The hour was seven thirteen in the morning.
The kind of morning you'd rather sleep in and let pass. You'd open the curtain to see the skies looking faint as the evening before. The kind of morning you'd hit the snooze button oh so many times.
The hour was seven thirteen and the station was packed.
Click-clacking heels and ruckus, wheels turning around, and conductors announcing arrivals and departures. A place of transitions, of movement of constant flow. A place of hellos and a place of goodbyes.
The tracks were glistening through the misty light, and Sarah rubbed her eyes to see more clearly. But she couldn't rub the mist off of the scenery in front of her.
There, through the misty blurry air, her lover James stood holding his carry-on in one hand, and a cup of coffee in the other. James was about to embark on a journey without her. And Sarah couldn't be more prepared.
Sarah loved preparing for monumental events in her life. Her tenth birthday, her graduation, her publishing date for her first books. She was well-versed in preparing for special days, and today was no exception. She wore her favorite pantsuit, and tied a bow in her hair. A bow James used to wear back when he was Lisa; a woman of small figure and intense hunger for knowledge.
Sarah and Lisa met in a conference event in Chicago years before. A decade has passed since then. A decade filled with love, with friendship, with career changes, with moving, grieving, building a life together, with marriage, addiction, rehab, with crisis, and another, and another, with sex change, and realization, and rejuvenation, therapy, and job opportunity overseas, with struggles, and decisions, and finally - with the acceptance that they must go their separate ways. Maybe forever, or maybe only for a year.
Like any other monumental event in her life, Sarah was prepared.
She was prepared for mixed emotions of excitement for James and sadness for herself.
She was prepared to sport her biggest smile yet, and transmute only 'happy thoughts'.
Only happy thoughts on this mixed bag of a day...
But Sarah wasn't prepared for the mist that tickled her forehead, and that made James look so ethereal in front of her, so majestic and lovable. So much like the first day they met, back when they both were other people.
'It's the mist!' Sarah proclaimed when James was giving with his eyes the obvious 'Why are you crying?' look. 'It's just the mist. It's all it is. It's all there is right now.'
James nodded. He too was blaming his tears on the mist. Not on the years of togetherness, and this moment of goodbye. Not on the distance between them that grew wider as the years went by. Not on the other people that have come in the way. Not on the challenges that changed them for the better, and not on the ones that changed them for the worst.
'It was only the mist.'
They both proclaimed, squinting their teary eyes so to not miss a single moment of seeing one another. Two friends together, two friends soon to be apart. Two lovers in marriage, two loves lost in divorce.
A mist passed between the two.
And then the train arrived.
And the Goodbye.
It was the mist. It was all - the mist.
In April 2020, while experiencing her first ever global pandemic, Tamar Pelzig pledged to write something every day, even if it's only a word, so she welcomed to the world a daily blog to keep her creative writing wheels rolling.
Header Art: Daniel Landerman