I couldn’t breathe. I could feel the air being sucked out of me and my lungs weren’t cooperating as well. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. And I don’t know what to do. I was grasping for something, anything – gasping for air, just something to make me breathe again. But it seemed like nothing worked. Like the world was against me somehow.
“Sam?! Sam!” My vision was blurry and I couldn’t see you. I was momentarily blinded by the tears that had somehow piled in my eyes. They weren’t falling, though. I tried to answer you, but I was choking, choking for air so I could breathe again.
I shook my head, trying to grab ahold of you, but you were too far already. “Hello? 911, yes. I need an ambulance right now,” you pause.
“My…Sam…she can’t breathe!” It was hard for you to tell her what we were exactly. I wasn’t your girlfriend nor was I yours, but you were always mine, Luke. Even when you hurt me, unintentionally or not. You will always be mine. You pause and listen again then you finally hung up. “Sam, baby, it’s going to be alright, okay? Help is on its way. Please, please stay with me. Breathe, baby, breathe.” You say in such a rush that I almost didn’t catch on, but I did.
It was hard to do what you wanted me to, Luke. It was hard for me to breathe. Don’t you understand? It was so damn hard. “They’re here, baby. They’re here. Stay with me, please.”
I felt myself being hoisted up. I couldn’t see, couldn’t hear anyone but you. They weren’t important. At this moment, all I could think about was how you were holding my hand tightly while we were at the back of the ambulance, people trying to save my life. “Why isn’t she breathing normally yet?” You were frustrated on why it wasn’t working. Why the oxygen mask wasn’t somehow cooperating, but it was this stupid lungs, Luke. It was my stupid smoking habit which gave me my sucky lungs that suck at being lungs, and for my stupid self for letting it get worse.
“We’re doing everything we can -”
I squeeze your hand ever so lightly and I could finally see your sparkly blue eyes again. It was like I was looking up at the sky on a warm spring morning – cuddled up with you on a picnic blanket while we talk about nothing and everything. “Sam, sam, baby.” You cooed.
“You’re going to be okay, okay?” I shook my head. Already feeling the thinning of air in me. I knew I was a goner from the very first time we met. And now, I’m proving myself right.
“Sam. Sam. Look at me goddammit!” I couldn’t. I couldn’t look at you because I didn’t want to see the look on your face. Can’t you see I’m trying to stop you from being sad over me, Luke? I wanted to save you from all of this. I told you at the beginning that this will all blow up and I’m only going to hurt you. But no, you didn’t believe me. Three hundred and sixty three days later, look at us now.
“Don’t leave me, Sam. I don’t -” I hear you sob into my shoulders. My eyes already too heavy for me to force them to open again. One last breath, I could feel it coming. “Luke,” I whisper.
You didn’t look up. But it’s okay. I didn’t want to remember you crying over me. I wanted to remember the Luke that tells me lame jokes and makes me laugh. I wanted to remember awkward Luke, not sad Luke. And so I thought back to every moment we shared together. The laughs, the playful insults, the pick-up lines, the sob stories, the pranks. I try to remember everything at once and I know that at this moment, I was deeply and madly in love with you.
“I love you,”
“. . .”
“. . .”
“Sam?” I didn’t say anything. Instead, you were greeted by silence and the weak beating of my heart. I could feel it, Luke. I could feel myself slipping away. At least I got to say what I wanted to. I know I never did even when you tell me you love me every chance you get. I never did say it back. Did you know why? Because back then, I wasn’t sure if I did feel the same way, but now I am. And here I am, probably dying in front of you and I didn’t get the chance to tell you that yes I love you. I never got to argue with you and tell you that I care about you more because I’m a selfish person, Luke. I didn’t deserve you, that I knew since the first time we kissed. But you still stayed even when you saw the worst parts of me, and maybe that’s why I fell for you every single day.
Promise you’ll never forget me okay? But if you want to, I don’t mind. Just never forget that I love you, Luke. Present tense.
– an excerpt from a book I will never write.