"You'll be with me Forever?"
"I will. Always."
That's what we said… but…
"I'm… so sorry… I didn't mean for it to happen… but I… I fell in love with her!"
As my mind slowly processed his words, I felt my eyes widen suddenly and a drop of warm water slip down my cheek.
And ever since that moment… my tears just won't stop flowing.
"It's… okay… Don't worry… don't worry about me, because I'm strong, right? I want you to be happy… even if it's not with me." I'd quickly composed myself as much as possible; I lowered my eyes and managed to say the words with very few cracks in my voice. I had plenty of time to break down later.
I didn't have to look up to know that his eyes were on me as I spoke, filled with that infinite concern he always seemed to waste on me, the concern that I loved but couldn't stand seeing on him because it meant that he was trying to take all my pain into him; even now, I couldn't stand to see him hurt.
I cleared my mind and prepared to hold myself together a bit longer.
I looked up then, and raised my eyes to meet his. Though I was unable to stop the tears from streaming down my face - I was very grateful for the rain that had begun to fall at that point, since it helped to mask my personal rain - I smiled sincerely at him with wide open eyes.
And my smile was truly sincere, for his sake, because I knew that he would be far happier this way, and I was honestly glad for him.
But even so…
…my heart hurt like never before.
He looked at me again with pained but slightly relieved eyes - hopeful eyes - and his words came quickly then, almost frantically.
"I'm so sorry… But… I won't abandon you! I promise! Hey, I always wanted a little sister…will you be my little sister? I'll be a good big brother for you…" He grasped my shoulders with gentle force, trying (somewhat unsuccessfully) to keep my eyes on his.
We should have just been born as siblings in the first place… Things would've been so much easier that way… Then I would have had my claim on him without having to endure all the pain.
I paused briefly, wiping my eyes clear momentarily.
"Of course!" I looked up at him with another sincere smile; though I let my eyes remain mostly closed so as not to betray the selfish inner turmoil that I didn't want him to see any more of than necessary.
He stared for a brief moment and then hugged me tightly.
He was crying too by then, and I very temporarily became angry: Why should I have to comfort him at such a time? He was definitely going on to brighter horizons, and I was being left behind to fend for myself again (despite his new promises). Why was he allowed to be upset? He was the one tearing my heart out so that he could move on to happier things, so why did he look like it was the opposite? Why did I have to feel guilty for showing him my pain now? Shouldn't I be able to cry to him freely while he does this to me?
But I can't stay angry with him for long… I never could, and, despite my desires to the contrary, I still can't.
I forgot to hug him back, but he didn't seem to notice. I stared at the cloudy sky over his shoulder, and I wondered if it was crying for me.
"I'll be a really great big brother to you! I will! I promise I won't ever abandon you; you'll never be all alone, ever again, I swear, so please don't worry, please smile! Even like this, I'll always be with you, just in a different way…because I really do love you." He kept his tight grip on me until he said those last words, when he pulled me back and stared into my eyes with the kind of sincerity and adoration that could never be falsified.
I closed my eyes and smiled - with exponentially increased levels of both pain and relief - though my tears wouldn't stop.