"Say Goodbye"

Disclaimer: The song used in this story, "Say Goodbye", solely belongs to Chris Brown.

Look we gotta talk
Dang I know, I know it's just
It's just...
Some things I gotta get of my chest alright...
Whoa, whoa, whoa, oh, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, oh, whoa...

The evening breeze brushed lovingly against Jacqueline's cheek as she let go of Thomas' hand and ran to the edge of the cliff, closing her eyes against the cool breeze. Thomas hung back as he buried his hands in his front pockets. He was used to seeing the childish glee on Jacqueline's face; it was a breath of fresh air from the normal indifference of other girls her age.

"Come here sweetheart, the wind's cool. I wish we had this kind of wind everyday and not this scorching weather," Jacqueline said as she ran back to Thomas and tugged him towards the end of the cliff. Thomas smiled to himself as he allowed her to tug him to the edge and force him to close his eyes to enjoy the wind. Thomas let his mind go and enjoyed this few moments before he took a deep breath and pulled Jacqueline back to sit on a bench, facing the ocean.

"What did you bring me here for Thomas?" Jacqueline asked as she turned to face her six months boyfriend, the wind blowing her hair away from her face.

"I needed to talk to you," Thomas started uneasily, drumming his fingers on his jean clad thigh before reaching out to intertwine his fingers with Jacqueline's'.

"We could have always just gone to the park; there was no need to bring me all the way to the beach darling," Jacqueline said easily before she leaned over and placed a chaste kiss on Thomas' lips.

"Baby, I love you," Thomas said, he could feel the courage he had gathered slip bit by bit from his grip.

"I love you too," Jacqueline smiled lovingly before she shifted closer to Thomas and laid her head against his shoulder. Thomas squeezed her hand as he gaze out at the ocean, the last of his courage fading away. How do you break someone's heart gently?

Baby come here and sit down, let's talk
I got a lot to say so I guess I'll start by
Saying that I love you,
But you know, this thing ain't been
No walk in the park for us
I swear it'll only take a minute
You'll understand when I finish, yeah
And I don't wanna see you cry
But I don't wanna be the one to tell you a lie so

Thomas strode angrily around the park, trying to ease his anger. The children's voices and the chatter of pregnant woman waiting for their children only served to further heighten his annoyance. He clenched and unclenched his fists as he made his way out of the park. Since it didn't help, he didn't see the point in taking a walk in the park. Thomas picked up his pace towards the basketball court as the argument between him and Jacqueline only a few moments ago played over and over again in his mind like a broken recorder. It was days like these that made him question himself and his feelings. How could they go from a loving couple to unyielding foes in a matter of seconds? He approached the court, his friends waving to him but their words of greeting flowed over him. He could only hear his and Jacqueline's raised voices in his head.

"I told you about the play three weeks ago Thomas! How could you go ahead and plan a match with the guys?" Jacqueline demanded as she struggled to keep her voice even and steady. She was so angry she could almost scream.

"It slipped my mind Jacq, I could always cancel the match," Thomas said as he leaned back against the sofa, the leather cool under his touch.

"This is not about canceling the match Thomas. It's about you keeping to your word," Jacqueline said again as she started to pace the floor, her grip on her arms tightening.

"If I cancel the match, I'll be keeping my word to attend your sister's play with your family," Thomas said as drummed his fingers on the arm of the sofa, his patience wearing unbearably thin.

"You make it sound like I'm sending you to the torture chamber," Jacqueline commented dryly as she stopped her pacing and looked at him.

"Why do you have to make everything I say so complicated?" Thomas asked as he looked straight at her, his fingers picking up speed.

"Why do you have to make it sound like I'm forcing this relationship on you?" Jacqueline countered as she clenched her jaw. She was trying her utmost to have a civilized conversation with him but he was insistent on making it into an obstacle course for her.

"You always answer a question with another question. Can you not just answer the question directly for once?" Thomas asked as he leaned forward with both his elbows on his knees.

"Why do you always make a conversation with you an obstacle course? Nothing I say is ever right!" Jacqueline exclaimed as she let out a frustrated grunt before storming up the stairs to her room. Thomas took in a deep breath before he stormed out the house, he decided that it was better to let them both cool down before they said something they might regret.

