"All I can say, it was enchanting to meet you."
Caroline looked in the mirror at her still seventeen year old self, tears streaming down her face. How would she do this? How would she go on without him? She was so lost in her own agony that she didn't hear him the first time.
"Caroline," came a voice so faint, but nevertheless, it was a voice she'd know if earth was swallowed whole and she ended up on a whole other dimension, because that's how it is when you're bonded for life with someone.
She came into the bedroom and saw Tyler, her Tyler, her ninety-nine year old Tyler on his deathbed.
He smiled a weak smile, faded, but it was still her smile. She'd seen him smile in many ways since they were six, but never the way he smiled when he looked at her. It still made her go weak in the knees.
Crap. She needed to be strong for him, if nothing else. He was the one dying and didn't need her tears. He had enough to worry about. She'd cry when he was gone. After all, she'd have lifetimes to mourn.
"No, no. Something just got in my eye."
Even as an old man near death he knew her. That was the thing about true love. No matter how many miles apart you are or how many fights, how many times you scream and say "I hate you," or walk out the door, something always pulls you back. It was like there was this umbilical cord between her and Tyler than nothing, not even death could break. He'd always know her in a way nobody else ever would.
He'd know her heart, her soul, her body, which sometimes sucked because she wanted to be able to lie, like tonight.
"No, I'm not."
He sighed, just like he did when they were teenagers, and held out his hand for her to take.
And she obliged, because it was Tyler. She would move planets for him. She just wish she could prevent this. It's not like they hadn't tried. Believe you me, they had. Even though it was scary just to think of, when Klaus came they imagined the possibility of Tyler becoming a hybrid. In the end, it was Caroline who put an end to that discussion.
"Car, we'd be able to be together. Forever."
"No. I don't want this for you." He shrugged.
"I'm already a werewolf."
"It's different, Tyler."
"It just is. It's dangerous, and I'm saying no."
"What if I want to?"
"Tyler! Why? Why on earth would you want to?"
"Because. I want to be with you forever."
"Forever is overrated."
"You say that now."
"No. Tyler…just no."
And that ended that.
She was being selfless, because he didn't know what being a vampire really meant, and she'd never have him find out.
She sat on the bed next to him.
"I like being next to you."
"Mmhmm. Caroline, can you do something for me?"
"Anything. I'll do anything." He motioned towards the closet.
"There's a floorboard in there that's loose. There's something in there I want you to see."
Caroline was curious, what could Tyler be hiding? She got up and went into his closet and found the loose floorboard. Underneath it was a leather book. She opened it up and it revealed itself to be an album. She picked it up, stood up and turned to face Tyler.
"What is this?"
And she did. Inside was photographs of her and Tyler, streaming from their youth to include prom, graduation, and then there was a letter. She felt a knot in her stomach. She knew what that was.
After their freshman year of college, Caroline left Tyler. She did it because she could feel a separation beginning, even if he didn't want to admit it. Tyler would never be immortal, and she wanted him to have the option of normal. So, she went to Europe. This was the letter she wrote him.
Here's the thing. I am a coward. I'm a coward because I'm leaving you this letter instead of facing you, but I can't. I can't because if I see you, I won't leave, and I have to. I guess I'm doing that whole set you free thing. It's stupid, because I know you really are mine, and always will be, but you need to find if there's someone else out there for you. I know we've had this discussion too many times to count, but you can't honestly say you don't wonder about the future and what it holds.
Maybe you don't, but I do, and I need you to find out if you can have that normal life. Kids. Marriage. Maybe I'm making the biggest colossal mistake there is, but I'll never know. You'll never know.
I know one thing, I've never loved anyone as much as I love you, and I never will.
Please try to move on from me.
I love you
Caroline was reeling from the letter.
"Why on earth would you keep this?"
"Because I had nothing left of you. I needed to have something." She smiled faintly.
"I would have burned it."
"I almost did."
She felt like killing herself. They had been together for eighty-two years, give or take, and they hadn't discussed her absence of two years from his life. Tyler never wanted to.
She remembered when she returned to Mystic Falls and ran into Stefan.
"How is he?"
"He's…not good. It's been two years and he's dropped out of college. He's sitting around the Lockwood mansion doing nothing. You leaving broke him."
"I…I thought it was the right thing to do."
"I know you did, Caroline. I'm not blaming you. I'm just saying. You're his eternal other half."
She remembered going to see him for the first time. He opened the door, and Caroline could tell he was drunk, but also shocked. Anger and hurt resonated on his face.
"Hey Tyler. Are you kidding? You leave me for two years and all I get is 'Hey Tyler'?"
"Fuck you're sorry. You left me. You left me. How could you do that to me? To me, Car? How?"
He began to cry.
"I loved you. I still love you. You didn't even have the decency to call."
"I thought it was best."
"Well, it wasn't."
Caroline thought he would tell her to get the hell out of his life, but instead he grabbed her and kissed her, with only one request. "Don't ever do that again."
Caroline nodded. "I won't."
And that was it, until now.
"You must have been really hurt." He nodded.
"I was. I cried. I think I cried every night for months."
"You never told me that."
"It's not manly."
Caroline shook her head.
The next set of pictures were from their wedding. Did I not mention Caroline and Tyler were married? Yes.
Caroline was beautiful in her white dress, with a veil, hair down, and Tyler looked so handsome in his tux. They were twenty-three, and luckily, nobody was questioning Caroline's age yet. People just thought she was lucky.
Smiling, she reminisced about Tyler's proposal.
After she returned to Mystic Falls they were inseparable. They decided to get a little apartment, and though it was hooky, she was loving every minute of it.
Caroline sat on the couch, next to Tyler, who had his arm around her and was enduring The Notebook for the millionth time. They had a bowl of awesomely buttered popcorn and it was the perfect evening for a vampire and her live in werewolf boyfriend.
"I love this movie." Tyler laughed.
And then the DVD decided to skip.
"Aw, man. It was just at a good part. Tyler, go fix it, pleassse?" He sighed and went to the DVD player.
"Car," he said, looking at the bottom of the DVD, "this is all scratched. How many times have you watched this?"
Caroline rolled her eyes.
"You know how much. Just use the cleaner on it," she said, getting up to get herself another soda. When she came back Tyler was sitting on the couch, but when she sat down next to him expecting to see the rest of her movie, she was surprised when a slideshow of pictures of her and Tyler came on instead. "What is this?"
"Shh, just watch."
And so she did. At the very end came five words she had never expected to see; "Caroline, will you marry me?" She gasped and turned around to face Tyler who was on his knee with a ring.
"Is this for real?"
"Oh. Oh god. Oh my god!" Tyler looked nervous.
"Is that a yes?"
She laughed and kissed him.
"Yes! That's a hell yes!"
Caroline came to sit on the bed next to Tyler again.
"I never thought you'd ask me you know. I thought we'd just cohabitate."
"Oh, so you thought I wouldn't make you an honest woman?" Caroline snorted.
"Do they really say that anymore?"
"How should I know? I'm old and out of touch with reality." Caroline laughed. She put her head down on Tyler's chest and they fell asleep. A few hours later she awoke to Tyler having trouble breathing.
"Ty, are you okay?" He just looked at her, frowning.
"I don't…I don't….think…"
"Shhh, don't try to speak," Caroline said, trying to fight back tears.
"I just….I just need to say….one…thing…." Caroline could hear his heartbeats slowing down. It was coming to an end.
"What?" He didn't answer her. God, no, not like this she begged. "Tyler, what?"
"It was enchanting to meet you, Caroline Forbes."