Saying Goodbye
Rated: PG-13
AN: The lyrics in this story are from "Why We Said Goodbye," from Tim Mcgraw. This story is written in Bo's point of view

I remember sunday mornings walking on the beach
And that place we'd stop for breakfast with the old red vinyl seats
The hours of the tide chart
The way the sunlight dance upon your face

When I found out that I had cancer and had six months left to live it made me see things in a different light. I started looking back on my life and thinking back to a happier time. I realized that I hadn't been happy since I had left Nora. I went back to the diner on the beach that Nora and I had visited every Sunday morning. The place looked the same, nothing had changed, the red vinyl seats on the booths were still there. I sat down in the booth and remembered the last time that Nora and I had gone to the diner.

Nora and I walked on the beach, I held her hand so tight. We sat down at the end of the pier and soaked our feet in the cool water. "Bo, there's something that I need to tell you," Nora said to me.
"What is it baby? You can tell me anything," I said as I gave her hand a squeeze of encouragement.

"I'm pregnant. We're going to have a baby."

"You're what? We're going to have a baby," I repeated in shock. I had never been more happy and scared. I was going to be a father again. Nora had just given me the best present ever and I didn't know what to say.

"Are you happy about the news?" Nora cautiously asked.

"Are you kidding me? I'm thrilled. You've made me so happy. Do you have any idea how much I love you."

"I have a pretty good idea, but if you want to remind me at home in private, I wouldn't be opposed," Nora said flirting with me.

"Well then, let's take this celebration home," I said as I helped Nora to her feet. We went home and made love all night long.

"

Do you know what you want to order Mr. Buchanon?" I heard a waitress ask.

"Just a coffee, thanks." I responded. This place was filled with so many memories. I had been so happy with Nora in that moment. I didn't know that it was the beginning of the end for us.

That antique roller coaster you just had to ride
I remember how you laughed at the terror in my eyes
The color and the detail
Just like it was yesterday

On my way home from the diner I passed by the amusement park and I couldn't drive by with out taking one last ride. I bought my tickets and I stood in line waiting to ride that roller coaster one more time. I had taken Nora to this amusement park on our first date.

"What's the matter Buchanon? You scared?" Nora taunted me as we stood in line waiting for our turn.

"Nope, I'm not scared. Are you?" I asked trying to sound braver then I felt. I was terrified of heights and this contraption towered a good 50 feet over me. I wanted to come up with an excuse but my pa's words kept running through my head. He had always told me that a Buchanon didn't run from life's challenges. A real man will face what he fears head on and discover that there's nothing to be afraid of.

"No, I'm not scared. I love these kinds of rides," Nora said.

I climbed into the deathly entrapment and didn't realize that I had been hyperventilating as we climbed higher and higher until I let out a grunting breath for air on the way down. Nora just laughed as she squeezed my hand in encouragement.

"That wasn't so bad was it?" Nora asked as the ride came to a stop and she kissed me.

"No, that wasn't bad at all," I said but my mind was no longer focused on the ride but was focused on the amazing woman I had by my side.

I climbed onto the roller coaster and took the last ride by myself. It was all wrong. Nora should have been there with me. My life with Nora had become a roller coaster with many ups and downs. We had been so happy then I found out that she had slept with Sam to give me the child that she thought I had needed. I didn't face my fears; I didn't work through the rough times like I had promised her I would. I left her and there hasn't been one day since then that I haven't regretted running away.

And i remember how you held me the night my father died
I didn't have to tell you
I just broke down and cried
You're sewn into the fabric, the pieces of my life
And i just can't remember why we said goodbye

My pa had really been disappointed when I told him that Nora and I were getting divorced. He never gave up hope that we would get back together. He always told me that one day I would forgive her and he would be there to tell me he told me so. I wished that he was still around so that I could tell him that he was right, that I had been a dam fool, that I had forgiven Nora, but I couldn't it was too late. The night I found out that my father died was one of the darkest nights of my life. I'm not sure I would have made it through if Nora hadn't been by my side.

Bo, you weren't at the funeral. You should have been there. You need to say your goodbyes or you'll regret it," Nora said as she walked inside the stable and spotted me hiding out with the horses.

"The bastard doesn't deserve a goodbye. Not from me, all I ever wanted was to hear him say that he was proud of me, but all he ever did was try to change me into something I'm not. I'm not like him or Clint. I gave up the family business and followed my dreams and he never forgave me for it. He never stopped trying to control my life," I slurred as I took the jug of whiskey and drank as much as I could to dull the pain.

Nora came and sat by me, "You're wrong, Asa loved you, the first moment I met him I knew how much you meant to him, I could see it in his eyes whenever he looked at you or spoke about you. He was proud of you, he was just too damn stubborn to admit it to you, but he told me, he told anybody who would listen that his boy was the best damn police commissioner that this town ever had, so don't say he didn't care because you would be wrong."

I finally started crying, Nora was right, I needed to find a way to say goodbye to my father. I knew that Asa loved me, I had always known it, I was just looking for any reason not to miss him. "Will you come with me to the cemetery?" I asked.

