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Good-byes

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Good-byes. Oh how I loathe them with a burning passion. It seems to me whenever I hear someone say it, it triggers hundreds of vivid memories that flood my head and come tumbling miserably out of my eyes in the form of tears. Every year of my life ended somehow with those bitter words of farewell.
That is just the typical life of a missionary kid, I thought as I took a daring step into the unknown. The dirty jet welcomed me with the smell of sweat and unclean people, but I wasn’t bothered, I had lived with it all my life. I settled down into a window seat and whispered a temporary, “Good-bye” to the land I called ‘home’. Yes, I was coming back within a year’s time but I still felt a dull pain. Truthfully, I was whispering that heartbreaking, “Good-bye” to all the friends I knew I would never see again. I fought angrily with the undying tears that threatened my eyes, wishing that the tears would die.
There are two kinds of good-byes, the temporary one, and the one that rests on “Forever”. My good-bye had both kinds hidden neatly beneath its complex folds. I was probably never going to see many of my friends again but I was coming back. They moved far away and so did I, but for me it was merely for a year. They stayed and had to slowly learn how to call that new place ‘home’. I wished silently to myself that nothing ever had to change. I wished that I didn’t have to grow up, that my friends didn’t have to leave and that I could live in Papua New Guinea for my whole life. Yet I knew that soon my time would come to leave for good as well.
The jet took me and my family to civilization. I was shocked to see so many white people staring, yet not staring at me. In Papua New Guinea I had lived with the national people gaping in awe at me and stroking my hair while telling me how beautiful I was. Now the stares I received were rude and uncaring. On the other hand I was ignored. I didn’t know how to react so when I was alone I cried out my confusion. Life hit me smack in the face and sent my whole world colliding dreadfully with another.
Everything was different. The clothes, the humour, the talk, the hair, and all people seemed to care about were themselves. What kind of world is this? My mind screamed. I want to go home! Then the never ending questions came, Will I ever fit in? Will I know how to act? Will anyone care? I didn’t know. I didn’t think so. All I knew was that I wanted to go home where I knew what to wear and how to act. I wanted to say hello again to my home and to the friends I had left. When I am old and grey I’m sure I’ll look back on my life and see how these things shaped me. But for now I still ask the same questions and I still hate good-byes.
Good-byes. Oh how I loathe them with a burning passion. Forever on I will plug my ears and scream when those cursed words slip into my range of hearing. One day maybe there won’t be any more. Maybe I’ll find a permanent home where I fit in. Actually, without a doubt I know I will.




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