They’ve grown up together. They’ve gone through so much. A love like theirs is meant to last an eternity, right? From hate to tolerance, from tolerance to friendly, from friends to love, from love to life. It was just meant to be this way.

That’s what he’d thought, anyway.

So, why didn’t she?

“No, Jackson. You don’t understand. It’s not about love. It’s about what’s right.”

No. He won’t accept that. What’s right isn’t always what’s best. Why can’t she understand that?

“Please don’t be like this. Please. You’re my…my breath. You’re my world. That’s why I have to do this.”

She seemed to think it was ok to touch him. To reach up and put her hand on his cheek. For some reason, she thought that breaking his heart and caressing his face at the same time was acceptable.

“Oh, Jackson. Someday you’ll realize that this is for the best.”

Why can’t someone, just once, let him decide what’s best for him? Why can’t he, Jackson Bright, make his own choices for once? Why do the women in his life always seem to think they know what he needs?

“Don’t compare me to your mother! I’m doing this for us and no other reason!”

No. If she’s going to do this, then he is done. Love can only carry two people so far. Something like this will only create a fracture, and being apart will cause that fracture to break in two. Once this is done, there’s no going back. There will be no more Jackson and Zoe. He’s done playing these games. He knows what he wants. If he can’t have it, he isn’t going to allow any more hurt to come to him. Even if it means closing off his heart forever.

“You don’t mean that. You don’t! Jackson, I-”

The sound of a door closing behind you, cutting off the voice of the one you love, can cut deeper than the harshest words. It’s a lesson he learned long ago, but it’s one he’ll never have to learn again. The choice is hers and she’s made it. He’ll find some way to live with it. One thing he knows, though. He knows there’s no going back this time. This time it’s forever. The minister had been wrong. It wasn’t until death did they part. No, death had no say in this. This was all her doing.

And he’s done.