"I'll give you a few minutes to say your goodbyes," the nurse told us.
We went outside and stood beside a small pool. We were secluded here, and I finally let myself cry.
"Let's pray together before we leave," my dad said. We all stood together in a tight circle, our arms around each other. I can't remember the words my dad said, but I do remember that his voice broke as we were praying. We were all falling apart at the seams. All but Idina, who remained stoic as ever.
My mom and dad gave Idina hugs goodbye, tearful and long ones. Idina had finally started to cry. She cried especially hard when I gave her the hug goodbye.
We hugged for ages, unable to speak and not really wanting to, anyways. After a long time, Idina whispered in my ear, "I love you, best friend."
"I love you, best friend," I whispered back. Pulling away because we had to leave in order to catch our plane in time, we all stepped back into Cherokee. As we were ushered out the door, I looked back and saw Idina sitting at a table while other patients surrounded her, cheerfully welcoming her to Remuda. I stood there, outside the building, looking in.
And then they closed the door.