The Goodbye Cycle

The funny thing about saying goodbye is that you don’t realize you are saying it. 

You don’t say, ‘Bye. Take care of yourself.’

Instead, you find yourself launching into a mundane story about how you found cat hair in the pocket of your old shirt or how you ran to the supermarket for tea biscuits but had ended up paying for your neighbors’ groceries ’cause he had forgotten his credit card. 

And before you got to that part, you munched on your burger, under social surveillance and made small talk and fidgeted with the edge of your shirt while dying to get it over with. 

And at the same time, not so much. 

You don’t want it to end. You will miss the little things and you realize that at the exact moment you take an oversized mouthful. 

You stop munching and look ridiculous. 

You try to keep yourself from falling apart, from tears pooling at your eyes. You try to remember the list of reasons that you made the day before as to why you should part. The list you made right after you broke down over the same reasons. 

But it doesn’t come. 

And then you realize that you cannot say goodbye. That you simply cannot place that full stop at the end of the sentence because that would mean you having to begin a new one or leave the pen hanging, the ink drying. Placing the full stop clearly means the end. 

And therefore, you don’t say goodbye. 

You go on with your mundane stories and listen to theirs. Lover after lover. Year after year. 

And then, you part ways and while you wait under your umbrella at the bus stop, you cry. 

Because you didn’t say goodbye. 

And you won’t get another chance. 

And that’s the funny thing about goodbyes. You never say them. 

But you hear them. You hear them being whispered in your ear, only when the talking stops. And you are miles away from closure.

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