• Published 14th Apr 2015
  • 2,579 Views, 214 Comments

Saying Goodbye - TheTrueDragoon

The hardest person to say goodbye to is always yourself. But that’s what friends are for. To say goodbye to you for you. But when those friends are close enough, is it really goodbye?

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The Child in the Window

As the afternoon sun shined through the branches of the trees a gentle breeze twisted its way around the trunks and through the bushes and grass. Each was like a gentle touch from a parent to their child. The warm sun soothing the body with a warm embrace as the wind provided a gentle caress to remove all fear and worry. Even the shade from the trees gave a sheltering feeling to the two who wandered through the woods.

Sunset watched as Pooh hobbled next to her in that odd way he had. He seemed to have not a care in the world as he softly hummed while they walked. They had no direction or destination. No rhyme or reason for the paths they chose to follow. They simply walked to see where it would lead.

As this world was still new to her, Sunset had decided to go and explore it after their “little something” to satisfy their “eleven o’clockish” feelings. Each turn of a bend, rise and fall of the land, and peek around a tree brought a new scene and new wonders. Once again, the feeling of being a small filly once again arose in Sunset as she drank in the sights and sounds of the woods. Even simple dangers such as fallen logs, thorny bushes, or ditches did nothing to deter her wonder. In fact, it only elicited more excitement.

The only odd part was that each new discovery brought just as much excitement to Sunset’s stout companion as it did her. The yellow bear exuded the same excitement as a child seeing things for the first time. Yet he was the one who was from this world. It was odd to see him as excited as she was.

“Hey Pooh,” Sunset said, deciding to break the silence and satisfy a bit of curiosity. “What are your other friends like?”

Pooh stood still as he thought, showing signs of a more in depth thought process than he had shown before. His face contorted a bit and he started to appear worried, even afraid, as he thought. He pressed both paws against the sides of his head almost like he was trying to squeeze the information from his mind. After a minute of struggle, his arms sagged and his body slumped a bit. He stared at the ground rather downtrodden.

“I…I don’t remember.”

For a minute, Sunset could only stare at the sad bear and sympathize. She had her own problems when it came to knowing about her own friends. Though she knew a bit about them as people, she really did not know them as friends. It was one thing to know a person, pony, or stuffed animal, in Pooh’s case. But another thing entirely to know a friend. And to forget your friends…

Sunset squatted down and place an arm around Pooh. “Don’t worry. I’m sure we’ll find them all and you’ll be able to remember them just like when we found Piglet.”

She put on the bravest smile she could to quell the fears of her companion. All the while trying to mask the unsure feelings she held within. Pooh looked at Sunset and smiled. Either he could not read her own sense of worry or the mere thought to try and cheer him up was enough to lift his spirits. But regardless, he smiled and took hold of Sunset’s hand and started leading her on back to their exploration.

Their journey through the woods seemed to last for hours and the forest seemed to stretch on for miles. This kind of thing happened when one was unfamiliar with an area. Of course the child-like imagination that exuded from the land stretched it out to a vast unknown world filled with untold possible discoveries. Truly, this land was made by a child. A child who looks out at the world and sees a vast place filled with new things around every turn.

But after a while, the two came across a familiar sight. Familiar not only to Sunset but to Pooh as well. The empty tree home she had seen when she first arrived. It stood just as empty and dark as before. Pooh seemed not to notice as he walked up to the door a rapped on it a few times and waited patiently for an answer. An answer that never came.

“Pooh,” said Sunset, moving slowly towards the bear. “I don’t think anyone is inside.”

Pooh said nothing. He waited a little longer before rapping a few more times and waiting. Still, the home stood silent.

“Pooh. Nobody is here.”

Sunset began to feel sorry for the little bear. He seemed so excited when he saw the tree home and had moved rather quickly, for Pooh, to get to the door. The fact that he knocked twice said he really wanted to see whoever was supposed to be inside. Could it be?

Sunset thought back to when she first saw the tree and the feeling of it being special she had when she first tried to enter. She thought about the friend Pooh kept talking about who seemed to always “be doing nothing, or something.” The excitement he showed when he saw the tree. Could this be the tree home of Pooh’s friend? She got her answer a moment later.

“He’s not here,” Pooh said, slumping once more and sounding as if ready to cry.

Sunset knelt down a placed an arm around Pooh. She did not know what to say. What to do. She barely knew, if she knew at all, what he was going through with his missing friends. His friends seemed dear to him. But this one seemed far dearer. What made this friend stand out? Different, even special, compared to the rest?