"Hey dude, you ok?" Jason asked as the rest of the guys went to take a break.

"Yeah I'm fine, just some things bothering me. That's all," Thomas said as he took another shot.

"Well, I got to run. I'll see you in school," Jason said as he pat Thomas on the back before jogged across the court to say his goodbyes to the rest of the group before sliding into the dark red posh that stopped by the pavement.

How do you let it go? When you,
you just don't know? What's on,
The other side of the door
When you're walking out, talk about it
Everything I tried to remember to say
Just went out my head
So I'm do the best I can to get you to understand

Thomas sat on the sofa with one leg over the arm rest as he twisted his body so he could look at his long time friend, Karen.

"What's wrong? Trouble in paradise?" Karen asked as she drew her legs up to her chest.

"You were at her place yesterday weren't you?" Thomas asked as he threw his other leg over the arm rest and laid down on the sofa.

"Yeah, so?" Karen asked as she brushed her hair away from her eyes. She desperately needed a haircut.

"How do you do it? Juggling between two friends who are attached?" Thomas asked as he closed his eyes and linked his hands behind his head.

"I don't spill secrets for one, so you can tell Aunt Karen all about your love problems," Karen said in a fake British accent as she reached over and patted Thomas on the shoulder patronizingly.

"Very funny," Thomas said as he choked out a laugh for Karen's benefit.

"Come on, I'm sure you can do better than that," Karen coaxed, still using her British accent.

"I want to break up with Jacqueline," Thomas said as the laughter died in Karen's eyes.

"What?" Karen asked as she planted her two feet firmly on the carpeted ground.

"It's not that I don't love her anymore Karen. It's just, I don't know. I just don't feel the same," Thomas said as he opened his eyes and watched the light dance across the ceiling.

"And when are you planning to do this whole break up thing?" Karen asked, she had heard of their fights lately, but Jacqueline had never once mentioned that Thomas had been inclining towards a break up.

"I tried to, a week ago. But whenever I'm around her, the words I practiced in my head just disappear. You know I can't string a proper sentence when I'm nervous much less when I'm going to break up with Jacq," Thomas said as he squeezed his eyes shut again. He hated the feeling of helplessness.

"This kind of thing, it's not something that you can practice," Karen said as she leaned back in her chair. She just realized she was in for the time of her life. How do you be friends with the two people who could possibly end up hating each other for the rest of their natural lives?

"I know Karen. I just, I don't want to make her cry," Thomas sighed. He loved her, he knew he still did. And he couldn't bear to see her cry, any more than he did when she was younger.

"She's going to cry no matter what. Just give me the head's up all right?" Karen said as she pushed herself off the chair and walked to sit by Thomas.

"Thanks Karen," Thomas said as he peeked open an eye to look up at Karen.

"Anything for you, I got to go pick up my sister so I'll see you in school?" Karen said as she leaned over Thomas and placed a kiss on his forehead before standing up and pulling up her tattered jeans.

"You're an angel," Thomas said as he smiled up at her. Karen offered another smile before she was out the door. Thomas closed his eyes again as he heard Karen get on her bike and cycle towards her sister's school. Karen's words had hit home. He wasn't going to be able to break up with Jacqueline without hurting her.

There's never a right time to say goodbye
But I gotta make the first move
'Cause if I don't you gonna start hating me
Cause I really don't feel the way I once felt about you
Girl it's not you, it's me
I kinda gotta figure out what I need (oh)

Jacqueline had just hosted the last party of the year before the beginning of the exams. Pictures were being snapped at every available opportunity while everyone mingled and enjoyed the food and drinks. It was going to be another month before they had a chance to socialize again. It was almost the most fun Karen's had since the mid term, after getting back her results. If only she could ignore the dark cloud hanging over Thomas the entire party. She had wanted to leave to avoid being stuck overnight with Jacqueline and the other girls but Thomas had snagged her arm before she could grab her shoes, complain of a headache and dash out of the house.

"I'm telling her tonight," Thomas said in a hushed whisper as he pulled her into the kitchen, looking around ensuring that there were no lingering friends who might eavesdrop on their conversation.

"Are you crazy?" Karen said as she dropped her shoes beside the counter before hoisting herself onto one of the counter chairs in the corner. She could forget about going home or even sleeping in her bed that night.

