Fiction: Goodbye (356 words)

21 Sep

The most heartbreaking words I have ever heard were “I don’t understand Momma. Did I do something wrong?”

I tried to smile as I brushed the curls away from his face.  “Oh no, Angel.  You’ve been very good.  That’s why you get to go on an adventure with Aunt Nancy.  She’ll take good care of you.”

There were tears in little Henry’s eyes–and I tried so hard to show him a brave face.  He stomped his foot in temper, and I bit down my usual scolding about keeping his temper in check.  I didn’t want his last memory of me, my last words to him, to be a scolding.  “I don’t want to go with Aunt Nancy. I want to stay here with you and Dad.”

“You can’t, Henry. You have to go.”


“Because you didn’t do anything wrong, but Dad and I did.  So, Dad and I are grounded while you go on a lovely adventure.  Be good for your Aunt Nancy, yeah?  And try to have fun for all three of us, okay?”

Henry blinked hard, and two tears rolled down his cheeks.  “Okay.  Momma. If you say so.”

“I do, Henry.”  I pulled him in for one last hug.  I was almost tempted to never let him go—but I knew we were doing what was right, the best thing for him.  I kissed him on the forehead.  “Goodbye, Henry Love.”

“Bye, Momma Love.”  My sister picked him up and set him on her hip, and they left out the back door.

When Peter came home, I was still kneeling where I’d hugged him, almost afraid to stand up and face the house without my son. He kneeled beside me, curling an arm around my shoulders and pulling me tight to his side.  “We might see him again, Liza.  Maybe it wasn’t goodbye forever.”

I managed to pull myself to my feet, straightening Peter’s tie as he stood as well.  I offered him my best brave smile and was more successful than when I had tried for Henry. “I hope it was forever.  For Henry’s sake, I hope we never see him again.”

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Posted by on September 21, 2014 in Stories


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