Nuri lightly pressed his thumbs onto my cheeks, wiping away the salty tears. Ever since we were toddlers, he'd want to build sandcastles next to the shore so that the moat would fill with water when the tide rode in. Nuri rubbed my shoulders, digging his fingernails into my skin. I could tell he was stressed about leaving me behind.
We'd always come here for picnics on the weekends and share our sandy sandwiches, making promises to always be together no matter what. Of course, he had to go and break the promise as his privileged parents wanted to live abroad somewhere hotter, or at least that's what he told me. "Oh Anya, I wish I could stay behind, but it is necessary that I go." He whispered softly in my ear. I blushed as he spun me into his muscular arms and tenderly kissed me on the lips.
Come on, Nuri, give up the act. We all know there's more than what you are telling me, I mumbled.
" It's confidential business. You know the protocol. I'm sorry I can't even break the news to you. " He argued.
The day had only just begun, and we were standing at our usual spot on the cloudy beach. Our hands were held tightly together as though they had been bound with rope. I didn't have the strength to look into his purely innocent eyes, but I could feel his gaze was fixed on me.
"Oh please, tell me," at which point I was begging on my knees for him to tell me the truth.
Anya, don't do this to me, "he pleaded, "Can't we just enjoy the time we have left together?"
"You could be an ex-murderer for all I know," I joked.
"This is not a laughing matter, Anya!" He said, "I love you and don't want to have to leave." His lips were kissing the top of my head, and I felt all warm inside.
The sun had almost fully appeared from behind the clouds, and I was growing impatient with this guessing game. Nuri kept me playing. I remember the time he brought a ukulele into my hospital ward where I tended to the sick children whilst he sang for them. This day has lifted young souls, which also secured my love for him. Nuri was a charming man in many ways. Even though we had our ups and downs, he never failed to admit he was in the wrong. Nuri was my soulmate, and I knew I'd regret all the wrong things I did in our relationship.
After what seemed like an awfully long and awkward silence, he spoke once more.
"Ok," he said, "I have to tell you that I am sick."
"What wh...." I started until I was rudely interrupted by the finger he put to my lips.
Don't say anything, "he lowered his voice to a whisper again, "There's nothing I can do about it, unless I go abroad for surgery; they said the operation may go horribly wrong and you may never see me again."
I obeyed his rules and stayed quiet for a while, obviously shocked by what words had just escaped his lips.
Nuri turned my shoulders so that I was facing him. As I slowly broke down in tears again, he held me close to his chest, hugging my head. I felt pain. Deep pain. My heart was internally bleeding as I communicated with him through my facial expressions rather than through words. I had a feeling he knew what I meant as his arms squeezed me tighter and he extended his exhale. I finally understood why he had been keeping his distance lately. All he wanted was for my happiness to last.
When we finally broke apart, he left me in tears on my knees. My heart sank and I felt nothing at all... staring blankly at the great ocean in front of me.