"Rose, you know you're one of the most important people in my life, right?" Dimitri asked, his hand cupping my cheek.
I just nodded, trying not to let the tears start coming. I opened my mouth to speak but he cut me off.
"I will always care about you, but I think we should just be friends. I know I promised we could try but it's not fair to you or to me. You've got school and I'm going to be busy recording, then hopefully touring. We're both going to be really busy and I think it's just best if we go ahead and end it now before we have a chance to mess up our friendship."
"But what if I don't want to end it now? I think we could make it if we tried, plus…" I started before he cut me off again.
"Please, Roza? I think it's for the best," he said, giving me those sad eyes that told me this was just as hard for him as it was for me. I knew then what I had to do. I wrapped my arms around him in a hug, telling myself it would be all right.
"I love you. Always remember that. And I'm so proud of you." I held him for a minute longer before speaking again. "Just promise me two things and I won't fight you on this."
"Don't lose touch and forget us small people back home, and don't go falling for any of those air-headed bimbos or else I'll have to come out there and kick your ass," I teased.
"Like you could." He smiled, pulling away. "I promise. Phone calls all the time and postcards if all else fails, and no bimbos. I have to go now."
"Just one more hug," I told him, not liking the sinking feeling in my stomach. I hugged him hard, as if my life depended on it. For some reason I can't explain, I was terrified. I knew this was the beginning of a major change in our lives and it didn't feel like a good one. Still, I couldn't stand in his way. I knew if I begged him not to go, he wouldn't, but he'd resent me later for it and I could never live with myself if I stopped him from achieving his dreams. As I pulled away I wanted to kiss him, but he did just break up with me, plus I knew if I did I would lose it. Instead I pulled out the traditional Hathaway smirk and teased him, trying to lighten the mood. "Write a song for me!"
"I already have, how many do you want?" he teased back.
"A full album, plus some. You can just call it 'Rose.'"
"I'm on it. Any other requests?" He smirked.
"Let me think about it and I'll let you know," I said, not telling him what I wanted to say. What I should have said. Instead I forced a smile and watched him go tell his family goodbye. I watched him give them all hugs and say something to each one, but I couldn't hear it. I saw him throw Paul up in the air a few times before putting him back beside his momma. Olena started crying and hugged him again. Viktoria had already given Dimitri a hug and told him goodbye so she made her way over to me. I saw the tears building in her eyes, so I wrapped an arm around her shoulders and tucked her into a half-hug. She wrapped her arm around my back.
"It'll be okay. It's not like he's going off to war or anything. It's just LA," I told her half-heartedly.
"I know, it's just that I've never gone longer than a day or two without seeing him, it's going to be hard," she sniffed. I leaned my head against hers.
"I know. But we'll get through it. Plus we can visit him and he can visit us."
"Yeah. You're right. I have no room to be complaining anyways. He's your boyfriend, I'm sure it'll be just as hard if not harder on you than anyone," she said softly, tightening her hold around my back.
"You have no idea," I said softly. About then Dimitri had finished up telling everyone goodbye, so we all huddled back together. I still had my arm wrapped around Vika.
"Take care of my baby sister," Dimitri told me.
"Like that even needed to be said," I said, smiling.
"Hey I'm right here!" Vika pouted, making everyone laugh.
"Vika, don't let Rose get you in too much trouble," he chuckled.
"Hey, I'm not that bad," I laughed. Every head turned towards me with one eyebrow raised as if saying really? "Okay, that's creepy and I'm jealous."
"Rose and Vika will be fine Dimka. Call me when you get there and be safe," Olena said, hugging Dimitri again. He gave everyone a last look before turning away and walking towards the terminal.
"Wait." I shouted before I could stop myself. I ran over to him and hugged him again. A huge part of me wanted to beg him to stay, to tell him I needed him here, but I couldn't. I couldn't crush his dreams like that.
"I know we just technically broke up, but I couldn't let you go without saying I love you. Be safe and call me later. I need to talk to you but not now," I told him with a smile so he wouldn't worry. He furrowed his eyebrows, confused. I used my thumbs to smooth out his forehead, laughing. "It's not bad, I promise."
"I love you too, Roza," he said before he leaned down and kissed me one last time. I wasn't naïve enough to think it meant he changed his mind. I know Dimitri and once he decides on something it takes a lot to change his mind. And even though it broke my heart, I knew it wasn't a forever goodbye; he'd be back or I'd go to him. This time when he let go and walked away I let him. I watched him walk to the terminal. I felt an arm around my shoulders, looked over and saw Yeva.
"That boy sure can be foolish," she said.
"You know, don't you?"
She just looked at me with a smile in her eyes. I turned back towards Dimitri. He looked back and waved one last time before he disappeared through security.
That day was five years ago. Little did I know that was a pretty permanent goodbye, considering I haven't seen Dimitri since that day. At least not in person. I got a few calls, but then they stopped too. I haven't talked to Dimitri in five years. But it seems that's about to change.