Goodbye? This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   The first time seemed so easy in comparison. Two weeks together had made a friendship and love that would last through the ages. They were there to say it face to face, the way goodbye was meant to be said. Though even then, they never uttered the words to each other. They simply held each other, then kissed before drifting away. Two weeks of bliss ended with pain for both. They had made an impact on their lives unlike any other, and would not be forgotten. This seemed insignificant to him at the time. They lived twenty minutes away from each other and the phone call was cheap.

Two weeks later he found himself reflecting. This time it wasn't of the days they spent together, or of the nights under the Maine sky. His thoughts were far more depressing. He remembered his first night home. How his family wanted to know about everything that happened, and how the last thing he wanted to do was tell them. He appeased them with the information, then spent a late night going over all the goodbyes he had said that day. Not actually seeing her leave hurt him a little, but the pain was small and short-lived.

For the next three days, he remembered his friends and shared summer experiences over pizza. He recalled how good it felt to talk to them, but how much he missed all his new friends. Then he thought of the time he spent waiting for her promised call, and the lonely night in New Jersey filled with mood music and cigarette smoke.

He cheered himself up with the memory of the conversation they had soon after his return. That conversation didn't clear up any of the loose ends, but hearing the familiar voice set him at ease. They babbled on for nearly an hour, then closed out the conversation. Still they didn't say goodbye.

Her letter came to mind next, happy memory. He reread it many times, finding many answers to his questions. But ultimately he was left with more questions, and he waited for the phone call she again promised.

He reflected on the way his friends mocked him, for they knew about almost everything now. But after they had their fun, they understood his feelings and helped to cheer him up.

He then looked down at his finger. There lay his most special memory of the time they shared: the ring. Now he was wearing two rings. Next to his scrawny red pipe-cleaner was the ring which she had sent him in her letter. He valued them both equally, for they each had their own memories.

This day had come like any other, yet it would leave far worse than it had arrived. She was going off to school the next day, a school that would separate them even more. This meant that he couldn't call her, let alone hope to see her any time soon. In fact he didn't even know how to get in touch with her. She promised to call yet again, but this time was different. She held all the cards, she was in control, he was at her mercy. He could merely sit by and hope that she would remember him.

His stomach turned as he hung up the phone, her words still lingering in his mind. These words again were not goodbye. Somehow the last two weeks apart had brought him closer to her, or helped him to realize how strong their bond was. The feeling was the worst he ever felt.

So, as always, he picked up his pen and started to write. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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