Flying the Nest

This was inspired by my mother telling me about her mother talking about "being left on the station platform". When this happened to me on a cold, bitter December morning, I realised how heart-breaking it was to be left behind while the ones you love fly away...

Why did I wake you? I didn't want you to leave; you looked so content, curled up in your nest. I just had to reach out and stroke your cheek, and you realised who you were, where you should be, and who you should be. Birds never look anywhere else but south in the winter.

So up you got, and never once looked me in the eye. Together we travelled, side by side in silence to the station. I needed to get you to the station so you could catch that train, but I didn't want to; secretly, I wished that we'd miss it, and you'd have to stay here, with me. I didn't say it though.

We made it. I stood with you on the platform, checking the buttons on your coat, shedding no tears, letting no words slip from my lips. I could sense your impatience, but you didn't want to show it. When we saw the train's headlights piercing through the morning mist, you looked at me and took a deep breath.

We wrapped our arms around each other, clinging to the last few moments that we had together. I let one single tear leak from my eye, seeping into your coat, but you didn't notice; your eyes were fixed upon your destination somewhere beyond that horizon, far away from the hear and now: the you and me.

As the train slowly pulled up beside us on the lonely platform, you held me away from you, and looked into my eyes before saying, "you'll write to me, won't you?" I wanted to reply, but no words could come out. Instead, I simply nodded. I'd already written you a thousand letters in my head.

You smiled, oh that beautiful, carefree, sunny smile. I wish I could see it again. That was the last saw of you: I keep the image close to my heart. I closed my eyes as you kissed me on the forehead, and then left.

I kept my eyes closed for a few minutes more, suddenly feeling so alone. When I opened them again, you were in the carriage, watching and waving as the train began its journey out and away from here. I closed them again and heard the train pull away, pushing itself into the distance. There was only me on the platform. Tears filled my eyes.

The End

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