"I can't continue this, this charade anymore," Thomas said as he paced.

"For God's sake Thomas, the girls are staying over. You want her entertaining them with red puffy and swollen eyes? What am I going to tell them? She has a sudden allergy to dust?" Karen asked as she crossed her arms over her chest.

"I don't know Karen. I don't want her to hate me anymore than she probably might already by dragging this on," Thomas said before he absentmindedly ran his hand through his hair.

"Do it after the exams Thomas. She needs these papers for her entry to University," Karen closed her eyes and rested her head against the wall. The headache she had wanted to fake was beginning to build behind her eyelids.

"Karen," the pleading Karen heard in Thomas' voice had her opening her eyes to look at him.

"Thomas, if you still cared for her as a sister, you'll know how much she wants to get to University. You know I love you, but if you destroy this for her, I'm never going to forgive you," Karen said as she slid off her chair and walked towards him. The desperation in Thomas eyes' had Karen sliding her arms around him and letting him hug her for a minute. That was how Jacqueline found them.

"Karen, are you ok?" Jacqueline immediately rushed forward to examine her friend.

"I'm fine Jac, just the slight headache. Now that I've got my hug from this handsome guy here, I feel better already," Karen joked as she drew Jacqueline into a hug.

"You should go back and rest if you're not feeling well. Thomas can send you home," Jacqueline said as she turned to her boyfriend who nodded in agreement and leaned forward to place a kiss on her cheek. Jacqueline smiled at her best friend and her boyfriend and ushered them to Thomas' car before she went back into the house to play hostess to her guests.

There's never a right time to say goodbye
But we know that we gotta go
Our separate ways
And I know it's hard but I gotta do it,
And it's killing me
Cause there's never a right time
Right time to say goodbye

Jacqueline sat on the sofa; Helen's face was buried in the crook of her neck as the younger girl sobbed loudly. Jacqueline whispered comforting words as she stroked her back.

"There are so many more guys out there Hel. He's not the only fish in the ocean," Jacqueline whispered as she continued to stroke her cousin's back. She wished she was able to sympathize, but Thomas was her first real relationship and it wasn't that she wouldn't imagine how she'd feel if he broke up with her, but she just couldn't.

"I know Jacqueline. But I loved him. And he said he loved me, that he never loved any girl like he loved me," Helen sobbed as she clung on to her cousin for support. She never knew her heart could hurt so badly.

"You will find love again Hel," Jacqueline comforted as she started rocking her cousin back and forth. Her mother always did that when she fell down and scraped her knee or when she had a stomach upset and it never failed to make her feel better.

"He left me even when he said he loved me. Obviously there isn't much to love if he could still leave," Helen sobbed louder as she pulled her bottom lip between her teeth. Despite her young age, she had gone through more break ups than her cousin. She didn't know why this was more different than the last.

"Oh Helen," Jacqueline sighed into her hair when she heard the terrace door open, revealing Thomas. Jacqueline managed a smiled and signaled to the kitchen for Thomas to wait for her.

"I don't know what to do Jacqueline," Helen sobbed again; she didn't hear Thomas come through the door or walk past them towards the kitchen.

"You just need time to heal Hel. Then I'm sure you'll be as good as new. Would you like some water?" Jacqueline asked as she held her cousin by her shoulders.

"You're a charm," Helen tried to smile, but she was too tired as she dropped her forehead against the sofa arm when Jacqueline placed a kiss on her forehead and headed towards the kitchen.

"What's wrong?" were Thomas' first words when Jacqueline entered the kitchen and crossed the room to hug him.

"Her boyfriend broke up with her. She's devastated," Jacqueline explained as she went to pour a glass of iced water for Helen. Thomas stood there silent; he could see Jacqueline on that same sofa crying when he told her he wanted to break up.

"Thomas?" Jacqueline's voice brought him out of his mind as he put on a smile for her.

"I wouldn't know what I'll do if you broke up with me," Jacqueline said as she slipped her arms around his waist, resting her ear against his heart.

