At 2:10pm, my dad says it’s time to go. With a jolt in my heart that can only be described as electrifying, I scrambled to close my laptop, gather all my chargers, and pick up the pen that had fallen off my desk. Then I looked around me and took a picture of my room. I tried to remember every single detail of it – the spots where the paint has chipped off the wall, the smudges on the window pane, the individual shapes of the hardwood floor…
I didn’t have time to look inside any of my sister’s rooms, or run down to the basement, or open the fridge one last time. I just jumped in the car and then I was gone. Home was gone. You look over your shoulder and watch it get smaller and smaller until you turn the corner and can’t see it anymore…and it’s gone.
We went to my Grandma’s house so that I could say good-bye and as I walked about the house, I felt the same strangeness of looking about myself and noticing every little detail. I thought about all the times I just had sat there feeling happy, not saying anything at all. I thought about all the mornings I woke up in the ‘princess’ bed, all the happy times gathered around the kitchen table with Chinese food, and all those summer afternoons sitting on the deck talking and eating chips, with the hot sun beating down on us. And I thought about all the times that would happen this summer and how I wouldn’t be there to be part of it.
When it was time to say good-bye to my grandma, I couldn’t look her in the eye or I would cry. Then I hugged my older sister good-bye and finally, I hugged my mom. I don’t usually hug my mom, so I think there were months and months of hugs combined in that one hug. We just hugged each other tightly and I held her like I never wanted to let go. Then she was crying, and I was crying, and she gave me a little push and said “Go now,” so I let go and ran towards the car, with tears flying from my eyes. I shut the door and we drove away. I can’t really describe what if feels like to drive away from your mom. And I can’t even imagine what it would feel like to watch your little girl drive away from you.
We at last got to the airport and it was time to say good bye to my younger sisters and my dad. I hugged Klaryssa, and I hugged Krystyna, and then I hugged my dad. Then I had to walk through the gates and keep walking. Every once in a while, I would glance behind me and see my dad standing there waiting and watching until I was gone. I think it’s easier sometimes to look straight ahead instead of looking back at all the people you’re leaving behind. I think it’s easier not to think about it.
And I think that no matter how many times you say it, ‘good-bye’ never gets any easier.