Not a Goodbye

The city is in chaos like always. Lights flashing everywhere, loud horns stealing peace and people talking as they move on their tracks. Everybody has something to do. I don’t.

It is my last day in the city. Tomorrow, I am leaving for home. I will be leaving behind a lot in this city. Friends, new family, love and a lot of memories. I’m supposed to be happy, I am going home after all. But six months in this city have given me truckloads of memories that I am not entirely ready to give up on yet.

I am alone on this bridge. A flyover actually. This is a place where you can get the closest to the city’s chaos and yet find calmness in it. This is the place where you should come after a long tiring day. I sit on a little railing that runs along the footpath. There are a lot of people here. I see this group of four smoking, two girls eating ice cream and a few couples finding happiness in their own bubbles.

I feel overwhelmed. At lost about what to do. Tomorrow holds an entire new life for me and I have no idea what will happen. I feel like hiding. I feel like pausing the time continuum at this exact moment. Let the world be damned. There are things I am not ready to let go of, things I need to fix first, things that define what I shall become in life.

I close my eyes and try to pull myself away from everything around. I am not in the best place to do so but the winds that all these cars are leaving behind is helping. The lights, sounds and chatters starts to fade. I inhale loudly and after a minute, open my eyes.

Now I am not alone. She’s here.

She is sitting right beside me.

She smiles at me and a thousand butterflies come alive in my stomach. This ‘she’ always sends my emotions on an uphill journey. “Hi,” she says.

I don’t reply. I feel stuck. I wasn’t expecting her.

But she’s here.

I extend my hand impulsively towards her face. I touch her face softly; afraid she may disappear anytime now. Her soft skin graze along my rough fingers and it all feel real. She is really here. By my side. And smiling.

She looks beautiful. Always do. Today, she has a small line of kajal around her almond-shaped eyes. Her tiny crooked nose compliments her beautiful peach lips. And her smile? Don’t get me started on that.

“You came?” I manage to whisper. My heart already starting to ache by her presence.

“Yes, I have to say goodbye,” she replies. Coming closer to me, she slowly pulls me into her until we are hugging. It is a very tight hug. Both of us holds each other like it is last time. Maybe because it is.

Thanks to her short height, her head perfectly fits into my chest. I know she can feel my heartbeats. I remember a memory of us when I had said to her that my heart doesn’t beat like dhup-dhup-dhup but instead says her name with every beat. A smile automatically creeps into my face. I look down at her and she is smiling too. Maybe she also remembers.

I never knew I had the guts to do this but the next thing I do is pull her up and make our lips touch. Soft and firm, she kisses me back with all her love. Someone around us hoot but we do not care.

We keep kissing and in this time, I feel light. Burdens slowly fade away. Promises silently getting fulfilled. Two souls let go of pain and the bitter memories of a breakup that happened two weeks ago. Things look nice now.

“Is this your goodbye?” I say after we stop kissing.

A smile forms into her lips and it is at this moment that I realise everything will be alright. That her love is the antidote to everything bad in my life.

“Not a goodbye,” she whispers and I smile. She is here. She is here to stay.

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