Accustomed to the temporal ends of Dubai, I have grown numb to people’s departures. It’s not the lack of emotion but a ready system immune to exit. Because I know that this city is nothing but a momentary place of refuge; a stepping stone.
It’s where people come and go.
But just as unfortunate as the fortunate, I’ve always bore the terrible privilege of staying; watching people take flight to far flung places where miles and timezones are the extensions of distance. And until now, I sit here still seeing people off. And it tires me.
It always hurts to see someone go away. But what goes unnoticed is the the pains of the one who stayed. The person who was left in tears or in shatters; that man whose heart is equally broken; the one who’s waiting on the other end of the line. This is me. I play the role of the friend relinquished.
Empty promises of coming back given as consolations; plastic promises of keeping in touch, soon to be forgotten.
You see, the leaver moves out and can start over a new leaf. But the person who remained must continue their lives, they can’t afford a do over, only change of routine. Both are with great degree of difficulty. But don’t ever think that one who stayed got it any better.
Even when it’s my turn to give the slip, people have gone behind my itinerary to beat me to it. I don’t mean to play-test the emotions of people around me. All I want is for you to say ‘goodbye’. Because the leaver say it always as a response. But the one who stays always has to say it first.
SONGOFTHEMOMENT: Fade And Then Return by William Fitzsimmons