Published July 26th, 2008 by Mliesie

1 down, some more to go…

It’s Thursday 17 July and we’re in Xi’an. Marcel is up and getting ready, but it seems both SC and I do not want to as today is the day we need to say goodbye… We get up though and we get ready to take SC to the room he will be staying in until next January, when he will take his post-graduate for Shaanxi Normal University. Having arrived there, we meet up with one of his former classmates and put all our stuff in his tiny (6 square meters!!) room, his home for the coming 6 months. As we still have plenty of time to spare before we take off for Beijing, we have breakfast, walk around the campus of the University where he will be reviewing and we go to Shaanxi Normal University, where he hopes to be studying next year. It feels awkward; there seems to be so much to say, but it’s nor the time nor the place nor the right situation to do so. We decide to leave earlier to go to Xi’an city and take the bus to the airport. Even on the bus, sitting next to each other, we seem at a loss for words. The goodbye is too close and we (or perhaps it’s just me?) do not know how to handle it.

Having arrived at the Bell Tower it starts to rain; not just a bit, no, it rains heavily….. ‘The angels are crying’ is the expression that comes to my mind. At the airport bus stop it’s not really clear as to when the present bus will leave and when the next one will. After some discussion back and forth, Marcel takes the decision and says we will take the bus available now. When I tell SC we will leave on this one, he suddenly seems to realise we’re really leaving and that it’s time to say goodbye. ‘You’re leaving!? Now? On this bus!?’ It breaks my heart, but we have to leave anyway. The longer we stay and linger, the harder the goodbye will be. I get a shy and public hug (very rare!!) and he follows us on the bus. I already feel like I’m choking, but I don’t want to cry in his presence. As I turn around to say goodbye once more, he says ‘I will send you a message..’ All I can do is nod as the words get stuck in my throat. When I sit down in my seat and look out of the window, I see him there together with his classmate (whom I suspect he brought for support..), under an umbrella. The tears just start running and I can’t stop them, I can’t look at him any longer. How do you say goodbye to someone who has become so close over the last two years, someone who opened up to me and let me into his heart and his life, someone I hope to keep in touch with and see again sometime soon, someone…..

On the way to the airport I get his message:’It’s always hard to say goodbye, take care!’ He doesn’t show his feelings easily, this is the most I can expect by a text message. Leaving him has left me with a hole in my heart and I couldn’t stop crying for the rest of the day. Even now I can feel the pain and the tears easily start running again.

He was just 1 of the little group of close friends I have gathered around me. Thinking about saying goodbye to them and my “final” goodbye to China …… I could probably fill an ocean with my tears.

One of my other dear friends sent me a message saying:’DON’T BE SAD, IF WE DIDN’T HAVE SAD TIME TO SAY GOODBYE, THEN WE’LL NOT HAVE THE HAPPY TIME TO SEE EACH OTHER AGAIN.’

happy days 1.jpg Happy Days happy days 2.jpg


1 Response to “1 down, some more to go...”

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  1. 1

    Jacq Says

    He Marlies,

    zoveel te zeggen en weet niet hoe. Kan niet geloven dat onze twee jaar in China voorbij zijn. We komen terug maar dat doet niets af aan het gevoel nu. Inderdaad “hole in my heart”. Zelden mij zo mooi zo triest gevoeld. Dank voor al je lieve, ondersteunende reacties op mijn blog, dank voor het in gedachten uitzwaaien. Veel plezier nog met Marcel, je laatste dagen op Chinese bodem. En heel veel sterkte met alle afscheiden.
    We zien/spreken elkaar later deze zomer in de Nederlandse polder. Zai jian!

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