This Time Of Parting


We kissed for the last time that morning. We turned away from each other as if moving through air suddenly made heavier, denser, by this time of parting.

We knew when it began that it would not last. We both knew that time was only a stage on both our journeys. We were both moving on and had paused there only for a time, neither expecting, or wanting, any entanglements. Although, the world always finds a way of tangle lives together no matter what those living them desire.

We were both out of place in that office where the talk was only of property prices and office politics. Neither of which Jenny or I cared about. We were both young, both dreamers. We thought we would walk these roads until we found the dreams that haunted us and found a way of making them happen. Jenny had a journal. She filled it with dreams, ideas, possibilities and other worlds lying at angles to this one. I had a guitar. I let it take me on journeys too, away from this world down roads we would weave together out of notes and time.

Our difference, our separateness, from the others in the office drove Jenny and I together. We became two outcasts, always on the outside of things. Her words and my music had drawn us closer and closer. Until we were first kissing and then lying together in my narrow bed, both trying to find a way to merge our dreams and desires as we merged our bodies into one.

We tried to keep it a secret. But there are no secrets in offices, in entangled working lives, no matter how apart Jenny and I tried to be. There was gossip, there was sniggering, even talk of as a couple going out together. They asked us when would we get engaged and all that sort of thing. Those there, in that place, could see nothing beyond marriage and a mortgage for any relationship. Although, when they spoke to us, we said that was not what we wanted, not what it was about. Neither of us was sure they could ever understand. Although, of course, we, Jenny and I, understood far less than we thought we did.

What could have been over in days or weeks, turned into months as Jenny and I grew closer together rather than our separateness forcing us apart. We were both loners who had never before found true companionship. It scared us both, not knowing about this need that relying on someone else can bring.

Her words and my music, though, were two different songs. Eventually, the time came when I knew it was time for me to leave. An old friend was forming a band, far from where we lived. I knew, or at least thought I knew, that I had to go where the music took me. I asked Jenny to come with me. But both of us knew we would not survive, not without the opposition from the office that threw us together and kept us together and apart from them.

We kissed and said goodbye on that station platform. I rode the train away from her and never looked back. Although I never said, not in all the interviews since, when asked what my songs are about, I shrug and change the subject. I never tell anyone that all my songs are about her, how I can’t help looking back, always wishing she’d been on that train with me.


Published by David Hadley

A Bloke. Occasionally points at ducks.

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