"I love you Jacq and you know I'll never intentionally hurt you right?" Thomas asked as he wrapped his arms around her, resting his chin on the top of her head. Jacqueline nodded and gave him a squeeze before she untangled herself and brought the glass of iced water to her cousin. Thomas looked at her leave the kitchen before he dragged out a chair and dropped himself in it. How could he even imagine trying to break her heart gently when she was so confident that they'll be together until death do them part? He closed his eyes and rested his head on the oak table. He too thought they would be together until death do them part, but now. He didn't know what to do.

Girl I know your heart is breaking
And a thousand times I
Found myself asking, "Why? Why?"
Why am I taking so long to say this?
But trust me, girl I never
Meant to crush your world
And I never
Thought I would see the day we grew apart
And I wanna know

The room was silent. Karen didn't know if she could take the silence any longer as she looked between her two best friends. Thomas was standing by the window, the last rays of sunlight falling against him, making him look like an angel from a painting. Jacqueline sat in the arm chair across from her, her face pale and her eyes were cast towards Thomas who was looking directly at her. Any other normal day, it would have been a perfect picture but this time, Karen knew better than to envy the scene.

"Why?" Jacqueline choked out for the tenth time that day.

"I don't know how to explain it to you Jacqueline," Thomas said as he kept his gaze on Jacqueline. He refused to be a coward and avoid her gaze as he broke up with her.

"Can't you at least try?" Jacqueline said as she curled her hands into a ball, it was taking all her will power not to cry. She wouldn't let herself break down.

"Baby, listen to me. I still love you, it's just not the same," Thomas said as he fought the urge to look away. He wanted, no, needed Jacqueline to understand.

"Is there someone else?" Jacqueline asked, hope shining in her eyes.

"No baby. There's no one else. I just, it's not the same anymore Jacqueline," Thomas said as he walked towards Jacqueline and kneeled down in front of her, taking her hands in his. Jacqueline stared at him, it almost seemed so surreal. She didn't want to believe that he was breaking up with her.

"Every other conversation we have is an argument. We can hardly talk like civilized people where there is no one else around. I did and do still love you Jacqueline. Everything I said, everything I told you, I meant every single word. It's just, not the same anymore," Thomas said as he stood up and stalked across the room to the window. If it was the right decision not to continue deceiving her any longer, why did it hurt so badly and why did he have an urge to cry? Thomas turned around when Jacqueline did not respond only to see the raw pain reflected in her eyes.

"Jacqueline…" Thomas whispered her name as the first tear made its way down her pale cheek to land on her joined hands. The tears came in a torrent as Karen rushed to hold Jacqueline up. Thomas looked at Jacqueline before he turned and looked out the window, calling on every ounce of willpower he had not to pull her into his arms and say he didn't mean anything.

"Just go Thomas, I'll take care of her," Karen said. She had seen the same pain reflected in Thomas' eyes when he saw Jacqueline crumble. Thomas bit down on his lip as he stalked across the room towards the door. Once out of the door, he ran.

How do you let it go? When you,
you just don't know? What's on,
the other side of the door
When you're walking out, talk about it
Girl I hope you understand
what I'm tryin say.
We just can't go on
Pretending that we get along
Girl how you not gonna see it?

The next week had been hell for Thomas. Jacqueline never looked the same in class, and she never looked at him. Karen dropped by now and then to check up on him, but she never once told him how Jacqueline was doing after that evening at her place. No matter how he grilled her or begged, she wouldn't relent. He supposed that was what made her such a good friend. It was only when Karen was sick in bed that Thomas had the chance to corner Jacqueline.

"What do you want Thomas?" Jacqueline asked, refusing to meet his gaze as she focused on the stain on the wall.

"Please talk to me Jacq," Thomas said, taking a step towards Jacqueline only to have her take two steps back.

"I have nothing to say to you Thomas," Jacqueline said as she hugged her books tighter, her fingers gripping her books so tightly she was sure she was going to have marks on her fingers afterwards.

"You can scream at me, you can shout at me, you can hit me. Just don't give me the silent treatment Jacqueline," Thomas said as he took a step forward and grabbed her arm before she could move out of his grasp.

"Let go of me Thomas," Jacqueline grounded out as she looked directly at him.

"We were friends, best friends before we became a couple Jacqueline. Why can't we even be friends now?" Thomas asked as he loosened his grip on her arm. Karen would have his head if she found a bruise on Jacqueline's arm.

