Goodbye

by Emma Larkin

 

The Streetlight had stood on that street for many years, never needing repair and never failing to
light the way for late night wanderers. Towering high above the cars and people that usually moved about it, it commanded a full view of the houses along the street and even part of the traffic junction at the end. It watched the comings and goings of all the street’s residents by day; it watched them bundle their children into cars to get to school in the morning, kicking and screaming. It watched the occasional front garden argument, and it watched the children sell lemonade in the summertime, but by night, it only watched one house. One window, actually.

The Streetlight couldn’t remember when it had started watching her, but then, it wasn’t at all sure when she started watching it. Every night, while the rest of the street slept, the woman with the brown hair would stand at her bedroom window in her pyjamas and stare at the Light. At first the Light thought that perhaps the woman was angry at it. The Light was proud of how strong it was and how far its beams reached, but maybe it was too bright? Maybe the woman didn’t like it.

The Light studied the woman each night, eventually deciding that the woman did not hate the Light, but that she was drawn to it. The Streetlight wasn’t sure why. It saw very little of the woman during the day, and she never walked on the Light’s side of the street, but every night she stood there staring, and every night the Streetlight stared back.

That night was different though; the woman didn’t stay at her window as long as usual. The Light found itself a little disappointed when, after only a few moments, the woman stepped away from the curtain and disappeared from view. The Light wondered why the woman had left. Maybe she was called away? Maybe she was bored with the Light? The Light was thinking these very thoughts when it noticed the click of a latch across the road and saw the woman, her brown hair blowing faintly in the chilly air, walking softly across her garden. The woman came right up to the Light and looked up. The night was full of silvery mist but even through this, the Light saw that the woman had a bag on her back and eyes that sparkled with tears.

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