the library. She had seen him before that day, looking hot and aloof, the intellectual rebel always at the library or reading in the independent bookstore/coffee shop downtown. He showed up in her small seaside town in June before her Sophmore year. She had been watching him for weeks before that fateful day when they both reached for A Winter's Tale. From that moment on, they had been inseparable.
“I love you, Violet,” he cried, tearing her heart in two, “so I guess I have to go now. If it's what you want. Remember, twenty years from now, if you decide you want me back, I'm there.”
“It's over, Cliff. You have to move on,” Violet said with calmness that belied all the pain raging inside her.
“Okay,” he sniffed, working at composure, “I'm gone. I still love you, that's all I'm going to say.”
“Have a good life,” she said as he walked out of the Coffee Clash.
Once he was gone, and she was safely in her car, Violet allowed herself to wallow in the misery she had just caused them both. She cried like there was no tomorrow, because, really, there wasn't. Not for her. Pressing play on her ipod, she indulged in their song one last time. Tears poured as she remembered the walks on the beach, the first time she let him read her writing, and he let her read his, the feel of his stubble when they kissed, his strong arms around her. She was a mess by the time the song ended. She wouldn't listen to it again.
The next day, Violet woke early to take one last walk on the beach. It was an amazing sunrise, purples giving way to pink, orange, and gold. The waves sparkled in the morning light as the tide came in. She undid the clasp on her necklace, the silver and turquoise one Cliff had given her for their two year anniversary. He said the next piece of jewelery he bought for her would be a wedding ring, if she was interested. She had laughed uncontrollably; of course she was interested. Now, she threw the necklace into the waves, letting it go.
It was only a week after he proposed to her when the test results had come back. The doctor himself had called to schedule a consultation. Her mom was impressed, thinking they were getting good service. Seated in his leather and mahogany office, they both knew it wasn't just good service. His news was a death blow, literally. She was dying. Six months at the most to live. Stage III ovarian cancer, at seventeen, even the doctor looked shaken as he apologized for having to deliver such news.
That was last Friday, today was Monday, and school would start again on Wednesday. Violet knew that a lot of girls at school had their eyes on Cliff. He was smart, sexy, sensitive, and fun. Even though he did his own thing, and wasn't into sports or organized activities, he got along with everyone. She had to set him free. Soon enough, he would forget all about her.
Violet trudged back up the hill to her house, where her mom was waiting. She was scheduled for surgery at nine a.m. in the city, a two hour drive away. After that, it would be chemo and radiation. She didn't want any of it, but her family had insisted. She had a one in two-hundred chance of surviving, and they were willing to take that chance. Rather than fight them, Violet succumbed to her family's wishes. At least it gave them a shred of hope.
“Goodbye Cliff,” she whispered through the lump in her throat as they passed the small shack he lived in with his dad by the pier. “I love you.”
* * *
(Six months later)
Cliff walked down the beach, with tears running down his cheeks. He had just left Violet's funeral, sprinting as fast as he could away from the sight of his true love in a box being lowered into the cold ground. Why didn't she tell him? That stupid story about a sudden opening in a travel abroad program in France, he was a fool to have believed it for a second. He knew she was sick, in pain, but he wanted to believe that she was better. So much better that she didn't need him anymore and was ready to rock France without him. She was so strong that day.
Nobody told him until it was too late. She died in the hospital only two hours away. He would've been there every day after school, holding her hand, giving her his energy, loving her, if only he had known.
Cliff fell onto the rocks, sobs racking his body, not even caring if the waves hit him. A sudden high wave came rushing past him, stirring the sands and smaller stones, revealing something shining. Cliff noticed it, then began scratching away at the stones to unearth a turquoise necklace, the one he had given Violet. Just at that moment the sun came out from behind the clouds and a seagull screeched in the wind.
“Goodbye, Vi,” he cried, “I'll love you forever.”