"Is that what you had in mind Thomas? After you're done playing with my heart, you just want to go back to being friends?" Jacqueline said, her voice rising. She had to tighten her grip on her books before she lost all of her self control.

"Damn it Jacqueline, don't twist my words to suit your needs," Thomas said as he turned on his heel and stalked over to the nearest wall and kicked it. Jacqueline grit her teeth together until her jaw hurt before she stalked out of the room, leaving Thomas to his pain.

There's never a right time to say goodbye
But I gotta make the first move
'Cause if I don't you gonna start hating me
Cause I really don't feel the way I once felt about you
Girl it's not you it's me.
I kinda gotta figure out what I need (oh)

Thomas tried again. He couldn't just let it go. He couldn't let Jacqueline go. He loved her still, even if the feelings felt different, he knew that deep down he still loved her. He just needed to figure out what he wanted and why he felt differently than when they first got together. The room was silent again, very much like the last time the three of them were in the same room together. Jacqueline was glaring daggers at Karen who was ignoring her as she buried herself in her book.

"What do you want me to do before you talk to me again?" Thomas asked as he rested his elbows on his knees.

"There's nothing I want to say to you anymore Thomas. Please," Jacqueline said, trying to keep her voice light and the desperation from seeping into her words. She didn't know how long more she could hold out if he continuously tried to break down her barrier.

"I didn't want to intentionally hurt you Jacqueline, you must know that. I just needed to figure out some things. Please," Thomas said as he shifted, hoping Jacqueline would look in his direction. Karen peeked over the rim of her paperback novel; she had just read the same sentence three times and still didn't understand it.

"Give the guy a break," Karen quipped as she lowered her eyes to her book, picking up from where she left off. Jacqueline wanted to snap at Karen when the phone rang. Jacqueline could almost jump in relief as she rushed to the phone.


"Leave me out of this; it's your problem to solve. Oh look! Our girl has just decided to leave us alone as she takes my bike for a ride," Karen commented as she looked at the swinging door and Jacqueline cycling off in her old bike. Thomas looked at Jacqueline ride towards the market before he pulled on his cap, stuck his hand into his pocket and took the long route back home.

There's never a right time to say goodbye
But we know that we gotta go
Our separate ways
And I know it's hard but I gotta do it,
And it's killing me
Cause there's never a right time
Right time to say goodbye

Days turned into weeks and weeks merged into months. Jacqueline took relief in the knowledge that Thomas had stopped trying to talk to her but it didn't stop the countless nights she would lock the door and cry herself to sleep. She supposed one never got over too easily over their first loves. Jacqueline found out, only days ago that by the time the term ended, she would have to had her room packed into boxes as they moved to a new town. She pleaded and begged but her parents were firm that it would be closer to the top Universities and to her father's new office. She had yet to tell either Karen or anyone else and hoped, prayed that her parents would decide that they had actually wanted to stay. The ringing of her cell jolted Jacqueline out of her day dreams as she used the back of her hand to wipe the tears from her eyes.

"Yes Karen?" Jacqueline answered as she sat up in bed, trying to keep her tears out of her voice.

"What are you doing at home?" Karen asked, the music raged on behind her as did the chattering of the people around her.

"I didn't feel like going out or socializing tonight Karen," Jacqueline said as she pulled her legs up to her chest, wishing she had not decided to leave her window open.

"You didn't feel like socializing or was it Jocelyn's decision to invite Thomas to the party that made you feel like you didn't want to socialize?" Karen asked as she spotted Thomas sitting by the pool with his friends, where he had a clear view of the entrance of the house. He had yet to see Karen on her own, without Jacqueline.

"Not everything is because of him," Jacqueline scowled, the irritation of Karen's assumptions seeping into her words.

"Whatever helps you to sleep at night darling. Both you and I know the truth," Karen said as she made a loud smacking sound into the phone to cut off any protests on Jacqueline's part before she disconnected the line. She stood in Thomas' line of vision and saw the clear disappointment in his eyes when he spotted her, without Jacqueline.

Jacqueline slammed her cell phone on her bed side table as she hugged her knees closer to her chest. She gritted her teeth but that didn't ease the ache in her chest. She dug her fingers into her arm, but even the physical pain didn't override the way her heart ached. She didn't notice she was crying until her knees were wet with her tears.

