The hazy moon filtered through the hotel room window enveloping her like a lover in its warm embrace. She sleeps soundly, her long auburn locks spread out across the pillow, her dreams, for now, untroubled. I'm not sure if it is the way she sighs contentedly and whispers my name or the warm blush that rises on her cheeks as I caress them gently, but I know, I will always love her.
I wonder how I will find it in myself to leave.
She is everything I have always wanted, everything I have always dreamed of. She fulfills me in ways no other could, both physically and emotionally. She sees past my flaws and makes me a better man. For that, I love her all the more.
But I cannot remain here hiding away from the world. She taught me better than that, and despite my better judgment, there is a war out there waiting for me. I can no longer run from the Draft. I can no longer protect my own life when hers is in danger also. I will stand up for my country and fight for our freedom but; most of all, I will fight for her.
It is that thought alone that gives me strength.
Leaning down, I kiss her forehead tenderly and place an unmarked envelope on the bedside table. Inside is perhaps the last letter she will ever receive from me. I only hope that she understands how I feel. I am doing this to protect her. I am doing this in hopes that I can return to her, ask for her hand in marriage, and someday make beautiful children with her. I can picture them now with dark auburn hair, piercing green eyes, and light freckles kissing their cheeks.
A small tear rolls down my face but I do not brush it away. It takes everything within me to pick up my gun and walk out the door. But not without pausing to catch one last glimpse at her. She is so beautiful.
"Goodbye, my love."
And now as I drive down this desolate highway, windshield wipers working furiously, my heart can only sympathize with the clouds roaring above. It feels bruised and broken, and for the hundredth time this evening, I glance back in my rearview mirror. I have left a piece of me behind.
Furiously, I flip it upward, cursing at myself. I cannot look back. I need to be strong. No matter the outcome, I must do everything within my power to ensure that she is protected and cared for.
She is my only concern, my only hope, my only love.