She slowly walks into Ryan’s room, knows he’s always been a heavy sleeper, tries not to remember all those mornings she woke up with his arms around her. Those are memories, though, and she’s not allowed to have those anymore. She gets to live seventeen forever, stuck in this body, drifting in and out of the lives of people she loves. It isn’t fair, but the world’s never really been fair to her.
Marissa gingerly walks over to his bed, doesn’t sit down, runs her hand up his arm. She knows she can’t wake him, it’s impossible. He’s sleeping peacefully and she cries invisible tears. She always used to wake him up; kissing his cheek and whispering in his ear. Now she can’t. Not really.
“You need to let me go,” she starts. “Despite how much we both don’t want you to.”
His heart monitor beeps low and wavers and she smiles sadly. “Do me a favour, okay? Please just, please stop blaming yourself.”
She grabs his hand in hers and she briefly thinks she’s on a lifeguard stand, holding his hand, watching the ocean waves collide. It breaks her heart, her now hollow, now unliving heart.
“I love you.” Marissa lifts his hand to her lips and kisses his knuckles, swiping her fingers across his palm. “I only ever loved you. Luke, Alex, Volchok. There was no one else, not really. It was always you. For me, it was always you. And I’m sorry. I’m sorry I’m not what you wanted me to be, sorry that I’m not around anymore. Thank you for the life you gave me, for the love you showered me with, especially when I didn’t deserve it. I never deserved it, or you. And it’s time for you to move on.”
She nods to herself when he doesn’t respond, mind for the minor beats of his heart monitor. Looking over to the bed near his, she smiles sadly. “Don’t push her away, alright? If you let her in, she’ll fall in love with you. Trust me, I would know.”
Marissa sucks in a breath, “This isn’t forever, okay? We’ll be happy again, I promise.”
She lets go of his hand and closes her eyes briefly, opening them again and looking down at him. She gazes at him sadly, then slowly walks away from his hospital bed, gives him a quick glance before turning her head and walking away. She thinks this promise might be one she won’t ever break.