Listen to your heart
Girl you know,
We should be apart, baby I
I just can't do it
I, I just can't do it
Listen to your heart
Girl you know,
We should be apart, baby I
I just can't do it
And sometimes it makes me wanna cry
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh 4x
Do you hear me crying?
Oh, oh, oh 4x

The second last time Thomas saw Jacqueline was in her room, packing her luggage.

"What are you doing here?" Jacqueline asked, as she turned her back to Thomas, while she continued to fold her clothes.

"Karen told me you were leaving tomorrow," Thomas said as he looked around the room. It looked so bare, as compared to the last time he had seen her room. When they were still together.

"Goodbye." Jacqueline said as she walked across the room to her closet to take out more clothes to fold, only to be faced with an empty closet.

"I don't want to part on bad terms Jacq," Thomas said as he stepped forward and grabbed her arm before she could cross to her dresser.

"I don't hate you anymore if that's what you wanted to know," Jacqueline said, as she put up no struggle to pull her arm out of his grasp.

"It was suppose to feel right, to stop deceiving you when I wasn't sure about my feelings," Thomas started as he let go of her arm and walked past her towards her window. Jacqueline looked at his back; she could feel her eyes burning.

"If it was the right thing to do, why does it feel so wrong?" Thomas asked as he turned to face Jacqueline.

"I don't know Thomas, I don't know," Jacqueline said as she turned her head slightly so she looked at the spot beside him, rather than at him.

"We hardly got along. We always fought. We hardly resembled the couple we first were," Thomas said as he walked towards her and tilted her head so she looked at him, directly into his eyes.

"What do you want me to say Thomas? That we were meant to break up because we couldn't get along like how we used to when we first got together?" Jacqueline asked, digging her nails into her palm to stop herself from brawling like a baby in front of Thomas.

"I don't know Jacqueline. For once in my life, I don't know what I should do," Thomas said as he closed his eyes and rested his forehead against hers. She too closed her eyes as she leaned into him; giving in to her need to be in close contact him. Even if it was for the last time in this lifetime.

"Maybe it is better this way. With me leaving, we probably wouldn't be able to survive the long distance," Jacqueline joked as she opened her eyes to look at Thomas only to see tears swimming in his eyes.

"Friends?" Thomas asked as he reached up and ran a finger across her cheek. Just like how he used to, before he would kiss her. Jacqueline couldn't stop the surge of emotions as she stared numbly at him. No matter how long it had been, she couldn't deny the fact that she did, do and still loved him. To acknowledge him as only a friend was something she couldn't do. She bit the inside of her cheek as she turned and made to run out of the room but Thomas had managed to grab her arm before she was out the door.

"Please," Jacqueline choked out, her words dripping with emotion. Thomas clenched his teeth as he let her go and watched her run out the room and down the steps. He stood there in silence as he heard her footsteps fade down the steps. He dug his nails into his palm when he heard the front door slam.

"I love you Jacqueline," Thomas whispered just before he heard the sound of screeching tires, a loud thud and Lydia's scream.

There's never a right time to say goodbye
But I gotta make the first move
'Cause if I don't you gonna start hating me
Cause I really don't feel the way I once felt about you
Girl it's not you it's me.
I kinda gotta figure out what I need (oh)
There's never a right time to say goodbye
But we know that we gotta go
Our separate ways
And I know it's hard but I gotta do it,
And it's killing me
Cause there's never a right time
Right time to say goodbye

The hallways were quiet, only the occasional squeaking of rubber soles on the plastered floor.

"If I hadn't gone to see her tonight, nothing would have happened," Thomas said as he sat on the floor, his knees drawn up and his face in between his hands.

"It's not your fault Thomas. You didn't push her in front of the car," Karen consoled as she placed a hand on his shoulder.

"If I hadn't broken up with her, none of this would have happened," Thomas said as he looked down, his pride couldn't stop him from crying but it stopped him from showing his tears.

