The First Picture

Submitted into Contest #44 in response to: Write a story that starts with two characters saying goodbye.... view prompt

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General

Hasini starts sobbing as she is sitting next to her boyfriend, Marc lying on the hospital bed. His eyes, now pale is staring back her, blinking, his mouth uttering soundless words at her. He is breathing heavily, as if he is having a hard time to breathe. He clutches her hand, as if he is afraid of letting her go.

"I love you..." Marc croaked.

Hasini leans down and kisses him on his forehead.

"I love you too Marc...and goodbye." she whispered into his ear.

Tears spill down his cheeks before he replies back.

"Good bye Hasini," he whispered back.


***

Marc and Hasini met each other while they were both sophomore in college. He was a mechanical engineer major and she was a biology major. They first met in an English class and soon they were both assigned on a project together. Marc was funny and wanted to know more about Hasini's country, Sri Lanka. And even after the project was over and they were not longer in a class together, they continued to be friends.


By the end of their junior year, they were in love with each other. It didn't really matter that their cultures were entirely different--Marc was a white All American Boy with dark blond hair and blue colored eyes. Hasini was a Sri Lankan with ebony dark hair, mocha colored skin and dark eyes. To many, their love would never last together, but Hasini and Marc manage to break that type of stereotype. Their parents were skeptical about their relationship too--Marc's mother thought Hasini was using Marc to get permanent residency here in the US and Hasini's parents thought Marc was a playboy like all Americans even though Marc was never a playboy. It took so many years for them to accept their relationship.


Every relationship had their ups and downs, and Marc and Hasini's relationships were no different. They broke up by the end of their senior year, with Hasini planning to return back to Sri Lanka and Marc getting a job as an engineer in Kentucky. But then, they realized they still loved each other, and soon, they found each other again.


Marc flew to Sri Lanka and asked Hasini's parents' permission for the marriage.


The wedding was a lavish affair--having a Sri Lankan styled wedding in Sri Lanka in a five star hotel in Colombo, filled with vibrant dancing and music, laughter and happiness. That was their happiest moment in their lives. They were both happy, as they promised they would be together until "death do us apart".


After their wedding, Marc got a job in New York and so did Hasini. After they moved into their apartment in Brooklyn, Marc handed her a gift--a large picture frame.


"What is it?" Hasini had asked excitedly as she unwrapped the paper, feeling like a child opening the birthday presents.


Marc just smiled. Hasini gasped.


It was a picture of them, on their first date, sipping milkshakes in front of Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream shop back in Cincinnati, Ohio. It was painted, though the picture look very much live-like, with pastel colors.


"We should never forget the first time," Marc told her then, kissing her on the forehead.


And Hasini had hung the picture in the living room, so everyone who was visiting them can see and Hasini could tell them the story of how she met Marc for the first time.

***

Their marriage was filled with love and happiness. But seven years had passed and there were no children. Though Marc's parents didn't really care much of the idea of a grandchild, Hasini's parents did. They were always pestering her that time had come for them to bring a bundle of joy into the world. Hasini did dream of becoming a parent and so did Marc but as much as they tried it, they were never able to have one.


Then a trip to the doctor's office confirmed the reason why. It was also the day when Hasini felt that the whole world came crashing down her shoulders.


Marc was suffering from testicular cancer, the main reason why they were unable to have children. Had it been detected earlier, Marc would have been cured and survived. However, after doing more tests, the doctors said that it has reached to an advanced stage and that the demonic cancer had spread to other parts as well.


There were tears, cries. Marc was distraught and Hasini tried comforting him. She promised that she would always be with him, and she did, watching him fighting with his life. He left his job, went into chemotherapy sessions, and his usual athletic looking self soon became frail and sickly. Hasini couldn't even bear to look at Marc as her heart pained at the sight of frail Marc. Hasini's parents and Marc's parents had moved to New York, so they could support them in this difficult time.


Then one day, the doctor, a kind looking man in his mid fifties with salt-and pepper colored hair gently asked Hasini to come into his office.


"I am afraid I have more bad news," he began, not sure how to say. "We...we tried our best...but Marc's body..."


Hasini knew what he was trying to say. It was over.


She stood in front of Marc's room, tears overflowing down her cheeks. She had to stay strong for Marc. She had to say good bye to Marc. She put her hand on the door knob and went inside.


***

One Year Later...


Hasini stares at the picture that is in the living room of their Brooklyn apartment. Well, her apartment. Marc died peacefully in his sleep after they bid each other good bye. And after Marc's death, Hasini decided to return back to Sri Lanka for good. She can still feel Marc's presence in the apartment, and she couldn't bear that.


She takes the picture off the wall and stares at it. The happiest moment of her life when she went on that ice cream date with Marc, back in Cincinnati. She remembered the date as if it was yesterday--she was having coffee flavored milkshake and Marc was having strawberry flavored milkshake. They were joking, laughing, enjoying each other's company.


"Are you going to take the picture?" her mother asked kindly.


Hasini nodded and handed the picture to her mother to pack.


May 30, 2020 15:04

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