Oceans

My lover's arms are circled around my body, holding me close against their chest. The winds whips around our bodies, chilling us in the late autumn air. The waves crash behind us, salt and brine filling the breeze that floods our noses. The sand beneath my bare feet is almost as frozen as the face body that I hold against mine.

I press my face into my lover's shoulder, clutching onto them as tightly as I can. I can feel my breath shorten, gasping in and out of my aching lungs. I know what they're going to do. I know why they brought me out here.

"I…" They pause.

I clench my teeth in preparation to their inevitable words. I know what's going to happen. I have been expecting this for months, waiting for the day that they would realise that they deserve someone so much more than me, someone so much better than me. They deserve someone who can match their aura, the power that they expel into the world.

They crush me, drowning me each time I get too close. My lungs close from the stress their existence puts on mine. I love them more than anything else in the world, but it's not enough. I can't continue dying in their presence. It would kill them if they saw how badly they destroy me each time I get too close.

They pull away from me and look into my soul with their striking blue eyes. The redness around their irises burn into me. My eyes dampen, and I can't help but sniffle.

I know that I must go on, even though can't do this without them.

My lover reaches up and wipes away a tear that I didn't realize was trailing its way down my cheek, leaving a warm sadness behind. They cup my cheek and smile morosely at me. "I… I know how much it pains you to be around me."

I open my mouth to disagree, to tell them how wrong they are, but the agonized expression they give me stills all thoughts at movement that I try to make. I rest my hand over their heart, clutching at the soft black fabric of their shirt.

My lover sniffles too. "I can't keep hurting you like this."

A rich truthfulness rings in my shaky words when I tell them, "It's worth it, it truly is." I nod to show them it's true. "Every single moment I get to spend with you is worth any damage our time together may do to me."

They shake their head at me. "You don't deserve to be hurt so much, especially by someone who loves you as much as I do you."

I unconsciously pull at their shirt with my clenched fist, pulling them closer to me.

The morose smile they give me makes my heart crack. "I have to let you go."

I shake my head frantically, my bangs flying around my face. "No, you don't!"

God, the desperation in my voice sounds pathetic.

My lover takes my chin in their hand and kisses me softly, their love pouring into my being. They pull away a moment too soon to say, "No matter how many oceans are between us, I will always love you."

More tears rain down my face. "And I will always love you."

They stroke my wet cheek with their thumb. "Remember this. Please."

I try to speak, but nothing comes out. I choke on air, but throughout my struggle, I nod once.

My hands fall to my sides when they release me and take a step back. My eyes blur, swirling their form into a mess of colours that swim away from me. I can't seem to take a breath, and I feel myself reaching out for the person that is no longer there. I fall to my knees against the damp sand, the wetness allowing me to sink further down.

My eyes shut to allow a blackness to cloud me in a choking fog. I clutch at my chest and gasp for air.

I sit up in a rush on the bed I share. Sweat drips down my face, soaking my flushed skin. The dark room we sit in is illuminated by the moon outside the window. I shake the dizziness away and look to my side to see a body next to me.

I gently reach out to touch the person next to me. They shift and turn their head towards me. A tear falls down my cheek when I see my lover's face.

I sigh brokenly. "It was only a dream. It was only a dream."

I lean back against the headboard behind me and huff. My lover pushes themselves up and looks up at me with exhausted eyes. They give me an adoring smile. "Hey, baby." Their eyes widen and worry flashes across their features. "Are you okay?"

I nod and take a deep breath. I slide back down to the pillows and close my eyes. My lover curls against me and presses a kiss to my bare shoulder. "Come back to sleep," they beg.

I shake my head and open my eyes to look down at them. "It's okay, just go back to sleep. I'll join you in a second."

My lover nods and wraps their arm around my waist. They succumb into unconsciousness, completely oblivious to my anxiety. It's fine, as long as they think I'm okay. As long as they think everything's fine.