In our lives, there are always these moments of sad departures. No, I am not talking about going to the airport to say goodbye. When you go to the station or the port, you hug the person, kiss them, tell them to travel safely and come back soon. Those goodbyes aren’t heart wrenching. They aren’t sad because you know where the person is going and when they will come back, that is, if they do plan on coming back.
There are these times when you don’t get to say goodbye. No, I am not talking about death either. Death it inevitable. It will happen to me, to you. To everyone. If you are fortunate enough, you will get the opportunity to bid farewell to your close ones or the close ones will get the time to bid farewell when they leave.
But what if someone isn’t separated by death, they don’t board the plane or the train or the bus, for that matter, but they just…disappear? Out of your life. Completely. No reasons.
No valid grounds.
A separation not by destiny.
A separation not planned.
You just sit there with only one question in mind: “Where did I go wrong?”
You blame yourself for not being good enough for the said person to confide in you.
You blame yourself for pushing them away so much that they didn’t think twice before exiting your life.
You blame yourself for the final unsaid goodbye.
It was a normal day at school. A very normal one. “Where is Mahazabeen?”, I asked my classmate.
“I don’t know,” she replied nonchalantly. “Maybe she isn’t well.”
Days passed by and she didn’t make an appearance. Days turned into months and eventually months turned into years.
I tried calling her on the phone number that I had but it kept on telling me that the number did not exist. Liars!
Later on, I heard from a mutual friend that because of some very serious personal problem, her family shifted to Mumbai. She had left.
No goodbyes were exchanged.
She was my best friend. That girl. But I don’t even remember how she looked. Hell, I don’t even know if I am spelling her name correctly. Was it a ‘j’ or a ‘z’? I don’t remember the last conversation I had with her. It saddens me to admit that I don’t remember much about her.
It was the first experience of my life when I had to let go a friend. A confidant. Deep down inside I knew that she wouldn’t be the last. She taught me an important lesson- people that you love, they don’t stay forever.
And you would be one lucky being to find the ones who are willing to stay inspite of having an option to not do so.
I would have begged you to stay had I seen you walking away, sad that I didn’t.
I would have made the last conversation meaningful IF only I knew, sad that I didn’t.
I would have told you to smile when you were walking away, sad that I couldn’t.
12 years later, I wait here patiently as I search for the ‘good’ in goodbyes because final goodbyes- said or unsaid- at 10 or 20 or 80, are difficult. With equal helpings of sadness and trepidation, you will have to say goodbye. It will hurt like crazy. You will cry. It will break you down, like drowning when you are trying to swim freely. There will be these sudden pangs of emotions and flashes of memories which will take a lifetime to forget. Sad, but sometimes, forgetting is the only option you will get.