I’ve never been very good at goodbyes. When I was bidding Annie farewell in Canada it was a distressing, almost unbearable time; when Louise and I parted after five and half years together the farewell was beyond upsetting; when I said farewell to Diane, the last kiss we shared surmised our brief, but electric relationship. But of all the goodbyes I’ve ever experienced, saying farewell to Samantha was the most traumatizing; mainly because it was never meant to be a goodbye, it was simply a ‘take care, see you soon’ ordeal. Little did we know as we hugged, caressing each other’s backs, that we would never see each other again. If we had known that, perhaps the goodbye would have been more…I dunno….epic; something that would have befitted our intense companionship.
As it was, we arrived at Queen Street station, flushed and overheated from our passionate sausage and egg mcmuffin tinged exchange. She was tired and sore, I was tired and emotional. We browsed the newsstand, we shared a bottle of water, we laughed and jostled over the hectic twenty-four hours we’d shared. We never once thought that we wouldn’t see each other again. In fact, plans were afoot to meet later that week. She would try to jiggle her schedule so she could meet me in Inverness so we could dance the night away with Salsa Celtica, explore Leakey’s bookstore, walk the Ness Islands, and – of course – take a trip to the Loch she had never seen before.
As the time neared for me to board my train we meandered slowly to the platform. She held my hand. I thought about changing my plans. But I didn’t. I just gave her a big, beyond friendship sort of hug that seemed to last an eternity before telling her that I’d see her soon. She told me she’d message me when she got home. I told her I’d email. We would definitely see each other again. Fact.
Then, I boarded the train and, as it pulled from the platform, watched this elegant, ravishing, unique creature disappear from sight.
As I trundled slowly through the Highland landscape, the twenty-four hours we’d just spent drinking, daring, sharing and playing around Glasgow blurred to that of a dream. A delightful, uncompromising, bliss filled dream, but a dream none-the-less.
Unfortunately she never made it to Inverness. We emailed and cyber-chatted; we texted and spoke on the phone, but in spite of our best efforts, we never saw each other again.