If you were here right now, there's about a million things I would say to you.

I would tell you that I loved you. You already knew that, of course, but I only said it three times for all the hundreds of times I said it inside my head, and that isn't good enough, because I loved you so deeply and completely that it would take a lifetime of saying "I love you" to make you understand just how much you meant to me.

I would tell you how extraordinary you were—God, it's so hard to say were—and just how much I admired you. You were strong, so much stronger than I could ever hope to be. You came from a life of drugs and abuse and pain—a life I wish you'd had the time to help me understand—and somehow, still, you managed to see the best in people. You saw the best in me, even under the worst of circumstances. And God knows you were beautiful and brilliant.

I'd thank you for everything you did for me. Not just for leaving the door open that night, for helping me and my brother even when we didn't deserve it and danger was all around you, but for being the hope that kept me going. There were days where I would slump to the floor and try not to sob my fucking lungs out because everything was so wrong, and I'd think of you, and somehow manage not to fall into despair. There were days in Fox River when it seemed beyond hopeless, and I'd go to the infirmary for that damned shot and something you would say would make me smile and laugh and wish to God that you and I had met in another lifetime, where we could have been the simplest thing in the world.

I'd tell you that you were the one. God, Sara, you were everything. When I met you, suddenly, it wasn't all about me anymore. God knows I've been a selfish ass for most of my life, on my high and mighty horse, feeling infallible. But you, endlessly compassionate and selfless, brought me back down to earth. I can pinpoint the exact moment when it changed; it was during the riot, you and me crawling in the ceiling. I stepped down onto some boxes, and then helped you down after me, and you looked at me, something I couldn't identify in your eyes. And for those few incredible seconds we just stood there and held each other's gazes—and that's when it became something. That's when I knew. I didn't matter anymore. All that mattered was you.

When I heard about your overdose, it was like something had reached inside me and squeezed the air out of my lungs, and all I could think of was how it was my fault. My fault. When I met up with you in Chicago, and heard that that son of a bitch Kellerman had tried to hurt you, there was nothing I would have liked more than to press my hands up against his throat and watch him die. I hated him, and I hated me, because if it weren't for me then he would have never put his hands on you.

Sometimes, somewhere deep and dormant, I wish that you'd never met me, heavy with guilt for everything I put you through. When you didn't walk away, I was ecstatic, knowing you wanted to be with me. And I was furious, because you were throwing everything away, putting yourself in danger. How I wish I could tell you how sorry I am. Sara, I'm so sorry. I know that that's totally inadequate, and if you were here right now I'd find a way to make it up to you.

But most of all, I wish you were here right now, because if you were, then you wouldn't be dead because of me.

I wouldn't have killed you.

And things would be different. We'd have run away with Lincoln and LJ, and I would have made you my wife. And we'd have gone all the way—white picket fence, a dozen kids, a dog running around in the backyard. I would have loved you forever, if only forever hadn't been cut so short.

And that's why I'm leaving everything behind, so I can find Gretchen and kill her for what she did to you. For taking you away from me. God, I used to wonder how a man could find it in himself to kill someone, but it's disturbingly easy. If someone hurts the one you love, it isn't difficult at all. And I know you'd be ashamed of me for it. But I can't let your death be for nothing. I don't have the luxury of being a good man anymore. A year ago that would have bothered me, but everything is different now.

You're gone now. And somehow, that makes everything else unimportant.

I loved you. That should have been enough.