For a few months, we were inseparable. I don't think more than a few hours went by where we weren't together, and neither of us was anywhere close to being sick of each other. It just wasn't like that. We wandered around the city and travelled down the coast. It felt right, because she felt right. I don't even know if "love" is the right word, but maybe it's the only word.

I never told her about my plans, because I hoped they wouldn't have to come true.

It was a Saturday and we'd stayed up late watching old movies. We went to bed tired but happy, but for me the night wasn't over. Once she was asleep I dug up my emergency stash of money and packed my bag--it was enough to get me across the country. I didn't need much. I left her a note: "I've never been happier and probably never will be, but some things don't last forever. I wish it could." And I called a cab, which took me to South Station, where I bought a ticket west.

I spent the next week staring at my phone and checking my email neurotically, waiting for her to call or text or email me. Waiting for something to happen. She made no attempt to contact me. By the time I'd gotten to Portland I wondered if I was really the one doing the leaving.

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