continued from The Hardest Goodbye
When I was little, my dad told me people experience grief in two ways. They either get really angry at first, and then forget about it. Or they feel numb at first, refuse to feel any emotion, and then they can never, ever, forget.
I never really figured out which one I was. But I’m guessing I’m the second one. And I didn’t really have much time to figure it out as I stood in my bedroom what just happened between me and player.
I peek through the crack of my open door. Player is walking out and my roommate has walked in. They don’t really say anything, oh I think he’s upset.
I close my eyes and wait to hear the door shut. It doesn’t, so I hope player comes back. But something tells me he’s not, I almost run out the door. My roommate looks at me.
“Shit” I forgot my keys and shoes. I quickly grab my keys and put on flip flops. My roommate continues to watch me, this is awkward, but I really don’t care.
I rush out my apartment door and look straight. Damn player’s gone. I look to my left. And he is tying his shoelaces. I smile. Player was so angry he didn’t tie even want to his shoelaces before he left my place!
He looks at me.
I cross my arms, “Is this how you’re leaving me?”
He finishes ting his shoe laces. “Well what do you want me to do? If I stay we’ll just sit there doing exactly what we’ve been doing all night!”
I’m still confused. I really see no problem with that.
“Did you think we were going to spend hours together?” player asks.
My eyes widen. “Yes!! That’s what a goodbye is!!” I say.
“But I told you. I really really suck at goodbyes and it won’t help” player explains.
But I suck at goodbyes too 😦 And our time felt so short, I don’t want him to go It makes me so sad and jealous. Other girls may have gotten better goodbyes from him. So I tel him.
“I bet you spend more time with other girls when they leave for good” I say.
“Are you kidding me? I just said goodbye to my best friend 0f 4 years last week, and we spent like 20 minutes. Because we knew it would be hard” he says.
I don’t know if I should be flattered or insulted.
And then I wonder what he thinks I am to him. Once he told me I was his best friend. I guess I’m not. I never was.
But all of this comes out as, “I understand”.
Because my dad failed to tell me, there are two ways to say goodbye. You can sit together until you absolutely have to say goodbye and experience the pain together. Or you can quickly say goodbye so you don’t have to worry about the pain. Kind of like a wax strip (I think this was a better analogy player could have used).
So I tell him I understand, because I genuinely do. Player and I experience pain and grief in different ways, and it’s okay.
“Okay so can I have a hug now? A real one?” player asks.
I smile really big. “Yes” I say.
So I hug him as tight as I ever will. “Bye player. Thank you for everything” I say. I rest my chin on his shoulder. I always liked how I was the perfect height for him and could do that.
Aw that wasn’t so bad I think to myself.
But then it’s player’s turn. “Bye Shahz. I’m sorry for everything I did and all the pain I’ve caused you-”
And that’s when I become numb. As I listen to player’s goodbye speech. I can’t even finish it. Those first few words got me. Everything that happened to us in the past 4 years plays in the back of my head.
I don’t know what I am to player, but I’m really happy I was able to a part of his life.
I snap back to reality as he kisses my forehead, and then my cheek.
I take a deep breathe in, I don’t hold on to him too long because I know it will hurt both of us.
We separate and I do my best fake smile. He walks away and I do the same. I see him look back but I can’t do the same.
Breathe I tell myself.
I quickly make some small talk with my roommate about packing so she won’t ask about what just happened with player.
And then I get to my room, I sit on my bed. My chest hurts. But I’m okay.
I’m really proud of myself for going back to say goodbye to player and for not crying.
But I feel exhausted and sick, it must have been the wine. So I lay down to sleep and promise myself I will wake up early in the morning to pack.
When I close my eyes, I can’t help but think. I think player and I were meant to say goodbye, a long time ago. I feel like, he was already gone.