She sat and watched the planes taxi the runway.

Ninety-eight minutes.

Was that all?

Ninety-eight minutes had passed since their goodbye.

Sitting there, trying not to think about it. Think about anything--anything but that.

She remembered her friend had written her a letter. She began to read it, knowing what it would say but hoping it would somehow ease the pain nonetheless.

She read, and she cried.

As she wiped the tears from her cheeks and from around her eyes she felt foolish sitting in an airport, reading a letter and crying.

A guy, college aged, sat down in the seat across from her and to the left. He glanced her way, but she just kept reading. The letter contained things she’d been trying to hide from herself. But there they were, written out and glaring at her.

Before him, she didn’t think a broken heart could hurt so much.

Now she knew.

Stop thinking about it.

But she couldn’t. She thought back to the last few hours… days… weeks… months… She remembered all the good times and the bad, all the rough spots and the fun they had.

Was it all a lie?

Don’t think about it.

She stared out the glass, her cheeks wet again, watching the commotion out on the pavement. The college guy reached over and gently touched her leg with his boarding pass. "Is there anything I can do?"

She attempted to collect herself and give him a grateful smile. "No, thank you."

Stop thinking about it!

But she couldn’t stop thinking about it. She’d been in love.

Still was.

Days ago, she’d been in the same state. Broken, both mentally and emotionally. Her mind had been made up then as it was now. When they’d said goodbye, she hadn’t cried this time. Even though she knew this would be the last time she’d ever touch him, the last time she’d look into his eyes, the last time she’d get lost in them…

His eyes were a brandy brown with gold and green encircling the centers, and they had never ceased to fill her heart every time he looked at her with them.

But she hadn’t cried. Neither had he. Of course, he hadn’t known that this was the final goodbye. He might have known, but she hadn’t told him. She didn’t want to talk about it anymore. Not with him. She’d already cried so many times in front of him.

But he’d only showed emotion a few times in front of her.

Did he even care then? Had he ever cared? Was it all a lie?

She got up and walked around the terminal, anxious to take her mind off of it. It all hurt too much. She was still crying. The finality of it all hadn’t quite sunk in yet. But given time, it would.

After restlessly circling the food court and mini-shops, she boarded her plane. She sat in her seat and pulled out the yellow tablet she’d bought in one of the airport shops and began to write. That usually helped her to clear her head.

But what about her heart?

As she wrote, she cried. She tried to control it, but it was difficult while spilling her soul onto paper in the form of black ink from a ball point pen.

She continued to write as the plane’s engines gradually whined louder. The plane began to speed up and she turned from her work and put her pen down.

This really is goodbye.

As the wheels lifted off the ground, she pressed her lips together and sobbed gently. Her heart yearned to go back. Back to him, to them. Back to what could never and would never be.

Looking out the window, she saw only blue skies all around her, darkening with the promise of a star-filled night. Strangely, it made her feel better.

She was on her way home. She could take the pieces of her broken heart and put them back together again. It would take a long time, and it wouldn’t be easy, but she knew it was what she had to do.

It was time to go home and start again.