The Last Goodbye

The trouble is, you think you have time. -Buddha

I looked in the mirror and I didn’t see me. Instead, I saw a broken shell of a man; someone who was just barely hanging on to the harsh reality around him. Let me clarify things for you; my name’s Maverick Corrigan, I’m twenty-two years old and well on my way to becoming a successful lawyer. Or at least I thought I was. Until yesterday. Until they told me that she was dead. My twin sister, Marcy died in a car accident last night. I remember it like a dream, Marcy and I had left the apartment around seven to catch an early dinner; we’d planing on pulling an all-nighter to cram for some shit exam in the morning. We drove up to a nearby Chinese place to grab a bite to eat. Why in god’s name we didn’t just order in, I don’t fucking know. We got into our beat up Corolla; Marcy’d been driving. We headed out, all the while laughing, chatting about our classes and complaining about the odd professor here and there. We never even saw him coming; some douchebag ran a red light and crashed right into us. I vaguely remember flying forward and busting my head against the dash, my ears ringing like crazy as the car swerved out of control. I’d been going in and out of consciousness; vaguely remembered someone pulling me out of the car and loading me into an ambulance. Throughout the chaos I could hear screaming and cursing and the ever-present sound of sirens. Once I was loaded into the back of the ambulance, I blacked out for good. ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Woke up in a hospital room a couple of hours later, a nurse’d came in to check on me and the second she saw that I was awake, she left to fetch a doctor. My head was killing me and all I remember thinking the whole time the doctor was talking was ‘the lights are too fucking bright’ Then something hit me; where the hell was Marcy? “Hey doc, how’s my sister? She okay?” The doctor went quiet; she didn’t say anything for a few minutes. I started panicking, thousands of different scenarios running through my head. I somewhat remember asking her if I could see Marcy and again she was quiet. After a tense silence, she’d seemed to have found her voice. “I’m so sorry to inform you Mr. Corrigan, but your sister didn’t survive the crash. She died upon impact from blunt force trauma to the head. I’m so sorry for your loss.” The words didn’t register with me for a while, I just kinda sat there, not thinking, not breathing. I just…stopped. The doctor made some excuse and rushed out of the room, leaving me in silence with only one thought running through my head; My sister was dead. ____________________________________________________________________________________________ I didn’t go back to our apartment that night after the doctors cut me loose. I instead went to a friend’s place and crashed there. In the morning I came home, and the second I walked through the door, the truth finally came crashing down on me. My sister was dead. She wasn’t coming back. My favorite person in the world was just…gone. I broke down; my eyes were burning, my body was wracked by viscous sobs, my lower was lip caught in between my teeth. I was a mess. I don’t know how long I’d cried, by the time I stopped my eyes burned and my throat felt raw. Looking around our apartment felt surreal; and I guess some part of me hoped that Marcy would walk in through the front door and announce that it was all just a big joke but I knew better because she wouldn’t let things go this far. She was well and truly gone, and I didn’t know if I could live with that. Live without her. ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Dad flew in on the first flight from Atlanta the day after I’d told him about Marcy. A few days after that we had a closed casket funeral, where I spoke of how much I had loved my sister and how she would always be in our memories and yadda, yadda, yadda. Honestly I wasn’t even paying any fucking attention to what I was saying; it was like I’d been on autopilot and I just wanted to get the hell out of there. After the service, my father and I were allowed to have a few moments with Marcy to pay our final respects. Dad just kinda stared at her for a while before leaving the funeral home; I could see that he was crying. Walking up to the casket, I just sorta popped the lid and looked at her. She was pale as snow and as I reached over to grasp her hand her skin felt like ice. There were so many things that I wanted to say to her but I opted to stay quiet and just be there with her. I studied her for a long time; we’d had the same sharp and aquiline features, shared the strong brow and olive skin. And beneath those closed lids, I could just picture her warm, amber eyes. For the first time since our mother’d died, I truly felt helpless. I wanted to scream and shout at how unfair this was; curse out any god who’d listen to me. Ask why my sister had to be taken; after our mother was practically ripped apart by a terminal illness. But I stayed quiet because I knew that once I started, I wouldn’t be able to stop. It was best to just keep my mouth shut and be here with her one last time. I gripped Marcy’s hand a little tighter