Everyone leaves, nowadays. Blowing across the world like fairy dust. Finding dream jobs on tropical islands; having twins and moving to Cologne; staying behind while you go exploring. Each of them taking little pieces of your heart, like souvenirs they plan to stick on the fridge, until you think there won’t be any left to keep you going.

Goodbye! Goodbye!

 We hug and cry, over and over again. How big this little world became, how far away we are. Our friendships held together by instagram posts and whatsapp notes. Laughter replaced with smiley faces and LOLs. Bad news shared in 140 characters or less. I can’t send you hugs by email though. A year or three or eight go by, and oh my goodness, has it been that long since I have seen you? It feels like it was yesterday. I wish it were tomorrow.

Goodbye! Goodbye!

 Till next time!

Missing you is the worst sort of pain. A special kind of longing that can’t quite be satisfied. An ache that goes unnoticed for days and weeks and months until I catch a familiar scent on the air, see a glimpse of a familiar face, hear a note of a familiar laugh. Then all of a sudden it consumes me, for a while.

How much I’d like to share a knowing glance, a private joke, an interesting observation. I’ll send her that thought I think; but then it’s time to get the kids to bed, to write a story, to go to class, and it’s forgotten. I’ll do it tomorrow, if it ever comes.

Goodbye! Goodbye! You say. I’ll visit and call and write!

 But it’s not quite the same as having you here.

Goodbye! Goodbye!

 She says, from Kingston and Rome, London and Bern, Toronto and Berlin. A life of goodbyes that gets no easier. My heart no lighter for leaving these little pieces behind, or sending them on their way, with you, and you, and you (and you).

Goodbye! Goodbye!

 Hold on to that piece of my heart…

 …until we say hello, again.