"Stop it already Thomas, there was nothing you could do to have stopped the car from hitting her," Karen chided as she looked up at the lighted sign. It had been the same constant light for the past two hours or so. She had lost count amidst all the coming and going of the family. Thomas bit his bottom lip as he took deep breaths. He could always count on Karen to knock some sense into him when he's lost. When the doors to the operation room opened, Karen and Thomas immediately got to their feet. Thomas swiping at the tears on his cheeks while Karen immediately bombarding the surgeon with questions. Thomas tugged Karen back as Jacqueline's family were the only ones allowed into the surgeon's office as he looked towards the doors which continued to swing.

"Stupid hospital policy," Karen grumbled as she sat on the plastic chairs that were squeaky and made noise every time you moved. Thomas didn't have the strength to point out anything as he sat in silence, hoping nothing was wrong with Jacqueline. Thomas' hopes were dashing by Lydia's loud wails from within the surgeon's office. Karen looked shocked as she stared at the door before tears sprung from her eyes. Thomas held on to Karen as she cried while he bit his lip, but that didn't stop the tears from escaping from his eyes.

There's never a right time to say goodbye
But I gotta make the first move
'Cause if I don't you gonna start hating me
Cause I really don't feel the way I once felt about you
Girl it's not you it's me.
I kinda gotta figure out what I need (oh)
There's never a right time to say goodbye
But we know that we gotta go
Our separate ways
And I know it's hard but I gotta do it,
And it's killing me
Cause there's never a right time
Right time to say goodbye

Karen and Thomas were allowed in the room after Jacqueline's family had cleared out of the room at Jacqueline's request.

"Hey," Karen said as she moved to sit beside Jacqueline, smiling even when her swollen eyes and red nose gave away her activities for the past hour. Jacqueline managed a smile as her eyes moved from Karen to Thomas.

"I love you," Karen couldn't hold in her grief as she held onto Jacqueline's hand and sobbed, Thomas coming up behind her to hold her upright. Jacqueline squeezed Karen's hand as she looked up at Thomas.

"Thomas," Jacqueline croaked as she tried to reach for him with her other hand. Karen wiped her eyes with a soaked tissue in her hand as she gave up her position to Thomas.

"I'm sorry Jacqueline. If I hadn't…none of this would have happened. I'm sorry," Thomas gushed as he held her hand in his, bringing it up to his lips. Jacqueline looked at the love of her life, as tears dripped from her eyes.

"Please don't be sorry Thomas," Jacqueline whispered as she squeezed his hand. She knew that no matter what happened, she would always love him. Always.

"I love you Jacqueline. I love you so much," Thomas said as he stood up and moved forward to embrace Jacqueline. Jacqueline cried against his shoulder as Karen came up behind him to hold her hand.

"Karen, thank you for being the best friend a girl could ever dream of having," Jacqueline said through her tears as she forced a smile for Karen. She could feel the life literally slipping out of her hands. But she'll be damned if she went before she had told Thomas how much she loved him.

"Thomas. I don't blame you for anything," Jacqueline summoned her courage against the pain as she breathed. Thomas closed his eyes as he rested his cheek against her hair, his ear right beside her lips.

"I just want you to know that I still love you," Jacqueline said as Thomas squeezed her, sending a jolt of pain through her body.

"I fell in love with you the first day we met and I love you still," Jacqueline said as she turned her head, ignoring the pain it caused and placed a soft kiss against Thomas' ear. Thomas squeezed his eyes shut, like a child would on his birthday as he made his wish before blowing out the candles.

"I remember our first kiss, under the oak tree beside the pond," Jacqueline whispered as she tried to nudge Thomas off her, she was losing the feeling of her legs as the seconds ticked. Thomas held back a sob as images of their first kiss flooded his mind. The unique smell of Jacqueline, like freshly plucked strawberries. The soft sounds of the sparrows and woodpeckers in the background as he leaned into her. The clear green of her eyes shining like brilliantly cut emeralds, before he kissed her. The soft velvety feel of her lips under his. The taste of the peppermint sweet she had sucked on only moments before.

"Kiss me again Thomas," Jacqueline whispered, she couldn't feel the weight of Karen's hand in hers anymore. Thomas shifted slightly as he looked at her, her eyes were still the bright green they had been that afternoon by the lake. He laid his lips on hers before pressing down gently. He waited for Jacqueline to close her eyes before he did, his lips never leaving hers. Thomas choked back another sob when he felt Jacqueline's lips stop moving under his. He buried his face in her hair; she still smelled of strawberries and cried.