Two weeks later, he left. I felt like I was watching my whole world crash around me, seeing all of us lined up on his drive way with all of his stuff piled into both of the Renauds' cars. Mya was in tears the entire time, which made it even harder for me to keep from sobbing. She gave me a hug and made me promise to call her, but who knew I wouldn't. Something told me so much more was ending. My mom had tried to cheer me up, telling me how we could keep in contact and even maybe visit sometime. I wanted to believe her.
That last moment when everyone was waiting, the Renauds making sure Mya hadn't forgotten anything and getting Rocky ready while Katie and Tyrell, and Rafi, Sam, Britney, Quito...I had to keep from crying, I couldn't cry in front of him. He took me in his arms for the last time, and I held as if I could keep him. "I want to ask you to stay, but I know you can't," I croaked over tears, clinging to his shirt. He nodded, sniffing. Oh, God, no, I couldn't see him cry.
"I love you," he mumbled, "Don't forget that." I found those eyes, bright and pouring with words he couldn't say about everything we were feeling and weren't feeling and everything in between.
"I can't do this without you," I said while my expression twisted into a cry. I was losing the ability to talk, no, not now. "I...I don't want to...I..."
"Don't be afraid," he pleaded, holding my face so gently in his careful hands. I saw the tears collecting under his dark, searching eyes. I'd see him again, I tried to convince myself, I'd see him again. Right there, in front of everyone, he gave me the most painfully sweet kiss I'd ever recieved from the only boy I ever loved. I could have stayed there forever. "I have to go," he whispered. I wiped my blurry eyes.
"Come on, Honey," Mrs. Renaud called. She came over to give me one last hug, and after a few waves, it was all over. They were rolling down the street, leaving it all behind. They just picked up and left.
We were always talking over the summer. I knew Oliver wouldn't hate his new home in Maine forever, but I still felt a little odd when he said he had started to make new friends. I wasn't much help then, still shattered after having loved him for what seemed like forever. Then he was gone. My parents were angry about the phone bills and hours I spent waiting for his emails, but thankfully they understood. That summer was a rough one. It was hard for me to hang out with the same crowd with my Ollie not there. Once again, everything was changing. Katie and Tyrell were really, officially dating. Lily was spending the summer doing service work in Mexico. Quito was going home to Spain. Rafi was thinking about enlisting, Britney was going to be an aunt, and Sam's mother was finally getting recognized as a real designer. He spent a lot of time in Paris that summer. Alicia was there for me a lot; she and Rosa never really reconciled. By the time orientation at Grayson had rolled around, I heard that the great race divide was done with. Just like that.
College came, and it got harder for me to keep in touch. I was trying to make new friends and still be his. When it came to other guys, I still loved Oliver so much, but it could never work. Oliver had his heart set on travelling abroad; he had been planning it for a year. I wouldn't let him stay in the country although I never could keep up with where he was. We sent letters when we could, keeping every one well into my sophomore year of college. They weren't anything as intense, slowly getting more and more general until they were just basically proof that we remembered each other. It finally slowed down when his parents kept moving. Mine did, too. One day in March, I got a letter three weeks late at school that had been addressed to my parents' old house in Grayson. It was saying that Oliver was engaged. I stopped replying after that.
Still, I kept a picture of him from that formal night, senior year. Black and white, ironically, with him smirking slyly into the camera, eyes lit up and all that emotion shining in them. When I had it setting on my desk, people would ask all the time who it was. He always had been a very handsome young man. Funny, they never assumed he was my old boyfriend, my old best friend, my first real love that was cut too short. However, after I touched the frame with a nostolgic smile and had that wave of memory wash over me for just a second, they seemed to understand. The next comment was always the same.
"He has beautiful eyes."