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Audrey M. Snead

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Say Goodbye
By Audrey M. Snead
Wednesday, September 25, 2002

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Recent stories by Audrey M. Snead
· Betrayed
· The Leper
· Goodbye Angel
· Harlot
· Too Small A Price
· SoulScape
· The Strand
           >> View all 11

For Amanda Carrington, the structure before her loomed like an ominous creature, crouched and ready to steal away her life. But in all reality, hadn't it already?

Her hands trembled as she gripped the handles of the double doors. How could she go in here? How- when doing so would only confirm her worst fear?

"You have to." She whispered shakily. "You know you have to."

Breathing deep, she pushed her way quietly inside. Soft murmuring from the room that spread out in front of her, filled her head and made it ache. She couldn't bring herself to look to the front of the room. Instead, she crept to the large archway and leaned weakly against the archway frame. Her stomach hurt, but not nearly as bad as her heart. She wondered if she would throw up, or simply just die right where she stood. She felt dead already. Empty of every emotion, every feeling, except such intense loss.

A sudden touch to her shoulder made her flinch. She turned to meet a pair of warm brown eyes. "Would you like to take a seat." He said quietly.

Amanda shook her head. "No...I-I'll stand."

When he realized he couldn't budge her from the archway, he moved away. Though her feet wanted to turn and run, Amanda forced them to stand still. It would kill her, she knew, but she had to see him, she had to say goodbye.

Amanda stood unmoving as the occupants of the room slowly rose one by one and flowed down the isle, each paying their respects to a well loved man. Only when the room was nearly empty did she finally move forward. Her feet dropped like lead bricks with each step and she felt she was walking through tar. She could feel eyes on her. Of course they were watching her, for everyone had known how desperately she had loved him. A tightness squeezed her chest harder and harder as she approached the front.

God, please help me do this.

Tears burned in her eyes but she forced them back. A part of her died when she got the news she'd lost him, and it seemed more and more began dying as she came closer to him. Oh God, how can I look at him, knowing I'll never hold him? How do I say goodbye? Her greatest fear had always been this very day, when she had to face loss as she'd never known it before.

She stopped a foot away, unable to go any closer. The sight of his face weakened her knees until she was sure she would fall. His lips were twisted up in a slight smile, barely visible. It was his trademark and to see it now crushed her heart. For so long she had hungered for one kiss of those lips, and now the hope she had harbored for so long was dead.

Her hands trembling violently, she reached out uncertainly and gripped his hand, squeezing lightly. Her heart breaking, she blinked back her tears once again.

"Congratulations." She whispered as her fingertips slid painfully across his golden wedding band. "I wish you both the best of luck."

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