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The International Writers Magazine
:Saying Goodbye

Rebecca Kingsbury
Loving and Leaving

They stood at the station, him and her, their breath rising in clouds on that cold night. The lights above their heads bathed their numb cheeks and red noses in an orange glow. The weight of her bag made the strap dig into her shoulder. ‘A nice bruise in the morning’, she thought.

Her train was coming down the track, she could hear its clatter, and it filled her with dread. She knew she had to say goodbye, get on the train and go back to her life in the south. But she really didn’t want to. These hasty, rushed goodbyes killed a part of her every time, and no matter what anyone said, it didn’t get any easier. Each time she was left feeling miserable, lost, melancholy, sitting on the thundering train, reliving times with him.

The train came into view and her heart dropped to her feet as the station announced it was definitely hers. She looked at him and he had the same dismay in his eyes. ‘Why did it have to be so hard? Why do we have to relive this pain every time? He’s my life, my happiness. Why do I have to live without that?’ She knew why. ‘Character building, ‘growing up’, ‘independence’ – these were the words her mother had used in their many discussions on the subject. But she already had a character, and had grown, and she didn’t want to be independent. Sure she would like a life and a job and friends, but all she really wanted was to be with him. Why was that such a difficult request?

The doors opened, beeping incessantly at her, like a nagging mother. She clung to him, taking in everything – the smell of his coat, the warmth ebbing through it from his skin to hers, the blue of his eyes, the sound of his voice vibrating through her, calming her, the taste of his lips. Then she struggled on the train, trying not to cry as she let go of his hand, and found a seat.

They both waved as the train pulled away, and both had the same sad, lonely look on their face. She waved for as long as she could see him, until he was a tiny figure on the platform. Then she sat starring out the window as the misery and darkness of the night engulfed her.
© Rebecca Kingsbury December 2004

Rebecca is a Creative Writing student at Portsmouth University

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