Goodbyes when you remember

Submitted into Contest #44 in response to: Write a story that starts with two characters saying goodbye.... view prompt



Dear man, I looked up at the skies today and I could only think of running to your side. That luminous body would not retract from mocking at me from up there, and picking at my insecurities. Then I spent a lost hour tinkering over matters like this and that.

Hopefully, I'll get around figuring out the best way to say goodbye. It's never easy. Why would everyone even expect me to start moving on from it? I can barely send you off and yet I'm expected to start moving forward?

In my dream, and as usual, I walked to your bedside. In that dream, your mouth was hanging open, your eyes warmed as always, as our minds communicated all the words left unsaid. Finally, you said goodbye and I said goodbye. With a start, I woke up and my lips still could not piece the words from the cascading mess. They still hung heavily in my mouth, fortified within a castle I constructed in the air.

That teenager still would not believe what was right before her eyes. That young lady that your little girl grew to become. The same girl clinging tightly to some fantasy of you materialising to declare you only went for some secret trip to Paris, or London. The adolescent that looks just like me.

We always wanted to go to London. Remember we imagined we would see the queen, literally. Just thinking out loud, the duo of us did make a great team at hoisting the fool's sail any time, any day. We always had mom to snap us to reality when she was around. But then she left, and we were left like two kids, bereaved of an insightful mother.

Why can't you be that fool today?

I gritted my teeth at your flimsy philandering back in the days, but right now, I want nothing more than to wake to discover it was another of your pranks.

My bangs are longer now. Most times I let one or two strands stray to my eyes and get caught up there, hoping the sting would toss me back to the past and you'll be there again. I've replayed the pleasure of that miracle in my head like a thousand times. But somehow, miracles are mostly what we never ask for, as you would say. It's a miracle because it doesn't just sit around waiting to be scooped and I'm not sure I know the ways around getting into it's royal presence.

The truth seems to be seeping in gradually now. As my pen dance in guarded stride, I remember when you looked to me with zero recognition in your eyes. I cannot forget the clashing sound your words orchestrated in my head.

Back forward before that, when the doc declared you would be losing your memory by degree, I recall you smiled to me and requested a diary. I was mollified at the realisation that you wanted to begin your goodbyes. It was a painful blow to me. So, I refused to accept them.

I rejected every of the letters you left in my room, tossing them deep down into my wardrobe. Then they stopped because your mind began to protest. I tried turning to them to fill the void but my fingers wouldn't reach out. I even gave myself the excuse of not intending to rumple my perfectly pressed clothes.

Daily, you drew far away, your goodbye fading and sounding like a hiss from afar with every breath. I watched standing by the door of your hospital ward as your face paled in confusion, and again, I tried to hold on to goodbyes you didn't recall ever uttering. I wanted to hold on, but they surfaced in broken pieces until only their ashes loomed.

"Who are you?" You asked, anguish paling your already pinched face.

Holding back a tear from escaping, I whisper, "your daughter papa."

When you looked at me with another frown and replied, "but I never had a daughter. It was just me and Lisa. Where is Lisa? Bring Lisa to me right now," my heart broke into a thousand pieces.

I wanted to grip your shoulder and force you back to me. The past was taking you away from me, the same past I tried so hard to forget. The yesterday of my life you picked me up from when you showed up with Mom at the orphanage and upturned my bleak existence at a pluck of your fingers. I never had any place to call home until your appeared. My thoughts never canopied over anyone with the slightest fondness until you two. My lips never formed a smile until you came around and gave my cheeks some well deserving colour!

Mom left only a heartbeat ago and the thought of you leaving also threatened to snug the breath out of my lungs. I'm only an eighteen-year old girl who life is resolute on orphaning twice! Though I pretend to be bold, it's only a charade we both know cannot cut through any glacier.

Suddenly, I realized I had to retrieve those letters. Turning over my neatly arranged wardrobe, I found them out and clawed at them with desperation, poring over each word to catch that one word. Yet, not one, not even any synonymous to it, appeared. You never intended to say goodbye and I had only imagined the worst.

Right there, I realized your intention was to say the word in your final moments. But even that I ruined for you, as while I was dreaming, you were leaving the world. I can imagine how painful it was for you that it had to take a dream to get you talking.

Now, only now, I've finally decided to accept them. Perhaps I also passed on my farewells in some random dream you had. I can only guess now. It's easier said in dreams anyway, so we'll best keep things that way.

When it gets hard to breath, I can always walk into that ethereal and see you again, if only for those goodbyes. I'll enter that world a million times... no billion times, only for your goodbye. Perhaps, some day, they will be just as real as they were from the beginning when I refused to accept them.

But for now, I'll best stick to my fantasy. I Inly ask that you kindly send a kiss from up there sometime if you ever happen to remember.

June 06, 2020 03:25

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Aqsa Malik
11:40 Jun 09, 2020

Your brought out the emotions in this story so well, and it honestly made me so sad! So heartbreaking, yet the way you convey every emotion in this is so beautiful and intriguing. I love the aspect of reflection from the girl and the fact that she was an orphan, and of course the whole "the notebook" premise too. Your use of metaphors and imagery to describe scenes is really amazing, I just love the way you're able to string words together to create a really pretty paragraph. There were a few grammatical errors so just be wary of...


A.J Blink
13:01 Jun 09, 2020

Thanks for the insightful comment. I'm thrilled you loved the story. If you'll be kind enough to point out those errors so I can correct them. I can't seem to find them. Your comment was immensely appreciated. Thanks Love love!


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A. Y. R
14:31 Jun 08, 2020

This story has just left me lost for words. It's beautifully tragic, and what makes it all the more heartbreaking is the narrator's cheerful tone.


A.J Blink
16:21 Jun 08, 2020

Wow! You actually liked my story.. Gosh! Thanks a lot A.y.R. I'm thrilled you enjoyed the story. Love love!


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Zyönnah Isiguzo
13:04 Jun 08, 2020

This is a beautiful piece Blink! Well done!


A.J Blink
13:40 Jun 08, 2020

Thanks you for reading. Love love!


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