Above the grey clouds in a metal machine that cuts through the faded blue sky, an incidental piece of music worms its way into my ear and skips across my brain before diving into my throat and down in my chest where it squeezes my heart ever so gently, reminding me of you.
And at last I begin to cry.
Goodbyes are seldom what we hope they'll be. They're rarely that validation we seek, that we meant something to somebody in someplace for a moment in time. Often we don't realise they're a farewell until far too late. Sometimes you will have a warning and be able to prepare, your emotions soaring with a desire to create the perfect sentence, the sonorous song, the lilting poem. Yet when it comes to the moment the adrenalin is too much, the moment too cruel and you flail and scream and shut tight and whine and hope to say that one thing that will mean the world to all involved.
You walk away defeated wishing you could have your time again.
I never looked back, never wanted for another moment. I moved forward, eyes focused on the future. I prepared to take risks and embrace the unknown, strong in my resolve regardless of the fact you were never far from my heart, my head, my imagination, my love. Our parting was devoid of sorrow. It was time to move on. Time to survive, prepare for the dawning of a new day.
I did not cry. It was not my place. Not my responsibility. My job was to be strong while all fell about me. It was a role I embraced with relish. I was standing tall, a giant amongst the little people, protecting them from the onslaught as best as I could.
Yet up here in the air, in the metal machine that cuts through the faded blue sky, I hear an incidental piece of music and it reminds me of you. It reminds me that I will never hold your hand again. It whispers to me that our relationship is consigned to memory, to stories about the good old times, to tales that begin, "Remember when..." and when I finish the story I'll laugh at the time we were young, when we were immortal, when we could take on the world.
Up here in the sky, that one note reminds me of you.
Up here I can finally cry and as I do I look down at the grey clouds, wondering when this metal machine will land and I can return to the living to begin the day anew.
Copyright Justin Hamilton 2017