She clung to him in desperation, begging that he would never let her go. He was all she could see. Without him nothing was stable or sure. He was familiar and full of life. But hugging him was strange, she didn’t belong with his arms around her. She belonged chasing him through the thick island jungle, searching for rainbows to capture in tiny glass jars and adorn with dry leaves, or hunting for seashells to sting and hang from the trees or her hair. But they had already done those things many times. So now there was only one thing left. She hugged him tightly taking in his smell for the last time, the smell of fresh dirt, snapped crayons and peanut butter. He didn’t understand the tiny tears on her cheeks. They weren’t the tears he had seen from her before. Not the kind you get after excessive laughing and before your sides ache and you can’t breath. They were rounder and wetter, slower and sadder. This worried him, tears, real sad tears, were not something he had much experience with.
“thank you” she whispered. “ Thank you for everything, I will never forget you. I will always love you.”
“ Ok” he smiled casually, because time held non weight and love was having extra cake after dinner. She leaned in paused and kissed his freckled cheek. “ Good bye” she whispered. Had it been any other boy, any other place or tine, any other goody bye there lips might have met, he might have asked her to stay or slipped his hand in hers. But no “ Good bye Peter” she said with a peck on the cheek. Because one simply cannot kiss childhood good-bye on the lips. And childhood simply wouldn’t want you to.