This Is Me

This is the story of a girl who got lost along the way. Her journey is one threaded in between that of thousands of others and fate will take its path. Follow your yellow brick road.

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5. Chapter 5

The ride to the airport was far too short. I greedily took in my surroundings, the dry, dead trees that were just beginning to come back to life at the first signs of milder weather, the horizon that always ended in the sea, the heat dancing on the tarmac and leaving everything sticky and humid. Although I didn’t look, I get the feeling my Mum and Ellen were doing the same.

Soon it was time for the final goodbye. We’d said all the rest and here was the one that meant the most. Photos of me, Ellen and my Dad were taken some of my Dada in there as well and all too soon my Mum told us that we really had to go check in.

My Dada excused himself, giving us each a final hug and kiss goodbye and I could almost sense the loss of the children he’s never had, the weight of our almost-father. I remember looking at him walk off, noticing the relaxed way that Cypriot men stride along as if they have no care in the world, thinking that I’d miss that. Bless him, he wanted Ellen, Mum and I to have some privacy.

Turning to my Dad, I let the tears fall freely. I think that this was my biggest sacrifice, where I had to say goodbye to one of the biggest parts of my universe, everything I’d grown up with. If I’d had known what was inevitably going to happen, I would have clung on to Daddy and never let go.

I hate goodbyes.

It was a hurried goodbye, one that should have lasted for longer, one that I wished had never ended. In every photo that was taken with me, Dada, Daddy and Ellen in it, I had my arm around Dada and Ellen was in the middle of them and where my arm was around Dada’s stomach, I was clutching Daddy’s hand like I would never let go. I sincerely wish I hadn’t.

Once Ellen and I had had our turns, it was Mummy’s time to say goodbye.

They had been on the rocks for the last few years of their relationship, money being tight and all that having strained them a bit much.  There were always arguments and raised voices, enough to make me wonder but not enough, that I heard anyway, to make me really worry.

Nonetheless, my Mum flung her arms around his neck and sobbed, tears dripping freely down her cheeks. Maybe that was the most affection I’d seen between them for a while, but whatever it was was enough to make me cry harder.

It was time to go.

Remember, I had no idea when I would get to see my Daddy again. I had no idea how far away that time would be when I would return home, not with money being as tight as it was. All of my life, everything I had, was packed into one suitcase, on each. I was leaving behind my friends, my school, my home, my Dad. I think for most people, that would be a bit much to handle.

We waved all the way through the doors, until the last minute when we went through the doors and could see him waving no longer. We all really broke down then.

My mum was the first one to snap out of it, her practical head doing us justice as she stood up tall, the tears still falling freely but the tremors banished from her voice. Everything about her, her face, her stance, her composure, screamed ‘I am strong’. And she was. We all were. We had to be.

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