Departing

“I’ll miss you,” she murmured against his lips. “I’ll miss you so much.” her voice cracked on the last word, her breath shaking as their lips finally parted.

He was leaving her again. Henry was leaving her again to fight in battle and she didn’t know if he was coming back. His shoulder length, blonde hair was tucked under a hat, Emily’s fingers continuously playing with the ends as her teeth dug into her lower lip.

Her eyes were burning, her will to show him that she was strong terribly hard to do. She knew that him leaving would put food on the table; it was what made Henry happy and what made him feel like a man. As she released her bottom lip from her sharp teeth, she moved her hands to his face. Her small, delicate fingers began to caress his stubly cheeks, her thumbs wiping the stray tears that began to fall from his dark blue eyes.

“Please don’t cry, honey,” she whispered. She could feel her own tears threatening to escape, her throat burning and her hands trembling against his skin. “You’re going to make me cry.” her voice betrayed her in a choked sob, her tears now pouring from her eyes.

He pulled her into his chest, his large arms wrapping around her tiny frame. “Don’t worry, darlin’. I’ll be fine, I promise.” his said in a strong tone.

For a moment she actually believed his words. For the slightest of seconds, as her arms were wrapped tightly around his bodice, her head burried into his chest, she believed him. But the thought flitted through her mind as fast as it came, a frown now set upon her lips. She knew there was no way he could promise her a safe trip. The fact that she couldn’t see what was going to happen to him was killing her.

Yes, it’s true, she had premonitions. Henry didn’t even know about them. The last time he left her on her own, she had seen that he was going to be okay. She knew that he was going to be safe. Now, though, she couldn’t see a thing, and it scared her to death.

She kept it to herself knowing that people like her could be cast off, killed even. She couldn’t risk him finding out and hating her, much like how she already hated herself.

She hated herself more for letting him go.

“You don’t know if you going to be okay.” her cries muffled into his chest.

His grip seemed to get tighter, Emily feeling safe in his protective hold. Her hands balled his shirt into her hands, her eyes sealed shut as more tears escaped.

I don’t know if you’re going to be okay,” she continued pulling herself away from him.

Her arms now hung at her sides, her fingers playing with her skirts as she stared at the floor. She saw his boot covered feet move towards her, but she moved back. She couldn’t bear seeing him, touching him any longer; it would only cause her more pain.

Her sobs were quieter now, her tears falling off of her nose and onto the concrete floor.

“Please, just go. I can’t,” A cry fell off of her lips along with the continuous tears. “I can’t stand seeing you leave like this again.” her voice was small, but she wanted to shout so badly. She wanted to yell at him, tell him not to leave her side. She wanted him to protect her here, in their home, not out in the world where he could get…hurt.

Her shaky knees gave out on her and she fell to the floor. Her palms were slipping in her tears, her cries loud now as all of her worry was being released. Her chest hurt, burned, her body slumping as pure sadness took over.

Henry was quick to follow. He fell to his knees in front of her, his right hand reaching under her chin to make her look up. Her eyes were still closed, her cries continuing to fill the silence in the room.

“Look at me.” he said softly.

She didn’t move an inch, her head trying it’s hardest to escape from his grasp. “Emily, baby, please look at me.” he begged. She wanted to so badly, but she couldn’t find the strength. She wouldn’t have any left once he left her. Her teeth found her lips again, her mind straining to force her eyes open.

“I can’t,” she murmured. Her now damp hands raised from the hard floor removing Henry’s from her face so that they could intertwine. “I don’t want to say good-bye.” her eyes opened, but they were fixated on his shirt. She studied the large buttons that ran up his chest, the dark blues and light beige colors distracting her from him for a moment.

“This isn’t good-bye,” he growled.

Emily jumped, her ears never hearing him speak in such a manner. Her eyes finally shot to his, his dark blue gaze burning into her brown orbs. “I’m coming back, Emily. I’m not saying good-bye.”

The pure, serious emotion in his stare cause anxious shivers to trail down her back. Her hands roughly grabbed his face as she forced his lips upon hers. Their lips moved in a synchronized motion, their heavy breathing the only sound in the small room.

Henry was the one to pull them apart, his forehead now resting on hers. Her sobs stopped, but her tears still fell soundlessly onto the hands that cradled her face. “Promise me,” she said. “Please, promise me you’ll come back.”

He moved his body away from hers to look her in the eyes. His hands left her porcelin face only to reach for the hat on his head. Emily’s brows raised in question. That was his favorite hat; his mother had made it for him when he was a small child.

“Hold my hat for me.” he said placing it in her hands.

Emily could only stare at it, her lips quivering as her fingers clutched the sentimental object to her chest.

“Henry, I don’t know if I can-“

“You’re only holding it for me.” he said. Emily looked up into his eyes again, a small smile on his perfect mouth. She attempted one too, but it wasn’t complete. It was quiet again, the stillness around them making the situation that much more awful.

“I’ll be back in a few weeks.” he said with a crooked smile. “This battle is going to be easy.” Emily again avoided his gaze.

“Okay,” she sighed.

She sluggishly rose from the floor, his hat pressed up against her front. Henry followed suit, his arms encircling her into him as he breathed in her scent.

“I love you, Emily.” he said with as much emotion he could muster.

Emily stopped crying, her mind trying to convince itself that he really was going to return.

He’s coming back, he has to.

She nodded, smiling just a little, and stepped away from him to give him one last lingering kiss. “I love you,” she said kissing him again.

They stood there, for hours it seemed, before Henry stiffened.

He had to go.

“I’ll be back as soon as I can.” he cleared his throat, raising her small hand to his lips so that he could gently kiss each of her knuckles. He lifted his head, his hair falling back into place as he bowed to her and turned on his heel.

As he turned to walk out of their home, Emily grabbed his arm causing him to stop in his tracks.

“Be careful, please,” she begged dropping her hand from his non moving arm. He simply nodded, his back still to her as he left their home and shut the door behind him.

Emily shut her eyes, pulling his hat as close as she could to her chest. “I love you,” she whispered before she was knocked back from what only could be a vision.

She saw him with his shot gun aimed in the air, his blonde locks falling into his eyes as he took careful steps in the hectic battlefield.

Shouts were ringing back and forth, but Henry was undisturbed by the multiple distractions as he had a target locked. His pointer finger skimmed over the trigger of his gun, his eye marginally twitching.

The colonel of the the other side was right in his vision, a smirk now dancing on his lips. He pulled the trigger, the force sending him back a few steps.

Emily could see his eyes light up in victory, but that was short lasted as his eyes widened. His mouth hung, a red liquid spilling out as he fell to his knees. The dark, scarlett blood fell down his chin, dripping into the green grass below him.

A gasp left his throat, followed by disturbing gurgle as blood surpassed the hand that was clamped onto his wound.

“No, no, no,” he gagged, blood spurting from his now stained lips. He fell forward, his hands catching his fall before he crumpled lifelessly onto the cool, wet grass.

Emily dropped the hat from her hands as she blinked furiously, crying convulsively as she ran to the door, flinging it open as fast as she could.

The sun was beaming at her, blinding her momentarily. Her arm raised to cover her delicate eyes, her screams echoing through the endless area of land.

“Henry!” she screamed, her throat struggling to be as loud as possible. “Henry!” her feet began to move again, her eyes adjusting to the bright rays of sunlight. She pulled up her skirts so that she could run even faster, but her searching eyes couldn’t see anything but rows and rows of dying grass.

“Emily!” she yelled one last time before, defeated, crumbling to the ground and sobbing into the dirt.

He was never coming back.

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