Goodbyes by Owen Jones

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Goodbyes

It would be the last time he came here, and though he had been here so many times before, nothing seemed to change. With time and experience perspectives change, yet this place remained as he always saw it, with the eyes of a child. Rays of early morning sunshine caressed the wind-tossed waves of the lake with a lover's touch, softly and surely bringing the dark depths to glowing reflection. There was something eternal about the picture, a child-like fantasy that had stayed with the child as he became a man. What kind of man he had become was still a mystery. A romantic psychotic was how he liked to think of himself, socially psychotic and privately romantic where no one could get past the first sphere. A recluse, a loner, a social outcast with feelings buried deeper than the inky blackness of the lake. Always with this image was a semi-hidden hope that ‘that' someone would tame the psychotic and find the romantic. But the psychotic was a realist with no confidence and an unlikeable personality that was monosyllabic. Intensity radiated from him like the sun's rays, only harsher and anything but comforting.
The romantic held out his hopes for the psychotic but unfortunately these had not come to fruition yet. There was time, there was always time. Except for now.
The reason he stood looking over the lake was simple, he would not be coming this way again and wanted his last memory of it in this world, to be a hopeful one. Hope, it is that most terrible of emotions, creating expectation that can only rarely be justified and even rarer vindicated. He had given up hope, life was not what they had sold him and so it was time to make a change. Booking a ticket had been easy, so too selling all his worldly possessions including house and car. There was only one thing left, goodbyes.
Goodbyes were the tough part.
No matter how much you accept something it is still never easy to let it go. How then was he supposed to let go of a whole life. He wasn't sure, but then he had never done this before nor was likely to do it again. One identity change a lifetime was enough. He smiled ruefully, it always came down to goodbye. It was the ultimate choice, to choose to never see something or worse someone again, so many goodbyes – can you become desensitised to goodbye, that moment of forever no more? He wasn't sure but then that was nothing new. He had never been sure enough to do anything with conviction. This was not to say he wasn't good at anything, rather he was never entirely sure why he was good at something and what reasons there were to continue that thing. Abstracts. Lots of them. It was how he thought and lived, a moment followed by a totally different moment that never really joined up enough to make sense. Life was that way, hello, goodbye, I love you, goodbye. Always goodbye. Always.
So, as he sat feeding the early morning birds that had run out of worms, he had made a choice. Simply, to live. All restrictions, limitations and boundaries that had been placed around his neck were thrown off, the sawn-off shackles the only sign of his passing.

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