I am pleased to welcome a new participant, Stevie Preater, with her take on the prompt of ‘Partings’. The standard and variety of entries this month has been fantastic and voting will open tomorrow. In the meantime I will leave you all to enjoy this latest entry. 🙂
September 23, 2013 at 5:23 pm
‘I’m going to miss you,’ she said, kissing me stiffly on each cheek.
‘I’ll miss you too,’ I said, but I didn’t believe myself. I would not miss her, not at all.
It was all a show, for the benefit of my father, who loved both of us and could not, or would not, see the tension between us.
Maybe I would miss the house. My bedroom was my sanctuary. Taking down my posters and photographs and seeing the pale walls marked with white circles of blu-tack residue had been hard. They had looked so cold I had wanted to cover them up all over again.
But I knew that I could put them up in my new room. My new space. A space where my step-mother did not feature at all.
I would miss my dog. I still wished so much that I could take him with me, to guard me and keep me safe as he always had done. But the University halls would not allow it. Besides, it comforted me to know that he would be watching over my father; taking care of him.
I hated the corny things that people my age were saying. I didn’t feel as if I was starting ‘a new chapter of my life,’ or ‘becoming an adult.’ I felt the same as I always had. Just now I would feel it in a different place. And that made me hopeful.
I hugged my father and words failed us. Instead of cry, he heaved my luggage onto the train, straining with the effort.
The summer had been a rainy one, and now as I settled down into my seat I watched drops racing each other down the window pain, my father and step-mother standing quietly in the background under a large, black umbrella.
I felt as if I should cry. The whole world seemed to be encouraging me to do so. But I did not. I couldn’t. To force myself would have been false.
The train pulled out of the station and all three of us waved at each other. Suddenly I gasped. For the first time in months, maybe even years, I felt the heaviness in my chest dissipate. It was terrifying. It felt as if there was nothing tying me to the ground. But maybe, I thought, in time that could come to be a good thing.
Sometimes saying goodbye wasn’t so hard after all.
(c) Stevie Preater