The saddest thing I think I’ve ever seen as when Samuel broke down and cried.
We’d been together for about five months, and the end of the spring term was quickly approaching. Samuel was making plans, trying to decide what he was going to do, since he didn’t need to take any classes during the summer term, and he did kind of want to go see his family again, he thought he might travel home for the three-month break and return to Whitney in the fall to continue his degree.
Apparently, this seemingly innocent plan had started to cause a whole world of problems and trouble. For reasons I couldn’t quite follow and way too many things that were labeled with a string of number divided by random periods and letters, (Please refer to file 10.254.44c, which then told us to look at file 34a, section 93.3, subparagraph B), Samuel started to get into arguments with US Immigration, Irish Immigration, a variety of visa offices, at least two customs officers, and (quite possibly worst of all) his mother.
It was after one of those for his mother’s convenience phone calls (3 am our time so it could be 8 am her time) that it happened. I didn’t understand of the rapid fire Irish, but I could tell from his tone that it wasn’t a happy skippy “I love you” between mother and son. He got louder and more irritated throughout the conversation until he finally stopped and took a breath, swore in English, and finished the conversation in slow, overly calm Irish before hanging up.
His back was still turned to me after a minute or two. I sat up in bed, and began to get worried. I almost asked if he was okay, but instead, I crawled out from under the blankets and stepped towards him. He turned away even more as I approached, but I reached out and put a hand on his arm. At first, he just rested his hand on mine, but otherwise stayed still. When he did turn back to look at me, his eyes were filled with tears, his free hand covering his mouth. I think I actually let out a soft “Oh” at the sight. My heart felt like it was literally breaking a little.
“She’s—she’s very angry.” He said enigmatically, but then he started to really cry. I wrapped my arms around him as tightly as I could, squeezing him with all the strength I could muster. Samuel buried his face in my hair, against my neck, and shook with sobs. I kept a hold on him as best I could, and it was all I could do to not start crying as well.
We stood there for a long time, Samuel just crying into my neck. I didn’t have anything to say or any idea how to make it better, so I just stood there, and held him. Because what else was there to do?
After a little while, Samuel stepped back, straightened up and rubbed at his eye gently. “I’m sorry,” he said carefully, his voice still thick with crying. “It’s late, we should go to bed. We have class in the morning.” He turned, determinedly not meeting my eye.
“Of course. But, Sam,” He finally turned and looked me in the eye, “You have no reason to be sorry, okay?” He gave me a little half shrug. “Okay?” I repeated, a little more pointedly.
“Okay,” he repeated with a nod, “Come to bed.”
I went to bed, I crawled under the blankets and curled into Samuel’s side. I kissed him gently and tried to smile. He tried to smile back. “I love you.”
“I love you, too.” I waited until I could hear the steady sound of his breathing before I could even bear to shut my own eyes.