I’ll say it goodbye like I don’t mean it,
Because that’s how we all handle things, don’t we? Pretending that they aren’t real, pretending that they’re temporary, pretending that this is all a joke and tomorrow we will wake up like nothing ever happened. I’ll say goodbye like it doesn’t matter, like I’ll see you tomorrow, like this isn’t really goodbye at all. I’ll say it casually, with your arm over my shoulder and with a little laugh escaping my lips. We won’t think much of it. We’ll soon forget.
I’ll say goodbye slowly,
Starting with my hands in yours and our eyes connected. I will whisper it at first, so quiet it’s barely audible, just so that you can see my lips move and know that I’m speaking the truth, even if I hardly make a sound. I will draw out the syllables, make a word that’s hardly recognizable, so maybe, just maybe it won’t have to be real.
I’ll say goodbye with my eyes,
They will look deeply into yours as I speak, taking in the specks of color, the subtle red outline, the way they appear almost glassy, in an effort not to cry. I will hold your gaze like those staring contests we used to do as kids, trying so desperately to not blink, to not break. I will use my eyes to say what my mouth cannot, This isn’t forever, right?
I’ll say goodbye in silence,
Each tear running down my face like a promise of my love. I’ll hold you in my arms, a hug that makes it feel like the inner layer of my heart is cracking right down the middle. You’ll say it back, and we’ll nod like this is a good thing, like this is right, even though we’re not even sure what that means anymore.
I’ll say goodbye when I’m all alone,
When I’m by myself in my room, surrounded by four empty walls, I’ll let it out. I’ll sob like a baby. I’ll let my tears fill the silence, let them run down my face. I’ll let my mind wander across the road and up the hill to your house and imagine what you’re doing, if you’re thinking of me or trying to block it all out. I will say goodbye in ways I could never say to your face. In ways that sound permanent.
I’ll say goodbye methodically,
I will slowly remove the pictures of you from my gallery, from the walls, from the text messages I saved just to remind myself of us, of how we used to be. I’ll save the photographs in a box; I’ll stow away the love notes. I’ll keep a million memories of you somewhere I won’t think to look, but just to have the comfort of you there.
I’ll say goodbye in a way that breaks my heart all over again.
Then I’ll get in my car and drive.