"Of course," Nora said as she held her hand out to me.

I grabbed it and walked to her car. We drove to the cemetery in silence. She stood by my side while I said goodbye to the man who had raised me. After I was done saying goodbye she drove me back to my place. I didn't even have to ask her up because she already knew that I needed her to stay. We spent the whole night talking about Asa as we drank and played poker.

The next morning I walked her to the door. "Thanks for last night. You're the best friend I've ever had," I said as I kissed her on the cheek and let her walk away.

I was wrong to let her go when everything in my heart was pushing for me to beg her to stay with me. I had called Nora my friend, but the truth was that she has always been more to me. She meant more to me. There weren't enough words in the dictionary for me to come up with a suitable explanation for the way that I felt about Nora. I wanted her to stay, but I was afraid of being hurt again, I was afraid of how much I loved and needed her so I made the biggest mistake of my life and shut the door after she walked through it.

Up and down this boardwalk lonely people sit
I know it wasn't perfect but nothin' ever is
The sails out in the harbor
Are searching for the wind

I walked down the boardwalk and watched the fisherman sitting trying to catch their fish. Some would keep their catch while others threw their catch back out into the sea. I thought about how lonely an existence it was for the fisherman and realized that I wasn't too different from them. I had become the unsatisfied fisherman who had gone through relationship after relationship trying to recreate what I had with Nora only to now realize that what I had with Nora couldn't be recreated with anybody else. Things weren't perfect between me and Nora it never was but if I had fought harder to keep her then maybe, just maybe, I wouldn't be sitting alone on the beach as an old man full of regrets.

I just had to call you, i had to hear your voice
And tell you i still love you we still have a choice
You're sewn into the fabric, the pieces of my life
And i just can't remember why we said goodbye

I pulled out my cell phone and dialed the number that was burned in my memory. Maybe I was being selfish making the call but I needed to let Nora know how I felt before it was too late. I didn't have much time before my number was up but I knew that I needed that time to be spent loving the one person who had ever mad me whole.

"Bo," Nora's sweet voice answered. "It's been a long time. Is everything okay?"

"It is now that I'm talking to you. I love you Red. I've always loved you and I just needed you to know that."

There was a long pause then Nora spoke, "Why are you telling me this now? What's going on with you?"

"I just needed you to know that leaving you is my one regret. You were the one loss that I never got over."

"Where are you? I need to see you," Nora responded.

"I'm on the pier by the docks; I need to see you too. I'll see you when you get here, bye Nora." I debated on whether or not to tell Nora the truth about my impending death, but in the end I decided that I needed to tell her the truth. I had never lied to her before and I couldn't start now, even if it would be the more selfless thing to do.

Everything i do
Leads back to you
I know i just can't let us go

There must have been a reason, but i can't remember now
I know if i could hold you we could work it out
You're sewn into the fabric the pieces of my life
And girl let's give it one more try
Cause i just can't remember why we said goodbye

I sat down on the pier waiting for Nora to arrive. My hands were sweaty and my heart was racing. I was so nervous and scared but then I saw her and my fears melted away. She was wearing her lucky black lawyer suit and I knew that she had just come from the office.

"Bo, you and I need to have a talk. Three months ago you leave me a note stating that you're quitting as police commissioner. You take off without talking to me. I called you a dozen times but you never answered and now today you call me to tell me that you're still in love with me. What the hell is going on with you?"

"You're angry."

"You're dam right I'm angry. I thought that we were friends, but you shut me out of your life without an explanation. I don't even know why you quit. You love being a cop. I just don't get it and its so dam frustrating. I spent months calling the hospitals because you couldn't be bothered to pick up the dam phone and let me know that you we're still breathing."

"I called now."

"Yeah, but why now? What's changed between then and now?"

"I found out that I'm dying sooner rather than later."

"What?" Nora said as she lifted her hand to her mouth.

"I left Llanview when I found out that I had cancer. I needed to have chemotherapy and so I decided to leave town to see a cancer specialist."

"You should have told me. I would have come with you."

"I know that you would have, but I didn't want you to give up your life in Llanview. I didn't know how to tell you goodbye. I still don't, but I needed you to know that leaving you was my biggest regret. I needed you to know that I forgive you for sleeping with Sam. Hell, I forgave you years ago, but I was just too dam stubborn to say anything. I love you Nora and I know that you probably don't feel the same way, but I needed you to hear that from me."

"I love you too Bo. I've never stopped. I'm not going to say goodbye to you because I know that you'll always be with me. I've always carried you in my heart. So how much time do I got left with you cowboy?"

"A couple of weeks," I told her.

"Then we better not waste our time. Marry me Bo."

"Are you sure?"

"Of course I'm sure. I always get what I want and right now I don't want you to have any regrets. I don't want to have any regrets either and I would regret not marrying you when I had the chance. So what do you say?"

"I say yes. Of course I say yes," I said as I swung her around.

We went down to the courthouse and got married. Rex and Matthew were our witnesses. I died two weeks later in Nora's arms. I was afraid that I was going to die alone and filled with remorse but instead I was at peace because I stopped being a coward and I found happiness with Nora once again.