An odd feeling came over her, the kind when one is being watched, and she looked up. In the darkened window she saw what could only be described as the silhouette of a child. It was there for but a second before vanishing in the darkness of the empty home. She blinked a couple of times and rubbed her eyes thinking she had imagined it. Taking a second look, she only saw an empty window.

This would not be the first time she saw something that made no sense, and undoubtedly not the last. But the sight of child brought on a new thought. Could the special friend be the child that once played with Pooh? Could Pooh have been the child’s stuffed toy and this world the result of the child’s imagination? It certainly made sense but the fact that she had only gotten here by means of a blank book only raised more questions.

As she pondered, the door opened. Inside, the home was just as dark and empty as she had seen through the window. Once again, Sunset felt as though the dream would shift into a nightmare at the sight of a door opening on its own. But nothing happened as the two stared at the open door and the empty room within.

Sunset stood, staring at the doorway the whole time, and began to take a step forward. But a small tug on her arm held her in place. She looked back to see Pooh holding her hand with both paws, almost afraid to let go. She turned to him, knelt down and smiled, placing her other hand on his paws.

“Don’t worry. I’m just going to take a quick peek. I’ll be right back. I promise.”

Pooh held fast for a moment before relenting and releasing his grip. Sunset held his paws a moment longer before letting go and turning back to the tree home. She peered into the empty darkness and almost seemed to hear it call to her. She shook her head to dispel the nonsense, not that anything in the world made sense, and took a few slow and cautious steps forward.

When she got to the doorway, she place a hand on the frame and poked her head inside. The darkness hid everything inside. It made the tree seem not so much hollow as abandoned. Strange as she had just seen the child silhouette earlier. And yet, the sensation of abandonment did not seem quite right. There was a reason for the empty home but, for the time being, no real way to tell what reason that would be.

As she was about to retreat back and return to Pooh the world shifted into the familiar white that she had experienced when she first entered the world.

Sunset opened her eyes and looked around to find herself back in her own room. Everything was as it was before as though she had never left. A gentle orange glow shined through the window from the setting sun and the clock on her dresser read that she had likely fallen asleep for just a few hours. Strange as she seemed to be in that world for two days.

The thought of the world brought up her last moment with Pooh. Although a part of her had been relieved to finally awaken from the dream world, panic and worry coursed through her body. Dream or not, she had left Pooh behind…alone.

“No, no, no.” Sunset jumped up from her bed and paced a few times. “I can’t be back. I can’t leave.”

She stopped her pacing and looked back at the book on her bed. She quickly grabbed it up and saw that same sad picture of Pooh on the front cover. She stared at the image for a full minute, taking it in and feeling a knot form in her stomach. Tears began to form in her eyes as she began to shake the book violently and shouted.

“Take me back! I have to go back! I can’t just leave him alone! I promised I would be right back! I promised him!”

Her shaking stopped and she stared at the book cover once more. She held it close to her chest and dropped to her knees, still pleading to return to that magical world.

“Take me back. He needs me. Take me back. Please. I…I need him.”

The room grew darker as the sun set. But still, Sunset sat on the floor holding the book. Finally, she lifted her head and held out the book. Deciding to take one last look, she opened the book to an uplifting sight. Inside, her story so far was told. She saw pictures of her looking out on the woods, meeting Pooh, watching him float on the balloon, meeting Piglet, wandering in circles, and, of course, sitting amidst the circle of trees.

She felt her eyes tear up again, but now more of joy rather than sorrow. There was still much to the book that remained blank and unwritten, but her journey, her adventure, so far was there. She turned to her window and the night sky beyond and gave an embarrassed giggle. She had reacted just like a filly just now. One told to end their play for a time or for the day only to throw a tantrum at having to leave the worlds they created.

She closed the book and stood, placing it gently on her night stand. If that was all it was, then everything would be alright. But as she wiped her eyes of her tears, new worries arose. When she returned, would things return to the way they were when she left? Or would she have to find Pooh and apologize for seemingly abandoning him? Would she have to reintroduce herself if he forgot her? Could she even return at all?

While the last thought brought the biggest worry, she shook her head to dispel such worries. She would return. At least she hoped she would. The book had transported her unwillingly before, perhaps it would do so again. Taking a quick look at the time, she decided to ready herself for bed and return when she could, or when the book decided.

Once ready for bed, she took one last look at the book and the forlorn bear on the cover. She smiled and laid down on her bed and pulled the covers over her. Just before she turned out the lamp on her night stand, she said one last thing.

“Good night Pooh, Piglet. Sorry to leave you so soon and so abruptly. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

With that, she settled in for a night’s rest.