The moment before goodbye


Natalie Mix

A snapshot from the walk we took at the park, on an early spring night when it was warm enough for me to pull out my summer wardrobe.

I’m writing this because—no matter how trivial it may sound—I just realized that I would never reach 100 stories published if I didn’t.

Without these words I plan to haphazardly plaster to the page, I would fall just short. My final column, which I wrote yesterday during third hour, would be my 99th.

And that stung.

It stung in a place unimaginable, a place that triggered my tears more than the goodbye that I poured my heart and soul into. It stung in a way without shape—a way so nondescript that I don’t think I can put it into words.

But, as per usual, I will try.

Within the past few days, I have talked endlessly of my place on The Central Trend. Whether it be the farewell that I wrote and forgot to turn in or the profile interview that sent tears running down Sofia’s cheeks, my voice has filled a space of utter monotony.

And the zone that usually acts as some escape—my mind and the words that pour out of it onto the page—have utterly abandoned me. I’ve become lost in a world of weeknight-hangouts and new additions to my car’s interior, and I have happily thrown out the map each time I reach a strange or unknown turn.

Without these words I plan to haphazardly plaster to the page, I would fall just short.

Getting lost has become my new being found.

And now I won’t reach 100 stories, or I will do so just narrowly by turning in a column that should have gone out days ago. A column that I simply decided not to write—because no matter how much I have adored this site and everything it has given me, sometimes I simply do not have the words.

Now is one of those times.

Right now, all I have are tattoo designs and septum piercing appointments.

Questions from friends about the advice I may give and FaceTime calls that hop across my phone with such regularity I can hardly keep up.

Feeling like I am consistently on the edge of something—the next moment, the next tear, the next week that floods by almost as quickly as it came, leaving me with nothing left.

They tell you about the end. They tell you about the pain of saying goodbye and feelings that rush to your throat and clog your senses. They tell you about reaching 100 stories—about the glory that heightens each breath you take and the simultaneous knowledge that now is the moment you let go.

I just wish they would’ve told me that 99 hurts almost as much.