The last goodbye

The last goodbye

A Chapter by Tristyn

A girl deals with the death of her father. Written in 2008.


‘There’s no easy way to tell you this. Your father…”

The doctor stops as he meets the girl’s hard-eyed stare.

‘He didn’t make it. I’m very sorry for your loss.’

Eyes dry, the girl turns and stalks off. As she passes, her mother reaches out to her, but the girl ignores her.

‘Marie! Please... Come back!’


Marie doesn’t stop when she leaves the hospital. Her mind is racing, a thousand thoughts, memories, dreams and hopes. She’s known it was coming. Knew when they pulled her father from the wreckage. Dimly she wondered why she couldn’t cry. Thought that maybe it was shock. That she’d distanced herself from pain. Unbidden her feet followed the path they had trodden every day for a year. Just as she realized the significance of the date, she reached the graveyard. It had been exactly a year since the funeral.


Her father had been driving her little sister to school when they were hit. Another car ran a red light, and crashed into the passenger side. Her father was gravely injured. Her little sister was killed on impact. She’d visited her sister’s grave every day for a year. Talking to her. Telling her what happened at school " when she went to school, that is. How her mother was coping. Updating her on her father’s condition. Since the crash, he’d healed, but he contracted meningitis resulting in a recurring coma. Every time he woke up, he lost more and more of himself. If it continued, then one day he just wouldn’t wake up.


Marie still remembered what it had been like a year ago. On that fateful morning, they’d all been happy " not exactly a common occurrence, since none of them were really morning people. Marie had waved her father and sister off, hugged her mother and walked to school. Halfway through the day, she got called to the office. Her mother was on the phone, barely able to stammer out the words that had changed her life. “There…. there’s been… an accident. Your father… He’s in hospital.” Marie’s first thought was to ask after her sister, but her mother dissolved into sobs. She hung up, and Marie started to walk.


Her feet carried her far from the places she knew. No-one had called after her or asked where she was going. She’d arrived in exactly this same spot. Staring through the graveyard gates, across the peaceful expanse. They’d buried her sister here a week later. Again the memories overtook her. Her sister laughing as she pushed her on the swings in the park. Her father smiling gently down at his beautiful daughters. Her mother scolding her sister for leaning over them to look out the window of the airplane. The four of them standing on a beach, hair and clothes wafting in the breeze, watching the last rays of light stab out, giving their faces an unearthly glow, and then sink below the horizon.


Someone lay a hand on her shoulder. Her mother had followed her. ‘Sweetie, it’s ok to cry. You don’t have to always be the strong one.’ Marie smiled and reflected that maybe it wasn’t so bad after all. Everyone dies, and while the ones left behind grieved, at least they had each other. And the memories that would never leave them. The knot in her stomach loosened, and while her eyes were still dry, she knew she would cry. And sob. And get angry. Later.


For the moment, all was right in her world, and the two of them stood at the top of the hill watching the sun set turning the clouds purple and pink to match the wild flowers growing all over. Marie smiled, the fading sunlight gilding her face.

‘It feels right somehow. That they should be buried here. Together. It feels like… They’re bringing them home.’

© 2014 Tristyn

Author's Note

Unedited. Written as a practice exercise for my HSC creative writing.

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Added on May 13, 2014
Last Updated on May 13, 2014



Sydney, NSW, Australia

I am an avid reader, and from the age of two, when I first started to read, I have been checking out of reality to take on all sorts of new adventures. I have been dabbling in writing for years, an.. more..

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