The Swan Song.

December 13, 2008

I go to an International school. I watch people come and go. Every year, every term, every semester. Some leave with a BANG, some mysteriously dissappear. Either way, I’ve experienced that moment in a class where I absent-mindedly turn around to see a once-occupied seat empty. It’s a feeling that’s a bit indescribeable; you wonder what the person’s doing, how they’re doing, or where they went in the first place. These thoughts and feelings have never shaken me to my core, though. I don’t emotionally attach myself to just anyone; I don’t do it for the status. (As a result, I haven’t experienced my first love as of yet. Call me silly, but I want that person to be… very, very special. But that’s another story altogether.)

Summer and Winter are always incredibly bittersweet. The last day of school — before the breaks — in particular. These are the days which I have to suck it up, grab a Sharpie and write a cheesey signature on a school uniform (which won’t ever be worn again). These are the days which I have to say my goodbyes.

I hate goodbyes.
They’re uncertain, and I hate uncertainty. I hate not knowing what to expect. I don’t like it when I can’t see the other side of the road; when I can’t see where a path leads. I don’t like making decisions, and I usually stay up late into the night, fretting. I can’t help it.

Today, I had to say 3 goodbyes.
One was to a good guy called Ben; I wasn’t close to him, however he’s an amazing guy and he’s definitely engraved in my memory. (Costa Rica, ’08. “Even bettah!” …No one except Robin and Edward will get that.) The other was also a guy. His name’s Henry. I don’t know how or when, but somewhere along the road, I got pretty damn close to him. My friends and I would (and still do) hang around during Lunch in Mrs. Chesler’s — our English teacher’s — room, and one day, Henry joined us. Eventually, this became routine, and soon Henry was just… part of the group. It’s going to be odd without him around.

The final, and probably the most painful, goodbye which I’ve said today would be the one to Lanora.
Lanora is my Aussie friend; she’s kickass and an incredibly irreplaceable person. I could sit here and write, for hours on end, about all which we’ve been through together. I could talk about the first all-nighter I ever pulled, I could talk about kangaroos, I could talk about boxes. I could talk about so many things. Too many things. I suppose that’s what made today such an impact.

This is the first time I’ve said “goodbye” to a best friend.
And let me tell you, it’s not fun.

I said “see you later” to a few friends back in my old school. However, this isn’t the same at all. I can still see my old friends if I wanted to… and I still do. This is the most uncertain “goodbye” I have ever said in my entire life. I don’t know when Lanora is going to be back here, in our group, or with me. I can’t call her up one day and casually tell her to drop on by the next day, so that we can go to the mall and get a drink or something. I can’t do that.

It doesn’t hit me until I see the first official “goodbyes”, exchanged between Lanora and my ex-History teacher 10 minutes after-school. “You’re gonna do good. You’re going to be fine,” he said to her, while the two gave each other one last hug. Her face was anything but fine, and upon seeing this, I felt the tears prick at my eyelids. By the time we were back in Mrs. Chesler’s room, I was pretty much in a mess.

The time following that was a bit of a blur.
People around me, the outside world, was sunny. Children were happily scampering around, laughing and cheering over the upcoming holidays. Robin, Lanora, Ed and I decided to go with Lanora to get her transcript, and then Robin and I walked out of school with her, the three of us still with tears streaming down our faces. (Edward dissappeared. I dunno.)
I don’t think I could even begin to describe what I felt when I was walking home. It was something pure, something simple; yet complex. If you touched me carelessly at that moment, I would have probably shattered into a million pieces with an almighty crash. I don’t know what Lanora was feeling then; it was probably somewhat like what I was feeling, yet at the same time very different. The entire thing is too complex for a human to understand, I think.
Whatever was going on in both our heads, we eventually met the point where we had to part; the fork in the road where I go one way and she goes another.
I couldn’t bring myself to say goodbye.
I was crying, again, at this point, and I was searching for words to express what I was feeling. Too many emotions, not enough words. “Well, Nora,” I had said, trying to sound cheerful but failing miserably, “Have fun in Australia, yeah? I’ll see you again sometime.” Even when these words left my lips, the only thought going through my head was I might never see her again. We gave each other a final hug, a long hug, and she told me to never change and to watch Armaggedon a million times for her — both of which I plan on doing.
I had to tear myself away from her, and with vision blocked off by tears, I crossed the street (I jokingly said “jeez, I hope I don’t get run over!” as I was crossing) and went up to my house’s gate. I looked back one last time — at the girl who was always there, one of the very first in my core group of friends — and we gave each other one last wave. One last look, one last tearful smile before we leave things in the hands of fate. I tore my eyes away from her, dashing inside my house, not daring to look back. If I looked back, I don’t think I would have been able to stand for another second.

To leave behind or to be left behind… I wonder which hurts more.

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3 Responses to “The Swan Song.”

  1. 3limes said

    Oh Jamie you made me so sad and you have brought back all the goodbyes I have said in my life. It is the hardest thing to do and honestly having been on both sides they are both bad but being left is really worse. Especially when you turn around to find them and they are not there. You are a deep thinking and feeling person and as Oscar Wilde said “Life is a tragedy to those that think”. A tragedy but a richer life, I believe. Beautifully written. You captured it all.

  2. Lano/Nora said

    Jamie….i dont know if your okay with me reading your blog….but i was reading robins and i just took the link to yours…….Jamie….youve made me cry just by reading this…..I miss you and robin and eddie and mai and tara and manda and maria and lentzy and chesler all so much that i cant explain it…..

    i wish goodbyes were easier, but f they were, would they really matter, would the people u were saying them to really matter….

    I think that the emotions hit us at the same time…..I only started crying when i said my last goodbye to Lentzy….and then all the goodbyes after that really felt like goodbyes

    thankyou jamie….so much for everything…..
    im gonna go get myself a tissue now

  3. […] when Mai had to drag me to the girl’s bathroom for me to stop crying, and I felt like I did back when Lanora left. I can’t understand it — how does it even work? How can an ever-present force in your […]

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