One True Sentence

“Write one true sentence,” she read the advice of one of her favorite authors and then proceeded to scribble “I MISS HIM” in pencil, so as not to feel so permanent.

Her writing had always been honest, though she tried to avoid the feeling of longing for another and the pain that followed once the realization of distance set in. Because that’s the only reason for anyone to ever miss someone else: distance. Whether physical, emotional, or spiritual, distance in any shape or form almost always resulted in that terrible, deep longing we humans can feel. There’s a word for it in Portuguese that captured this feeling perfectly, in all of it’s melancholy glory: “saudade.”

But she had become too used to goodbyes to allow herself the pleasure of missing something that had, until then, been constant. If she didn’t stay in one place for too long, goodbyes were easy to say. They became expected, embraced even. She tried to count in her head the many times she had said goodbye in the past 29 years, to family, houses, friends, favorite places, lovers… but she couldn’t keep track, the numbers and names just started to dance in her brain. Shouldn’t she be immune to missing people and places by now? The difference in being a gypsy like her, she concluded, is that she had to learn early on to carry home in her heart.

Truly, she never meant her goodbyes. They were just words she uttered as she left with new people and experiences in her heart.

Today, she would let herself miss him.

One true sentence. One true feeling among all the others she felt these days.

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