He said, "I love you."

I gave him a watery smile. "Thank you."

I loved him. I couldn't tell him that. How could I tell him I loved him when I was walking out the door? I had hurt him too much already. I loved him. I couldn't hurt him more.

The tears were falling down my cheeks. I could not hold them back any longer. How many nights had I held thouse tears in, afraid that he would hear me crying; afraid that he would find out about my pain.

And I did love him. I loved him so much.

How can you leave the one you love? How can you turn around and walk away from your soulmate? I could not come back to him. I wasn't saying, "hey, honey, I need to go find myself. But I will be back in a year or so, wait around for me." That was not real life.

He was crying. I hated to see him cry. I almost went back right then, but I had stay still. We were crying together, twenty feet apart.

I wanted to tell him everything that was in my heart. That I loved him, and I would always love him. That no matter where I went in life that timeless peice of me would always belong to him. I wanted to stay, to make him happy. I would have given up almost anything to make him happy.

But I couldn't give up myself. I was forgetting who I was, and when I cried at night I was remembering that girl whose dreams had been big and her love for life even bigger. Her love for him had been the biggest thing of all.

He did give up everything. This boy had sacrificed the world for me. And to save him, I was leaving.

I love him.

But now the horn is honking and I have to go. There's a four o'clock flight to New Orleans that has a seat with my name on it.

"I love you." He says again. As if he could just get me to say those three words, everything could work out.

I could work it out. I could pretend to miserable, letting him give up everything so I could have it all.

Love can't buy you freedom. He is everything to me.

I get in the car. I blow him a kiss. If this were a Meg Ryan movie I would realize at the airport that leaving would be crazy. I would turn around to go and he would already be there.
I'm not Meg Ryan. There are no such things as perfect endings.

And they lived happily ever after.