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Saying Goodbye

A tear slipped out of the corner of my eye and slid downwards. It tickled as it slid by my nose, and I swiped at it, knowing that it wasn’t something I wanted those surrounding me to see. I ducked my head and pulled my hair in front of my face to cover up the evidence. I tentatively made my way across the grass, sliding a bit as my foot hit what remained of the first snow on the ground. As I started to fall, an arm encircled my waist from behind, and caught me before I was able to hit the floor. I forgot why I was shielding myself and I glanced up to see who had saved me. I quickly realized my mistake as his eyes narrowed in concern. My head snapped back down and once again I was hidden behind the thick curtain of hair. Gently he spun me around so that I was facing him and he tugged me into his arms. Immediately I was enfolded by soft cotton and the tangy smell of the cologne he always wore. There in his arms I felt safe and protected. He didn’t need to speak or make a sound. He knew that all I needed was to be held and that’s why I loved him so much. He gripped my arms and pushed me out so that I was standing at arm’s length. Using the pad of his thumb he carefully dried my tears and then softly brushed my hair out of my eyes, shooting me the grin that usually got him any girl he wanted. Just seeing that grin again was enough to put a brief smile on my face.
I glanced over my shoulder at the gleaming casket being lowered into the ground and realized that wasn’t how I wanted to remember my older brother. The person standing in front of me smiling, that was how I wanted to remember Ethan. When he saw the smile on my face, he stepped back and started to walk away. The smile disappeared and I reached a hand out to stop him from leaving me again. He shook his head, but lifted his hand and raised two fingers first to his eyes and then pointed at me. I edged towards him as he mouthed, “I’ll be watching.” Then just as suddenly as he had appeared, he was gone. I wanted to run to where he had been standing, but I knew that this time he was gone for good and that even though he would watch over me, I wasn’t going to ever see him again. Slowly I turned back around. Then just as the casket reached the bottom of the grave I lifted my head and tucked my hair behind my ears. There was no need to hide my tears. I missed my brother, but so did everyone else surrounding me. That was why we were all here together. I clenched my fists against the fresh wave of tears and felt a sharp pain in the palm of my hand. Surprised, I glanced down and saw the perfect rose that I was holding. I wiped my hand on my dress and hesitantly took a step forward. When no one made a move to stop me, I walked to the edge of the grave and dropped in the rose. As I watched the rose float down, I said my final goodbyes to my brother, to my best friend.



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LilLizzyBeth said...
Sept. 26, 2010 at 5:13 pm
So beautiful. I really could feel the emotion. Anyone who has lost a loved one can relate to this story.
 
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