25. Breaking Away

Julia held onto Riley’s index finger gently, her grip so loose, threatening to leave them separated.

“You can go Riley. I can’t make you be with me.”

Julia wondered why this felt so easy to say, when it felt like her organs were searing apart.

“Leave, but know, without you-”

And she stopped because maybe it was too corny and maybe Riley deserved something original. But Julia just wasn’t that- she liked to say words from songs because she wasn’t as articulate as the poets and authors Riley revered. So she turned to the ones who knew how to speak. Riley’s eyes pleaded too, pleaded for a concrete end because she needed to end this and be able to have a new beginning guiltlessly.

“I’ll be miserable at best.”

Julia let go of Riley’s finger, of every little piece she still had of Riley, and left it there.


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