So Long, Goodbye.

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Part I: Saying Goodbye.

Photography by Kevin Tosh.

As the locomotive roared to life, the sisters Agnes and Teresia waved at Jecinta and Uncle Airstrip, who had brought them to Stone City Train Station. The last few days, Jecinta had danced around them with glee, assuring them that she absolutely completely would not miss them. “Me? Never! Finally, I’ll have all of this space to myself, I can’t wait!” Of course, as expected, she had burst into uncontrollable sobs as they had left the house and was crying into her sweater sleeve when the train took off.


Uncle Airstrip, on the other hand, was stoic as always, but everyone who knew him knew that he was very sad to see them go, only that he was not the kind of person who carried emotions spelled out on the front of his shirt. If he had been that kind of person, he would have cried. But now, he could not be sad, would not be sad, not visibly at least. That was not his nature and anyway, he thought that that would be unbecoming for a man his age, with dots of grey hair growing from his chin towards his scalp, up the sides of his face before ending at a head which once had been full of thick dark hair but which was now almost completely bald and had earned him the nickname Airstrip from the girls. The train snaked its way further and further along the tracks and the station, with Uncle Airstrip and Jecinta and everyone who had come to say goodbye to their loved ones, shrunk into the distance, becoming smaller and smaller and smaller until soon the people on the platform looked more like a swarm of bees in the distance than like the crowd of full sized human beings they were. But even after her family was no longer visible, even after they had left the station far far behind, even after the train had gone round curves, erasing their childhood from their line of vision– even after all of this had happened, Agnes continued to stare out of her window. She felt immediately, unbearably, immeasurably homesick, and thought to herself how she would have done anything to be able to stop this train and make it turn back right that moment. 

 

 

Special thanks to the sisters and to Kevin Tosh.
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