Page and page I let the spell of the story and its world take me over, until the breath of dawn touched my window and my tired eyes slid over the last page. I lay in the bluish half-light with the book on my chest and listened to the murmur of the sleeping city. My eyes began to close, but I resisted. I did not want to lose the story’s spell or bid farewell to its characters yet.

It is the nurse who holds the hand of a patient without a family, who talks to them while they take their last breaths, who aches for them while they die alone. It is the nurse who cleans the patient’s body, wipes away the blood and fluids, and closes his eyes. It is the nurse who says good-bye to the patient for the last time,

I had a dream about you last night.
We moved into a cabin in the countryside.
I couldn’t handle the spiders.
You couldn’t handle my drama.
I moved back to the city.

It seemed so good when it started.
I gave my trust to you.
I came to you open-hearted,
Hoping it was true.
Now I’ve gotten smart.
Now I’ve learned some things.
Now I know that what once was a start,
Is just an ending.
The longest good-bye
I ever knew,
The longest good-bye
Was the day
I said hello to you.

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