If only I had run my fingers through your hair once more.
If only I had planted my lips on yours one last time.
If only I could have told you how much you meant to me.
But I did none of these things.
I had screamed at you scornfully that day.
I had told you how horrible you were.
I had struck you across the face, even as you begged to kiss me goodbye on bent knees.
I had slammed the door in your face, even as you tried to tell me how much you loved me.
And for what was this, my love?
Why had I treated you so?
You had never done anything to deserve this.
You were doing what you were told.
You had to leave to do your good work. To protect me. To protect all of us.
I was only thinking of myself.
I wanted to keep you all for myself.
I wanted to keep you from glory.
I only saw my loneliness with your absence.
You left with my scorn.
You left with your cheek still stinging.
You left with your ears still ringing from the door slamming.
You took that bullet without me telling you that you were everything to me that day you left.
You collapsed to the ground without me squeezing your hand in love that day you left.
You breathed your last breath with a bleeding heart.
All because of my selfishness.
You came back to me in a casket rather than in through the door with your usual broad grin.
We had a funeral for you rather than a welcome home party.
They gave me a folded American flag rather than your warm, soft hand.
I had to bury you rather than embracing you.
I had to say goodbye rather than saying I love you.
If only I had loved you that day.
If only, my love.