This was inspired by the song 'Long Black Veil.' The version I'm listening to is by the Chieftains, but the original is by Lefty Frizzell and my favorite version is by Johnny Cash (I heart Johnny Cash). So… yeah.—KG64 and Kiyoshi

I don't know if you remember, but that was the night you told me you loved me.

I smiled to myself, but I couldn't bring myself to tell you that I had loved you for years. That I had cried my eyes out the night before you married Lauren.

And the next morning, I kissed your cheek and left, driving back home. That was the last time I saw you. You didn't wake up. It was actually a surprise that you stayed the whole night, rather than going back to your wife and your bed and your home and your children. But that night you stayed with me.

I drove back home and was promptly arrested. For the slaughter of two girls in the apartment next to mine. Julia and Hadley. The next few years were spent proving that I was the one who killed them. I didn't, though. I was with you. They kept it all low-key. No publicity. They didn't like drawing negative attention to our town. So you didn't have to find out.

You called a couple times. But my line had been disconnected. And you never could get away from both your job and Lauren long enough to come to me. But I didn't want you to come. I never wanted you to come. I didn't want you to throw away everything you had just for me.

They consistently asked me what I was doing that night. I consistently told them that I was passed out drunk on my couch. They didn't believe me. In the end, I was given the death penalty. My lawyer insisted on appeal after appeal, but more or less everything pointed to me.

I had opportunity. I had no real alibi. My fingerprints were in the girls' apartment, although from earlier in the week. My fingerprints were on the murder weapon, a butcher knife they had borrowed a few days before. So I was condemned. And they asked me if I had any last words. I told them, "I didn't kill those girls. But I don't regret dying."

I did it all for you. I couldn't let you throw everything away. Your marriage, your kids, your life. You would have, too. If I had told them that I had been with you that night. You would have given it all up in an instant. But I couldn't let you do that. Not for me.

I don't know what you thought of me. I'm sure you felt insulted and hurt, because you said you loved me. And then I wouldn't answer your calls. And then years passed and I disappeared from your life.

And it's been a year since my sentence was carried out, four since that night you told me you loved me. And yet here you are, knocking on my door. The new tenant, a woman about my age, answers and you frown. I can see in your eyes that you think I've betrayed you and gone to her. "Is Trevor home?" you manage to ask, and I can see the pain it causes you to ask that.

I don't like to think of the pain I've caused you, if you're not over me after four years. I don't know why it took you so long to come. Maybe it was fear of rejection, but you had the overwhelming sense of needing to see me. I couldn't have stayed away from you for that long. But I couldn't take everything from you. And when the woman hears the name, she frowns and ushers you inside. You sit down and she fixes you a cup of tea. "Trevor McMillan, love?" she asks kindly.

"Yes," you answer quietly. "Do you know him?"

"Yes, dear," she says. "I knew him."

You pick up on her words. "Knew?" I can hear the dread in your voice.

She frowns again. "Trevor is dead, love. He died almost a year ago."

Tears well in your eyes, but you appear to be in too much pain to allow them to fall. Then you mouth, "How?"

She places her hand on yours. "I never believed it was him, love. It was all too perfect."

"How?" you repeat.

"They put him to death for the murder of the girls who lived next door."

Your horror is evident. You had no idea. "What murders?" you ask.

"Julia and Hadley Lang," she answers quietly. "October ninth 2007."

You frown, thinking. And then I see it in your eyes. You know that I was with you. "But… but it couldn't have been him," you choke out.

The woman sighs. "I don't think it was. But… it all pointed to him, and he had no alibi."

You look confused. Because I could have had an alibi. But I couldn't out you. I couldn't do it. You didn't want the world to know you were gay. Much less gay for your wife's best friend from high school. I couldn't do that to you. I couldn't do that to Lauren. I couldn't do that to your kids.

And so I died.

You make your way back to your car and sit in the driver's seat, shaking, forehead pressed to the wheel, crying. And then you drive to the cemetery and wander until you find the grave etched with the words Trevor McMillan—August 30, 1978 to October 21, 2010.

Thirty two years. I was young, but you were worth it. You were worth all of it.

I don't know if you remember, but that was the night you told me you loved me.

That was the night I should have told you that I loved you too.

And that is that.-Kiyoshi'sGirl64 and Kiyoshi