Saying Goodbye

Contributor: Maggie Giles

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That heart shaped lock hangs on my door, reminding me of better times. It makes me think of you. The heart shaped lock hangs on my door, whispering forgotten memories. Accusing, pleading, crying, begging. That heart shaped lock upon my door.
The key is long lost; it went missing almost five years back, but it didn’t matter then. I didn’t want to remove it. I still remember the day your strong hands took my small ones and held them tightly while we closed the lock together.
“A symbol of our love,” you swore. “We will never be apart.”
My eyes fluttered shut as you kissed me. Your lips were always warm and soft. I never knew how your touch could always be so perfect. But it was.
That heart shape lock still hangs on my door. Whispering, haunting, mourning.
The day you left, my heart went cold, hard and metal like that lock. You swore it wouldn’t be long. You swore you would come back.
“You are my everything,” you told me. “We will never be apart.”
Your hand caressed my cheek as the soft breeze from the open window tousled your messy brown hair. We swayed in the warm sunlight, dancing to the sound of the blue bird’s song. We stood in the middle of the room and you told me you loved me. But love was never enough.
Then you squeezed that lock and smiled at me. “Good thing we lost the key. Now you will have to hold onto me forever.”
The twinkle in your eye told me you meant it as a joke, a loving memory. But that didn’t last. It became a burden I didn’t know how to lose. But it was also one I didn’t want to.
You never did come back, even though you said you would. You never said Goodbye; you said you didn’t need to. Instead you touched my heart, saying you’d always be there. At the time it meant everything, now I can barely feel that touch.
Sometimes I curse your stubbornness, looking back now and asking myself what I would have said, what I could have done. Maybe I would have stopped you. But I couldn’t stop you. Neither of us had a choice. When you’re fifteen, nobody takes your love seriously. Adults don’t understand.
I stand from the small box that I am sitting on. My room is completely packed, my life ready to be moved away. Except the lock. My delicate fingers wrap around the cool metal and pull. It doesn’t budge. It never does. You swore it would stay as strong as our love. I take comfort in this.
I flop back down on the cardboard box, filled with my high school memories. My family and I are leaving my childhood home. We are moving north, to another city. I was accepted to attend a university and my parents wanted to follow me. I wish you would follow me too. I wish you could see how things have changed.
I searched my room as I cleaned and packed, hoping I would find the lost key, hoping I could take our heart with me. But it was in vain. The key is lost, as you wanted it to be, and now, three years after you left me behind, I finally have to say goodbye.
I study the lock for some time before walking back to the door and holding it in my hand once more. The once cool metal feels warm to my touch, like your love is radiating through.
Tears spill out of my eyes and roll down my cheeks, I wish I could take this part of you with me, but I know it is time. I lean in and press my lips to the warm metal.
“I love you,” I whisper. “I’m sorry I never got to say Goodbye.”

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Maggie Giles is a 20 something Canadian author working full time as a marketing associate for an industrial gasket manufacturer. When backpacking through Europe, she developed an interest in writing and began writing historical fictions from the Tudor era in England, but her writing interests span larger. She has also dabbled in thrillers, scifi, horror and more recently starting a fantasy series.
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