In the end all I got were tears


Courtesy of

An X-ray shows differences between healthy set of lungs on the left and lungs with cystic fibrosis on the right and the damage it causes to them.

Jarrett Rodriguez, Co-Editor-in-Chief

I can remember every detail of it. Sitting on her bed in complete silence, staring at her, knowing I would never see this room again. She was talking, but by then I stopped listening. I just couldn’t bear it anymore. All I could hear was the hum of her breathing machine. She couldn’t even make eye contact with me. I packed up my belongings so I could leave. She never tried to stop me.

The first time I met my ex-girlfriend, I had no idea how much of an impression I made on her. We met at work; when I was a salesman and she a cashier. I was coming out of a bad relationship and she was the first girl I liked. The day I built up the courage to ask her out I waited in her line, allowing customers to go ahead of me so she could ring me up. After making my way up to her register, I placed down a movie I had randomly grabbed off the shelf. Then I was introduced to her husband. I walked out with a movie in my hands and a sense of both sadness and relief that I didn’t make a complete fool of myself.

A year later, all that changed with one little Facebook message. It turned out her husband kicked her out of the house and she had to move back to town. After a few days of talking, I learned she had liked me since we first met. I asked her out and to my surprise, she said yes.

I will never forget our first date. I picked her up and we headed out to my house in Monte Rio, about 45 minutes away from Santa Rosa. It was here that she shared with me something personal. She was dying. She had a disease: cystic fibrosis, a rare lung disease that makes it seem like you are drowning. The disease makes it almost impossible to have kids and requires a breathing apparatus and vest to keep lung capacity up. She didn’t like people to know because they treated her differently, but she trusted me to not run away.

I was scared at first. The idea that someone my age, someone so amazing was going to die soon frightened me. I was hesitant about being in a relationship at first and so was she. After our first date we decided to take things slow, until she came to my house to watch movies one day and everything changed. We talked for hours. We had no idea it was 3 a.m. until we got in the car. That was the moment she says she fell in love with me and the moment I fell for her.

We became inseparable, spending as much time as we could together. The honeymoon phase of any relationship is always great, but ours seemed to never end. I started rearranging my life around hers and what she was capable of.

I learned everything about her. She later told me the day I messaged her on Facebook she had decided to kill herself. She was writing the letter when I messaged her. She said I saved her life.

At some point the honeymoon stage eventually ends; it is then that you will see what kind of couple you become.

It is amazing how much things can change in one night. In one night, your whole life can change.

It started with her health, which took a deep dive. One night, I watched as she coughed up blood all over all over the bed and me. Sitting in the waiting room was the scariest part. At 3 a.m. the hospital is empty and is silent throughout. All you can hear is your own thoughts racing to calm you down. So it was a relief when she came out laughing. Everything seemed ok, but the next day, she started ignoring me.

She didn’t want to see me. She told me that over a text. She wanted us to be over with. I’ve been through break ups before, but this was painful. Like I was missing something. I let her go, because I didn’t want to smother her. It would just push her away more. But I couldn’t leave her alone.

Two days later we were texting every moment. That’s when I found out another blow. She was in the hospital. Her vitals had dipped and she had to be monitored. To top it off, the only person with her was her ex-husband, who wanted to try to work things out. She said they needed to talk but after two nights she called, saying how much she loved me. I took her back with open arms.

Her first day out of the hospital was Valentine’s Day, her favorite holiday. She had begged the doctors to be released early. They agreed, but she had to be hooked up to an IV for two weeks. It was the only way; there was no going out. So I brought Valentine’s Day to her. I snuck into her house and set up a beach picnic on her bed. I wanted to bring to her everything she couldn’t have.

Some news just seems to age you; especially when you aren’t prepared for it. The morning after, Valentine’s Day, I received a gift: I was going to be a father. She was pregnant, which explained her dip in health and change in mood. I didn’t care, I was going to be a father, and in what seemed like seconds, I grew up.

We started planning for everything. I prepared for the next stage of my life and even though I was terrified, I knew I could do it.

One moment, you’re just a child, and the world seems full of possibility. The next, you’re an adult, and the world doesn’t care what you want.

I was sitting on the edge of her bed when she told me. Her machines were on and the whirring sound of them filled the walls. I stared ahead because I did not know what to say.

We lost the baby.

Her health had taken a bad turn and there was a side effect; she was no longer able to have kids. I put my feelings aside and stepped up to console her, but she didn’t want it. I sat on the edge of her bed as she told me she couldn’t be with me anymore. She didn’t want me to watch her die and the last thing she wanted to give me, she couldn’t any longer. I didn’t want to leave; I tried to change her mind, to make her see that I loved her more than that. But it was no use; she wanted me gone and she was going to go back to her ex-husband. She didn’t care if he watched her die but she didn’t want me to see her like that, she loved me too much. All I got were tears.

We sat in complete silence for what seemed like eternity. I didn’t know what I could say to make it better. I couldn’t make it better. She walked me to the door and we shared one last kiss, I wanted to stay, but she begged me to leave and I succumbed. Driving away is still the hardest thing I have ever done to this day.