Good-Bye Was Never Said

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

"I'll send you money," he said with a grieving tone, as though he was burying his past with his words."Half my check, promise."

"You'll need it," she insisted sharply. "I don't think --"

"I want to. I truly want to. I hate that I have to go, please, let me do this for you. As long as I know you're okay, I can find the strength to leave."

She clasped his hand and bowed her head. His heart just kept breaking, slowly. His mother had always been a strong, independent woman. She felt ashamed to be so vulnerable, and he hurt to be placed in that position. But she couldn't make it on her own anymore.

"Mom, please let me do this for you... I need to do this. It's what Dad would have wanted. It's what he would have expected of me, demanded of me even."

All went silent as she accepted his offer. She nodded quickly, knowing she was really doing it for him. He wanted to be the man she raised, responsible, and empathetic. She was proud of him, yet less proud of herself. She couldn't force back a tear any longer.


Neither of them wanted to say good-bye. And neither of them did. They had said in silence everything they had to say. He tipped his hat, smiled weakly, and walked toward his train.

She watched, painfully yet proudly. Her son was a man -- still vulnerable, still her only baby -- but he walked away from her like a man. No, as a man.

He walked away, determined, and dedicated. His mother will be taken care of, come hell or high water. He walked confidently away from her, knowing if she saw any sign of weakness or regret she would rush to him. She would be his comfort when it was, essentially, his turn to take care of her.

She turned away, fighting tears yet accepting the future as she surrendered it to him. It was time, and she feared this moment from the day he was born.

The whistle and the conductor interrupted their thoughts. She stood there, her back to him. He refused to look back.

They loved each other too much.

Submitted: May 02, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Michelangelo Priest. All rights reserved.

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