Another Repost

The Final Goodbye (Carly and AJ) Very short and finished

AJ died today.

I don't know what else to say but that.

AJ died today.

My son's father died today. My first husband died today. One of the few real friends I ever made in this town, hell in this world died today. The man I had constantly fought with for the past twelve years died today. He didn't die like I thought he would. He didn't die behind the wheel of his car; he didn't die drunk. I also don't feel like I thought I would. I'm not sad but strangely empty, devoid of all feelings it seems.

He died of Leukemia. He battled it for two long years, but in the end it won. It seems a strange way to go, I it's so natural./I Death by a disease, well a disease not man made is rare in this town it seems at least with people I know. It wasn't a shocking, sudden death, but instead something we all expected and braced for. Yet it still doesn't seem real.

I keep expecting the phone to ring and it'll be him asking for an extra day with Mike, or him asking to switch days with me. I keep hearing the phone ring and I'll ready myself for a fight. I'll hear a knock at the door and I'll get my speech ready on what time Michael should be home by and what he can and cannot eat. I haven't gotten those calls or those visits in two months, not since he went to the hospital. I miss them more than I'd ever admit to anyone.

I can't believe he's gone.

AJ just always seemed so indestructible. Everyone else got hurt but him, or at least that was how it seemed. Maybe though he did get hurt, maybe he got hurt more than the rest of us. He had more emotional pain than anyone I know. Right now it saddens me to realize how much I added to it.

He loved me.

I know he did. I saw it when we were married and I used it to my advantage. I used it but I didn't truly let myself acknowledge it, otherwise what I was doing to him was wrong.

It was wrong.

All he wanted to do was love me, to love our son. All he wanted was a little emotion in return and I don't mean the anger I gave him on a regular basis. He wanted to be loved for once in his life. I couldn't do that. Maybe if I had met him before Jason, before Tony maybe I could have loved him. I think I did care once, I think I still might a little. But I couldn't love him, not like he needed.

I don't think anyone ever really loved him like he needed.

I know he tried with me and I couldn't. I know he tried with Hannah for awhile I thought he might have succeeded, I thought he might finally be happy. Then I found out she cheated on him, yet he raised her son with another man as his own. Then as soon as things started to heal between them she died. She died as most people in Port Charles do, in some shocking, sudden manner always caused by another human being. She was shot by a mad man in General Hospital and she lay in her hospital bed, just hours after having their daughter.

He was amazing with his children with her, he was everything I had ever wanted for Michael, but had not allowed him to be. He and Mike grew closer in these past few years, but nothing could be done to undo the damage I had done to them. I will never be able to escape that fact. I will never be able to forget the fact that my son's time was not only brief with his father but also strained.

I could have changed that.

I could have told him from the start that Michael was his son, I could have allowed him to be a father. He would have had a few more years, but more importantly than that, they would have meant more. The tears in AJ's eyes as he said good-bye to Michael yesterday would have been the simple ones of love that he shed with his other children. Not tears of disappointment and pain, everything they could never have.

Michael cried when found out.

My son cried for the first time in four years. It was only a few tears before he stopped himself, but maybe AJ finally did reach him, after years of trying. Maybe it did take his death for our son to realize all the love that surrounded him.

"Watch over him."

He said that to me right after Michael left the room yesterday. He knew he was dying, he knew he wouldn't live to eat pizza in his hospital room for Thanksgiving as his family planned. He knew he would live to see our son enter his teenage years. I promised him I would, after all he was my son too. I tried to keep up the humor of our constant arguing, yet I couldn't. I felt my resolve, the wall I had erected beginning to crumble. I wanted to wrap my arms around him as everyone else did and beg him not to die. I depended on our fights, they brought me balance, they brought me joy, they weren't out of anger anymore.

I couldn't.

I just couldn't as much as I wanted to, I couldn't. I couldn't tell him I was sorry for everything. I couldn't beg him to fight a little harder, I just couldn't. My pride stood in the way. Instead I told him good-bye. Yet my voice betrayed me as I walked through the door, I whispered

"I'm sorry"

I don't think I ever said it before, even though he's apologized a million times. Actually I didn't just whisper good-bye I choked it out through my tears. It hurt knowing I would never see him again, it hurt more than I could have imagined.

It's gone now.

The pain that I felt left as I got the phone call this morning at eight. I've just been empty since then. Now twelve hours later I hold an envelope in my hand, Carly is scrawled across the top in AJ's messy, weak handwriting. Emily told me he forced himself to finish writing it as his life slipped away. I'm afraid to open it, I know once I do he'll be gone for good, I don't think I'm ready for that. I have no choice though so I carefully open it.

Dear Carly,

Do you remember Friday, April 18th 1997? I do, it took a few years but I think I finally remember all of it. I remember being so thankful to know that I wasn't the only one in this world alone, scared. Maybe you didn't really say that out loud and maybe neither did I, but I saw it in your eyes. I saw the desperation when you looked at me, craving attention, craving the respect you had never been given. I heard it in your voice when you asked me to just hold you. Do you have any idea how many times I wanted to ask you to do that when we were married to just hold me, to just let me hold you? You always just pushed me away though. I still wish more than anything that you had let me try to help you. That you had trusted me enough to let me care. I'm not angry anymore though, I'm not hurt anymore, that's all faded with the years. The only thing that hasn't faded is my loved for you. I know you never loved me back, it's okay though, I'm pretty sure you did care once. I think you even might have when we were married, I heard it slip through every once in awhile even though I know you fought it. I heard it today, I heard it when you said "I'm sorry" I heard you cry. Please don't cry. This strange sense of peace has come over me and I don't want you to cry for what's happened in the past, even though truthfully I've shed many tears, especially over the pain I caused you. I wish I could write more, I wish I could make you believe that you are everything amazing that you always wanted to be. I wish I could convince you that the everyone is not your enemy, I wish I had the words to help you let your guard down. I don't though, all I want to do now is sleep. Just know that I loved you and I mean YOU. Not Carly Roberts, not Caroline Benson, not Carly Quartermaine, you. The person you are underneath the masks you put on. You're just so simply amazing when you are yourself. I don't know how else to say that, it sounds stupid I know, but it describes what I feel when I think of you. You overwhelm me at times, yet you are the high point of my day when I see you. I should probably just stop my ramblings, but I just keep seeing our time together flash before my eyes. Why can't I stop thinking if only… I feel your hand slipping through my hair now as you used to do at night or while I was working. It comforts me more than you can believe. I'll stop now. Goodnight my love, I'll close my eyes now and dream of you one last time. I'll die with a smile on my face because I know now that you did care, that you still do.

Always,

AJ

Tears started to stream down Carly's cheeks and she wished for a miracle, she wished that she had stayed with him instead of running from his room, running from the truth. She wished she had been stroking his hair as he fell into his final slumber. The problem is this is real life and once things happen you don't get to go back, there is no rewind. She wiped away the tears with a tissue and headed to the kitchen to make dinner. She could do nothing but go on and wish things were different and imagine all the what ifs. She could never forget what might have been and what was, she would never forget the man that held her as her world was falling apart, she didn't want to.