You thought I wanted my privacy.
And I did.
But not from you. Never from you.
I don’t like being so far away from my friends. I miss being able to:
look them in the eye,
hugs and shoves,
mad ravings late at night,
baking things for them,
distracting them from their problems,
providing a stress-free zone,
trips to Walmart,
singing to musicals (with hand motions),
singing to Disney movies,
picking up each other’s habits,
correct their grammar,
generally being a playful nuisance,
love them from two feet away.
There is a knock at the door that is no door to the place I once was, and it shakes the walls of me.
That is the loneliness talking. Not a sharp pain. Or a knife in the heart.
Just a knock. A constant, rhythmless, knock.
And a reminder, that there used to be a door.
People are always telling you that change is a good thing. But all they’re really saying is that something you didn’t want to happen at all, has happened. I graduated today. I’m a college student, did I ever tell you that? It’s a lovely school, and in a week I will be somewhere really depressing, like a big city. Soon, it’ll just be a memory. In fact, someone, some foolish person, will probably thing it’s a tribute to growth, the way life keeps changing on your, the way you can never count on it, or something. I know because that’s the sort of thing I’m always saying. But the truth is…I’m heartbroken. I feel as if a part of me has died, and my refuge has died all over again, and no one can ever make it right.
I will be with you. You ask me to go, and I will stay with you. I will go there with you. I will go wherever There may be.
There are rules unspoken and silent and strong.
And when you break them, I must wonder at the choice you have brought to me.
I either suffer them to be lashed.
Or set you to flames myself.
It hurts my heart to see you misunderstand.
You are not the only one I would bleed for.
These are the moments we are more easily convinced. We cannot say no. We must go together, stay longer, forget the things we used to say. Not because we want to pretend that the end is coming, but because we know it is here.
We are not clinging so as to forget, to deny, to refuse what is inevitable.
We are lingering in a home that we love.
We are looking more closely, touching more gently, listening more intently, so that we can take all of this with us for as long as we can.
We know we will not have it back.
And it is not fear that makes us grip each hand tighter, that makes us smile just a bit brighter, and hug just a but longer. It is love, and the knowing that this age is ending. And a new one begins. And we will move on.
But for now, we will linger, and revel in what is, and what will never be quite the same again. Because to linger is to appreciate, to gratify, to love for everything that once was, and is for only a little while longer.
This is not goodbye, they say. This is not the end. There is tomorrow, and memories, and hope of continuing what is now into what will be.
And they are wrong. Because every blink is a goodbye. Every breath and sigh and thought is a goodbye. Every flick of my finger that may or may not be a wave.
Because I must leave a small piece trailing behind me like breadcrumbs to lead me home. And maybe we shall go together, and maybe we shall part and meet again. Maybe we shall only be separate for a moment. But separate is separate, and there is a goodbye to be had here.
And tears too.
But this. This is a promise of a not-forever-goodbye. A promise to hold tight to you with every fierce beat of my heart. A promise that when I must let go of so very much, of all of this, of everything, that I will not let go of you.
I have no choice but to say goodbye. But, this goodbye I must give is as small as I can make it.
I am begging you to say the same to me.
You may say it was my own. You may say it was not. I may say it does not matter. I have shed it, and it has left me, vulnerable, a bit scarred, and stretching my muscles beneath what I now have.
But I have shed a skin. And it is gone. And I am left. Moving on.