how ‘goodbye’ feels like to those who’ve heard it too many times before

there’s no big cliché about that feeling of drowning; no big feeling of anger or that weird thing they say about not knowing where to go next. for people who have spent years and years of watching people go, parting feels like… being emptied, time and time again when you’re not even that full to start with.

goodbyes, no matter how unsurprising they are for people who are used to hearing them, will start with an initial shock to the system. it’s that split-second of wonder where all they ever manage is an ‘oh’ or a half-hearted, dead-panned ‘okay’.

the parting is not what shocks them. it is the fact that it is happening again; and that they’re in this position again, feeling something so familiar yet so entirely different. you’d think that it gets easier but it doesn’t.

it never does.

accepting goodbye is not something you learn to master like singing or dancing, for the pain of goodbye is a lot like love in it’s very essence—you can’t stop it or hold it in; and sure as hell you can’t avoid it because most days, it is the empty room that haunts us the most.

people who are used to getting left behind think that goodbyes are inevitable—that every story, no matter how good, has to end at some point. no one knows the aftermath of parting better than the ones who have seen it multiple times—in different colors, in different facets, and in different situations.

yet it burns the same way it did the first time because every goodbye is different. a lover, a friend, a colleague—everyone we chose to let in will eventually leave, except for a couple of people who will actually stay behind.

people come to our lives and paint it with a different color, a different shade of life; and they ignite something inside us—like a fire that will never die. but then, there’s also this whole other side of the universe, the truth that there are some people whose lines are meant to cross with ours once, and never again.

there’s this whole other truth that the people who are here today aren’t necessary still here tomorrow—and perhaps that’s what burns the most. because how fucked up is that? fate brings people together and then it’s the very same fate that rips them apart.

and how is one supposed to go on after a fire, as life-changing as that, suddenly goes out? what? what are you supposed to do? pick up a broom and clean up the mess and just… go on?

it doesn’t work that way; and although these are generally strong people on their own right, their world looks different everytime someone says goodbye. and it rattles them, it shakes the ground under their feet but it’s not the shaking that scares them.

it’s not the shift.

it’s that big, gaping hole you’ll leave in their life. it’s that big, gaping spot they’ve reserved for very specific people. it’s that weird, nagging feeling that this emptiness will only grow bigger and colder.

watching people leave is a very specific kind of death—one where your eyes are open, the one where your whole system feels the same but you know very well that it’s not. that you’ll wake up tomorrow as you watch your world change its landscape.

for those who do the walking away, it may not mean much. it’s small compared to the kind of grand promises of keeping in touch you get when you say goodbye. but for people whose lives have seemed like a revolving door of people coming and going, your last words will feel like a bitter, melting realization that once again, it didn’t work. it never does and it probably never will.

they will not stop you. their silence is a heartfelt surrender.

they know how this goes.

and yes, yes, it’s not the end of the world and they’ll get over it and move on.

they’ll start over again, standing amid the chaos of it all. with eyes wide open, they do it again—let people in, let themselves believe it’s gonna be different this time.

with eyes wide open, they brace themselves for the impact—hoping against hope that for once, the impact never comes.

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