Wheels across the vinyl floor and chatter surround the room.
It’s loud enough to hear but she doesn’t.
The board informs of most recent arrivals and departures. It’s lit up, bright yellow. Impossible to miss.
It’s easy enough to see, but she doesn’t.
Tighter her arms wrap around her waist. As if trying to soothe herself subtly. She tries to take away the anxiety.
The buzz of the airport should be something she is use to. There’s no way of every getting comfortable with the familiarity.
The planes can take you anywhere you would like to go.
They also can take you away from someone you love.
Once the luggage is checked and that ticket is printed it’s as if the countdown to goodbye speeds up.
In the English language there are several ways to say goodbye.
No ease in any of them.
The hustle of the busy travellers is distracting. Eyes searching for respite from this pain. The hurt in goodbye.
Long distance relationships are torturous. It’s like a swift kick to your heart from life each time goodbye comes around. Each time there’s reuniting, goodbye waits to attack.
Tears are threatening to fall and inside she feels hollow.
Together they walk closer to the passengers only point. Only one of them meet that description, the other is just a walking wreck.
Deafening silence fills the small gap between them. The sound outside their bubble, airport chaos. Intercom tunes and announcements for late travellers.
As she watches people head in to the sectioned off part of the airport, past security she wonders.
“What if I beg them not to leave?”
“What if I ask to go along?”
“What if I ask them to stay?”
Words are just structured sounds. They’re strung together by letters, vowels and grammar. We use them to communicate and express. Words help us share and accept. But that particular word cuts her to the core.
They stare at one another unsure as to who should say it first.
The countdown had been leading to this moment. Despite all the preparation she wasn’t prepared. How could she be expected to let go?
Their arms fold around one another. A hug that has grip stronger than titanium. The thought of letting go, terrifying. “Goodbye. I love you.” “Goodbye. I’ll miss you.”
Watching them fade into the crowd. Waiting for fate to change its mind and bring them back.
Each doorstep taken away from that place accompanied by a tear.
The walk back to the car feels lonely. The drive home feels empty.
She clings to hope that hello will come quickly. The hope that when it does come again, goodbye won’t have to be attached.
This post was extremely personal. It took me a while to complete because I kept becoming emotional. I wrote this because I have family overseas. I’ve learned my whole life the pain of goodbye in airports. It’s incredible difficult. My sister lives in the U.S and grandparents the U.K.
I wanted to create a post that could be universal. In this post I’m saying goodbye to my sister. You could be saying goodbye to your boyfriend, a parent or a friend. I wanted you to know your not alone with these emotions.
Goodbye is the worst word.
In December I’ll be reunited with my sister. It’s been over two years. Despite how brilliant the long over due hugs and sister catch up will be. The thought of having to say goodbye never lingers far away.