What is Your Definition of Goodbye?

Beautiful, heartbreaking, and breathtakingly tragic.

Fayth Ong
3 min readMar 30, 2022


Photo by Elizabeth Tsung on Unsplash

Written last 2019.

Carl stood before a girl in front of her. Her eyes shone with hope for the future, with excitement for the new chapter ahead of her. Her lips, dazzling red, dance as it forms into a beautiful smile. The girl looks up at him with gratitude, with thankfulness. She takes a step forward as Carl holds his daughter’s waist with his hands. Yes, they were calloused, and he was aware that it was rough and full of scars and wounds. Scars he knew that fought for his daughter’s future. The girl smiled and put her hands on her father’s shoulders, wrapping them behind his neck. It was true, and it’s official. Carl is finally giving away her daughter. They shared their first dance together. But it was also their last. Everyone looked at the two of them dancing, affection and warmth following them. A whisper of a joke, a peal of gentle laughter, only heard by the two of them. Carl was glad and filled with joy for her daughter. And as they continue to dance, only one prayer filled his mind.

God, thank you.”

Goodbyes are beautiful.

Dave packed her clothes and put them in his bag as fast as his hands can take him. His hands continue to shake, unsteadily, uncontrollably. An hour ago, Dave had been playing with his little sister in bed. She was more lively than usual, more charismatic, and he was glad that she was back to her regular self again. She even made jokes about how she wished Dave could get a girlfriend already so it would feel like she had a big sister. “No girl would ever replace you”, he said jokingly, lovingly, seriously. He looked at her tenderly, affectionately, wondering where all of the years of their childhood had gone. And right then, they felt just like that, children, worry-free, having fun, and not giving care with whats happening in the world. She asked Dave to get her a cup of water. A complaint being her getting thirsty and too lazy to get it herself. Dave, being the kind brother he is, stood up, and rubbed her hair. Before leaving the room, she called out, “I love you, Dave.” Dave’s lips curled up with a small smile, “I love you, too little sis.”

He never knew that that would be the last time they would talk before cancer took her life.

Goodbyes are heartbreaking.

Joyce looked at her best friend with eyes damp, eyes bright, and shining with tears flowing down her face. They finally did it. They both graduated with honors, and they both got their dream jobs. Joyce has longed to be a part of the big names, and the opportunity to study halfway across the world was the perfect chance for her to chase them. Her best friend decided to go to the poorest parts of the world, swearing and giving oath to make the world a better place, whatever it takes, wherever it takes. They both look at each other at the airport, held their hands one last time, squeezing as hard as they can, neither one not wanting to let the other go. They reminisce the first time they met, to the all-nighters, and the gossip about the cute boys they wished they could date, and until the point where they had to go their separate ways. They gave each one a hug that would be remembered in their lifetimes, just like their friendship has been. Each second seemed like an eternity, but neither one refuses to let go. Both refuse to break the moment. It was the end of a chapter for both of them, but it was also a new page. They were ready to move on, and painstakingly, they reminisced taking a look at the past one last time. And with one last conversation, one last joke, one last I love you, one last “text me when you get there”, they set on to their new journey, hoping that sometime in the future, if fate would allow it, they would see each other again.

Goodbyes are breathtakingly tragic.



Fayth Ong

Teacher || Writer || Traveller || Athlete || Immortalizing moments through writing