Short Story: Goodbye to You

I was not ready to hear my own words. When the time came for me to utter them, to say goodbye in the most creative way, a part of me had one hell of a time saying even one of the words. I'm sure those near me were wondering what I had in my mouth that prevented me from speaking. It was quite simple. I fixated upon the word goodbye. Was it two words or one word? Should I have used a hyphen when using it in my past letters. Should I have written the e at the end? What does it matter to the average person? No one in his right mind should even care. By the sheer luck of it, the only way for me to get my attention back to the person I was never seeing again was from a squeaky wheel that passed us on the street. I could see it was wobbly a little bit and prayed it did not come off. Luckily, it stayed on until the car was out of sight and if anything should go wrong with the wheel, it would no longer be my problem. 

I turned back to my dear friend and still could not bring myself to say goodbye to him. It was the next logical step in our relationship to allow him to flourish in a new city with new people that would become his new friends. It was hard for me to accept we built our life upon such a weak foundation, but over time we crafted our existence endearingly and successfully. We became a strong bonding glue, one that couldn’t be broken by one mistake, but I was lying to myself that night I kissed him for the first time. This wasn't a simple mistake. It was gigantically tragic. It was the mistake of all mistakes and now I was paying for it dearly. 

With no longer anything to be proud of or happy about in my present time, I tucked my chin down into my turtleneck as far it would go and waited for him to say something. He never said anything. He only climbed into his car as if it was a normal day. I wanted to melt into the concrete and never breath again. The problem was my tenacity was always a step ahead of my secret agenda. I was far from the normal age of death. I didn't want to die but was afraid how I was going to live with him gone. There were times I wished I had a conversation with him about children dying of a disease like cancer. We never had deep conversations as we did in the beginning. Their short lives aren't in the same category to those who prematurely take their lives. Children are the brave ones and adults are the weakened other.

I was too scared to say goodbye in the most creative way and too depressed to tell him to stay. I'm not saying I deserve any pity. Society looks down upon those who willingly don't live up to their potential, no matter how small it might be. People look down upon themselves enough. We end up murdering our fellow neighbors for no good reason. It's stupid to punish yourself for being mentally unstable. There's no need to because someone will do it for you until you are out of sight and far from the mind. The wind has died down. My hair was back to being the tangled mess before I left to meet my friend. My hands were in my pockets when I freed them from bondage. I missed him already. I should've written down what I was going to say, the words I had rehearsed over and over in my mind, and maybe he would've stayed a little bit longer.

The words written on my hand were still legible. I pretended I didn't write them. The words meant I was hurting and angry. I felt rejected and needy. He left without saying one word to me. I licked hand and rubbed it against my jeans. Instead of trying to be so creative, I should've said "good riddance, you asshole." I should've followed it with "I hate you more than you'll ever know." This was wrong. This was a lie. I knew it and so did he. It was better to not say goodbye or something familiar that would bring us to our knees. We would see each other again because good friends always do, but something had changed between us that night. Neither one of us would put a name on it and we played out the remaining days together as if nothing happened. I shoved my hands back into my pockets. The walk home was as before and when I wiped my shoes on the rug, I remembered it was on Tuesday he told me the news and that was the first time I knew we would never say goodbye no matter how hard it would be.

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