"It was fun while it lasted."

The stars are out. The clouds that turned his last day gray have rolled back toward the horizons, opening a window to the stars above, taking their slow rain showers with them and leaving the city fresh, and clean, waiting for a new day.

"It was supposed to last forever."

"Don't do this. You knew."

"Knew what?"

"I've graduated. I'm going. You knew you'd never be able to come with me."

A pair of stars detach themselves from the darkness and slide blinking across his vision. His eyes follow them, calmly, ignoring the dark shadows of hair blown into his view by the heavy river-scented wind at his back. The silhouette of the bridge tries to hide the lights as though they're something the universe doesn't want him to see; he follows them anyway.

"You don't have to go. You can stay here, with me."

"And give up everything?"

"No, don't give up... Just stay. We can make it."

"Stop it. Just stop it. You knew this was just a... a temporary thing."

Is she up there? Is that her plane, drawing away from him, going to meet tomorrow?

He would like to think so.

"Was it?"

The lights of the plane disappear into the darkness where he can't follow. The smell, the pull of the river have grown stronger; the lines of the bridge recede, leaving him with only the cool stars in their bed of darkness.

"You knew it was going to end like this."

He watches the stars in their frame of black clouds, watches as they look down on him, without pity, without judgment. A deep serenity has crept into his soul without his notice, and now it is everything. Finality fills him with nothing but crystal acceptance.

Everything is clear. It leaves no room for sadness. No room for anger.

No room for blame. No room for regret.

No room for hope.

"It doesn't have to end."

"Yes, it does."