Ask Me to Stay…

182240_562470723185_118401058_31406809_1126638_n“Ask me to stay.”

“If I ask you, you’ll stay, but you’ll hate me for loving me so much.”

Leaning against my truck at Bush Intercontinental I watched the tears form in the corners of her eyes and fall down her perfect face. She wanted me to ask her to stay, to grab her bags, put her in the truck and leave this airport forever. I wanted to do it… But I also knew that not allowing her to live her dream would be the most selfish act of my life. And maybe not today or tomorrow but eventually she would resent me.

I wiped a tear from her face and pulled her close to me. I could feel her heart pounding against my chest, I could hear the airplanes loud and powerful all around us. I took in her scent, her feel, her essence. A year in Italy learning under the best chefs in the world and a year internship at the most exclusive restaurant in Barcelona, how could she turn that down? She was afraid, afraid of leaving her family, her friends, her comfort but most of all she was afraid of losing me. And the feeling was mutual but I couldn’t let her know I was hurting just as much as she was or she wouldn’t get on that plane.

“We’ll start off talking every day, we’ll text and Skype and you’ll write long letters and emails but over time that will fade and we’ll become two people that just use to know each other. I don’t want that to become us, I can’t let that become us. There’s so many great restaurants in Houston.” I could barely make out what she was saying with her head in my chest but I’d made the decision for us both.

When you love someone you can’t be selfish, you have to look pass your desires and needs and protect them from themselves. Two years without her in my life would be prison, would be crippling to my soul but I’d rather do those two years and allow her to grow and reach her potential than ask her to stay and not blossom into the star I knew she was destined to become. My passion was writing, she was there every step of the way supporting me  from small towns to colleges to NY and LA. Now it was my turn to support her passion. She was Picasso in a kitchen and I knew her smile and desire would turn Italy out. “You have to get on that plane and once you land don’t think about us, just think about all the work you’ve put in to get here. My love will never stop being, never!” I hugged her tighter and ignored the horns blowing.

“Why do I feel like this is goodbye?” She looked up at me with those piercing wet eyes and I didn’t have the heart to tell her it felt like goodbye to me too.

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