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It Hurts To Say Goodbye

Take me, in your arms, and hold me tight.  

Tell me that your love is mine tonight. 

The world is cruel to many people, but especially to Susan and Charles Lee. They wished to get married, raise a family and watch each other and their kids grow old. However, life does not always give people what they want. As Charles was as African American, it had been illegal for him to marry Susan in their state. This was the first struggle they faced as a couple but after they moved and married several years later, they hoped to live a normal life. After their wedding, they soon started trying to have kids. Unfortunately for them, this was the second struggle they faced as their bodies decided against it. Finally, after years of anger, frustration and sadness, Susan and Charles Lee did not give up. They marched up to the orphanage- one Charles himself grew up in and brought home their baby daughters. Their life was far from the normal one they had craved all those years ago, but now, they were glad that it was not any other way. 

Say that everything will turn out right 

It hurts to say goodbye. 

Now, as Susan Lee watches her daughters from the other side of the glass, wondering if they ever had parents that loved them, she wished they had not gone to the orphanage that day. She wished they had paid more attention to the parents left without children, but pretending they never had any in the first place. She wished she had not opened the door to the men with black ties and she wished she had done more when those very men dragged their children from their arms. Screaming, their daughters had cried for their parents, hitting and kicking the people trying to take them away. Maria and Linda put up a good fight, but they were only 6, and seeing their father being shot and killed and their mother lying unconscious on the floor was too much for any child. They said it was important, that their daughters were different and needed special care in government-monitored settings. And they received it, well, for some time. As soon as they turned 13, Susan was forbidden from having any contact with them ever again. By now, she had lost count of the amount struggles she faced. 

Let me know the thrill, of your embrace 

Memories that time cannot erase. 

She wondered why she was even allowed in the viewing room. Maybe it was the world finally having some sympathy for the Lee family, or maybe it was just another way of torturing them as every second her children were trapped in those boxes, Susan felt herself crawling into one as well. She used to have hope after Charles was killed, that she could somehow piece together a normal life for her and her daughters in the facility, but the fact remains, that their lives were and were going to be anything but.  

While I kiss the teardrops from your face 

It hurts to say goodbye. 

The two boxes had been placed right next to each other, as they did with all the siblings. She could see through box where both daughters were starting to regain their consciousness at the same time. Their eyes fluttered open and while Maria immediately grabbed her arm, holding it while it shook, Linda’s hand went to her head, where Susan assumed the migraines had started affecting her. When Maria started screaming, Susan’s heart shattered for the thousandth time.   

Wherever you are, you will always be near to me 

Wherever I go you’ll be here, in my heart. 

“Hello?” Maria sobbed looking up to the roof of the box, still clutching her bleeding arm “I’m trapped, please, if someone…anyone.” She begged as her voice broke. Susan could not take it anymore. She ran right up to the viewing glass and started pounding with all her might, even though it was of no use. “I’m here Maria, Linda, I’ll always be here.” She whispered, her short breaths fogging up the glass. Her breath caught as Maria stood up, pressing her hands against the box, seeming to have heard the pounding, but then she sat back down. Losing hope that anyone was there and leaving and leaving streaks of red on the glowing, white, wall.  

‘Til the sun comes shining through again 

‘Til we see a sky, of blue, again. 

They could not hear her. Her children, they were alone, and she was unable to help them. She stopped pounding the viewing room glass and dropped to her knees. 

As Susan was dragged away, she remembered a memory from long ago; Her and Charles were dancing gently to ‘It hurts to say Goodbye’, by Vera Lyn, as an attempt to put the babes to bed. They swayed together, feeling the soft music sweeping from the record while holding their daughters between them. 

“We should make this our song.” Susan whispered, afraid to wake Maria. 

“What about, ‘Put your head on my shoulder’? This one’s too sad.” Charles whispered back. 

“I think it’s beautiful. And don’t you remember? This was the song they played when we first -” 

“Met. I remember Susan,” Charles said faintly, smiling at the memory. “I just think that if we have a happy song, happy things will happen.” 

Susan Lee did not think much of his words then, but now, as she was thrown into a cell, she thought perhaps things might have been different if they had chosen ‘Put your head on my shoulder’, as their song instead. 

Till’ I’m back with you, my love, ’til then 

It hurts to say goodbye…