We sat on her bed, my arms wrapped around her, trying to comfort.

"I'm okay."

"You're not okay, Amanda. I can see that, anyone can. If I was moving away tomorrow, I'd be a weeping mess by now."

She offered me a sad grin. "I'd like to see that. Somehow, Jairus, I can't picture you crying."

"It'll happen. Trust me." I grinned, trying not to show how sad I was. "About 5 seconds after we say goodbye."

"I don't want to talk about goodbye," she said, tears welling. "Goodbye hurts. I'm here with you, now, and I'm happy."

I had been trying to discuss this with her for weeks, and she was leaving within hours. It was something I needed to discuss. I needed to know how she felt, in her own words.

Feeling like an insensitive bastard, I tried to smile, and whispered, "You need to talk about it. You can't keep it all locked up inside, 'manda. I love you, and I want you to talk about it."

Turning to look at me, frustrated, she said "But I don't keep it all locked up! I talked with Corey for hours about it last night!"

I used a cigarette as an excuse to leave the room. I'd rather she didn't see me cry.

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