Sorry, it's not your computers that made this screw up the first time around, it was me. Uploaded another file for some unknown reason. Let's hear it for the technologically challenged!

"They finally kickin' you out of here?" She came into my room with the type of smile reserved for old friends and hospital visits; too wide, too happy for such an occasion. Worlds away from that first look she'd given me when she'd found out I was in hospital, had come in to see me looking battered and bruised. The only one I wanted, trusted, to see me that way.

"I'm drivin' the nurses to distraction. They keep comin' in, giving me sponge baths." She smiled again and it finally reached her eyes. She was still in her work clothes. I still pictured her in the denim cut offs that had driven me crazy when we were younger.

"It's nice your guy lets you come visit." I hadn't met him, didn't have him pegged as any type. As far as I knew, she didn't have a type. Patrick had been an arrogant cop who drank too much and had slippery morals. I heard she'd been seeing a lawyer for a while, too, and now this guy. She'd barely said two words about him, which spoke more highly of him than anything. Lil always like to keep the good things close to her.

"I'm here to say goodbye, Ray." I'd always loved just listening to her voice, so it took me a few moments to catch up to her words.

"Goodbye, goodbye, like… Sayonara, Adios forever?"

"This isn't a joke." Her eyes glistened in the light.

"Who's laughing?" For twenty years she'd been it for me. Sure, there'd been other women but no one had held up to her image. I'd been in love with her since I was ten years old and I'd always assumed that some day I'd be parking the bike outside her place permanently. I'd asked her once, when we were nineteen, if she'd marry me. She'd laughed it off, not realising I was serious. We'd gone different ways after that but I'd never been able to get her out of my mind. Every time I came back it felt like I'd never gone and every time I left again I was already mapping out a way to get back to her.

"I'm… Leaving in the morning." I turned away from her, unable to look at those eyes anymore. I'd never imagined it would be serious enough with this guy for her to want to cut ties here. Experience ran deep and we'd cleaned each other's wounds up more times than I could remember.

"Back to Jersey?" She tried to keep the conversation going, slid herself onto my bed. The familiarity of the movement stung, and I wondered if it was killing her as much as it was me.

"Nah… Thinking maybe California." I'd been considering it, but had almost written it off. It was too far away from her. But now…

"California? Wow…" She looked surprised, saddened, the unshed tears back to deepen her eyes. I'd seen her in detective mode when I visited the office, but I bet none of her colleagues had ever seen her like this.

"Yeah. I know this guy… He's just a rookie. But we go way back, Lil."

"I know." Her words were a whisper and I leant closer to her.

"So come with me."

"Gotta stop running sometime."

"Ain't running from anything, Lil."

"I meant me."

"Then stay." As much as I wanted her with me, I wanted her to be happy more. There was always a sadness lingering under the surface and I knew too many of the reasons it was there. I'd always wanted to try and banish it from her, take it onto myself so she could smile more and keep her tears further from the surface. It had never worked; she'd buried it too deep, kept it too close. The good things she kept close, but the bad things she held closer.

"Bye…" Her eyes closed at the last minute so I was left with images of the tear stained blue as I felt her lips on mine, softly familiar, slightly parted. They left me too quickly and I brought my hands up to keep her close, ignoring the pain that shot through my wrist.

If this was the last kiss, we weren't going to end on a polite meeting of mouths. There was too much between us not to justify it with more.

"Goodbye." There was that moment between us where we both paused and I thought we could stay there forever. It was me, handing her a strawberry milkshake then wrapping my hands around hers to stifle the tremors so she could drink. It was the imprint of her against me while I drove, arms around my stomach, chest warming my back. It was when I'd come to her door after my step father beat me up and she'd sponged blood off my face and let me kiss her with swollen lips. Being able to knock on her door, to look at her and not have to say anything, to make her laugh despite herself and to wake up to sheets that were scented with her. It was twenty years of loving her that ended with her pulling away with tears in her eyes and walking out the door.

I didn't look at her as she left, didn't want to replace the image of her, leaning into me with parted mouth and warming breath with her rushing to leave me, to get back to the guy that had forced an ending.

California, here I come.

A/N: So I'm not sure Ray's words are exactly right… Let's face it, the guy mumbles. And I couldn't help the four words. The OC theme song started playing in my head and I was like… okay then. Why not. Lol. Hope you liked. Hey, I managed to write a vignette without it turning into something massive! Snaps to me. Push the button and send some love!