The first part of the story can be read at: https://drywaters.blog/2018/08/21/lets-fall-in-love-just-not-today-part-i/
She was clutching her shorts tight. Very unannounced a single tear rolled down her cheek. He came just a breath closer and whispered “talk to me”.
Her hands went to his chest. He winced lightly. She moved back, mortified. I didn’t mean to hurt you, she said.
Talk to me.
Are you ok?
I am not dying anytime soon. I am clear to move about. The wounds will heal with time.
He came closer still. Just an inch away from her nose now.
What do you feel for me?
I don’t want to mess this up.
Mess what up?
This. This thing that we have. This absolute comfort to talk about things, to get work done, to understand how we roll and not judge.
Why would you mess that up? Why would anything that you do mess that up?
Because I could get comfortable with always having you around, always relying on you and always having my back.
He pulled her hand to his chest and held it there.
So do you know that for 3 seconds during the surgery my heartbeat stopped?
I have come this close to death and you want to play games about not relying on me. You haven’t responded to me in the last 3 days and I am the one that’s unreliable?
He got up to leave.
She rose on the bed on her knees. Don’t go please.
He turned around to face her.
She buried her head in the space between his shoulder and neck. His fragrance was strong. Like she was inhaling him. His uninjured arm was around her, holding her steady.
The waterworks began.
Don’t die on me. Don’t leave me. Don’t stop just because it becomes inconvenient and uncomfortable. I am sorry for the last few days. I was trying to protect myself.
Do you mean you love me?
She could see the ghost of a grin begin to form around his lips.
She nodded and then he hugged her like never before.
It was almost as if their atoms were merging together. Like they were fused as one.
There. Now they could never leave one another.