Nina and Me

I had taken care of her for two years. I couldn’t do it any longer. I needed my own life and all that. However, it was difficult.

I had been terribly in love with Nina. And I still loved her. But things were different now. And not because of the illness. Just because they were different. Time maybe.

Nina hadn’t been out of bed for six months. Practically. It was sad. But we still had good times. She’d spent most of her time in bed even way before. We would watch movies, I’d make her food, read to her. We made love too. Quietly and gently. There weren’t any other ways to do it really. It often made Nina cry. But she said she still liked it. I don’t think I ever really understood. In fact, there were many things I never really understood. And not only about Nina. About myself as well. And about everything. Like, how are you supposed to understand romance, and desire, and commitment, and goals, and needs, and dreams, when you know that the girl you’re in love with is going to die? And not in any swift, spectacular, possibly romantic way, but in slow, excruciating, painful agony?

Nina often told me to leave her, to ‘live my life’. But I had never been able to. Only now.

When I told Nina, she only smiled. She said she thought I should’ve left much earlier. I cried. For the first time in two years. Nina just kept on smiling.

Three months after I left, Nina died. Her father left me a message on the phone. I never called back.