and took a deep breath before whispering, “love you, sis, I’ll see you later…” After that, I gave her hand one last squeeze and placed a light kiss against her cold cheek. I gently snapped the lid of the casket shut before leaving the funeral home and joining my father outside. ____________________________________________________________________________________________ The next few days passed by slowly; I’d taken time off from school and really was just trying to relax. I don’t think that I’d come to terms with Marcy’s death, I was just kinda hanging on and ignoring everything and taking a breather. I hadn’t touched Marcy’s things yet, it was too soon. Sometimes I’d go into her room and just stand in the doorway, remembering happier times and trying to keep my wits about me. I walked into the kitchen to make myself something to eat. I pulled out a box of pancake mix and something felt out with it, a card. I picked it up; it had the words Edna’s bakery written across it in pink cursive. I smiled at that, Edna made the best sweets in the world and her bakery was one of our regular haunts. We’d been there just last week;  “Don’t eat so much, you’re going to get sick and I don’t feel like cleaning up after ya.” Marcy rolled her eyes at me before playfully sticking her tongue out and shoveling another bite of chocolate cake into her mouth. I gave her an exaggerated sigh and schooled my features into a disapproving look when really I wanted to grin. “Mav, I’m dying so let me eat my cake in peace.” “You’re not dying.” “Let me eat cake anyway.” I shook my head before grabbing a spoon and stealing a big chunk of frosting off of her dessert. She gaped at me for a second then feigned a look of betrayal before finally breaking into a grin. I smiled at her and we finished off the rest of the treat and headed out into the crisp autumn morning, life was good. I sighed and placed the card back in the cupboard and made the pancakes before retreating to my bedroom for another afternoon of movies and dozing. Needless to say, that’s pretty much how I spent most of my time off, doing my damnedest to ignore the pain which I hoped would dull eventually. Maybe it would, maybe it wouldn’t but I knew that things would never be the same without Marcy. ____________________________________________________________________________________________  1 year later… It’s been a while since the accident and I’d returned to my classes awhile ago. Nowadays the pain of losing Marcy has eased up a bit but I still get into a somber mood every time I think of her. I’ve made it a habit to visit her grave every week and I always bring a fresh bunch of lilies and chrysanthemums for her headstone; they were her favorites after all. I stay for about an hour or so before heading out, I just miss her too much to just move on and I never really got to say goodbye either. But I hate goodbyes and honestly I’m hoping that I’ll see her again someday, and maybe I will. She was like my mirror; it was as though she’d been a reflection of every fiber of my being, we were identical, yet different, we were perfect. But perfection never lasts. I haven’t moved on, not entirely and I don’t think I ever will. Marcy was an extension of who I was. Without her, I feel like I’m missing a piece of myself and I know for a fact that no one will ever be able to put me back together, cept’ for her. And I’ve come to terms with that; it’s just the way it is. And besides, I’ll see her again someday soon, I just know it. Because, after all we never really said goodbye, did we? ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Well, I hope you all enjoyed this little short story of mine. The idea for this piece came to me after I found a bunch of writing prompts on Pintrest and decided to try them out to see what I came up with. For those of you that have dealt with or are dealing with the loss of someone close to you, my heart goes out to you. I won’t say I know what you’re going through because I don’t. But I do know that things will always get better and if not then it’ll at least come to a point where the pain is bearable. Just keep fighting and don’t give up because there is always light at the end of the tunnel, but sometimes you have to squint to see it. Anyway, I do hope you enjoyed this story and please be sure to let me know what you think. And as always, happy reading! Photo by Reza Hasannia on Unsplash © 2016-2022 The Paper Life All Rights Reserved

4 thoughts on “The Last Goodbye

      1. Yes. I cannot imagine what it was like to go through what you went through but even I have lost someone special too so I can feel your pain..


      2. I’m sorry to hear that. Just stay strong and keep your memories of that person close that’s really all I can say. And I’m sorry but I have to clarify, I haven’t lost anyone close to me and I’m sorry to hear that you have. I’m just going through a really tough time dealing with a lot of health problems and stress and I guess the worry that comes from that is leaking into my writing. But I really appreciate the concern, so thank you 🙂
        Again I’m so sorry but just remember to stay strong, dear.


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