11/5/2012 – So It Begins…November 6, 2012
I’m not very good at goodbyes. I’m one of those people who would prefer to sneak away in the night than deal with goodbyes. Heck, I would even rather have a big going away party and take care of everyone at once than a one-on-one type deal. It’s not because I’m adverse to the emotional aspect or hope to avoid any awkwardness, though that may be a part of it sometimes, but it’s because no matter what you say, goodbyes never live up to expectations. They can never truly express or convey how one feels. How do you tell someone that without them, you may not have been able to succeed? How do you show someone that they have become one of the most important people in your life and it physically hurts to see them walk away? Any words you could possibly say just seem to fall flat, feel empty, and you wonder how this could be it, the knowledge that your life has changed forever not yet sinking in.
I met Kate at the bus station to go to dinner tonight for the last time. I helped drag her luggage around, joining her in the taxi ride across the city. We went someplace new, a little cafe across from the train station, and talked about everything except for the fact that we would soon be saying goodbye. Poor thing looked exhausted, emotionally drained, and I just couldn’t allow myself to really think about it. After dinner we crossed the street to the station and met up with Tammela and Lily, who were also leaving tonight. We stood on the platform, chatting idly, and soon, too damn soon, it was time for them to go.
I gave Lily a hug. I leaned down and Tam kissed my cheeks. I wrapped my arms around Kate and held her for a long time, but not long enough, never long enough. Inadequate words were spoken, things like “We’ll meet again soon” and “I’ll miss you” and “I love you.” How do you tell someone they touched your life? How do you tell someone they made footprints on your heart? How do you tell someone they were sometimes the only light to be found in the darkness? How do you tell someone, really tell someone, you love them? You may say the words, may speak the lines, but the words simply aren’t enough, could never be enough.
I watched them board the train, and in that moment I realized that this truly might be it, I may never see these girls again. And I felt the way I always feel when it’s time for goodbyes, that I didn’t say the right things, that I should have held on just a little bit longer, that it wasn’t enough, it couldn’t possibly ever be enough. I stood and stared at the train, my chest tight with pain, my eyes burning with tears, taking a long time before I was able to force myself to turn away.